Says Analysis of Cost-Saving Opportunities Critical Given Talk of Major Gas Tax Increase
In response to concerns that New Jersey highways are the nation’s most expensive to build, operate and maintain, Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) has drafted legislation that will give policymakers the information they need to lower costs for drivers and taxpayers.
As Doherty expressed in a recent editorial, the new measure addresses the dual concerns of excessive state highway costs highlighted in a recent report by the Reason Foundation and calls by some legislators to raise the state’s gas tax to fund new transportation projects.
“Some may quibble over how much more New Jersey spends on our highways than other states, but nobody disputes that we do spend more than everyone else,” said Doherty. “With New Jersey drivers already shouldering such a heavy tax and toll burden, it’s imperative that we find out why the many millions we spend on our roads get us so little in return.”
There has been much discussion recently about a report on state highway systems by the Reason Foundation that found New Jersey’s roads to be the nation’s most expensive to build, operate and maintain.
According to that report, New Jersey’s state-administered highways cost taxpayers $2 million per mile, which the Reason Foundation claims to be 12 times the national average, three times the cost in the next highest state and four times the cost in New York.
Senators Jennifer Beck and Michael Doherty announced the introduction of legislation explicitly banning adult incest in New Jersey. The legislation is identical to a bill already introduced in the Assembly by Mary Pat Angelini.
Last month news outlets detailed reports that an 18-year-old woman was planning to marry her once-estranged biological father and move to New Jersey as it is one of the only states where there is no legal prohibition against adult incest.
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) has introduced legislation that blocks municipal ordinances from preventing the ability of kids to offer snow shoveling services within 24 hours of an expected snowstorm.
The legislation was drafted in response to recent reports of a pair of high school seniors who were stopped by Bound Brook police and told they could not go door to door without a permit to hand out flyers in an attempt to solicit snow shoveling business for a snowstorm the next morning.
“That teenagers looking to make a few bucks shoveling driveways can be at risk of breaking the law is a sign of how overbearing government has become,” said Doherty. “Instead of learning the value of entrepreneurship and hard work, today’s kids are being taught that the effort isn’t worth it.”
Nearly 7,100 People Signed Online Petition to Ban the Cams
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23), the sponsor of legislation (S-626) to ban the use of red light cameras in New Jersey, commented on the imminent conclusion of the state’s red light camera pilot program and warned that citizens must remain vigilant to prevent the program’s return.
“Over the five years of the red light camera pilot program, we have shattered the myth that cameras protect drivers or make inherently dangerous intersections safer,” said Doherty. “We have proven that the only thing cameras are consistently good at is robbing drivers through expensive and questionable tickets to support the wasteful spending of local officials.”
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) is calling for an investigation by the state Attorney General into allegations that local officials in New Jersey were bribed by Redflex Traffic Systems to secure new contracts to install and operate red light camera systems.
The allegations were made by Aaron Rosenberg, a former executive vice president and nationwide lead salesman for Redflex, in a lawsuit against the company. Redflex is one of the two major vendors with red light camera systems in New Jersey.
“When a senior insider comes forward to say that red light camera companies are influencing local officials not with statistics proving safety benefits, but with gifts that are almost certainly illegal, we must take action,” said Doherty. “I call on the Attorney General to investigate the claims of Aaron Rosenberg that Redflex engaged in bribery in New Jersey to secure contracts for its red light camera systems.”
Doherty Legislation Designating Rt. 22 ‘Sergeant William John Cahir Memorial Bridge’ Signed into Law
Legislation (S-2236) sponsored by Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) to name the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge on Route 22 in honor of fallen Marine Corps Reserve Sgt. William Cahir has been signed into law by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
“Many of us in the area knew of Bill Cahir from his service in Hunterdon and Warren counties in New Jersey and Lehigh and Northampton counties in Pennsylvania as a reporter for the Express-Times prior to his enlistment,” said Doherty. “It’s more than fitting that we designate the span linking our communities the ‘Sergeant William John Cahir Memorial Bridge’ in his honor.”
Senators Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) and Mike Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren) introduced legislation to save cats and dogs no longer used for educational, research or scientific purposes from automatic death sentences.
The Senators’ bill, S-2344, would require institutions of higher education and research facilities to offer cats and dogs to animal rescue organizations for adoption prior to euthanizing the animals.
“All cats and dogs should have every possible opportunity to be a part of a loving home, and rescued animals make for the best family members and companions,” Beck said. “Cats and dogs shouldn’t be sentenced to death at the end of an experiment or project. Their lives should be respected and cherished from beginning to end.”
Doherty: New Charges Against Six in Free School Lunch Scandal Reinforce Need for School Funding Reform
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) said that new charges against six public employees announced by the state’s Acting Attorney General for fraud related to the free and reduced price school lunch program are yet another reminder that New Jersey’s convoluted school funding formula needs to be reformed to prevent future abuse.
“Just last year, we saw a number of individuals in Elizabeth charged for falsifying applications to get their children free school lunches that they didn’t deserve,” said Doherty. “With yet another round of charges recently announced, it’s time that the Legislature acknowledges that school lunch fraud is widespread and distorts the delivery of state school aid.”
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) praised the New Jersey Senate’s approval of new legislation, A-3424, capping the annual salary increases that may be awarded by arbitrators during contract disputes between public employers and their police and fire departments.
“Arbitration caps limiting salary increases are a critical element that make possible New Jersey’s two-percent property tax cap, which has succeeded in drastically lowering the rate of property tax increases in recent years,” said Doherty. “Without this agreement, we’d likely return to the massive annual property tax increases of the McGreevey and Corzine years.”