New Jersey's 23rd Legislative District

Senator Michael Doherty

Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Supports Counties & Municipalities in Call for Permanent Interest Arbitration Cap

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Says Cap Critical to Limiting Property Tax Increases

Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) issued a statement in support of the efforts of the New Jersey League of Municipalities and New Jersey Association of Counties to make permanent the state’s cap on interest arbitration awards.

Sen. Mike Doherty expressed support for the efforts of the New Jersey’s counties and municipalities to make permanent the state’s cap on interest arbitration awards. (SenateNJ.com)

“The elected officials who manage our towns and counties on a daily basis have told us that it’s a certainty that property taxes will rise or services will be cut if the interest arbitration cap is allowed to expire,” said Doherty. “This cap is the primary reason that property tax growth has slowed over the last eight years from the runaway increases of the McGreevey and Corzine years.”

Doherty was a prime sponsor of legislation (S-5) enacted in 2010 that limits the salary increases that may be awarded when disputed police and fire contracts enter the process of binding arbitration to two percent.

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Honored for Supporting Small Businesses

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Senator Mike Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Warren, Somerset) was recognized by the National Federation of Independent Business New Jersey chapter for his continuing support of small businesses.

Sen. Mike Doherty was named a “Guardian of Small Business” by NFIB New Jersey. (©iStock)

“Businesses, especially independently owned ones, face a tough challenge trying to succeed in New Jersey’s business climate,” Senator Doherty said. “They have to face high taxes and regulations that can often be too much for family-owned operations to handle. I’ve always tried to stand up for them in Trenton, because they deserve to have their voices heard.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Senate Democrats Block Beck/Doherty Sick Leave Reforms

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Republican Measures Would Address Nearly $2 Billion Property Tax Liability

Democrats in the New Jersey Senate blocked the consideration of sick leave reforms sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) that would address a nearly $2 billion liability for property taxpayers.

Senate Democrats tabled Sen. Jennifer Beck’s sick leave reform effort during the Senate session on June 22, 2017. (SenateNJ.com)

Senators Beck and Doherty made motions to relieve S-2947 and S-572 from the committee process for consideration by the full New Jersey Senate.

“We’ve tried repeatedly to put an end to the outrageous six-figure payouts that drive up property tax bills statewide,” said Beck. “Democrats, however, continue to block our reforms that would end this abusive practice and make New Jersey more affordable. To be clear, this is more than a billion dollars of property tax relief that New Jersey Democrats have denied.”

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Mike Doherty

Bateman & Doherty on Judge’s Decision to Block Statehouse Renovations Lawsuit

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Senate Republicans Kip Bateman and Mike Doherty released the following statements on a State Superior Court judge’s ruling against their lawsuit to halt Governor Christie’s multi-million dollar Statehouse renovations.

Sens. Kip Bateman and Mike Doherty are speaking out following State Superior Court Judge Jacobson’s June 14, 2017 decision to rule against their lawsuit to stop Gov. Christie’s multi-million dollar Statehouse renovations. (Wikimedia Commons)

“I am very disappointed in the judge’s decision. New Jersey taxpayers deserve better,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “The Christie administration was clearly intent on denying the public the opportunity to speak out against this costly boondoggle. It is a shame that, once again, taxpayers statewide will bear the brunt of a poor decision made without their approval in Trenton.”

“Judge Jacobson got it wrong,”  Senator Doherty (R-23) said. “The Whitman case she cited was addressed when we passed the Lance amendment, so that voters would always, without exception, have the right to approve extremely expensive projects like the Statehouse renovations.  We still can’t get a straight answer on how much this is going to cost. The Governor’s insistence on pushing forward with this project regardless of public opinion, and the judge’s decision to allow it, flies in the face of our constitutional obligation to be transparent with New Jersey taxpayers. The Legislature and the people we represent have a right to know how we are spending their money. This ruling is a setback, but our fight is far from over.”

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Senator Gerald Cardinale
Senator Mike Doherty

Cardinale & Doherty Introduce Constitutional Amendment Abolishing Tenure for NJ Supreme Court Justices

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Call for Public Retention Elections for Justices to Serve Additional Terms

Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39) and Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) have introduced a constitutional amendment (SCR-152) that would abolish tenure for New Jersey Supreme Court justices and provide an opportunity for the public to decide via regular retention elections whether a justice may continue serving on the State’s highest court.

Sens. Gerry Cardinale and Mike Doherty have introduced a constitutional amendment that would abolish tenure for New Jersey Supreme Court justices and establish retention elections for justices to serve additional terms on the State’s highest court. (©iStock)

“Our current tenure system for New Jersey Supreme Court justices has repeatedly failed the state and its residents,” said Cardinale. “With only a single opportunity to review a justice’s record upon reappointment, we have little ability to hold members of the New Jersey Supreme Court accountable for their activism. As a result, we’ve had a long history of horrendous Supreme Court decisions that have made New Jersey the most expensive state in the country for property taxpayers.”

Doherty pointed to decisions including Robinson v. Cahill, Abbott v. Burke, and Mount Laurel I and II as examples of unelected, activist justices legislating from the bench.

“The New Jersey Supreme Court has imposed expensive affordable housing and school funding mandates that have cost property taxpayers tens of billions of dollars,” said Doherty. “It’s time that the people of New Jersey get a direct vote on the justices who have mandated the overdevelopment of our towns and locked the state into an outrageously expensive school funding ideology.”

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Mike Doherty

Lesniak, Doherty, & Bateman: Christie Admin Reveals in Court Meeting on Lawsuit that State House Renovation Bonds Have Already Been Sold

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Say Quick Bond Sale Highlights Administration’s Effort to Avoid Transparency & Accountability

Senators Ray Lesniak (D-20), Mike Doherty (R-23), and Kip Bateman (R-16) blasted a revelation made by the Christie Administration in court today that bonds to finance a $300 million State House renovation were sold on May 11th, the same day the financing plan was approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA).

Sens. Lesniak, Doherty, and Bateman blasted a revelation made by the Christie Administration in court that bonds to finance a $300 million State House renovation were sold on May 11th, the same day the financing plan was approved by the NJEDA. (SenateNJ.com)

Senator Lesniak called it a calculated effort by Governor Christie and the NJEDA to avoid public scrutiny, “This is a shameful act by both Governor Christie and the NJEDA Commissioners. Apparently they have no shame.”

“In an effort to avoid transparency and accountability, the governor must have set a new record for the speed with which bonds were sold after the NJEDA rubber stamped his expensive renovation plan,” said Doherty. “This is a clear sign that the Christie Administration didn’t want to give legislators or the public even a moment to review or challenge this expensive State House renovation.”

News of the bond sale was revealed by the defense team representing the Christie Administration during a scheduling meeting in New Jersey Superior Court with Judge Mary Jacobson to discuss the lawsuit filed this week by Lesniak, Doherty, and Bateman that seeks to halt the project.

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Mike Doherty

Bateman & Doherty Join Lawsuit to Stop $300 Million State House Renovation Project

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Cost to New Jersey Taxpayers Could Reach $750 Million without Legislative or Voter Approval

Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) and Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) joined with Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20) to file a lawsuit today to stop an expensive New Jersey State House renovation project that was initiated without legislative or voter approval.

Sen. Kip Bateman and Sen. Mike Doherty joined on the filing of a lawsuit today to stop an expensive New Jersey State House renovation project that could cost state taxpayers as much as $750 million without legislative or voter approval. (Wikimedia Commons)

The civil complaint filed in New Jersey Superior Court alleges that actions undertaken by the State Capitol Joint Management Commission, Treasury Department, and New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) related to the renovation plan violate the Debt Limitation, Appropriations and Separation of Powers clauses of the New Jersey Constitution.

“While the law is clear that the plan to borrow $300 million to fund the State House renovation must be approved by both voters and the Legislature, the governor’s convoluted and unconstitutional financing arrangement takes that choice away from both taxpayers and their elected representatives,” said Doherty. “Our lawsuit seeks to hold the governor accountable and halt this boondoggle of a project. We’re fighting to ensure that New Jersey taxpayers have both transparency and choice as to how their money is spent.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: Bedminster Taxpayers Will Be Reimbursed for Trump’s Visits to Golf Club

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Senator Michael Doherty (R-Somerset, Warren, Hunterdon) today reaffirmed his support for a provision within the spending bill passed by Congress earlier this week that would allow Bedminster to seek reimbursements for costs associated with protecting President Donald Trump when he visits his golf club within the municipality.

Sen. Mike Doherty reaffirmed his support for Bedminster’s efforts to seek reimbursement for costs associated with protecting President Trump. He added that commonsense would indicate that he would never state otherwise. (SenateNJ)

“As I told Star-Ledger reporter Claude Brodesser-Akner on the phone yesterday, I strongly support Bedminster’s efforts to seek reimbursement for these security costs,” Senator Doherty said. “Families in Bedminster and across New Jersey already pay the highest property taxes in the nation. It is completely unjust to ask them to pay millions of dollars in added costs that should be covered by the administration.

“I want to make it clear to my constituents and their local leaders that I strongly believe that the people of Bedminster, or any community for that matter, deserve to be reimbursed for the substantial cost of protecting President Trump when he comes into town. Thankfully, as I very specifically informed this reporter yesterday, this is no longer an issue. Congressman Lance put a resolution in the budget to eliminate this taxpayer burden.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Beck, Kyrillos & Doherty Fight to Reform $1.9 Billion Property Tax Liability

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Senators Jennifer Beck (R-11), Michael Doherty (R-23) and Joe Kyrillos (R-13) sent letters today inviting Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to join their effort to achieve vacation and sick leave reform.

Senators Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos invited Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to join their effort to achieve vacation and sick leave reform. (SenateNJ.com)

Their invitation follows the publication of a story by NJ Spotlight today putting the total accumulated liability of towns, counties, and school districts for unused sick and vacation time at nearly $1.9 billion.

In the letter, the senators note that New Jersey residents pay the highest property taxes in the nation, and highlight the bipartisan effort to enact the two-percent cap in 2010.

“When few people thought it was possible, Republicans and Democrats in both houses of the Legislature came together to pass the property tax cap,” said Doherty. “That was a good demonstration of what’s possible, but much more remains to be done. Ending the sick and vacation leave payout abuses that contribute to our state’s property tax crisis should be low-hanging fruit that we can accomplish together if given the opportunity.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Mike Doherty
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Republicans Propose School Funding Reforms to Improve Opportunities for Students, Provide Property Tax Relief for Families

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Proposals Eliminate Abuses, Establish More Equitable Funding for Overlooked Students in Underfunded Districts

In an effort to improve educational opportunities for New Jersey students and provide real property tax relief to overburdened families, New Jersey Senate Republicans released a series of school funding reform proposals as the starting point for discussions on the replacement of the state’s failed school funding system.

New Jersey Senate Republicans released a series of school funding reform proposals as the starting point for discussions on the replacement of the state’s failed school funding system. (©iStock)

“Senate Republicans want to fix the broken school funding formula that has failed too many students and devastated middle-class property taxpayers,” said Kean. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves to negotiate a funding formula that works, and we’re prepared to come to the table with detailed solutions that we believe will improve educational opportunities statewide and make New Jersey more affordable.”

During his Budget Message last month, Governor Christie challenged the legislative leaders of both parties to join with him to work on a new funding formula to replace the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA).

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