Senator Ray Lesniak
Friday January 20th marks the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. President Donald Trump took the oath of office at noon and a new era of politics began. As Piers Morgan put it in a tweet…
Brits love Obama.
Americans took a long hard look at his 8yrs in power & replaced him with his complete opposite. https://t.co/N8L4ozisMB
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 19, 2017
So the Trump era begins. We’ll have to see how the new President’s policies impact the economy and security in our region. I’m confident that his plan and leadership ability will be enough to succeed and earn him a second term. More on the President in later blogs…for now, the race to Drumthwacket begins in earnest.
This morning was more than a typical conversation with New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. She comes into our New Jersey 101.5 studios every other Thursday for a special segment called “#DigginInWithKim”. Today she told me that the segment should be renamed, “Sparrin’ with Spadea”. Guess she’s been listening over the past two weeks as I’ve been very critical about the lack of leadership, particularly among Republicans in NJ to oppose the largest tax increase since the 1990’s. At one point during the discussion Kim mentioned that electing more Republicans will help solve the problem. But I countered by reminding her that it was due to the Republicans cowering under pressure from GOP Governor Christie and Democratic Senate President Sweeney that enabled the tax to be passed in the first place.
And the win goes to… you! Because of your attention to the tricks and political games in Trenton, together we put a stop to two things today that could have had disastrous effects on life in the Garden State. The first was the gas tax… the legislature wanted to raise it $0.23 per gallon with a built in increase should the projected revenue fall below expectations. As we’ve discussed on Chasing News, NJ 101.5 and on social media, it’s because of your constant phone calls, emails and tweets that the GOP legislators on the fence thought twice about voting for a new tax and the Democrats on the fence found cover that helped firm up their opposition.
This week two things happened that demonstrate without new leadership in Trenton our state will become increasingly unaffordable. And that’s saying a lot considering we are already one of the highest tax burdened states in the nation.
The Republican Governor and Democratic Senate President met and discussed how to fund the Transportation Trust Fund. The didn’t find a mutually agreeable solution, but they agreed on one thing…the gas tax should be raised by $0.23.
Then in another blow to commuters and residents, the leader of the Republicans in the NJ Assembly, Jon Bramnick embraced the hike in the gas tax as a “strategic necessity“.
In “Trenton Speak” the phases “Strategic Necessity” and “Tax Fairness” means YOU will pay more to live and work here. A lot more.
Yesterday was a big day for Carlo Bellario. He’s a New Jersey actor/comedian who’s facing the possibility of a ten-year prison sentence for running afoul of Jersey’s gun laws. Of course, the charges involve a toy. Specifically, an airsoft gun that can be bought in just about any sporting goods store in Jersey. The law that has gotten Carlo in trouble is the Graves Act. It goes back to 1981 and was intended to set mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed with a firearm. Later, the law was amended to include gang activity and today the interpretation from prosecutors includes the act of simple possession.