NJ Shutdown Watch

Democrats here may be going to the mattresses but at least the rest of us will still be able to go to the beach.

The legislative sessions scheduled for today were canceled and one of the few bills set for a vote in the Assembly tomorrow (full list at bottom) is A1237 calling for:

In the event that a state of emergency is declared due to the failure to enact a general appropriation law by the deadline prescribed by Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 2 of the New Jersey Constitution, the operation of State parks and forests, State recreation areas, State historic sites, State natural areas, and State wildlife management areas shall continue and all such locations shall be open to the public for a period not to exceed seven calendar days. All State employees that have been designated as necessary to provide for the government services at each State park and forest, State recreation area, State historic site, State natural area, and State wildlife management area shall be considered essential personnel.


    Friday, June 29, 2018 – 11:30 AM
    Assembly Chambers
Voting Session: Assemblyman-select William W. Spearman, from the 5th legislative district, will be sworn in as a Member of the General Assembly.  

Bill Abstract   Current Status LDOA  

A1237 St. parks open-failure to enact approp. 2RA 1/9/2018
A1414 Finan. literacy instr.-concerns 2RA 6/18/2018
A1753 Hotel occupancy fee-impose sales tax 2RS 6/25/2018
A2179 Adulterated candy-proh. sale 2RA 6/11/2018
A2189 Distributing explicit images-concerns 2RAC 6/25/2018
A2318 Animal rescued from mv-immunity 2RA 5/17/2018
A2747 Continuing care communities-concerns 2RA 6/25/2018
A3294 Emerg. assist.-extends cert. elig. 2RA 6/18/2018
A3609 Alco bev-concern full-yr consumption lic 2RA 3/12/2018
A3628 Civic Info. Consortium-estab. 2RAC 6/25/2018
A3765 Sch. safety specialist-desig. 2RA 6/18/2018
A3772 Pool and spa svc. contractors-concerns 2RA 6/11/2018
A3888 Alco. bev. lic.-allows issuance 2RS 6/25/2018
A4208 Complete Count Comm.-estab. 2RAC 6/25/2018
A4261 St sales and use tax-concerns collection 2RA 6/25/2018
ACR182 Camden Co.-approve hist. preserv. proj. 2RA 6/25/2018
AJR122 Hispanic Journalist Pride Day-Sept 20th 2RA 5/17/2018
S250 Airports, cert.-prov. tax cred. elig. 2RA 4/5/2018
S866 Emerg. assist.-extends cert. elig. 2RA 6/18/2018
S1958 Alco bev-concern full-yr consumption lic 2RA 6/25/2018
SJR14 Hispanic Journalist Pride Day-Sept 20th 2RA 6/21/2018

22 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by NJ2AZ on June 28, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    god bless NJ. whenever people cry about how we need to turn Arizona blue, i can point to NJ and say “Be careful what you wish for”


    • Posted by El gaupo on June 28, 2018 at 8:59 pm

      Bet you are better off having worked in N.J. before you moved out there. Salaries and the education system are much better here. You got the right idea. Make your $$$ here and retire there and enjoy the lower cost of living.
      My bro in law lived Phoenix. Born and raised here. Now lives in Texas. The heat sucks in the summer. Love the canyon though. Sedona and flagstaff are awesome too.


      • Posted by NJ2AZ on June 28, 2018 at 9:17 pm

        Hello Guapo! I’ve followed your comments on this blog, you seem like a pretty amicable fellow.

        I got educated in NJ but moved away in my mid 20s. Salaries here are just like most places, if you have skills you will be fine, but there are so many unskilled workers that if you have to compete with them, one can’t expect much more than the minimum. Our schools are what they are, but its also nice not paying 6x more in property taxes or having our state government risk a shutdown because they can’t agree on how next to gouge us! Like any other place, it has its pros and its cons.


      • Posted by MJ on June 29, 2018 at 7:28 am

        El gaupo what you say may have been true for those who are our age bracket and are contemplating retirement but I don’t think working and going to school in NJ is as great a plan as you suggest at least not anymore

        Younger families can’t survive here with high property taxes, high cost of living, outrageous utility costs, limited high paying job prospects, worst business climate for smaller businesses, student loan debt, high medical insurance costs, tolls….you get the idea

        I’ve actually had a conversation with two teachers who use back roads to avoid the tolls bc it would add over 450.00 to their monthly expenses. Takes them 2x as long getting back and forth with traffic bit that’s what they do…..

        At least in the southern half of the state…….just this week I heard of 3 friends whose young adult children moved out west for better job opportunities and lower cost of living and heard of 2 friends whose retired parents moved in with them because the cost of maintaining their family home was just too much

        School is what one makes of it and I’m sure if kids are more serious minded students they will do just fine in a public school setting

        Just my two cents……


        • Posted by El gaupo on June 29, 2018 at 11:16 am

          MJ. Certainly not saying it’s easy and maybe with 2 high school kids of my own, I will find that out the hard way in 6-8 years or so when they finish college.
          I went to police academy down in south jersey so i know the differences between there and up north financially. I am just going on rankings that list our income and schools as being at the top nationwide. And home prices have risen here in Bergen. I know south jersey is different. Obviously I realize the taxes, traffic, pollution, cost of living etc also come into play. Like our friend in AZ there are pros and cons for every area.
          We can probably all agree, nobody wants to pay high taxes. But for some the temporary cost may be worth it if they make good money. Still others will stay in N.J. because there kids do. That may be me. I don’t want to have to board a plane to see my grandkids. Anyway, you guys should give me some kudos as really the only N.J. public employee who posts on here. I appreciate the respectful back and forth.


  2. Posted by geo8rge on June 29, 2018 at 8:35 am

    The supreme court may have saved the day with it’s support of nationwide sales tax collections. Silly ignorant me thought a state tax could only be collected in the state legislating it because of a constitutional ban on states imposing tariffs on other states. But the original constitution was based on a 19th century technology and is no longer applicable in our internet age according to our aging legal scholars. I personally wonder why free speech and the press are still permitted? It’s not like internet ranters have to typeset, print and distribute pamphlets by hand like in the old says. With the internet there is nothing to stop the ill-informed from commenting anonymously on important matters.

    Anyways, NJ should impose a 25% (as a start) sales tax on everything including baby formula and then eliminate property, employment, and other taxes on businesses involved in retail sales. You want a large screen TV, buy it the way our founders intended, at a local big box retailer. Who knows maybe local appliance stores will reopen. All extra proceeds will be transferred to the police pension (and maybe the judges too). And if you think you will evade the sales tax by purchasing stuff outside NJ, think again NJ has police and other retirees in all low tax jurisdictions to act as informants. A minor detail not addressed by the court is how to enforce NJ state taxes in non NJ jurisdictions but I think extraterritorial enforcement of laws by states is settled law, Dredd Scott or something.

    I have ideas for other taxes. For example, telecommunications taxes will vary based on device. So your ‘Obama phone’ might be free but if you want to use an iPhone X in the state of NJ, you will have to pay for the privilege. That seems fair and just. My understanding is the network can identify the device used real time. I am just chuck full of genius advice, I can’t understand why I am a lowly internet ranter and not an elected official?


    • Posted by Stanley on June 29, 2018 at 11:07 am

      I wonder how this change will affect states like OR and MT that don’t have a sales tax? And I wonder what affect it will have on their retailers that do an online business. Me, if there is anything I don’t need it’s more stuff. I’m pretty well maxed out. And being retired military, I do some shopping through the Navy and Army Air Force exchange systems.

      As far as schemes that make the present government arrangement doable, I doubt that there are any that really serve the people’s need. They all need a good whacking, IMO. How many ways can the socialist model be tried before it is recognized as a very bad idea?


    • Posted by SeeSaw Jr on June 29, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Silly ignorant me thought a state tax could only be collected in the state legislating it because of a constitutional ban on states imposing tariffs on other states.
      Actually the sales tax had nothing to do with a states rights, or another states rights. It was based on the fact that for a state to TAX any entity in their jurisdiction (within that state) there had to be a PHYSICAL PRESENCE of the business/seller in the jurisdiction (within the state), the State then had jurisdiction over the business/seller. That PHYSICAL PRESENCE could be a sales office, a warehouse, a satellite office, corporate HQ’a, pretty much anything that connected the seller physically with the state was enough. When I made an Internet buy, I INTENTIONALLY ordered many items from out of state (and had NO physical presence in the state), because the cost saving was substantial in CA. I order all ALL BIG TICKET items from out of state, because the sales tax in CA is a minimum of 8.75% and can go over 11% with local mini add-ons. Sales tax in CA started off at 3%, and has gone up pretty much on a close to bi-annual basis ever since. I would NEVER order anything off the internet to save a 3% sales tax. Or 5%, or even 6%. Once the sales tax went over 6% I simply had had enough of the gouging, and that is exactly what it is, greedy gouging by government. I will NOT pay a 9-11% sales tax. Not now. Never. Ever. Not in a million years. That is a tax that makes/keeps people perpetually poor. BTW the sales tax is the most regressive tax in America, and lefty CA never hesitates to raise it, and legislators do not think twice about killing the poor or middle class with it, and trust me, it kills (CA just raised the gas tax 9 cents a gallon, and 20 cents a gallon for diesel). BTW, everyone will love this note; there are a number of custom yacht builders in So CAL, and the cost of these Billionaire Play Toys exceeds $5-$10 million easily, many exceed $50-$100 million. NOT ONE has EVER been subjected to the CA sales tax. Not a single one. Why? Because the Billionaires who buy them take title outside of the entire USA jurisdiction, thereby skirting the infamous CA sales tax. These people (unless trust fund babies) did not become rich by allowing government to excessively tax them. The Big American cruise lines escape US taxes in much the same manner as this when they “Flag” their cruise ships in foreign countries, even though virtually 100% of these cruises originate in the USA and the entire busies operation is in the USA. Been doing this for decades. They pay no corporate taxes.


      • ” It was based on the fact that for a state to TAX any entity in their jurisdiction (within that state) there had to be a PHYSICAL PRESENCE of the business/seller in the jurisdiction (within the state), the State then had jurisdiction over the business/seller.”

        “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

        If you bought a big ticket item from a no sales tax state, you owe a use tax. The question is not, “shall you pay the tax?” It is, “Who is required to collect the tax.”

        (Also, “Can I get away with not paying?”)



  3. Posted by Stephen Douglas on June 29, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Not a tariff.

    In California it’s called “use tax” (as in you bought it in another state, and “use” it in California). Even before the law changed, if Amazon or the seller did not collect the tax, the buyer was required to pay the tax through their state income tax or a special “use tax” form.

    How many people actually did that? Very few, I hear. But if you bought a car or boat in another state, and brought it into California, the use tax would be charged before you could register the vehicle.



    • Posted by NJ2AZ on June 29, 2018 at 11:41 am

      I’m pretty sure we have the same ‘use’ tax in AZ as well. If i recall, a few years ago they modified our state tax forms to more expressly remind people they need to declare their out of state purchase with the subtle threat that putting zero might be a red flag for review. I also seem to recall the move was not well received and the state govt reversed course pretty quickly.

      this was all before Amazon started collecting AZ sales tax, making the whole issue moot.


    • Posted by Stephen Douglas on June 29, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      Maybe not entirely moot. Amazon doesn’t seem to process sales tax on some products where they are just the agent, rather than the actual seller.

      And how does E-bay work, where a lot of the items are used merchandise? I have bought both new and used items. Some process sales tax, some don’t.

      Like Stanley, I registered with the military exchange web sites (no sales tax) but I haven’t found anything worth buying yet.


    • Posted by geo8rge on June 30, 2018 at 11:53 am

      “use tax” I think all ‘sales taxes’ are technically use taxes. The interesting thing is for the first time information technology makes collecting a use tax possible. You could eliminate sales tax on computers and cellphones and use the fact that these things need network connections to track and tax them. Most big ticket appliances probably require some degree of connection to the manufacturer. Many other big-ticket items could be taxed through property insurance. So sales tax on consumer goods might not be necessary or even optimal.


  4. Posted by Stephen Douglas on June 29, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    For years, when California hadn’t passed a budget on time, they continued normal operations. In the mid eighties, some wise guy (State Controller) decided to force the issue by interpreting that, without a budget, the state was not authorized to pay anyone. Employees, vendors, utilities, etc. Nada.

    Each worker was sent a memo (no e-mail in 1984). Saying as of July 1, we were considered “volunteers”. Once the budget was passed, the legislature would “try” to pass a law paying us retroactive to July one.

    “We have the money, but we can’t give it to you.” Imagine if I tried to tell that to my utility provider.

    One would think that if the state could not legally pay it’s debts without a budget, it would also not be able to collect taxes for that period. That’s not the way it works. Apparently it’s a one way street. We can receive, but we cant pay out.

    Now there’s a law that, if the budget isn’t passed on schedule, the legislature does not get paid. Once it has passed, the do not get reimbursed for the gap between due date and actual passage.


  5. Posted by Stephen Douglas on June 29, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    But wait! Turns out, even without a budget, the legislature can pay public safety, medical, and other critical workers (I believe they call it a “continuing resolution”.) Continuing resolutions apparently don’t work for other workers.

    And the legislature, in 1984, continued to be paid because their pay was not a general budget item. Legislators were paid, their clerks and assistants were not.

    I wonder who writes these laws?


    • Posted by El gaupo on June 29, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      I don’t know. But I do know that local departments such as mine in Bergen county have received resumes from N.J. state troopers with less than 5 or so years on. We have received one of them. When I got on in. 1995 the state police were decently paid. And they were a proud organization that many local cops transferred to. Well, fast forward to 2018 and you have a group of guys that haven’t had a raise since 2012!!!! 6 years. And until the recent court decision were stuck in same step for all that time. They will probably get a couple 2% raises now that Murphy in. But for 5 years that was a big fat zero!!!! They now make considerably less than the average police officer working in a local department and their pension is on life support as well. Is it any wonder why now state police officers are applying to local forces and leaving the N.J.SP. ?


      • Posted by Stephen Douglas on June 29, 2018 at 2:20 pm

        What happened about twenty years ago?

        I was working an accident scene in the eighties with damage to roadway, and a Redwood City police officer made a remark about me “making the big bucks”. This is before the Word Wide Web, but I happened to be working an econ project on local government, so had access to the print copy of the city budget. I was surprised to find that these patrolmen made about the same as my (maintenance) supervisor, about ten percent more than I did.

        I had always assumed they earned significantly more.

        Fast forward to 2004. California Highway Patrol got a contract which increased their pay by about twenty percent over and above CPI increase. Specifically, their pay increase was due to tying their pay to the average of the five highest LEO agencies. Personnel Administration studies had shown CHP pay was well below City police, and officers were following the money (imagine that).

        In other words, it seems between the eighties and early 2000s, a lot of police (and fire) got substantial raises. I assumed this had a lot to do with 9/11. Money and support for safety, and national security, poured in at all levels, including increased training and pay for all police and fire.

        Surely this wasn’t just a California phenomenon.


      • Posted by MJ on June 29, 2018 at 2:24 pm

        El gaupo and they want to lower the standards for admittance to the state police in order to accommodate “diversity”

        So in other words, less qualified people will be admitted based on their gender, race, ethnicity, etc. and the more qualified applicants will be passed over.

        You said it, not so great for state police anymore as our new governor wants to bring in any old body………so maybe I’m not surprised to hear that troopers are leaving and applying locally.


        • Posted by El gaupo on June 29, 2018 at 3:42 pm

          You lived here 20 years ago right? Did you ever hear of a trooper wanting to go to a local agency?? Common now. Those guys have been getting fucked over last 6 years or so.


          • Posted by Tough Love on June 29, 2018 at 8:01 pm

            They’ll ONLY be F-ed over when their pensions and retiree healthcare benefits go “puff” ………….. till then, there getting compensated way MORE than necessary, fair to Taxpayers, or what’s affordable.

            Comparisons to even GREATER excessive compensation are irrelevant and don’t act to diminish excessive compensation (mainly via their ludicrously excessive pensions & benefits) that remains today.


    • Posted by boscoe on June 29, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      These laws are all the same as far as I know. Here in NJ, they have a accessory bill ready to pass in the event of a budget impasse on July 1. It keeps the casinos and race tracks open for up to one week so that there will be no loss of gaming $$$. Also keeps state parks and beaches open so that the populace doesn’t get pissed off. And it declares all state workers at those venues “essential employees,” putting them on a par with state police and hospital workers. What else is there to care about except bad publicity?


      • Posted by El gaupo on June 29, 2018 at 3:45 pm

        I’m sure this will get done. I would bet your house on it. Do you think for one minute that with Carrie Underwood really opening the hard rock tonight that come next weekend, no more gaming and sports book?? No fuckin way. This will be done before July 4 latest if not tomorrow. Murphy will cave and give
        Sweeney most of what he wants. It’ll get done. It’s murphy first year. Can always just cry then”entrenched politician” song.


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