Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove are demanding that the Senior Freeze and Homestead Benefit programs be protected and fully funded under the State Budget. To respond to and organize growing public opposition, the 9th District legislators have created an online petition calling on Governor Murphy NOT to cut the Senior Freeze and Homestead tax relief programs.
“Eliminating or cutting the Senior Freeze or the Homestead Benefit programs would have a devastating financial impact on taxpayers, especially seniors, who rely on those programs to stay in their homes and pay their bills. As such, vital property tax relief programs must be prioritized and fully funded in the State Budget. The question shouldn’t be if these programs are funded, but how.”
The Murphy Administration already eliminated the Homestead Benefit credit from property tax bills that were due on May 1st, forcing homeowners to pay more. Now they are threatening to remove the valuable tax credit from bills due in August, November, and 2021.
“For taxpayers who stand to take a sizable financial hit if the Senior Freeze or Homestead programs were cut or eliminated, our online petition will serve as a rallying point and broad forum to fight yet another state policy that would work against taxpayers. A very direct and forceful message needs to be sent directly to Governor Murphy and the Legislative Leadership controlling the State Budget process that taxpayers want and desperately need relief, not more policies that they will be on the losing side of, as is the case with the state’s school funding formula.
“Unquestionably, the 9th Legislative District stands to be disparately impacted based on our large local senior population. It is utterly unconscionable for the state to even consider cutting these property tax relief programs that would have the effect of unnecessarily creating more hardships for taxpayers, especially seniors, during these unprecedented and uncertain times.
“That these programs have even been targeted by the Murphy Administration is a direct consequence of the state’s reckless, budget-busting policies that include, but certainly are not limited to, spending taxpayer dollars to establish New Jersey as a sanctuary state. COVID-19 has further exposed the weaknesses inherent in New Jersey’s extreme tax and spend policies that many viewed as not only blatant socialism but obviously unsustainable. Taxpayers should have to pay the price for failed policies.”
Sign the online petition at: https://senatenj.com/petitions/propertytaxrelief/.
NOAA Deploying Armada of Drones in to Collect Fish, Weather Data
June 22, 2020
In a recent update, NOAA said that a trio of autonomous surface vessels set out off the coast of California will travel to the Bering Sea to survey the largest fish stock in the U.S and monitoring weather and ocean conditions in the Arctic Ocean.
These drones will be part of an “armada” of autonomous (unmanned) ocean vehicles NOAA will use in the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans gathering both environmental and weather data.
“We are accelerating the use of unmanned systems during COVID-19 to meet critical mission needs at a time when some of our ship and aircraft missions have been postponed for safety reasons,” said retired Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator. “The innovative systems will provide valuable information for communities at a time when it may be difficult to do so by other means.”
In the Bering Sea specifically, the vessel will conduct an emergency survey on walleye pollock, the largest fishery in the country. The vessels will provide information that resource managers will use to create fishing levels in 2021.
Equipped with specially designed acoustic sensors, unmanned vehicles will measure the abundance of pollock. They will also provide information on ocean conditions that affect the pollock population, NOAA explained.
The drones will also help track weather in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. For the upper ocean, the sensors on the drones detect wind, solar radiation, salinity and sea surface temperature. This data will be used in weather models to predict future Arctic storms.
When it comes to working in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, NOAA and other partners will deploy 30 underwater ocean gliders for the third year in a row. These gliders will measure ocean temperature and salinity throughout the hurricane season. This data will be used to predict where hurricanes will grow stronger or weaken.
In terms of seafloor mapping, NOAA plans to use four drones in the Arctic equipped with acoustic sensors to map some of the seafloor of the Arctic North Slope.