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News from the District

From the office of Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney
April 2018 Newsletter
A Message from the Assemblyman:
Dear Friend,

I hope you had a Happy Easter or Blessed Passover, for those that recognized the holidays. I think we can all agree that we are thankful that March is over! After being pummeled by four massive snow storms, it's safe to say we are ready for some warmer weather.

Mid-march was very interesting down in Trenton. Not only did the Legislature get the first glimpse of the new administration's budget, but we reviewed and voted on several bills including 6 pieces of legislation to tighten gun restrictions in New Jersey. While I supported measures to ensure the safety of the residents of New Jersey, I was a vocal opponent of legislation that went to far by making law abiding citizens into criminals overnight.

I have introduced several pieces of legislation focusing on consumer protections and the environment. One of the most brilliant minds of our time, Stephen Hawking, passed away on March 14 - in the middle of STEM Month, on Einstein's birthday, and Pi Day (3.14 Day). I am honored to introduce an Assembly Joint Resolution designating Stephen Hawking Remembrance Day.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and also marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Please be sure to take a moment to read about why it's important to participate in their recognition. Finally, this month's Spotlight feature highlights Jack Wallace from Franklin Lakes, who recently won the Gold Medal for Team USA on the sled hockey team at the Winter Paralympics!

Kevin J. Rooney
Rooney's Recipes
Assemblyman and winner of Food Network's "Chopped" shares his favorite recipes
Carrot Cake Cookies
Cookie Ingredients:

  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 ½ cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 cups cream cheese frosting

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cream cheese (8 ounces), soft
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
Preparation :

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, gently blend the butter, sugars, salt and vanilla on low speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time scraping down the bowl after each addition.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Add to the butter mixture all at once and mix on low just until combined. Stir in the oats, coconut, carrots, raisins, and walnuts by hand. Chill the dough until firm, at least 30 minutes.

While the dough is firming up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets using a #40 scoop (1 ¾ tablespoons) about 1½ inches apart.

Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Rotate and switch the baking sheets as necessary for even baking.

Allow the cookies to cool for a minute on the baking sheets then transfer, using a spatula, to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Use an offset spatula to spread a few tablespoons of frosting on half of the cooled cookies, then sandwich the cookies together.

For frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Add the vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix to combine. Store the frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator until needed. Before using, allow to come to room temperature and beat on medium speed using a paddle attachment until light and fluffy.

Recent News
A Final Note on March's Winter Storms
I wanted to take a moment to recognize the outstanding efforts put forth by the Mayors, Council Members, Police Departments, Fire Departments, EMS/Ambulance Corps, Town DPWs, OEMs, and especially residents for what they endured during the prolonged power outages of the storms. Each member of the community truly came together to support each other during the difficult time.

Much of the power outage response was avoidable, and to be frank, unacceptable. I, along with my colleagues in District 40, have taken steps to hold the power companies accountable for their lack of preparedness as well as their lack of response to the power outages. The first step was introducing A3736 , which revises and updates public utility franchise process, allows the State's political subdivisions to revoke franchises, and increases certain penalties .

We will be joining together with the Board of Public Utilities to hold legislative hearings on the actions of power companies prior, during, and after the March 2018 Storms. The details for the hearing are provided below, and I hope that you will join us there to share your input. 

Monday, April 12, 2018
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Town Hall
1001 Parsippany Boulevard
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Monday, April 16, 2018
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Township of Mahwah Municipal Offices
475 Corporate Drive
Mahwah, NJ 07430
Great Notch Road Now Open for Cars
This past weekend, the Department of Transportation finally announced the removal of the detours and the official reopening of the Great Notch Road Bridge over Route 46 in Woodland Park to two-way traffic. Crews on the bridge also will install a construction barrier and restripe the roadway to maintain one lane of traffic in each direction. Motorists will continue to see the construction barrier for several months to allow for work on the parapet and utility relocations. The final bridge configuration will carry two lanes southbound and one lane northbound.

The bridge connecting Notch Road to Lackawanna Avenue near entrances and exits to Route 46 closed for repairs in early September. The superstructure was replaced and raised to increase the vertical under clearance of the bridge. Originally given a four-month construction schedule, the bridge remained closed nearly seven months later.

The $40.8 million federally-funded Contract A portion of the Route 3, Route 46, Valley Road and Notch/Rifle Camp Road Interchange Improvements project, which started construction in January 2016, includes the construction of a new two-way service road, three signalized intersections, and two single-lane roundabouts parallel to Route 46 westbound to remove local traffic from the state highway. The project is being accomplished with two contracts, and is expected to be completed in late 2023.
Response to Murphy's Budget
"If you ask the governor about his budget, he says it is in line with New Jersey’s values. Notably, he never specified exactly what those values are, but the governor’s recent budget message made them pretty evident.

Going by what he said on the campaign trail, nobody making under a million dollars would have to face higher taxes. In fact, Governor Murphy campaigned on raising taxes by $1.3 billion dollars, all on the wealthy and businesses. He was adamant about it. Well, the fact now is that taxes are being raised on everyone by $1.7 billion.

It appears the first New Jersey value according to Gov. Phil Murphy is raising taxes, and the second value is that a person can say one thing then do the other."

Read my full Op-Ed in the Bergen Record by clicking below:
Response to Unfair Restrictions on Gun-owners
Although I supported many of the new gun control measures recently passed in the Assembly, I took exception to a bill (A2761) that would ban firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and holds all those liable who do not surrender that gun within 180 days.
I have heard people say today that we need to be more reasonable in our gun approach. This bill goes way beyond that. It's not reasonable. This bill does not accomplish what we are trying to achieve. It doesn't allow the majority of gun owners' guns to be altered to conform to this new legislation.
New Legislation
April Commemorations
National Autism Awareness Month
Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. 

Autism prevalence is now one in every 68 children in America. National Autism Awareness Month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year.

For over 50 years we have worked in communities (both large and small) to ensure our actions, through our services and programming, supported all individuals living with autism. Let’s expand this work to focus on the rest of us – ensuring acceptance and inclusion in schools and communities that results in true appreciation of the unique aspects of all people. We want to get one step closer to a society where those with ASDs are truly valued for their unique talents and gifts.
Remembering the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This month, on April 4th, also marks the 50 th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His life was abruptly brought to an end because of his fearless and passionate advocacy for equality, but his legacy continues to inspire our country. His message remains strong today, and I commend all who follow in his footsteps to stand up for equal rights for every man, woman, and child in America. 
Consumer Tips
Tips, scam alerts, and other advice about every-day situations for consumers
Spotlight: Jack Wallace
Gold Medalist for Team USA, Franklin Lakes native
Jack Wallace, a Franklin Lakes Borough native and 2016 Indian Hills High School graduate helped the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team win a third consecutive gold medal  at the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea Saturday. Team USA defeated Team Canada 2-1 in overtime.

Jack lost his right leg above the knee in July 2008 in a freak waterskiing accident when a boat circling near him turned unexpectedly. The propeller sliced through his right thigh. After the accident, ice hockey, Jack Wallace’s great love since age 3, appeared to be on hold. But an avid hockey player, he recovered and started playing Para ice hockey in 2009. He joined a local team and then earned a spot on the Men's National Paralympic Team in 2017. Wallace, 19, is a forward on the team.

Sled hockey (called sledge hockey outside the U.S.) has the same number of players and rules as regular hockey. However, the players sit on metal sled seats with skate blades, and propel themselves across the ice with two hockey sticks that have picks in their butt ends. The Paralympic Games were started in 1948 as a means of competition for wheelchair-bound British World War II veterans. The competition was opened to non-veterans in 1960, and to athletes with various disabilities in 1976. The Paralympics now follow the Olympics at the same venues, this winter in Pyeongchang.  

"Jack is a true American success story and a great kid," said Mayor Frank Bivona. "Jack and his family are residents who epitomize the family values of our town."

Congratulations, Jack!!
Spotlight highlights accomplishments of people throughout District 40. Each month, this section will recognize a person or persons for their achievement, and will be chosen at random. Do you have someone you would like to nominate to be in the next month's Spotlight ? Click the button below to fill out a submission form.
Office Information
1211 Hamburg Turnpike
Suite 301
Wayne, NJ 07470
Office: (973) 237-1362
Fax: (973) 237-1367
Email: AsmRooney@njleg.org
Consumer Affairs
Environment and Solid Waste
Statewide Public Safety Communications Commission