Assembly Republicans Caroline Casagrande, Nancy Muñoz, Donna Simon and  Declan O’Scanlon, who sponsor legislation to end the practice of  paying public employees for unused sick time, were pleased that Governor  Christie remains committed to providing this vital property tax relief that has  been blocked by some Trenton politicians.


            “We have capped property taxes and saved billions by reforming public  employee benefits. It’s time to finish the job and save property taxpayers from  giving big checks to retiring public employees,” Assemblywoman Caroline  Casagrande, R-Monmouth, said. “Anyone who is serious about winning the war  against sky-high property taxes should embrace this common sense  reform.”

            Governor Christie repeated his call for sick pay reform during  yesterday’s budget address as part of the items needed to further improve  New Jersey’s  fiscal health.

            “The historic bipartisan reforms we supported resulted in the slowest  growth of property taxes in 24 years, after a decade of crushing increases,”  Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz, R-Union,  Somerset and  Morris, said. “We can do even better for property taxpayers by enacting a  sensible law that requires the use of sick days for what they  were intended.”

            Assembly Bill 2495, sponsored by 23 Assembly Republicans,  would prohibit payments to public employees for unused sick leave. The  legislation would also prohibit sick leave for those who have been indicted and  require medical documentation for absences of six or more consecutive  days.

            “Bringing governments’ workplace policies in line with those in the  private sector should be a no-brainer,” Assemblywoman Donna Simon, R-Hunterdon,  Somerset, Mercer  and Middlesex, said. “In the public sector, the taxpayer is the boss and we can  improve the bottom line for both property taxpayers and our state’s finances  with this logical reform.”

            A few recent examples have highlighted how much money unused sick time  costs property taxpayers:

“Governor Christie has proposed a budget with the highest  level of school aid and largest debt payment in state history, while we have  achieved the smallest property tax growth in state history,” Assembly Republican  Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, said. “Governments throughout  New Jersey  could deliver even more for taxpayers if Democrats in the Legislature agreed to  work with us to eliminate these grotesque payments that have no practical  purpose other than personal profit.”

Posted: February 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Assembly Republicans, Caroline Casagrande, Declan O'Scanlon, NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on CASAGRANDE-MUÑOZ-SIMON-O’SCANLON: STOP PAYING PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR UNUSED SICK TIME

Casagrande’s Cowardice

By Olivia Nuzzi

As noted here, six of LD11’s seven legislative candidates have come out in support of gay marriage. They include Democratic Senate candidate Ray Santiago, Democratic Assembly candidates Vin Gopal and Kathy Horgan, and independent Assembly candidate Dan Jacobson. 

Also on the list are Republicans Senator Jennifer “Romney” Beck and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, both of whom pledged – Angelini after significant hesitation – on September 18th during an interview with Garden State Equality at Monmouth University, to override Governor Christie’s veto of a same sex marriage bill should the opportunity arise in the next legislature. 

Conveniently, Caroline Casagrande, Beck and Angelini’s running mate, could not attend the event at Monmouth because she was busy with a “family commitment.” I suspect her family committed to travel far, far away from anyone asking her about gay marriage, an issue she has refused to take a stance on.

One of the many jobs of a public figure is to know a thing or two about public relations. Everybody, public figure or otherwise, knows that “no comment” is, more or less, always a confirmation. Evidently, no one forwarded that memo to Caroline Casagrande who has adopted a strict policy of “Don’t Ask me about gay marriage and I won’t Tell You a bunch of evasive nonsense.” 

Her refusal – while inexcusable – is understandable, given that without question, there are a significant number of voters in newly formed LD11 who are not going to agree with, accept or respect a politician who opposes gay marriage. However, no one can respect a coward. A coward, as it stands now, is precisely what Caroline Casagrande is.

If you want to be a social conservative, go ahead and be one – your base will revere you for it, and your ideological enemies will have no choice but to respectfully disagree. 

Instead of taking a stand, Ms. Casagrande has skirted around the issue of gay marriage, going as far as to employ Senator Sweeney’s regrettable history as a cop-out. 

By asking the “tough” questions that anybody who knows anything about the fight for marriage equality already knows the answer to, she is doing the best she can to make this seem complicated. “What about protections for religious institutions?” she challenged, as if the Big Bad Gays are planning to storm into Sunday mass to force the congregation to Vogue in unison. 

Ms. Casagrande is attempting to slide under the radar. She is hoping that this massive insult to the intelligence of those that she hopes to represent goes unnoticed. In adopting dishonesty as her policy, she has succeeded in fooling no one, she has merely made a fool of herself. 

You could call her running mate, Senator Jennifer “Romney” Beck, many things (a lobbyist or a liar, for instance), but a cowardly ideologue she is not. Ms. Beck at least had the guts to flip-flop as soon as LGBT-supportive Asbury Park and Ocean Grove became her problem. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer the audacious displays of dishonesty to the panicked whispers… I’m a romantic, what can I say? 

Beyond embarrassing herself with her stunning lack of bravery and admission (however fabricated) that she cannot comprehend a simple issue, Ms. Ummmmm? also managed to miss an opportunity to follow the wide path of Declare and Defend set by her Messiah, Governor Christie. Aw shucks, what a shame.

We elect people who we believe possess the skills necessary to handle the many issues that NJ faces at once. If Ms. Casagrande can only handle one issue at a time, perhaps it is time for us to reevaluate her competence to serve. I say this only because I care about her well-being. After all, it would be cruel to continue to overwhelm her with the many complex legislative responsibilities that rest on her shoulders in Trenton. 

Olivia Nuzzi is a student from Middletown and an intern for the District 11 Democratic campaign.  MMM welcomes her fair and biased contributions. 

Posted: September 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Olivia Nuzzi | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »