Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Whew! The Obstructionists Are At It AGAIN!

Citing pleas from both local officials and residents who are concerned with the cost and impact of building thousands of new units of affordable housing on their little remaining open space, New Jersey State Senator Gerry Cardinale (R-39) attempted to force Senate votes yesterday on a pair of bills he sponsors that would provide temporary relief to municipalities. Both efforts were immediately blocked by the majority Senate Democrats.

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Senate Democrats blocked votes on a pair of bills sponsored by Sen. Gerry Cardinale that would provide affordable housing relief to municipalities. (Pixabay)
“We’ve heard repeatedly from mayors, councilmembers, and residents that their towns cannot absorb the thousands of units that the Fair Share Housing Center has demanded they build,” said Cardinale. “It’s clear that the Legislature must regain control of a housing policy that the New Jersey Supreme Court has recklessly advanced beyond its mandate and at the expense of property taxpayers and local communities. I’m saddened that New Jersey Democrats continue to support an activist Court that wants to pave over New Jersey.”

The bills Cardinale attempted to advance, S-3080 and S-3081, would impose a moratorium on affordable housing litigation and establish an “Affordable Housing Obligation Study Commission,” respectively.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg stood on both occasions for Senate Democrats to table Cardinale’s motions to relieve his bills from the stalled committee process and bring them to the Senate floor for consideration.

“There aren’t too many people in Bergen County who are happy with the expensive affordable housing policies that Majority Leader Weinberg continues to defend,” said Cardinale. “I’m surprised she’s fighting so vigorously for overdevelopment, crowded schools, and higher property taxes throughout Bergen County.”

Cardinale’s efforts on the Senate floor followed a well-attended public meeting held by the 39th District legislators last week to hear the substantial concerns of public officials.

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and Assemblyman Bob Auth (both R-39) sponsor the identical versions of Cardinale’s bills in the General Assembly, A-4666 and A-4667, and have been strong advocates for affordable housing reform.

“The Fair Share Housing Center has issued local municipal obligations that would require just about every open field and every wooded lot in Bergen County to be replaced with high-density housing,” added Cardinale. “Democrats may be happy with that, but we’re not. We’ll keep fighting to preserve our towns and protect our property taxpayers.”

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