The end of summer marks both the start of a new school year and a new session of the General Assembly. I am pleased that there will be an emphasis in this session on legislation to help make college more affordable and helping families with their student debt burden (see my legislation below). I am also worried about the increasing proliferation of telemarketing scams; many residents have expressed their concerns to me about this issue and I am working on legislation to combat this increasing problem, and I would love to hear your thoughts. Please give me a call with either your experiences or with your ideas and I will keep you updated on our progress.
Growing our “innovation economy” and helping small businesses continues to be my priority. Over the past few months, I have met with many high tech companies in the district and listened to these entrepreneurs talk about what they need to thrive. I have also spoken to many small business owners about what works and what doesn’t in order to better serve them. We have so many wonderful businesses in our area and I urge you to shop locally.
This summer, I was privileged to have the best student interns in NJ volunteer their time to help me represent our District. They were incredibly dedicated, smart and helped constituents in so many different ways. At the end of the summer, we had our own version of the show “Shark Tank.” Throughout the summer they researched ideas for legislation and then, like the show, presented their ideas to my staff and I. It was inspiring to see the thought and the professionalism they exhibited in presenting their work and I will continue to work with them to turn some of the best ideas into legislation. While it went by much too quickly, it’s been a wonderful but busy summer.
It is my honor to represent you and, as always, do not hesitate to contact to my office at (609) 454-3147 with any questions or concerns.
Not only is my office busy out in the community, we're working endlessly in the office to help you directly:
Senior Freeze Property Tax Relief: My office has called over 1000 seniors to notify them of their eligibility for a property tax relief program. You can learn more about the Senior Freeze program at http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/ptr/ or call my staff directly at (609) 454-3147.
Business License: Recently, my staff helped a constituent with the paperwork needed to start his home health care for Veterans business here in our district.
Social Services: Many constituents have reached out to my office for help with social services such as access to affordable housing, disability services and more. Please call me if I can help you.
Assemblyman Zwicker Discusses Innovation and Job Creation
On Thursday, August 11, I toured 3DMonstr and Leigh Visual Imaging, and led a roundtable discussion on creating jobs and growing New Jersey’s economy with innovative technologies. Joining me in the discussion were Ben Reytblat, CEO of 3DMonstr and Peter Dawson, President of Leigh Visual Imaging.
Our conversation was not unlike many of the other conversations I’ve had with entrepreneurs and business owners around the district. We are all in agreement that New Jersey needs to embrace and encourage an innovation economy if we are going to create the jobs necessary to compete globally and with neighboring states.
Zwicker Discusses the Economy, Taxes and Consumer Fraud with 500 AARP Members
It was a pleasure to participate in an AARP House Call on Friday, September 16, 2016. Over 500 residents in our District called in to ask questions and talk about affordability, health care costs, consumer fraud and more.
Zwicker Summer Interns Complete More Than 1,400 Hours of Volunteer Service
The list of interns that participated in the 2016 summer program in my legislative office:
Anna Hiltner, Princeton, NJ (Princeton High School)
Charlie Biondi, Skillman, NJ (Montgomery High School)
Christian Giles, Princeton, NJ (Quinnipiac University)
Efil Celek, Montgomery, NJ (American University)
Jack Wagner, Montgomery, NJ (Montgomery High School)
James Li, Monmouth Junction, NJ (South Brunswick High School)
Joann Sirimis Szela, Hillsborough, NJ (volunteer)
Julien Rosenbloom, High Bridge, NJ (Voorhees High School)
Mia Thompson, Stockton, NJ (Hofstra University)
Patrick Peralta, Monmouth Junction, NJ (South Brunswick High School)
Philip Trevisan, Princeton, NJ (University of St Andrews)
Pritom Dutta. Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon Central Regional High School)
Rachel Griffin, Flemington, NJ (Hunterdon Central Regional High School)
Rachel Newstadt, Readington, NJ (Macalester College)
Ronak Rijhwani, Montgomery, NJ (Montgomery High School)
Sid Shankar, Hillsborough, NJ (Somerset Vocational and Technical High School)
Simran Khanna, South Brunswick, NJ (University of Maryland)
Tyler Sanders, South Brunswick, NJ (American University)
William Huang, Montgomery, NJ (Montgomery High School)
Zoe Bloomfield, Montgomery, NJ (Montgomery High School)
Legislative Updates from the State House:
S-166/A-3901: Zwicker Bill to Help Combat Future Flooding in Hunterdon & Somerset Counties Becomes Law
I was pleased to work on a bipartisan bill that is crucial to our District. The new law (S-166/A-3901) establishes the Hunterdon-Somerset Flood Advisory Task Force, which is charged with reviewing past flooding events within Hunterdon and Somerset counties and recommending measures to reduce the impact of flooding on residents, businesses, and local government units in the Delaware River and Raritan River basins.
A-2761: Bill Forgiving Student Loan Debt in Event of Borrower's Death or Permanent Disability
On September 15, 2016 the New Jersey Assembly passed A-2761 with a vote of 66 Yes, 0 No, 7 Abstentions and 7 Not Voting. This bill will forgive certain student loan debt in the event of a borrower’s death or total permanent disability. The idea for this bill came after the story of Kevin DeOliveira, a college student who was tragically murdered became public over the summer. After Kevin’s death, the state continued to collect on his student loan, putting an undue burden on his family during an extremely difficult time. The New York Times, and many other outlets, covered his story: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/04/nyregion/in-new-jersey-student-loan-program-even-death-may-not-bring-a-reprieve.html
I was proud to testify in support of this legislation, and I’m glad to see the Higher Education Committee pass this bill. My hope is that the Senate will soon follow suit so that the bill can then head towards the Governor’s desk and be signed into law.