Nearly every town in our District has landmarks, bridges, trails and structures that are registered on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. It is one of the unique features of our rural region that makes us such a desirable place to live. So much to protect and maintain, yet we aren’t keeping up. One-third of New Jersey’s bridges are considered unsafe for travel. When Trenton stalls our infrastructure projects, we all suffer the consequences.
Local governments are struggling to keep up with the aging demands of our failing infrastructure. Many towns are in need of public sewers. This neglect, decade after decade, comes at a price. New residents and businesses will not come when our main streets, roads, tunnels and bridges are crumbling. Simply put, fixing infrastructure helps attract new residents and businesses, raises property values, increases home sales and boosts our quality of life. Kate and Gina will provide strong advocacy in Trenton to come up with viable solutions to alleviate this systemic problem without placing the burden on commuters or the middle class.
Environmental Assets & Challenges
New Jersey’s 24th District boasts some of the most pristine and treasured places in New Jersey for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The Western part of the district is home to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area and Appalachian Trail, a national treasure. To the East, the Highlands Recreation area reservoirs provide drinking water to more than half of the State’s population.
We live in an area and at a time where the environment needs to be protected. This is an issue that impacts our quality of life as well as the economic prosperity of our district. Important issues such as safe-guarding water quality and protection of the natural beauty of our district are of utmost importance to Gina and Kate. If we have the privilege to represent the residents of District 24 in Trenton, we will always support legislation that enhances environmental protection efforts that directly impact our people first.
Leading with Solutions to Address the Addiction Crisis
When it comes to addiction, New Jersey is experiencing a public health crisis and our district is no exception. Sussex County alone experienced a 30% increase in accidental overdose deaths from 2015-2016. Residents say that drugs are the most serious issue facing their communities (SCCC poll, 2015). Now more than ever, we are facing the fact that these are not just numbers. They are our children, co-workers, neighbors, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. No one is immune to this problem and we all know someone who has suffered.
Gina and Kate recognize addiction as an illness which is treatable. Just like any disease, the correct treatment must be made available to our family members and loved ones who suffer. Our area currently lacks treatment options, facilities, and financial resources to respond to the overwhelming need of those who are falling into the cycle of addiction, recovery, and relapse.
Gina and Kate will legislate in Trenton to help address this crisis and save lives by:
Increasing grant funding for rehabilitation services, such as the CLEAR program
Advocating for increased mandatory insurance coverage of addiction treatment medications, detox, rehabilitation, and outpatient treatment
Helping to lower the cost of Narcan so that our first responders have needed access
Increasing options for funding and resources of mental health services
Advocating for job training and life skills work, in order to return the person in recovery to a productive member of society
Investing in Education
The topic of school funding is being heavily debated in the State Legislature. The amount of funding each school receives is based on criteria and guidelines set by New Jersey’s School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA). Since taking office in 2009, Governor Christie has underfunded schools by approximately $1 Billion each year, totalling $8 billion dollars as of 2016. Schools have not been properly funded since the implementation of the SFRA. Therefore, the first goal must be to fund our schools fully and fairly according to this formula so that ALL students in our public schools can thrive and succeed.
Curriculum Development We fully support integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) education technology in the classroom. These cutting edge programs will make our children more competitive as they enter the workforce. This full integration of technology and education in the district will attract new families and potentially bring in more companies from the tech industry to our District. This will not only enhance our district financially, but will make our children more competitive in the job market.
Health Care in our District
The Affordable Healthcare Act was a step in the right direction toward providing more Americans with the vital coverage we all deserve. The implementation of the ACA and New Jersey’s choice to expand Medicaid covered hundreds of thousands of residents who were formerly uninsured. Taking advantage of federal funds has provided financial advantages for New Jersey. It can not be underestimated how crucial Medicaid is to the residents of our district.
We now enter a time of great uncertainty for our state based on the changes the federal government may make to health care policy. It is imperative that our state legislature fight to maintain and improve healthcare.
Our goals are adequate and affordable healthcare.
We will champion efforts to make sure those who have received coverage through ACA or Medicaid Expansion continue to be insured.
We will strengthen regulations on insurance providers in New Jersey to ensure that costs and coverage remain fair and affordable.
We will be innovative with solutions at the state level. We must maximize outreach and enrollment efforts. We should also explore the use of alternative payment models and new revenue streams.
Health care is an important issue. We all deserve to be able to keep our families healthy and get care when we need it, without worrying about falling into debt. Gina and Kate will work relentlessly to contribute positive solutions toward the improvement of health care services in our district.
*Please visit our site frequently for further information as our platform on this issue expands.