Time for Jersey leaders to stop whining and start talking
Cliff Richard once sang, "It's so funny how we don't talk anymore," which seems to be what's happening among New Jersey lawmakers. Assembly Minority leader Jon Bramnick, a comedian himself, doesn't find it so funny. He's proposing legislation forcing the governor, the state senate president, the senate minority leader, the assembly speaker and the assembly minority leader to meet at least once every quarter at the State House in Trenton for at least two hours, then open it to the public. Bramnick called into my show to talk about it and he didn't need a bill to do so.
Why isn't this already happening?
"This is a really big deal," Bramnick said. "The bottom line is, unless you're in a room talking to each other, then reporting to the public what you're going to do to the next quarter, I think it's a big mistake. So it [the proposed bill] would require the governor and the four leaders to get into the same room once a quarter, just like a board of trustees in a corporation. Why do we not do that in the state of New Jersey?"
How do things get done if you guys aren't getting together and talking about stuff?
"Actually they don't get done that's the problem," Bramnick said. "How's your property taxes? How's the debt in the state of New Jersey? How's the sales tax situation? How's the corporate tax? Obviously it's not getting done and that's why you need to be in the room. When you're face to face, things are different than when you're on the phone or texting back and forth or doing separate press conferences."
Are the biggest conflicts in New Jersey between democrats and republicans or democrats and democrats?
"Actually, the republicans get along better with the democrats than the democrats get along with the democrats," Bramnick said. "As you know there is a massive fight now going on and most of it is between the south and the north on the democratic side."
What would be the first topic you'd bring up?
"We have to talk to each other," Bramnick said, "we can't keep yelling at each other...make sure you got the family there, because husbands and wives are opposites. So make sure you got both sides so my wife could turn to me and say, 'why are you giving a hard time to Murphy come on! Raise the taxes come on be a good guy.'"
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