We were elected on a message of making New Jersey affordable again for everyone who lives and works in this state. We promised in our campaign to change the way business is done in Trenton, and we are working to make that a reality. Your mandate to us was government reform, and here are some of the areas we are working on:
- Relieving the tax burden on property owners.
- Cutting wasteful government spending.
- Consolidating government functions through shared services among municipalities, counties and schools boards.
- Adopting reforms that reduce the costs to taxpayers for public employee benefits, including pensions and health care.
- Providing quality public schools, in part by forcing tax money to go toward classrooms and school facilities – not toward excessive salaries and perks for administrators.
- Making local, county and state government more open, accessible and accountable to the public.
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) that would allow municipalities or counties to implement a local public contract set-aside program for business enterprises that are owned by or that employ veterans passed the State Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee today.
“In an increasingly competitive environment, every advantage we can afford our veterans counts,” said Senator Norcross, a member of the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “These men and women put their lives on hold to protect this nation. It is our duty to repay our debt to them.”
Current law allows local governments to create a set-aside program for women, minorities and small businesses. The bill, S-527, would amend the local set-aside statute to allow county or local governments to establish a qualified veteran business enterprise set-aside program. A qualifying business would be one that is at least 51% owned and controlled by a veteran, or that would agree to hire veterans if additional workers are required to perform the contract. The governing body would allocate a specific percentage of the dollar value of total contracts to be awarded as set-aside contracts for qualifying businesses.
(TRENTON) – Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) today applauded the more than half of school districts statewide that adopted resolutions to move their local school board elections to November. Over two-thirds of the districts statewide elected to eliminate the costly practice of holding a special election in April, saving taxpayers significant money.
“The residents of New Jersey expect their government officials to slash any unnecessary costs we can find, and this is an obvious one,” said Norcross, who sponsored the election-date change. “I commend these school boards for acting quickly in the interest of taxpayers.”
The New Jersey Department of Education has issued guidelines for the process of moving the school board elections, and recommends that February 17 should be the cut-off date for this year. School boards, municipalities and voters can opt to move the election for 2013 at any time.
“I encourage anyone who would like to see their district make this cost-saving change to contact their local municipalities and school boards immediately,” Norcross added. “I feel confident that even more districts will adopt this reform in the future when they see the savings realized by their counterparts.”
The new school election law follows another election reform to eliminate New Jersey’s separate presidential primary. That law - which was also championed by Senator Norcross - is projected to save the state $12 million this year.