NJ Republicans Blame Democrats for Summer of Inaction [AUDIO]
It was late June the last time the full General Assembly was in session at the State House in New Jersey.
The State Senate has held several committees and one voting session to consider one bill. Assembly Republicans say they should be at work right now. They’re accusing the Democratic leadership of abandoning the people in favor of a summer vacation.
“We should be reducing the income tax, period, even if we reduce it by a very small amount,” says Assembly GOP Leader Jon Bramnick. “It’s real simple, taxes, taxes, taxes.”
Democrats say they would love a tax cut, but the state simply can’t afford to support one right now. Republicans say the state could afford it if Democrats would work with them to eliminate huge end-of-career payouts to public workers for their unused sick and vacation days. There are other issues that demand immediate attention insists the Republicans.
“You’ve got to make it attractive for businesses to come to New Jersey and stay in New Jersey,” says Bramnick. “You can’t just abdicate your responsibilities by going home for the summer and hope it magically appears somewhere in Trenton that you’re going to have an incentive bill.”
The GOP says the legislature should also be working on a bill to encourage towns to share services to help lower property taxes. Ironically, a shared services bill and a tax cut proposal are both being spearheaded by State Sen. President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat.
What is happening this summer is not rare, in fact it’s common. In an election year such as this one, lawmakers typically leave Trenton and spend the bulk of their time on the campaign trail.