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NJ Republicans And Democrats Grapple Over Priorities [VIDEO]

Kevin McArdle, Townsquare Media

Much of the talk in and around the State House in Trenton over the last month has focused on the Democrats’ all-out effort to legalize gay marriage in the Garden State.

Now, Republicans are firing back as they detail what they feel the top priorities should be.

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick says New Jersey taxpayers want the Legislature focused on creating jobs and lowering taxes. He’s challenging Democrats to work with Republicans on making these items Trenton’s top priorities.

Bramnick explains, “Over the last two years, taxpayers benefited most when the Legislature worked with Governor (Chris) Christie to control spending and create jobs. The Legislature needs to address these important issues now, not wait until the next election……I respect the Speaker (Sheila Oliver) and the (Assembly) Majority Leader (Lou Greenwald, but I think they’ve governed New Jersey in a fiscally irresponsible way. Their priorities are wrong and they have been wrong for a long time. We’ve seen the painful effects their policies have had on taxpayers and business.”

Bramnick and other members of the Assembly Republican caucus, pointed to several indicators that they claim show the fiscal policies of the past two years have begun to correct the ‘broken policies’ of previous administrations, such as 62,000 private-sector jobs created over the past two years compared with 117,000 lost in 2009; the lowest property-tax increase in two decades following a decade in which property taxes increased 70 percent and historic pension and healthcare reform that will save taxpayers $120 billion after a decade in which the pension system went from robust to nearly bankrupt.

Anthony Bucco, a GOP member of the Assembly Budget Committee says, “We are creating jobs and lowering taxes. People are optimistic about New Jersey’s future because of the fiscal discipline Governor Christie and Republican leadership have brought to Trenton. Now, we have to work even harder to make sure we don’t take any more money out of people’s pockets and actually put some back as the Governor has proposed with his 10 percent income tax cut for every worker in New Jersey.”

Tom Hester, a spokesman for the Assembly Democrats was quick to respond. In an emailed statement he wrote, “By embracing Chris Christie’s New Jersey, the Assembly Republicans have embraced tax cuts for millionaires, a net 20 percent property tax hike, 9 percent unemployment and less access to health care for women. It’s no wonder voters saw fit to increase the Democratic majority. Democrats remain focused on jobs, middle-class tax relief, sensible education reform and social and economic equality, and the Republicans are welcome to change course and join that Democratic effort.”

Courtesy NJ Assembly Republicans

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