Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) issued the following statement on the official dedication and ribbon-cutting of the new Phillipsburg High School:
“I’ve long highlighted how New Jersey’s rural and suburban districts are overlooked when it comes to state support for our schools, but 15 years of persistence by local officials to push this project forward has finally paid off,” said Doherty. “Congratulations to the Phillipsburg Board of Education, Superintendent George Chando, and all of the many local officials and families that fought to make the new Phillipsburg High School a reality.”
Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senators Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Michael Doherty establishing a task force to address Raritan and Delaware River flooding in Somerset and Hunterdon counties.
“We took great strides last month in Bound Brook by moving forward Green Brook Flood Risk Management Project,” Senator Doherty said. “However, we still need a comprehensive plan to ensure all communities along the Raritan and Delaware Rivers have the tools and information needed to prepare for severe flooding. I look forward to reviewing the task force’s findings and finally implementing longterm solutions for our residents.”
Doherty: NJSEA Set to Approve $1 Billion Taxpayer Handout for American Dream Meadowlands in Sweetheart Deal
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) said that the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) is set to approve a billion dollar taxpayer handout to Triple Five Group, the Canadian developer of the decade overdue and billions over-budget American Dream Meadowlands project.
“Triple Five claims this sweetheart bonding deal will have no impact on taxpayers and carries no risk, but that’s a lie,” said Doherty. “Not only will we give up tax revenues to repay bondholders, we’ll also likely lose additional sales tax revenue from the business American Dream siphons from the many nearby malls that do pay the full taxes they owe to the state.”
Following the dedication of a $143 million flood mitigation system in Bound Brook, Senator Michael Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren) acknowledged the progress the state has made in implementing flood management programs, while insisting work must continue in order to make New Jersey’s communities more resistant to floodwaters.
“It is great to see the Green Brook Flood Risk Management Project move forward,” Senator Doherty said. “The new levees, floodwalls and pumping stations will be vital for Bound Brook, which has a long history of serious flooding issues.”
On Sunday, August 14, Senator Michael Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren) will participate in a public ceremony to officially rename a portion of State Route 173 as “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway” in honor of the Brigade’s decades of service and heroism in defense of our country.
Doherty was the sponsor of legislation to rename the highway in commemoration of the Brigade.
“It’s fitting that we honor the Brigade and the thousands of soldiers who have served and sacrificed over the course of its history,” Senator Doherty said. “Over the years, these ‘Sky Soldiers’ have dedicated their lives to fighting for us. This is the least we could do to honor them.”
Local Finance Board & NJSEA Will Approve Bonding for Boondoggle Project
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) warned that the approval of $800 million of bonds to subsidize the long-delayed American Dream Meadowlands project is set to move forward next week.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority has issued an agenda for a special meeting on Tuesday, August 9th that includes Resolution 2016-35 – Consideration of Resolution Approving Financing of the American Dream Project.
The Local Finance Board has issued an agenda for a meeting on Wednesday, August 10th that includes authorization for $800,000,000 of Proposed Redevelopment Area Bonds for the American Dream Project.
“I warned in June that the Triple Five Group would attempt to shift the risk of the boondoggle American Dream Meadowlands project onto the backs of New Jersey taxpayers, and now we have proof they are trying to do just that,” said Doherty. “Why should New Jersey taxpayers bear the risk of subsidizing this project when the same company can afford to undertake mega-projects in other states with no need for similar subsidies?”
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) reiterated his opposition to increasing New Jersey’s gas tax, calling the proposal a “loser” for New Jersey.
“I say the gas tax plan is a ‘loser’ because we would lose so much should it be enacted,” said Doherty. “We’d lose the incentive to study our highest-in-the-nation road construction costs. We’d lose business at gas stations and throughout communities along our borders with Pennsylvania and New York. Most important, overtaxed New Jersey drivers would lose more of their hard-earned income to fund projects that have nothing to do with roads.”
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) said that it would be a mistake to replace New Jersey’s complex and failed school funding formula with another convoluted formula that would be the likely result of a study commission proposed by Senate Democrats.
“New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation because our overly complex school funding formula tries to pick favorites, giving some districts hundreds of millions and others next to nothing,” said Doherty. “You can’t fix that inequity by punting the problem to a commission of bureaucrats who will produce another bad formula. The fair, simple and transparent solution is to treat all kids equally.”
Doherty will introduce Governor Christie’s proposed “Fairness Formula,” which would split the approximately $9 billion of direct school aid in the state budget into equal school aid for each student. Under the “Fairness Formula,” each public school district would receive $6,599 per enrolled student, along with aid for special needs students.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11), Senator Michael Doherty (R-23), and Senator Gerry Cardinale (R-39) were joined by anti-tax advocates today in releasing a statement reiterating their opposition to a billion dollar gas tax increase. The General Assembly approved a 23-cent gas tax hike last evening, with a half-cent sales tax reduction starting January 1, 2017 and another half-cent reduction on January 1, 2018.
“I have heard the residents of New Jersey loud and clear and I remain steadfast in my opposition to a billion dollar, 23 cents per gallon increase in our gas tax,” said Senator Beck. “New Jersey residents see right through the fiscal shell game that is being played. Literally in three days, this Friday, July 1st, all 7 million New Jersey drivers will be faced with a billion dollar tax increase that will be imposed every time they take a trip to the beach, commute to work, or bring their kids to school. Without question, lowering the sales tax a penny over two years will not stop Democrats from raising it again as they have done before.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) will be the prime sponsor of a school funding reform proposal announced by Governor Chris Christie to give all children an equitable share of state school aid and provide real property tax relief to the overwhelming majority of taxpayers.
“Senator Doherty has led a years-long effort in the Legislature to adopt a fairer school funding formula that treats all students equally and taxpayers fairly,” said Kean. “Considering the great similarities between his ‘Fair School Funding’ plan and the Governor’s proposed ‘Fairness Formula,’ there couldn’t be a better person than Senator Doherty to take the lead on this new legislation.”
Kean will join Doherty as a co-prime sponsor.