Johnson’s Journal – Summer 2017
From Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson – Deputy Speaker.
A Budget Reflects Our Priorities
Statement from Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson on Passage of State Budget:
A budget reflects our priorities. Though it is unfortunate that our state government shut down, I will not stop fighting for what is important. The truth is that without the Horizon bill, the Governor would have vetoed $350 million in funding for important programs such as:
- $125 million in new school funding
- $25 million to expand pre-school
- $20 million to increase the salaries of workers caring for people with developmental disabilities
- $15.1 million for security, technology, and nurses for nonpublic schools
- $2 million to research cures for cancer
- $5 million to reduce domestic violence, sexual violence, and rape
- $5 million in funding for EOF
- $400,000 to provide social services to Holocaust survivors
- $100,000 for Historic New Bridge Landing Park
The Governor’s original proposal to take $300 million from Horizon’s reserve surplus was dead on arrival. We were able to leverage a compromise Horizon bill that increases transparency and does not take any dollars for state use. Horizon will have to create a plan to bring their reserves within a range set by the bill, and excess surpluses will be used for the benefit of policyholders, not the state budget. During the shutdown, I stood strong with those who negotiated with the Governor to ensure the budget included our priorities. The budget items that were included in the budget are not Democratic values; they are human values.
When I was elected as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly, I promised that I would fight for hardworking New Jersey residents. I kept my promise to the residents of District 37 and only voted for the budget knowing that this important funding would be maintained.
Commuter Crisis – We Are Taking Action!
The current situation for commuters in our state is unacceptable. If critical infrastructure projects are delayed, the situation will only get worse, and have dire consequences on our economy. In Trenton, we are taking action; by crafting legislation to urgently help our commuters and bring oversight to our rail and bus transportation networks.
Right now, our Joint Legislative Oversight Committee is holding necessary hearing to get answers for the hundreds of thousands of passengers who ride the rails each day. The outrageous conditions, the overcrowding and the derailments cannot be allowed to continue. This is a serious public safety issue.
We will keep fighting to improve conditions, raise the level of service and safety, while ensuring future infrastructure upgrades on our rail lines. Our commuters deserve nothing less.
Light Rail will benefit Bergen County!
Bergen County is in need of new mass transit options for our residents. We cannot delay. We can’t let our NJ workforce miss another opportunity, there is too much at stake. By investing in our transportation infrastructure, we put people back to work; we expand markets, and we support economic growth in NJ. Light-rail will have many significant benefits. It will have a lasting positive impact on our local economy, and will improve our quality of life in Bergen County.
Gordon M. Johnson Introduces Environmental Legislation
I recently introduced a four-bill legislative package aimed at encouraging increased use of alternative fuel vehicles and equipment.
By expanding the availability of green vehicle infrastructure and incentivizing the purchase of vehicles that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, New Jersey can make progress on economic, environmental and national security fronts. Replacing conventional vehicles currently on the road with alternative fuel vehicles will spur innovation creating a more affordable, more eco-friendly New Jersey.
Welcoming Community; We Have Made It Clear!
In response to the misguided agenda coming out of Washington, and following the president’s immigration ban, I called on our municipalities to become safe communities for individuals and families who are diverse ethnically and racially, who come from a range of different religious backgrounds.
Welcoming communities will not permit our local taxpayer funds to be used to advance an agenda that is not aligned with our values.
Together, we set an elevated standard for New Jersey; our community has made it clear; all people, regardless of immigration status with be dealt with in a manner that is respectful and dignified by all departments of these local municipalities. As neighbors and residents it is essential that we accept each other for who we are and what our dreams are; I expect nothing less from our local government.
Bomb Threat Bill Passes in Assembly – A4732
Bill was inspired by string of bomb threats that rocked Jewish Community Centers in New Jersey & across the country earlier this year.
The full Assembly unanimously approved my bill to stiffen the penalties for creating a false public alarm in light of the string of bomb threats that rocked the Jewish community in New Jersey and throughout the country earlier this year.
This sends a strong message that hate-based intimidation will not be tolerated. While the persistent threats we saw earlier this year may have subsided, we want to make it clear that these types of bigoted threats will not be tolerated in our state. We can’t allow anyone to be targeted because of their faith, their ethnicity, their gender, who they love or how they identify oneself or a disability.
Bill Encouraging Community Colleges to Partner with Businesses and Groups to Provide Workforce Training Signed into Law
My legislation to encourage community colleges to work with diverse state groups and businesses on workforce basic skills training was signed into law. It is important for community colleges to forge relationships with local and statewide groups that reflect or can provide diverse experiences for their students. This bill directs community colleges to seek out groups that advance economic empowerment in the state, enhancing basic skills training and better prepare students for workforce challenges.
Bill Providing Broad Assistance to Gold Star Families Signed into Law
Legislation to provide an array of online assistance for Gold Star families was signed into law. The term "Gold Star" describes a family member who has lost a loved one in military service. A Gold Star Family member is defined to mean a spouse, domestic partner, partner in a civil union, parent, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or other legal custodian. Family members dealing with the untimely death of a loved one are often left with deep emotional wounds that can take a long time to heal. These services will help give these families the support they need to get through the grieving process.
Happy Independence Day 2017!
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, Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee, and a member of the Budget Committee.
Paid for by Johnson for Assembly. Jeffrey Richardson, Treasurer. PO Box 14, Tenafly, NJ 07670. Produced in house.