SUMMIT, NJ – Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz brought pieces of good news and glimpses of hope for New Jersey when she spoke Friday morning at the Suburban Chamber of Commerce First Friday, held at the Grand Summit.
“Things are looking up in New Jersey, and I hope you have the same feeling,” Muñoz said. “The economy is getting better – there have been 103,000 new private sector jobs created since January 2010.”
The 21st District legislator said she hopes New Jersey business owners can see that Governor Chris Christie’s administration is business friendly. She pointed out that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno gives out her cell phone number so New Jerseyans can contact her directly.
“She’s worked hard to get businesses to stay in New Jersey,” Muñoz said, pointing to Merck’s recent relocation to Summit as an economic boost for the town.
She also addressed the continuing recovery from Superstorm Sandy, which pummeled New Jersey last fall, saying that while the storm took an economic toll on the state, the various and widespread rebuilding efforts will actually provide some relief.
“Sandy put a big hurt on New Jersey,” Muñoz said. “But the money is starting to come in, including government small business loans to help rebuild.”
She also discussed hot topics such as shared services and minimum wage.
She said she advocates shared services, but acknowledged how hard it is to actually put into practice in New Jersey towns.
“Everyone wants to hold on to what they know,” she said. “It’s really up to the people in the towns to want it.”
Minimum wage, she said, is another sensitive topic. While many agree that it should go up, Muñoz said she doesn’t believe it should be tied to the consumer price index (CPI).
“That would mean it always goes up, and that’s a real burden on small businesses,” she explained.
Muñoz also talked about legislation she’s working on, and urged her constituents to always make their voices heard on issues that are important to them. She said her office keeps files with every letter and every email received on the issues, and keeps a constant count of how her constituents feel on the issues. While some issues she says are non-negotiable in her mind, such as mandatory childhood immunizations and the legalization of raw milk, on the social issues in particular, she wants to hear from those in her district.
Often large bills have trouble getting passed in the legislature because of parts within them that are questionable. However, she said, if there are specific issues constituents want to see addressed, they should bring those concerns to her office, as it’s always possible to draft smaller, more specific bills.
“Reach out to me, to Tom (Kean) to Jon (Bramnick),” Muñoz said. “We can’t change everything, but we will listen and see what we can do. If you want your voice heard, you have to let us know.”