Senate Passes $500 Tax Rebate Legislation

The Senate this afternoon passed Senator Addiego’s legislation to provide $500 tax rebates to nearly 800k New Jersey families, with 26 yes votes and 13 no votes.

Here’s the SMO’s release on the bill:

Trenton – Acting to provide middle class families with additional financial support, the Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Dawn Marie Addiego that will deliver tax breaks of $500 to low- and middle-income families in New Jersey. The rebate program will reach an estimated 800,000 families, providing much-needed financial relief at a time of economic distress and uncertainty.

“Families are struggling with financial challenges and uncertainty at a time of economic upheaval,” said Senator Addiego (Atlantic/Burlington/Camden). “This will help New Jersey move forward through a time of crisis and provide middle class families additional support with a lasting tax cut. It will put money into the pockets of working families so they can support themselves and their children at the same time it puts money into the economy, helping generate jobs and business activity in communities throughout the state.”

Under the plan, S-2949, rebates will go to single-parent families with incomes up to $75,000 and to two-parent households earning up to $150,000. An estimated $335 million would be distributed next year, when the program is in place.

Approved earlier by the Assembly, the bill now goes to the governor.

The program would be funded by a “millionaires’ tax,” with an increase of less than 2 percent only on income between $1 million and $5 million. The rate would go from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent, matching the current rate paid on income of over $5 million. The increase is expected to raise about $390 million.

“I believe that taxes should only be enacted when they are desperately needed and only when the revenue will be used responsibly and effectively,” said Senator Addiego, who serves on the Budget Committee. “The pandemic has caused a wholesale economic upheaval, the lives and livelihoods of so many have been disrupted and, for some, all but destroyed. We are asking those who can most afford it to contribute a bit more in a time of crisis to help those in need.”

To provide additional support for middle class homeowners and seniors, the new budget includes the restoration of funding for Homestead Rebates and the Senior Freeze Program, said Senator Addiego, who fought to include the $495 million in property tax relief in the state spending plan. It also continues the tax exemption for retirement income under $100,000.

“This is property tax relief that is needed by middle income families and senior citizens living on fixed incomes,” said Senator Addiego. “I made the restoration of funding a legislative priority because it is a financial priority for New Jersey residents.”

The Senate vote was 25-14.

Kennedy and Van Drew

Kennedy Campaign Touts Poll Showing 5-Point Lead

CD2 Democratic candidate Amy Kennedy’s campaign sent out an email missive to supporters touting a poll showing her with a 5-point lead over incumbent GOP Rep. Van Drew.

According to the campaign’s email, Kennedy is polling at 48% while Van Drew is at 43%, with 9% not sure.  The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling.

The campaign released the following:

Amy Kennedy Campaign Poll Shows Her Leading Jeff Van Drew by 5 Points in Race for Congress in NJ2


Brigantine, NJ- The Amy Kennedy for Congress campaign released a new poll today that mirrored the results of the poll released yesterday by House Majority PAC.  The results of the campaign’s poll has Kennedy leading Van Drew by five points (49% Kennedy / 44% Van Drew).

The poll was conducted by ALG Research and was in the field September 14-17, 2020.


The HMP poll released yesterday showed Amy Kennedy leading Jeff Van Drew by a margin of 48-43 with Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in the district by a margin of 50-46.


Kennedy clearly has the momentum coming into the final 6 weeks of the race with voting having already begun in Ocean and Camden counties and ballots soon to arrive in mailboxes in all of the other counties in NJ2.


Josh Roesch, Amy Kennedy for Congress campaign manager said, “The only polls that really matter are on election day, but what these numbers show is the same thing we have been hearing from people across the district– they feel betrayed and abandoned by Jeff Van Drew and they want change. They want a representative who will fight for working families and small businesses and who won’t ever pledge their undying support to anyone other than the people of South Jersey.”


More information about the ALG poll can be found here.


Trump Tweets In Support Of CD3’s Richter

President Trump tweeted out his endorsement of CD3 GOP candidate David Richter this afternoon:

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28).

Caputo Mourns Passing of ‘Four Seasons’ Musician and Belleville Native Tommy DeVito

(TRENTON) – Upon news of Belleville native Tommy DeVito passing away due to COVID-19, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) issued the following statement regarding this member of The Four Seasons – the musical group on which “Jersey Boys” was based:

“Last night, our state lost a New Jersey icon, talented musician and all-around good man. Belleville native Tommy DeVito was the engine behind ‘The Four Seasons,’ whose hard work and musical skill helped the group achieve their well-deserved success.

“It’s no wonder the band’s members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and had the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” written about their lives. Yet even with all that acclaim, Tom never let it go to his head. He stayed the same genuine man he always was.

“I had the pleasure of knowing Tommy for many years and having his support throughout my career. It was my great honor to present him with an Assembly resolution recognizing all of his accomplishments back in 2012.

“In addition to being a good friend, he was a generous and charitable person who freely offered advice to aspiring, young musicians. Tommy and his life’s work will never be forgotten in our state.”

GOP Freeholder Gallagher’s Reelection Ad in Somerset County


New Jersey Surpasses 200,000 Total COVID-19 Cases

Governor Murphy announced at his daily briefing that the state has surpassed 200k COVID-19 cases total since the beginning of the pandemic, currently at 200,154 cases.

The spot positivity rate of tests is 1.81% as of September 17th – far lower than the 48% to 60% range in March and April.

The viral transmission rate is 1.12 as of Sunday.

The total fatality rate is 14,278 as of Monday, with 1,791 probable fatalities.

Hanlon a Potential LG Option for the GOP

In the continuing bruising behind-the-scenes fight for governor 2021, look for the name of Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon to surface as a potential candidate for lieutenant governor.

The man fight right now in the GOP for the nomination to run statewide against (presumably) incumbent Governor Phil Murphy is between former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt.

If Ocean goes to Steinhardt, the Ciattarelli forces may have a more urgent and strategic play to make in neighboring Monmouth, which could activate Hanlon as an option for running mate. An impressive countywide pol, she could end up on either ticket, as part of the party’s play to present a balanced alternative to Democrats.

This kind of parlor room speculation could produce any number of configurations, of course, but look for Hanlon specifically in intensified conversations as 2021 looms.


Watch: Murphy Signs Environmental Justice Legislation


Burzichelli Provides the Quote of the Day

Complimenting someone’s striped shirt at today’s Assembly Appropriations Committee, Chairman John Burzichelli (D-3) said the fashion statement was appropriate because “Many people think us legislators should be wearing stripes.”

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