On The Issues

The issues that face our community and state are many. Assemblywoman McHose's goal is to address these matters in a constructive and meaningful way that will create change and a greater feeling of belief in our system of laws and government.

Click on the issues below to learn more about them, the various ways Assemblywoman McHose has addressed them along with the ideas and legislation she has presented to secure and improve their strength and role in your community

Property Tax Reform

Assemblywoman McHose was chosen by then-Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce to serve on the subcommittee on Public Employee Benefits Reform. The committee was set up to provide recommendations on reforming the state government pension system. McHose worked with her colleagues on this very important issue.

"This is a serious problem we must address if we are going to be successful in controlling the cost of government and lowering the tax burden," said McHose.

The Public Employees Benefit Reform Committee was one of four committees that was established by the Legislature to review and formulate proposals to address property tax reform. The others committees were:

Public School Funding Reform, Government Consolidation and Shared Services and Constitutional Reform and Citizens' Property Tax Constitutional Convention.

As a longtime advocate of a special session to address property taxes, Assemblywoman McHose was pleased to see it finally instituted. "We're in a property tax crisis and the time to act is now," said McHose. "People and businesses are leaving this state because it is growing more and more unaffordable. We need to develop a plan that provides a permanent,responsible solution to out-of-control property taxes."

McHose also stressed that it is important that the debate involving property tax reform include a discussion on the school funding issue. McHose said she was encouraged seeing that even some top Democrats are calling for a revision to the school funding formula that allocates a majority of education spending to the inner city, Abbott districts. Alison is pushing her bill which would fund the urban school districts at the average state wide per pupil cost, saving the State over $1 billion.

"When the courts force the state to continue to expend greater monies on Abbott school districts, the share of Abbot state funding in suburban and rural, middle-class communities goes down resulting in ever-increasing property tax levels," said McHose. "Education funding must be made more fair and affordable because both the system and the State are broke."


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State Budget

State residents are clamoring for tax relief," says Assemblywoman Alison McHose. "I was hopeful we could work together to decrease the size of government and put more money back into the pockets of hard-working taxpayers. Unfortunately, the Democrat-controlled Legislature once again look for increases in taxes to support their spending habits."

As one of the Republican members of the Assembly Budget Committee, Assemblywoman McHose was credited with ending the budget stalemate that closed down state governmentfor several days a few years ago. "The people deserved more from state government and its leaders,"said McHose. "The shutdown was an embarrassing moment in our state's history."

McHose noted that in her three years of working on the Budget Committee, taxes and spending under Democrat control still continued to rise, well out-pacing the cost of living. "Those budgets only increased the burden on the taxpaying public by making it more difficult to live, raise a family and do business," said Alison.


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Ethics Reform

Pointing to the government scandals that appear all too regularly in the news headlines,Assemblywoman McHose says ethics reform must be a priority. McHose has been playing a leading role in exposing ethics violations throughout state government. Alison took a fellow legislator to task for taking a lavish trip at taxpayers expense. The legislator, who also doubles as a superintendent in a large New Jersey school district, took an all expense taxpayer-paid trip to London which included a stay in luxury hotels, eating in exclusive restaurants and riding in limousines. After being exposed, the legislator was forced to reinstate the state for his personal expenses.

Assemblywoman McHose also has been very vocal in criticizing the misappropriation offunds at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities as part of a clean energy program. The recent state audit of the program was released only after strong pressure from legislators,including McHose. Among the problems revealed in the audit were fraudulent bankaccounting, contracts being awarded with no competitive bidding, and overpaid for theirwork. The United States Attorney's Office also became involved in the case. Perhaps the most glaring example of unethical conduct was demonstrated by then-Attorney General Zulima Farber who used her influence to free her boyfriend from any infraction during a traffic stop.

Assemblywoman McHose was one of the first officials to call for the Attorney General's resignation saying, "When the top law enforcement officer in the state abuses her authority and disrespects the law, it's time to resign." Due to the mounting pressure, Farber resigned her position.


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Military Families

As the wife of an active armed service member, Assemblywoman McHose was outraged to learn of protests at funerals of American soldiers. "These brave men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country," said Alison. "These protests are disreputable, not only because we should be lauding the service of these fallen troops, but their families deserve to mourn in peace,"

Assemblywoman McHose's measure, which was signed into law by the Governor, makes protests within 500 feet of funerals a crime with jail time of up to six months and a $1,000 fine.


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Sportsmen

Assemblywoman McHose has reintroduced her proposal to make the State Fish and Game Council the sole arbiter on wildlife decisions in the state.

McHose said she feels strongly about this legislation because "we should leave the management of wildlife to the experts and use practices based on science, not politics."


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Mass Transportation

Arguing that area commuters deserve more public transportation opportunities, Assemblywoman McHose introduced legislation calling upon the Governor and the NJ Transit Director to make completing the Lackawanna Cutoff rail passenger restoration project a priority. The project will provide rail passenger service from Scranton, Pennsylvania through northern New Jersey and into New York City. "We need to move cars off congested roads like Route 80," McHose said. Passenger rail line in our area will help relieve traffic congestion and lessen commuter time with the added benefit of reducing air pollution."


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Eminent Domain

Joining a growing chorus of concerned legislators, Assemblywoman McHose signed onto a bill which would limit the eminent domain power of state and local government to acquire properties. The legislation would prohibit a government entity's ability to condemn private residences for economic development purposes.

"The courts have tampered with the private property rights of individuals by expanding the government's power to use, and potentially abuse, eminent domain," said Assemblywoman McHose. "This legislation protects state residents from the harmful effects of the court's decision."


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Drunk Driving Laws

In response to a local boy's death due to a drunk driver, Alison introduced a bill to toughen penalties for drunk driving violations. Under current statute, the drunk driver served only 30 days in jail, the maximum term of imprisonment for a first offense.

McHose's bill will raise the penalty for a vehicular homicide while driving intoxicated to a criminal act punishable by a prison term of 3-5 years plus a $15,000 fine.

"The emotional pain of losing a loved one is incredible enough, but for the victim's parents to live with the fact that the loss of their son only resulted in a 30-day prison term for the drunk driver only adds to the family's anguish," McHose said. "My bill puts some added teeth into" the law and makes the penalty more commensurate with the crime."


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Sex Offenders

Citing a case in Newton where a convicted sex offender failed to appropriately register his whereabouts with local law enforcement, Assemblywoman McHose proposed legislation to make permanent a state pilot program to track repeat sex offenders by fitting them with a global positioning system (GPS) bracelet. Thanks to the GPS tracking system, the sex offender in Newton was found and arrested by police.

Alison is also sponsor of a bill which prohibits sex offenders from residing in areas frequented by children, such as schools, playgrounds and child care centers. The measure also increases the penalties for committing sex crimes against children. "These efforts are intended to provide a greater level of comfort and security to the community at large,"said McHose. "Children are very vulnerable and parents should always feel that their children are as safe as possible.


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Volunteerism

In an effort to bolster volunteerism on fire and first aid squads, Assemblywoman McHose has sponsored a bill to authorize a property tax deduction for members of these squads."Emergency service volunteers are part of the lifeblood of a community," said McHose. "We need to do all we can to attract and retain these dedicated men and women."


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