Tag Archive: unions

Support workers on Labor Day!

Celebrate Labor Day by supporting labor!  1300 nurses and health professionals are on strike at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.  There’s a candlelight vigil/picket line/rally this evening outside the hospital on Somerset Street off Easton Avenue.  Senator Menendez will be there at 6:30 for a press conference; the rally starts at 7:30.

News Roundup & Open Thread, Thursday July 27, 2006

  • Preparations for the special session on property tax reform are moving along.  This morning, there will be a public hearing on devoting half the sales tax increase to property tax relief.  The Senate and Assembly will then vote for the consitutional amendment on Friday. Governor Corzine will give his address on property tax relief at 11AM on Friday.  Meanwhile, the Regional Plan Association suggests raising income taxes to cut property taxes.  The Inquirer notes the history of failure on this issue.
  • The Riverside City Council, in a 5-0 vote, passed a law that “punish people who provide housing or jobs to illegal immigrants.”  The hearing last night was very nasty as both sides argued.  The mayor admits that he will have to waste a lot of the town’s money when the planned lawsuit comes.  njdem has the details.
  • The controversial work on Route 78 has been delayed by a week.  The eastbound express lanes will now be closed on August 4, and the westbound ones on August 11.  The plan only revealed earlier this week would have started the shutdown tomorrow!
  • Saving future traffic jams, Philadelphia was eliminated as a possible host city for the 2016 Olympics.  While I thought New York City’s bid for 2012 was a terrible idea, I admit to being disappointed for Philadelphia. 
  • The Farber traffic stop affair now includes Union Couny Freeholder — and Motor Vehicle Comission manager — Angel Estrada.  Estrada helped get her boyfriend’s license reactivated, but it’s worth noting that apparently he had already paid a fee and his license was not supposed to be suspended.
  • The real estate market is cooling nationwide, and Ocean County data show New Jersey is no exception.
  • A panel of judges upheld the $75 annual fee that is charged to doctors and lawyers under a 2004 law to help doctors pay for malpractice insurance.
  • South Jersey Healthcare nurses voted on whether to unionize Wednesday. The vote was 299-279 in favor, but at least 60 votes were challenged by the union or the Elmer hospital, so the outcome will not be known for some time.  The article notes that “Another nurse was on vacation in West Virginia, but she flew home just to vote.”
  • Senator Menendez, with Senator Baucus (D-MT), has introduced a bill that homeowners could add $500 each to their standard deduction on their federal taxes as a property tax deduction.  The idea is that once people have paid off their mortgage, they usually aren’t able to itemize deductions and therefore lose their property tax deduction.  The bill will probably not be considered until next year.  On the other hand, conservatives want to get rid of all deductions for local and state taxes. 
  • Back on Wednesday, Rep. Rush Holt testified in favor of forming a body to give unbiased advice on science and technology to Congress:

    Although we would like to believe that the scientific and technical advice and assessment provided from outside remains politically neutral, this is not necessarily the case.”

    You may recall that a neutral body existed in the form of the very successful Office of Technology Assessment but it was axed by the Republicans in 1995.  It’s an example of how they do not believe in effective government, only crony capitalism. 

  • Yes Dick Codey, You Are Responsible For Property Taxes

    State legislators like Dick Codey love to try to pass the buck to mayors and councils for property taxes:

    Said Codey, a West Orange Democrat who’s the Senate president: “Has the Legislature ever increased property taxes? I never voted to raise property taxes. I’m not a school board member. I’m not a mayor.”

    Makes sense on the surface.  Why should the State Legislature do anything about property taxes when (technically) it’s the towns who send you the bill.  This record six part series on public employees makes the link, exposing the dark side of what was once a system to protect low paid employees and now has become a treasure cove.  And the villian is the State.

    Ten Days Left

    I must point out this excellent editorial at the Trenton Times supporting Gov. Corzine’s long-term fixes but questioning his words to the unions earlier this week, as well as discussing the motivations of the legislators:

    Also driving their angst is the re-appearance of the “T” word. It’s been dusted off, by people who should know better, to be used against anyone who dares vote for a tax increase, even if it means correcting years of bad fiscal policy and rescuing state government from draconian cuts in services. The truth of the matter is that New Jersey got to this crisis in a bipartisan way. Governors from both parties have tapped pension funds as a way to balance budgets or have increased the state’s bond debt rather than pay as they go for programs deemed too important to cut. And legislators, for their part, have been more than accommodating to the powerful public workers’ unions, pumping up retirement benefits without contributing enough to the pension fund to pay for the largess later on.

    Monday, April 24, 2006 News Roundup

  • Voters in the 13th district may be feeling a bit of déjà vu, as the candidates could be identical to the congressional race in 1986. Yes, I’m talking about Albio Sires and John Guarini, second cousin to Sires’ first opponant, Frank J. Guarini. Sires, then a Republican, ran against Guarini for Congress in 1986. Guarini won then, but now things are a bit different…starting with their party affiliation. John Guarini is a Republican and Sires is running as a Democrat. But nothing is definite yet, Sires still has to face a strong primary challenge from Joe Vas for the Democratic nomination.
  • A report slated to be released today exposes thousands of wasted dollars at UMDNJ. To add to the troubles the medical school has faced in the recent months, the report depicts (among other monetary dishonesties) how the financial records were falsified to show that the university’s headache center was making a profit, which enabled the former dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine to receive an annual bonus of $15,000.
  • Roughly a year after a federal judge removed the leaders of the corrupt Local 734 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, the Rochelle Park based local union’s pension plan is on the verge of collapsing. This comes after a former executive hired friends and family members to work frivolous part-time jobs at exorbitant salaries, in addition to questions being posed about the organization’s connections to organized crime.
  • Daniel Ellsberg, who’s known primarily for leaking the “Pentagon Papers” to the New York Times in 1971, is calling for full disclosure by the Bush Administration on the Iraq War. He did this while addressing an audience composed primarily of members of the Coalition for Peace Action at the Princeton Theological Seminary last evening.
  • Governor Corzine hits the 100-Days in Office mark this week. The first 100 days are often the most crucial in determining how any elected official will lead their constituency. The Governor appears to be embracing his new role humbly and not striving to constantly be in the limelight, like some of his predecessors have done.