Sen. Paul Sarlo Makes Predictions on 2017 Gubernatorial Race
Sen. Paul Sarlo (D) – NJ shares his predictions for the 2017 gubernatorial race, and biggest issues currently facing New Jersey including pensions and the proposal to increase minimum wage to $15/hour.
"Hi. Steve Adubato. We're here at the New Jersey Business & Industry Association Annual Impact Symposium... "Keeping New Jersey Competitive." We kick off the program, we have several legislators we're talking to today, but first we kick off with Senator Paul Sarlo, the leading Democrat who deals with money issues, fiscal issues. Let me ask you... number one money issue in the state is? Well, first of all, Steve, it's always great to be with you, especially during the holidays. Number one issue? Listen. I'm a big believer in we need to continue to provide stability. We just solved the Transportation Trust Fund crisis, sent a strong message that over the next eight years, we're gonna make a significant investment in our transportation networks. We're open for business. We've cut taxes as part of that, over $1 billion worth of tax cuts as part of that package, but, of course, the big monkey or the big elephant in the room is the pension payments. Every year on an annual basis, this legislature and the next governor is gonna struggle to how to make those pension payments. It's an obligation we have, and for too long members of both parties, both governors and legislators, have kicked the can down the road, and just like they kicked the Transportation Trust Fund down the road and borrowed and borrowed, we stopped that, we need to now make pension payments. Quarterly pension payments just approved unanimously by the legislature goes a long way. In fact, I moderated a panel discussion with the Senator and three of his colleagues... two Democrats, two Republicans, and we dealt... I mean, this was the issue, Senator, that we dealt with, and there are a lot of back and forth on this. Let me ask you. Raising the taxes on the wealthiest, the Millionaires' Tax, "A," a good idea, and, "B," if we took that money and put it into the Pension Fund, how much would it help? There is a significant amount of money that could come on raising the highest level of income tax. However, raising taxes should be a last resort, and nobody wants their taxes raised. An assembly's been elected to office. I don't want to have to raise taxes. We just did this with part of the Transportation Trust Fund. The Gas Tax. The Gas Tax, which I like to call a user fee... you know, you want to drive on our roads, 50% to 60% of the people who drive on our roads are from out of state, so I like to consider that a user fee. I believe Millionaires' Tax or any type of tax should be our last, last resort. I think we need to continue to find ways to grow the economy..."