Johnson’s Journal – April 2015
From Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson – Deputy Speaker. with Thing One and Thing Two…
Read Across America (Dr Seuss Day) March 2015.
Recently, I joined parents, teachers, and community leaders from coast-to-coast, taking a turn wearing the stovepipe hat made famous by The Cat in the Hat. Launched in 1998, by the National Education Association (NEA), Read Across America is a multi-generational connection between parents and children, bringing the joy of story telling to young readers. Getting our students excited about reading at home will lead to greater success in school and strengthen reading skills. Sharing a story can be rewarding reading experience for grown-ups, students, and legislators!
Reading the Cat in the Hat on Dr. Seuss Day at the D. A. Quarles Early Childhood Center in Englewood. Thank you to EPSD Teachers, Mrs. Gormally and Seniora Blanco, and their wonderful Kindergarten students! The “Thank you cards” are lovely!
A Sister State Relationship…
For over a quarter century, the state of New Jersey has enjoyed a Sister State Relationship with Taiwan. This anniversary was celebrated on March 26th, at the Statehouse in Trenton. The event focused on enhancing economic development, business exchanges, and cultural understanding.
I welcomed Ambassador Paul Wen-Liang Chang and honored the Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation for philanthropic work especially noting their swift response during hurricane Sandy. We also honored the NJ Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce, for their successes in fostering business development in New Jersey and the United States. We offered a resolution representing the bond between our two states, including the 30,000 Taiwanese currently living in New Jersey. This relationship stretches across boarders, all the way to Bergen County, where we are proud to share in the exchange and success of businesses from our Sister State!
On the Bus…
As your District 37, leader I have fought to bring oversight, transparency, and accountability to the Port Authority of NY & NJ. On two occasions within the last year, Senator Loretta Weinberg, Assemblywoman Valerie Vaineri Huttle and I have hosted bus forums in Teaneck to hear from you. These bus forums brought experts from NJ Transit and the Port Authority, together with residents to create a dialogue with the goal of increasing and improving bus service in our community. Currently, local bus providers are increasing bus service with new buses that include upgrades related to safety and wifi. I look forward to their progress and our residents having direct access to NYC and the A-train when the GWB bus terminal renovation is complete.
Working Together, We Succeed – Brotherhood.
In Trenton, I’m working to bring economic development to our State and to District 37. Infrastructure improvements and development in Bergen will generate jobs, which our community needs. This month I attended International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers of Bergen County annual beefsteak dinner with County Executive James Tedesco in Paramus. The union work force of our Locals is important to the future success and growth of New Jersey.
Urgent Transportation & Infrastructure Investment Needed.
Funding the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail will have a positive and lasting impact on Bergen County. This much needed rail project will help reinvigorate our economy, and create jobs bringing opportunity to the people of District 37. Light rail will get us to work, take cars off the road, and expand markets. We joined federal representatives and officials from across New Jersey to call for fast-track funding for this critically needed infrastructure.
Creating a new Economy @NY Auto Show
In my position as Chairman of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee, I lead an important conversation in New Jersey to re-invigorate our economy. Our work in Trenton will help to create new high-paying jobs and develop new sectors of growth in our state. The fuel cell is an economy-creating, cutting edge innovation that expands markets, growth, and jobs in New Jersey.
To understand first hand how fuel cell technology can fit in our daily lives, I visited the New York Auto show and test-drove cars powered by this new form of electric power.
A Celebration of Excellence
This week I took part in the Annual Men’s Day Celebration at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Teaneck. The event highlighted the abilities and talents of students, and community leaders from a range of professions, all with Teaneck roots. The hallmark of the event was excellence, collaboration between students and parents, presented in the theme R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Raising Expectations Students & Parents Engaging the Community Together).
The event gathered Teaneck notables to present to the students the importance of education and offered the students an opportunity to showcase their talents and skills.
Important legislative efforts recently, have included the protection of monetary reparations of Holocaust Surviviors, enhanced oversight of New Jersey’s economic incentive programs, and a bill to establish a task force to study the effectiveness of PARCC testing. We continue the budget process raising questions and serious concerns over many proposed funding cuts to important budget items, such as higher education, and pension system payments.
Assembly Bill A1041 – Protects Monetary Reparations of Holocaust Survivors.
This bill provides that monetary reparations received by a holocaust survivor of Nazi persecution shall be exempt from all claims of creditors and from levy, execution, attachment or other legal process. The bill also exempts these monies from estate recoveries under the Medicaid program. This bill would continue the exempt status of the reparations payments upon the death of the Medicaid recipient by providing that they are not part of the Medicaid recipient's estate and, therefore, not subject to recovery in an estate proceeding of a Medicaid recipient.
Assembly Bill A660 - Calls for a biennial Audit of the State’s Economic Incentive Programs
This bill calls for a biennial audit of the state’s economic incentive programs administered by the Economic Development Authority. This will enable us to more closely examine our incentive programs to determine which ones are the most effective in generating jobs and tax revenue for the people of this state. The taxpayers make substantial investments to incentives New Jersey businesses. This Bill will enhance oversight and will increase transparency during the process by adding public hearings.
Assembly Bill A4268 – Establishes a Task Force to Study the Effectiveness of the PARCC
This bill establishes a task force to study the effectiveness and implementation of the PARCC test. If there is one good thing about the PARCC debate is the fervent advocacy displayed by parents, Parents have spoken and we have listened. This task force can help clear up some of the questions many parents have raised in their arguments against the PARCC.
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.
Johnson for New Jersey