Sen. Ray Lesniak: ‘I want to fight for NJ’
This morning Senator Ray Lesniak joined me in studio to discuss many of the hot-button topics going on in the state. Senator Lesniak took calls from listeners who wanted to ask about issues important to them that ranged from minimum wage hikes to illegal immigrants.
I have been saying that we need to change NJ 's image for a while now. While politicians cannot discuss other positions that they are not currently running for, I decided to hypothetically pose the question to Senator Lesniak to find out what NJ's landscape would look like with Lesniak at the helm.
"I want to restore Jersey pride. I want to fight for New Jersey. Like I'm fighting against Exxon. What NJ would look like is we'll make Exxon pay. We'll have sports betting," Lesniak said.
The senator also said that if he was governor he would support a millionaire's tax but would in turn, eliminate the estate tax. The millionaire's tax would be used to pay down the pension debt that the state is struggling under.
One of the big issues that Senator Lesniak has been a supporter of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour in New Jersey. While I brought up the fact that a wage of that magnitude would not be sustainable for NJ small businesses, Lesniak said this is something that is essential for NJ's workforce.
"One of the things we (Americans) stand on is a good day's work is worth a living wage. We can't have people working whether they're service jobs, whether they're retail jobs, whether they're fast food jobs, whether they're sanitation jobs or custodians and not being able to pay for their family and take care of their family. That's not what America is about," Lesniak said.
Watch the entire exchange in the video below.
In a perfect world if Senator Lesniak was governor, I joked with him that I believe a tax cut would be in order for NJ's residents. Lesniak said that we don't need tax cuts as much as we need to be smarter on expenditures.
"We have to spend our money efficiently. Have accountability," Lesniak said. Lesniak did admit though, after a caller brought it up, that indeed our property taxes are too high. "Our property taxes are too high and we have to do it (lower them) by reining in spending, having accountability and bring in more revenues. Sports betting would be one of them," Lesniak stated.