NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt went live on Facebook to give his response to Governor Murphy's State Of The State address. Following is a transcript provided by NJGOP:
For everyone who just joined, I'm Doug Steinhardt, Chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee.
New Jersey is headed in the wrong direction. Businesses and jobs are leaving our State at alarming rates, because the Governor’s ultra-liberal policies make New Jersey the most inhospitable state in the country in which to live and work.
Murphy promised a stronger and fairer New Jersey, but his policies make us weaker and poorer. What’s worse, his Democratic colleagues in the legislature tell us that they recognize our problems, but vote, year in and year out, to avoid the state’s toughest problems, like pensions and healthcare, and pile onto our already oppressive tax burden. There’s little trust left in Trenton, and for good reason.
Just this year we saw two longtime New Jersey based employers move their corporate headquarters out of state when Gerber and Honeywell began moving to Virginia North Carolina.
Governor Murphy's corporate and other tax hikes are a repellant to job creators and businesses. The constant threat of state tax increases disrupts the ability for businesses, large or small, to have predictability and stability in their long-term planning.
It's no surprise that just a few weeks after New Jersey Democrats voted for over a billion dollars in tax hikes, Amazon made its final decision to take New Jersey out of the running and put its HQ2 in New York and Virginia.
But tax hikes alone aren't the only threat to job growth and New Jersey’s economic viability. Every day, New Jersey Democrats inch closer and closer to writing into state law government mandated wages.
Common sense tells us all that a government mandated, $15 minimum wage will force small businesses to lay off the least-skilled and most vulnerable workers and replace them permanently with technology like touch screen kiosks. These same, government mandated costs are then passed on to consumers in the form of higher costs for goods and services, making it even less affordable to live, work and retire in New Jersey. It’s a vicious cycle that Democrats are unable or unwilling to break.
The results of these policies hit us hard in our wallets, but the consequences are even greater. Jobs are leaving NJ and our family members are leaving with them. Not only does NJ rank worst in business climate and highest in property taxes, we are now number one in out-migration too.
New Jersey's communities were once made up of multiple generations of families living in the same neighborhoods, having Sunday dinners and growing up together. Today, our kids can't afford to get their start here and our grandparents can't afford to retire here. I will not be one of those parents or grandparents who is forced to visit his children or grandchildren on Skype or Facetime because they can’t afford to live here, work here or find a job here. I know we can do better, we have to do better, and our Republican leaders are committed to doing just that.
Agenda item number one must be to make New Jersey competitive and affordable. While that was the theme we needed to hear today, we didn’t. Pie in the sky won’t put food on your table or a roof over your head. Discipline and better government will.
The first step is to take tax increases off the table. Trenton needs to live within its means, just like every responsible family household would. We need a commitment from Governor Murphy to roll back his liberal agenda and put things like "free college" on the back-burner. We need a commitment from our single party government to leave our families and children with opportunities and not just debt.
We will be using 2019 to remind New Jersey voters that there is an alternative to single party rule in this State, one that values the traditions of family, life, religious liberty, diversity and hard work.
Thank you to everyone who listened and supports us. We're not giving up and we'll keep working to turn New Jersey around.
I'm Doug Steinhardt the Chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee.