Paul Sarlo

A New Jersey lawmaker believes the state could save taxpayers a lot of money by hiring a private company to monitor the insurance companies that administer health care claims for state and local government employees.

Senate Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo says that would ensure the state gets the benefit of potential savings from bills settled between medical providers and the insurers.

New Jersey lawmakers have ended their public hearings on Governor Murphy’s proposed budget and are now hoping an agreement is reached to get the budget enacted by the June 30th deadline.

Senate Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo does not believe there will be a stalemate in budget talks that lead to a state government shutdown.

“Well I don’t think we’re that far off. I mean we’re making progress. Discussions are continuing and ongoing. I am confident that we’re not going to get to a situation that we had last year.”

New Jersey lawmakers have some concerns about the $50 million Governor Murphy wants for a multi-year program to make community college tuition-free.

says that funding would help about 15,000 students who don’t have state and federal grants to cover the costs of attending community college.

The state Treasurer tried to convince them, but New Jersey lawmakers are reluctant to go along with the tax increases in Governor Phil Murphy’s state budget plan.

The proposed budget calls for about one-and-a-half billion in tax hikes including a surcharge on income over a million dollars and raising the sales tax back up to 7 percent.

Acting Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio says around $600 million of that would fund new spending.

A tax credit program to encourage the movie, TV, and digital media industry to produce their shows in New Jersey could be restored and expanded.

Former Governor Chris Christie was skeptical about the program's economic benefits when he suspended it in 2010 and it expired in 2015.

Lawmakers are considering a replacement measure that would provide tax credits of $75 million a year for film productions and $10 million for digital media content.

A bipartisan group of New Jersey Senators is drafting legislation to counter some of the negative consequences of federal tax code changes.

Senator Tony Bucco says the measure would allow small businesses registered as

S corporations, LLC’s, and other partnerships to pay their state taxes as a corporate entity so their owners and partners could deduct the full amount of the tax on their federal returns.

New Jersey may soon have its first statewide law to regulate the use of drones.

Senator Paul Sarlo says the drone industry is growing fast and and it’s time to regulate the unmanned aircraft systems to prevent problems.

His bill would make it a disorderly person’s offense to operate a drone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Governor Christie is not providing details on additional pension changes he'd like to see before leaving office.

Senate Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo says lawmakers would like to hear more about the governor's idea of moving the state lottery into the pension system to reduce its unfunded liability.

He says that has to happen before there's any consideration of talking with public employee unions about more pension changes.

Senate Democratic leaders worry about Affordable Care Act repeal
Phil Gregory

 

Democratic leaders in the New Jersey Senate are troubled that one of President Trump’s first actions was signing an executive order that seeks the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Senate President Steve Sweeney says New Jersey would be hurt by the repeal of Obamacare and the accompanying expansion of Medicaid.

“It expanded health care for hundreds of thousands of people in this state and millions nationwide. And it’s not a game. We’re dealing with people’s lives right now, and it’s concerning.”