New Jersey's 23rd Legislative District

Senator Michael Doherty

Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: Cut Road Construction Costs, Don’t Raise Gas Tax

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Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) said that he opposes the newest plan to raise the state’s gas tax by $2 billion, and again called for the passage of legislation he sponsors which requires an analysis of New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation road construction costs.

Sen. Jennifer Beck and Sen. Mike Doherty held a press conference to oppose a gas tax increase proposal at the New Jersey State House on June 15, 2016. (SenateNJ.com)

Under the tax increase proposal that is set to be voted upon by both houses of the New Jersey Legislature on Wednesday, the state’s current gas tax of 14.5 cents per gallon would increase by 158 percent to 37.5 cents per gallon.

“I opposed the 23 cent/gallon gas tax increase in June, and I continue to oppose it today,” said Doherty. “Until we get a handle on why New Jersey spends significantly more per mile than every other state, any new gas tax revenues we raise would be wasted. I don’t think that’s fair to drivers.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Bill Giving Local Towns Share of Fines from Tickets Issued by State Police Advances

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The Senate Transportation Committee has advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) that would provide municipalities with a share of the motor vehicle fines collected through tickets issued by the State Police within their borders.

Sen. Mike Doherty’s bill would provide towns where violations occur with a share of motor vehicle fines from State Police issued tickets. (Flickr)

Currently, all motor vehicle fines, penalties and forfeiture moneys generated through those tickets issued by troopers are paid to the State Treasurer.

“When a local police officer issues a traffic ticket, the municipality collects half of the fine revenues to offset the cost of enforcement and running the local court where the ticket may be contested,” said Doherty. “An identical ticket issued by a state trooper may end up in the same courtroom, but the town doesn’t currently get a share of the fine to help cover expenses, putting the burden on property taxpayers. This legislation addresses that inequity.””

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty on Completion & Dedication of New Phillipsburg High School

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Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) issued the following statement on the official dedication and ribbon-cutting of the new Phillipsburg High School:

Sen. Mike Doherty (right) and Asm. John DiMaio (left) at the dedication of the new Phillipsburg High School on September 21, 2016. (SenateNJ.com)

“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.”

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Mike Doherty

Gov. Christie Signs Bateman/Doherty Bill Creating Hunterdon-Somerset Flood Advisory Task Force

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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.

Flooding in downtown Bound Brook on April 16, 2007. (Wikimedia Commons)

“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.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: NJSEA Set to Approve $1 Billion Taxpayer Handout for American Dream Meadowlands in Sweetheart Deal

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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.

Sen. Mike Doherty called the billion dollar taxpayer handout set to be approved by the NJSEA for the developer of the American Dream Meadowlands project a “sweetheart deal.” (Wikimedia Commons)

“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.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Urges Continued Work on Delaware-Raritan Flood Management Project

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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.

Flooding in downtown Bound Brook on April 16, 2007. (Wikimedia Commons)

“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.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty to Celebrate Commemoration of “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway”

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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.

Sen. Michael Doherty participated in a ceremony naming a portion of Route 173 as the “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway” on August 14, 2016. (SenateNJ.com)

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.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Warns American Dream Meadowlands Set to Receive $800 Million Taxpayer Subsidy

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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.

Sen. Mike Doherty warned that the approval of $800 million of bonds to subsidize the long-delayed American Dream Meadowlands project is set to move forward. (Wikimedia Commons)

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?”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: Gas Tax Increase a “Loser” for New Jersey

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Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) reiterated his opposition to increasing New Jersey’s gas tax, calling the proposal a “loser” for New Jersey.

Sen. Jennifer Beck and Sen. Mike Doherty held a press conference to oppose a gas tax increase proposal at the New Jersey State House on June 15, 2016. (SenateNJ.com)

“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.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: We Don’t Need Another Complex School Funding Formula, We Need Simple Fairness

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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.

Sen. Mike Doherty will introduce Gov. Christie’s proposed “Fairness Formula” to distribute school aid equally to all New Jersey children. (SenateNJ.com)

“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.

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