Volume 6/Issue 19

  • Senate President Steve Sweeney Not Running for Governor; Phil Murphy All But Secures Democratic Nomination
  • TTF Plan with Gas Tax Increase Poised for Final Vote
  • Bill to Keep Solar Market Stable and Grow Jobs Passes Committee

Senate President Steve Sweeney Not Running for Governor; Phil Murphy All But Secures Democratic Nomination

Though the primaries for New Jersey Governor don’t take place until June 2017, former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy essentially secured the Democratic nomination today when State Senate President Steve Sweeney announced that he is no longer seeking the seat.   

A variety of factors contributed to the Senate President’s decision.  Though he had the support of seven Southern New Jersey county party leaders, several labor unions and many individual state legislators, the Senate President faced increasingly difficult odds to successfully challenge Mr. Murphy.

In order to build enough support to win the gubernatorial nomination in New Jersey, candidates must work to gain the preferential party line on each county’s ballot.  Candidates on the party line have higher visibility and the stamp of the being that county’s official candidate.  

In the past few days, and in the wake of Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop opting not to run, the Murphy campaign worked to gain the backing of the many of the large northern counties and these endorsements provided Mr. Murphy with a larger base of Democratic-producing primary voters than the coalition that the Senate President had begun to gather. 

Senator Sweeney also announced his intention to run for re-election to his legislative seat and expressed that he was confident that he would retain his position of Senate President.

TTF Plan with Gas Tax Increase Poised for Final Vote

Legislation to reauthorize the Transportation Trust Fund is set for final passage tomorrow.  The package comes from a bipartisan agreement by Governor Christie, Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Prieto.

The key component of the package is a $0.23 cent increase in the gas tax that is anticipated to cost the average driver between $184 and $276 per year.  The legislation provides for a $2 billion TTF plan over the next 8 years.

It also contains several tax relief measures and broad-based tax cuts including an increase to 35 percent in the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor, tax deductions up to $100,000 on retirement income, a veterans' exemption of $3,000, a phase-out of the estate tax by 2018 and a cut in the State sales tax over two years from the current 7% to 6.625%.

The Senate and Assembly are holding special sessions tomorrow to vote the bill onto the Governor’s desk.  He is expected to sign the legislation shortly after receiving it.   

You can get time sensitive updates on the TTF legislation by following RCSG’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Bill to Keep Solar Market Stable and Grow Jobs Passes Committee

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee Chairman Wayne DeAngelo and Senate Energy Committee Chairman Bob Smith to keep New Jersey’s solar market strong was advanced out of the Assembly Committee today. 

New Jersey is a leader in the solar industry, ranking fourth highest amongst U.S. states in installed solar capacity.  More than 528 solar companies work in New Jersey, employing over 7100 people.

The bill, A3918/S2276, aims to keep New Jersey a leader in this sector, by requiring the State’s electrical power suppliers to generate a greater percentage of solar energy each year. 

River Crossing Strategy Group is proud to represent and work with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and SolarCity to advance this important legislation.