It’s about jobs…
As your Assemblyman, I’m working to bring quality, high-paying jobs to New Jersey. As Chairman of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee, I’m looking at technology and innovation to lead growth and reinvigorate New Jersey's economy. This week we held a hearing in Trenton to get an understanding of the cutting-edge technologies that have emerged, that challenge our conventional understanding of energy and fuel. The fuel cell is a highly efficient and reliable alternative to fossil fuels, which is showing its value in the State of New Jersey. I recently visited the Newark Farms Market, which is expanding, hiring 150 new workers. By taking advantage of fuel cell technology in their forklifts and machinery, the Market has improved productivity, and increased capacity. It’s about jobs!
The fuel cell is a device that combines hydrogen & oxygen to produce electricity. The by-product of the process is not exhaust, but a low or zero emission of water and heat. Fuel cell innovation has tremendous economic, environmental, and performance benefits for businesses, transportation systems, and communities. Smart NJ businesses are embracing fuel cell innovation from a sustainability, operational cost, and resiliency perspective. We need to foster jobs and economic development, but if we can do so while also reducing dependence on foreign oil, cutting pollution and boosting clean energy, then everybody wins.
We honor their heroism…
In February, we came together to honor a heroic veteran who lives in Teaneck. Mr. Donald Cassidy served our country with honor and valor as a radio operator/gunner in the 390th Bomber Group of the 8th Air Force in the United States Army Air Force during World War II. After his plane was shot down over Germany in 1943, Spc. Cassidy spent eighteen months as a prisoner of war in Stalag 17 in Krems, Austria. He was awarded the Air Medal for his acts of heroism and meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flight. Thank you Mr. Cassidy for your service to our Country!
At the Heritage Point Retirement Community, in Teaneck, I was joined by my colleague Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Spc. Walton Morris, US Army 82nd Airborne, in honoring Spc. Donald Cassidy.
In Trenton, I’m working to connect our veterans with well-paying jobs, education and training, to help them lead a successful transition to civilian life. To accomplish this, I’ve sponsored legislation called the NJ Battlefield to Boardroom act, which offers tax credits to businesses that hire veterans. Also, the New Jersey Tuition Equality for America’s Military (NJTEAM) Act, that provides in-State tuition at New Jersey public institutions of higher education for military veterans and their dependents. I have also sponsored legislation to help ease the burden of property tax payments on the families of our men and women currently deployed. Another bill that is moving forward will allow children of active military reservists to stay in their school districts, regardless of where parents are stationed. Thank you for your service and sacrifice!
Black History Month
Black History Month gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the contributions of African-Americans who came before us. Recently, I was invited to speak at a screening of a film the “Legend of Lead Belly,” hosted at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Lead Belly’s story, dispite his musical talents, was one of struggle. The film was an emotional presentation which showed the challenges of African-American life in the south during his life. The film is a poegnant way to keep the legacy of Lead Belly and other great African-Americans alive and pass them down to future generations. Thank you to FDU and President Drucker for providing the venue for this important African-American educational event
We marked the occasion in the General Assembly Chamber by wearing Kente scarves in celebration of Black History Month.
Oil Train Safety
We have already seen major and minor train derailments in our state and around the country. Protecting our communities, our waterways, while bring safety for those living and working rail side, is our primary concern. I have worked with officals, community leaders and first responders at every level to create a plan to make our NJ rails safer. In 2014, I called on the Department of Transportation to enact the safest possible requirements for rail cars. This week, I am the prime sponsor of legislation
that would require the owner or operator of trains to have discarge response, cleanup, and contingency plans to transport certain hazardous materials by rail (A-4283). My bill will make District 37 and our State, safer for our families, schools, and downtown neigborhoods. As we continue to invest and expand in renewable energy like wind, solar, and fuel cells, our need for oil transportation will shrink. As an elected offical I support policies that move our society away from fossil fuels.
As Deputy Speaker, I presided over the New Jersey General Assembly on February 24th 2015. It was an important day in the legislature; we received the Governor to hear his budget address, which is the beginning of the budget process. As a member of the budget committee, I will continue to focus on making New Jersey more affordable for middle class families, improving the quality of life for our seniors, and continuing to fight for our veterans. We will lead with these priorities, knowing that the decisions we make will impact jobs and opportunity looking ahead.
The Assembly Budget Committee will hold three public hearing to give residents an opportunity to comment and be heard on our budget priorities. In Collingswood, New Jersey for the first hearing 3-11-15.
Gordon M. Johnson was elected by the people of the 37th District of Bergen County, to the New Jersey State General Assembly in 2001. Assemblyman Johnson serves in the position of Deputy Speaker. He is the Chair of the Commerce and Economic Development Committee, Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee, member of the Budget Committee.