- Promote shared municipal services to stabilize property taxes.
- Offer business tax incentives to inspire job-creation.
- Attract new businesses to New Jersey to grow the economy
- Addressing Flooding and Water Management
- Fight for women’s pay-equity and access to healthcare.
It is unacceptable that New Jersey ranks fourth in the nation for unemployment and second for home foreclosures. For all the bluster about a “New Jersey Comeback,” our state is not doing enough to create new jobs or spark economic growth.
As your next state Senator, I would support practical incentives to attract “clean and green” industries and new businesses into the Garden State. This will create more new jobs for New Jersey residents.
I would support the “Angel Investor Tax Credit Act” that rewards business for investing in emerging technologies.
I would promote partnerships between universities, colleges and businesses that create internships and new jobs for college graduates. I would support different partnerships to spur innovation and make New Jersey eligible for new federal and private funding for science, health, technology and engineering research.
I recognize that small businesses are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy. As your next state Senator, I would support the state’s Small Business Loan Program that makes small businesses eligible for low-interest loans to expand and to add more jobs.
I also support the Back-to-Work NJ program that allows idled workers to continue to receive unemployment benefits while they retrain for new jobs.
New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation. It also has more towns – per-person and per-square-mile – than any other state. In fact, there are more municipalities for New Jersey’s 8.8 million residents than there are for California’s 37.3 million people.
We hold our distinctive and historic communities in high regard. Bergen and Passaic counties have some of our state’s most charming and desirable towns. We must certainly preserve their individual character.
However – to save tax dollars and to stabilize or lower property taxes – towns must begin to peel away layers of duplicate bureaucracy. It is vital for towns to share services and consolidate purchasing power with neighboring communities.
The Legislature established the Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization and Consolidation Commission (LUARCC) in 2007 under the Department of Community Affairs, to study the governmental landscape and recommend acceptable municipal consolidations.
I support measures to be introduced in the Legislature that will broaden and refund LUARCC so it can help shape regional service agreements, promote more shared services and create joint contracts between municipalities.
In recent years, women throughout New Jersey have fallen victim to shortsighted state policies and budget cutbacks – particularly on pay-equity and healthcare. This is absolutely shameful.
New Jersey has eliminated family planning funding and it has forced a number of women's health centers to shutdown.
These health centers provide affordable preventative medicine for women and children including routine physicals, mammograms, flu and tetanus vaccines, prenatal care, screenings for breast and cervical cancer, and screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid, and high blood pressure.
Our state’s administration also flatly rejected proposed legislation that would have given equal pay to women and ended other discriminatory workplace practices.
As your next state Senator, I will fight to restore women’s healthcare funding. I believe it is vital that all women have access to affordable, quality healthcare and preventative medicine.
In Trenton, I will join Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s bold effort fight for women’s pay-equity and to end other discriminatory workplace practices.
In 2012, New Jersey women earn 79-cents for each dollar paid to men who perform the same jobs. This is unacceptable. Women deserve to earn equal pay for equal work.
The 39th district has a serious problem with flooding. Between 1935 and 2010 there were 8 floods. Since 2011 there have been 5 major floods.
Municipalities have worked very hard to alleviate flooding and their devastating impact. But the diminished quality of life, decreased property values, and the costs of recurring cleanups, profoundly impact these citizens and more steps need to be taken to protect them.
While this issue is being addressed by municipalities as best as they can, there needs to be more cooperation between the state, county, and municipal entities that regulate the lowering of floodgates and the dredging of the rivers and brooks.
I fully support the Rockland/Bergen Bi-State River Commission which will be charged with "assessing projected development and land use" and the potential impact on the waterways, the environmental effects, and how to best coordinate watershed management programs. Unfortunately the Commission has no capacity to enforce it’s own recommendations.
I will work toward legislation that will allow outside oversight for a scientifically sound model to release the floodgates in a way that does not negatively impact downstream communities. I will support legislation that will engage the DEP and the County to assist with regular dredging in a way that does not burden municipalities. I will also support legislation that has the means to enforce the Bi-State River Commission’s findings.
Our communities would jump at the chance to be a part of the solution to this problem if they get assistance to implement new water strategies. I support the use of pervious surfaces, water tanks to save rainwater, using drip irrigation for farms and creating new rooftop gardens to retain water.
We need to do much more to address the needs of our communities to address this issue.
Our nation’s LGBT community saw significant strides in 2012 as federal
regulations and other state’s laws changed to bring greater equality to more
Regrettably, nothing changed in the Garden State. I am eager to join the
state Senate’s fight to override the governor’s veto of the 2012 marriage
equality bill, or I will help pass a new bill to guarantee marriage equality.
I firmly believe same-sex couples deserve the freedom to marry. This is not a
“special right.” It is an equal right. I want marriage equality to become reality
in New Jersey.
Same-sex couples have been able to enter into “civil unions” here since 2007,
but civil unions do not receive the same public acceptance as marriage. And civil
unions not provide the same legal rights, benefits and protections as marriage.
This civil rights issue is important to me and to so many of my constituents,
both gay and straight in Bergen and Passaic counties. I stand proudly with
New Jersey’s LGBT community on this issue.
Safeguard Funds for Veterans' Services
New Jersey is home to 465,000 veterans from World War II through today’s
protracted military conflicts. Sadly, a growing number of servicemen and
women are returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with behavioral health
diagnoses, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic
As a social worker and mental health professional, I am acutely aware that
these “invisible wounds” are marked by anxiety, depression, insomnia,
migraines, lower resistance to disease and dysfunctional relationships.
Although the Veterans Administration provides many behavioral health care
services, many former servicemen and women are also entitled to and seek
assistance from New Jersey’s disabilities system – a system has been under-
funded in recent years.
I will fight to restore funds to our state disabilities system so it can provide
real and quantifiable help to veterans and others diagnosed with behavioral
Write Sensible Mental Health Laws
As a social worker and mental health professional with over 30 years of experience, I am acutely aware that neurological disorders are widely misunderstood. I also recognize that New Jersey does not have adequate laws to address the needs of people with mental illness or to help their families,
For example, in 2011 the state indefinitely delayed implementation of a law that would give families a greater say about whether their mentally ill loved ones may be ordered to receive outpatient treatment.
The “involuntary outpatient commitment” law would allow families to seek a court order to force mentally ill people to attend outpatient treatment programs if a licensed mental health professional deems them to be a risk to themselves or others. This law would also expand treatment services for the mentally ill.
New Jersey put this law on a shelf for purely budgetary reasons. As a state Senator, I would work diligently with other lawmakers to find the necessary money to implement it.
At present, New Jersey’s involuntary commitment law only allows someone suffering from a neurological episode to be hospitalized for up to 72 hours to be stabilized on medications.
This is woefully insufficient because it can take up to three weeks for physicians to learn what combination of medications work best for a particular person. I would create legislation to rectify this clear inadequacy.
As your next state Senator, I would partner with other mental health professionals, advocacy groups, care-providers and families to create an effective awareness campaign to advance public understanding of mental illnesses.
On November 5, 2013, vote for Jan Bidwell for New Jersey Senate - 39th Legislative District