Save Jersey’s 2013 Meet the Candidates Series Continues, Week of May 26, 2013
In my efforts to introduce candidates to the voting public, I started a weekly column called Meet the Candidates. In essence, it is a past day stump speech updated for the virtual world.
For this week’s column I am honored to introduce to you to Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi.
She was born on December 20, 1972. Attended The Catholic University of America for her B.A. in Politics and Psychology and then went on the get her JD from Fordham University School of Law. Assemblywoman Schepisi has been on the General Assembly since 2012 and represents District 39 which consists of Bergen and Passaic County. She currently serves on the Environmental & Solid Waste Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
My interview with Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi is below the fold:
Sanders: What makes you a more viable candidate in comparison to your challenger?
Assemblywoman Schepisi: I bring to the position of legislator a unique set of skills and experiences that allow me to understand the various sides of extremely complex issues. I am an attorney, a mother of two, a small businesswoman, and an active volunteer. I personally know what it is like to raise a young family and run a business in these difficult economic times. I bring this understanding to every vote that I make in the Assembly to be a voice for the people that I represent.
Sanders: What are your greatest legislative or personal accomplishments thus far?
Assemblywoman Schepisi: I am extremely proud that I, as a Republican, have been able to work effectively in a Democrat controlled Legislature to advance important legislation to benefit everyone in New Jersey. In my first term in office, I have authored new laws to strengthen the rights of crime victims, provide mandatory treatment for non-violent drug offenders, protect drinking water from drug contamination, deny bail to dangerous offenders, and address the acquisition of flood prone properties. I was also honored to be named one of the Rising Stars in New Jersey. On a personal level, I consider my two children, Kayla and Easton, to be my greatest accomplishments. They remind me daily of how important my job as a legislator is. Every vote that we take will affect their future.
Sanders: As a small business owner, too, what have you learned that has helped you in as an Assemblywoman?
Assemblywoman Schepisi: Small business owners are being squeezed from all sides in these difficult economic times. In my business, I have controlled expenses and stretched a dollar the same way that the government should. Taxes, rules, regulations, permits, and licensing – all add costs to a business’ bottom line. Governor Christie has done an extraordinary job of working to make New Jersey business friendly again, and look forward to working with him to do even more.
Sanders: You recently co-sponsored a bill which would allow towns acquiring flood-prone property to receive a tax exempt status. Can you please advise why this bill is important and what would mean for municipalities and tax payers?
Assemblywoman Schepisi: Our towns have been working to do the right thing and either acquire consistently flood-prone properties, raze the houses on them, and return the land to open space or to provide tools to homeowners to elevate their homes in consistently flooded areas. Conservation programs, such as Blue Acres, or funds received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are extremely beneficial in the effort to reduce the impact on a municipality. However, if the towns were not able to close on the properties by the end of 2012, current law, requires that the properties remain on the tax rolls for 2013 and further makes the towns responsible for paying thousands in county and school taxes on them. This makes it especially hard for towns to balance their budgets, stay within the mandatory 2% cap, and acquire these lands for open spaces. My bill, A-3362, would exempt these properties when acquired by municipalities from county, school, and fire district taxes immediately upon acquisition.
Sanders: If your constituents wanted to reach out to you and ask you questions about your positions or learn how to volunteer, where should they turn?
Assemblywoman Schepisi: They can always contact my district office by phone at 201-666-0881, or by email at email@example.com. My website is www.hollyschepisi.com. My staff would be happy to help.
Sanders: In a short statement, please advise why your constituents should vote for you and what do you want accomplish in the next four years?
Assemblywoman Schepisi: I am a strong advocate for the residents of my district and the state, can work in a bi-partisan way to get things done, personally know the challenges facing our residents. reelected, I intend to continue these efforts and work to hold the line on property taxes, control government spending and debt, support an equitable school funding formula, and make New Jersey both business and family friendly again. It is incumbent upon us as legislators to ensure we provide future generations with opportunity, not entitlement.
If you are a candidate and interested in being a part of my weekly Meet the Candidates article, Save Jerseyans, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.