Volume 6/Issue 21

  • Assembly Democrats Unveil Public School Funding Reform Committee
  • Extension of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Included in New TTF Plan
  • GOP Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli Announces Run for Governor
  • KMS Development Partners Generate Wave of Community Support for New Hotel on Hoboken's Waterfront

Assembly Democrats Unveil Public School Funding Reform Committee

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Education Committee Chairwoman Marlene Caride on Monday announced the creation of a Joint Legislative Committee on Public School Funding Reform.  The committee will review the impact of changes in demographics and fiscal conditions of school districts and draft proposals to fully support the State’s school funding formula.  

The legislation creating the committee would establish a panel consisting of three members of the Senate appointed by the Senate President and three members of the General Assembly appointed by the Speaker. 

Under the bill, the committee would be advised by a public-school funding reform working group comprised of several education advocacy groups.  The 12-member working group includes a representative of the NJEA, the New Jersey School Boards Association, the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, the Garden State Coalition of Schools, the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey, the Education Law Center, Save Our Schools NJ and others.

The Assembly bill will require the approval of the Senate, which passed its own legislation in September that creates a special commission to develop a plan to bring all districts to full funding within five years.

Extension of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Included in New TTF Plan 

Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senator Paul Sarlo and Senator Bob Gordon announced that the long sought extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail would be completed now that the State’s Transportation Trust Fund has been replenished. 

The Northern Branch Extension would bring light rail to Bergen County for the first time, extending eight miles from its existing terminus at Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City to Englewood Hospital in Bergen County.

The project is estimated to cost between $800 million and $1 billion, with federal funding helping to pay for a substantial portion. The investment could help generate up to $3 billion in economic activity.

River Crossing Strategy Group proudly represents Englewood Hospital.

GOP Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli Announces Run for Governor

Earlier this month, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli announced his intention to seek the 2017 gubernatorial nomination for the Republican Party. 

The three-term Assemblyman is a former council member from Raritan Borough and previously served as a Somerset County Freeholder.  He is the owner and publisher of a medical publishing company.

Assemblyman Ciattarelli unveiled several proposals at his announcement but made addressing the school funding formula the cornerstone of his campaign.  His multipoint plan includes:

  • Reducing excess aid by 20% over 5 years for districts that are overfunded;
  • Making the most underfunded districts whole;
  • Not allowing the abatement of school property taxes for new development; and dedicating 75% of PILOT payments to the local school district.

The Assemblyman also announced a tax reform plan, including:

  • Abolishing the estate tax;
  • Restructuring the marginal tax rates on taxable income over $750,000 and $1,000,000;
  • Not taxing the gain of a sale on primary residences;
  • A 10-year phase-out of the corporate business tax.

Assemblyman Ciattarelli joins Democrat Phil Murphy as the highest profile candidates from the major political parties to formally enter the race for Governor.  Republican Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno is thought to be considering a campaign and Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski announced the formation of gubernatorial exploratory committee on Monday.

KMS Development Partners Generate Wave of Community Support for New Hotel on Hoboken’s Waterfront 

RCSG client, KMS Development Partners, recently initiated an effort to educate and build public support for their plan to build a new, state-of-the-art Hilton Hotel on an underutilized portion of the US Postal Service property along Sinatra Drive in Hoboken. KMS’s redevelopment plan will generate $1.6 million annually in local and school taxes to Hoboken and will create new pedestrian access to the City’s iconic waterfront.

KMS’ public engagement campaign included the launch of a new, project-specific website, Facebook page and a media engagement effort that has generated a continuing series of articles about the redevelopment proposal.