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In the weeks leading up to election Tuesday, New Jersey Republicans were floating the idea of winning a majority of seats in the Legislature.
But Democrats prevailed in most of the close races.
They also added more members to the state Senate and Assembly. During a news conference at the statehouse Thursday, state Senate President Nick Scutari said voters liked that Democrats were focusing on real life issues including “affordability, reproductive rights, gun safety, economic opportunity, health care, support of children, and families.”
Legislative accomplishments such as doubling the child tax credit, investing in innovation, job training, and expanded opportunities for home ownership also resonated with voters, Scutari said.
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said for the past two years Democrats have worked to lower prescription drug costs, while keeping dangerous weapons out of places such as hospitals and day care centers. Elected representatives also invested in education and business infrastructure, while delivering on property tax relief, which improved the lives of New Jersey residents.
Assembly Republican leader John DiMaio rejected the claims from his Democratic colleagues.
He said affordability is still the top issue, and New Jersey is still one of the most expensive states in the nation and has become more expensive under Democratic control.
“A household earning nearly $95,000 is considered low income in New Jersey,” he said. “And for the tax cuts they talk about they’re ignoring taxpayers are paying $16.7 billion more now than they were paying 2018.”
DiMaio said Democrats are famous for raising spending and taxes, “and then they return some token amount of money to make us feel good about it and it really leaves things more expensive than they were before.”
He called on Democrats to fully fund the court-mandated School Funding Formula and cut taxes.