Cardinale: Introduces Trio of Taxpayer-Protection & Good Govt Reforms in Response to Paterson Abuses
In the aftermath of recently reported taxpayer abuses in Paterson, Senate Republican Gerald Cardinale introduced a trio of new taxpayer-protection and good government bills to accompany his bipartisan reform to end six-figure sick-leave payouts for public employees.
Paterson — in the midst of municipal and school budget crises — just gave its police chief a big annual salary raise to $210,631, redoing his contract with just a few weeks left, when he must retire within a year. This deal gives a package of retroactive raises, including a 12-percent pay increase dating to 2012 and four 2-percent hikes. It pads his pension and $150,000 payout for unused sick and vacation days.
“Local governments, especially those in such financial chaos should not be abusing taxpayer dollars to benefit a select few,” said Cardinale (R-Bergen). “Paterson’s backroom decision is a maltreatment of local taxpayers, as well as state taxpayers who annual send about $25 million in aid to this cash-strapped city. I hope the state Department of Community Affairs will ultimately reject this particular chief’s new contract, but the time for reform is now to preserve the public trust in every town and city.”
Ranking Republican Judiciary Committeeman Gerald Cardinale urged Senate Democrat Judiciary Committee Chairman Nicholas Scutari to regain control of that committee and schedule a state Supreme Court confirmation hearing for brilliantly qualified David Bauman.
“Chairman Scutari and I have a long history together serving the public on this committee, and I consider him a friend. I know he’s smart enough to understand that there is no constitutional basis to deny David Bauman’s nomination. He knows there’s no language in the constitution about Supreme Court political balance or anything to do with the partisan makeup of the High Court or any constitutional requirement about political affiliations of Supreme Court justices.
“I get that he’s trying to be loyal to his fellow Democrat politician, the Senate President, but I urge him to shift his loyalty to the 8.9 million New Jerseyans who are being denied justice, property tax relief, proper affordable housing and healthcare resolutions due to the lack of a full state Supreme Court.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale and Senator Anthony Bucco to offer greater aid to members of the National Guard and Armed Services who are balancing military service and higher education was advanced by the Senate Higher Education Committee.
“This legislation offers invaluable, duly-deserved support for the members of the military who risk their lives to protect the liberties and freedoms we hold dear,” Senator Cardinale said. “Our pledge to support the troops must extend beyond the battlefield. We can honor this promise by ensuring all of these heroes have the basic support they need to complete their college degree – an essential tool that will help them thrive here in the state they call home.”
Senate Republican Gerald Cardinale is renewing his call for sick-leave, pension and public employment reforms in light of recent reported taxpayer abuses in Paterson.
Paterson’s governing body just gave its police chief a big salary raise to $210,631, redoing his contract that expires in a couple weeks. This allows him to collect a bigger pension, a bigger, $150,000 payout for unused sick and vacation days. The governing body also gave the chief, who must retire within a year, a 12 percent pay increase dating to 2012 and a series of four 2 percent hikes after that.
“This pension- and boat-check padding maneuver is an abhorrent abuse of taxpayers in Paterson, as well as state taxpayers, who annually send about $25 million in aid to this cash-strapped city,” Cardinale said. “This is the kind of billion-dollar deal struck in a smoke-filled backroom in the dark of night that destroys the public trust.”
Dems’ SCR-188/ACR-4 Means Taxation without Representation for at Least 75% of NJ
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Ranking Republican Senator Gerald Cardinale stood with dozens of experts, residents and organizations who at Thursday’s State Government hearing unanimously opposed and pushed to stop the Democrats’ election rigging scheme, SCR-188.
“This Democrat political scheme would give lifelong tenure to at least 90 of New Jersey’s 120 legislators,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “It would give at least 75 percent of the legislature a free pass to fail their constituents, as voters would no longer have a basic democratic ability to hold them accountable in elections. This Democrat attempt to rig elections is anti-American, and that’s why no other U.S. state has required non-competitive legislative districts in their constitutions or statutes.”
As stated by political scientist Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, the Democrats’ SCR-188 “fails miserably” and is a “bald-faced attempt to pull the wool over voters’ eyes; making them complicit in a process that will only serve to increase their cynicism about politics.”
Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) issued the following statement warning voters that legislative Democrats’ attempts to constitutionally change the legislative redistricting process would permanently create “safe” districts and eliminate the voice of 75 percent of New Jerseyans:
“The marginalization of New Jersey residents through this hastily proposed constitutional amendment is historically anti-American. A catalyst for the foundation of this country in 1776 was the rallying cry “no taxation without representation” by colonists devoid of any way of influencing the laws being handed down on them. SCR-188 will have this same chilling effect on the people of New Jersey.
The following editorial by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) on medical billing legislation was published by The Record:
The article on Democratic lawmakers’ efforts to protect patients from unexpected high medical bills (“How plans to reform medical bills stalled,” June 14) did little to shed light on the legislative attempt to deal with the very real problem of surprise and often outrageous out-of-network charges that consumers and insurers alike too often encounter. There is no disagreement that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed.
The following editorial by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) about the benefits of giving motorists the choice of whether they want full or self-service at New Jersey gas stations was published by the Asbury Park Press on May 21, 2015:
When I’m driving around Bergen County and my gas light comes on, I enjoy being able to pull into a local service station and have my gas pumped by an enterprising teenager. As a senior citizen, I appreciate the convenience more now than ever.
I know there are many New Jersey natives who feel the same way. However, over the years I have been in elected office I have heard from many drivers who would love the convenience of pumping their own gas. I’m not going to let my feelings stand in the way of the rights of others. Neither group’s preference should be cavalierly dismissed by their elected representatives.
Senator Gerald Cardinale announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to allow motorists to choose to pump their own gas.
Under Senate Bill 2944, New Jersey gas stations would allow voluntary self-service but be required to retain at least one full-service island for the next three years as well as provisions for serving those unable to pump their own gas. Gas stations would be allowed to discount the price of self-service gas but would have to provide full-service at the same cost for those with disabilities. The bill is also sponsored by Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen).
Legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) eliminating license duplication fees for drivers who wish to sign up as organ donors was advanced by the Senate Transportation Committee.
Under the bill, S2445, residents with a current license or identification card who register as organ donors with the state Motor Vehicle Commission would be exempted from the commission’s $11 fee for issuing an updated license or identification card noting the change in organ donor status.