Volume 6/Issue 22

  • Vote Yes on Ballot Question #2 to Lock in Transportation Infrastructure Funding
  • Newark School Parents Challenge Teacher Seniority Rules
  • Longtime GOP State Senator Announces Retirement
  • NJ.com Highlights "Teterboro Landing" Project

Vote Yes on Ballot Question #2 to Lock in Transportation Infrastructure Funding

River Crossing Strategy Group urges “In the Loop” readers who live in New Jersey to support Ballot Question No. 2 on this Election Day, Tuesday, November 8.

Voting yes on this amendment to the State’s Constitution ensures that all the revenue from the gas taxes, especially the recent $0.23 increase, is constitutionally dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund.  This means that the funds can only go towards transportation infrastructure projects such as repaving our numerous highways, fixing our network of bridges, improving mass transit, extending freight rail, etc. 

Without a yes vote, future legislators and governors will have the statutory authority to divert gas tax revenues for non-transportation purposes.   Unfortunately, this has been standard practice in Trenton.  During the last 10 years, over $450 million of gas tax revenues (diesel and petroleum gross receipts tax funds) have been raided to address budget needs that have nothing to do with improving our roads, bridges or trains. 

We urge our readers to vote yes.

Newark School Parents Challenge Teacher Seniority Rules

Parents from the Newark School District backed by the Partnership for Educational Justice, a national education reform group headed by former CNN media personality Campbell Brown, filed suit in Mercer County Superior Court this week challenging the state’s policy of “Last In First Out” (LIFO) when it comes to teacher layoffs.  

As reported in the Star Ledger, “…the parents ask the court to declare the LIFO statute unconstitutional and to order an injunction against last-in-first-out layoffs in Newark and similar school districts.”   Kent Yalowitz, an attorney representing the plantiffs points out in the article that, “The statute forbids districts from considering any factors other than seniority when laying off teachers due to budget cuts.” He goes on to say, “By enforcing that law, state and local officials violate students' right to a "thorough and efficient" education, which is guaranteed under the state constitution.”

The NJEA immediately challenged the lawsuit, issuing a press release vowing to fight against “political interference” in the schools.

Longtime GOP State Senator Announces Retirement

Republican State Senator Joe Kyrillos recently announced that he would not seek re-election in 2017. 

The Senator has served in the State Legislature for almost 30 years, serving his first few years in the General Assembly and having been elected to his current post since 1992.

Senator Kyrillos has authored numerous landmark bills including the creation of several successful State economic incentives, such as the Business Employment Incentive Program and the GROW NJ bill, which provides eligible businesses with tax credits for creating or retaining jobs in New Jersey. 

The Senator may be best known however, for his affable personality and his ability to work across the aisle on issues of critical importance to the state.  Members of RCSG have had the pleasure of working with Senator Kyrillos in our roles both in and out of government.  We wish him the best of luck in future endeavors.

NJ.com Highlights "Teterboro Landing" Project

NJ.com, the internet version of the Star Ledger, recently published an article on the “Teterboro Landing” project redeveloped by Catellus.

The piece notes how the once contaminated 55-acre site is set to become a center for economic activity at the busy intersection of Routes 4 and 17 in Bergen County.

RCSG was proud to work in partnership with Catellus to make this signature project happen.