The 18th District Democratic Team of Peter Barnes for Senate and Patrick Diegnan and Nancy Pinkin for Assembly have the proven leadership that is providing results for residents to make New Jersey more affordable for middle-class taxpayers.

As Assemblyman, Barnes co-authored the bipartisan two percent property tax cap that is forcing cities, towns and schools districts to live within their means. Together with Diegnan, they are working to eliminate a special tax break for multimillionaires that will provide up to $2,000 in property tax relief for all seniors and middle-class families. As a Councilwoman in East Brunswick, Nancy Pinkin led by example, taking a pay cut to help balance the township’s budget and consolidated redundant departments.

“We cannot allow property taxes to price middle-class families out of their homes,” said Barnes, who lives in Edison with his wife and three children. “We will continue to fight for property tax relief, and we'll start with a 10 percent property tax cut for middle-class families and seniors. Our communities also need tax relief, and we will work to bring it to them. And, by eliminating the tax break multi-millionaires have enjoyed over the past four years, we can provide even more.”

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Barnes, Diegnan and Pinkin also understand that in order to make New Jersey more affordable, we must ensure that our young people can afford to go to college and to find a good-paying job when they graduate. That is why Diegnan, Chairman of the Assembly Education Committee, authored the NJ STARS program that provides tuition assistance to top-performing New Jersey students. Additionally, the Democratic trio are pushing for business tax cuts and incentives to spur small business growth, create jobs and bring alternative energy, biotechnology and other high-tech industries to our area. In the Legislature, they will build partnerships between companies and local colleges and universities, such as Middlesex County College and Rutgers, to provide a pipeline for research and innovation in Middlesex County.

“New Jersey, and Middlesex County in particular, has some of the most promising young adults in the country and fantastic public schools,” said Diegnan, of South Plainfield. “Unfortunately, as the cost of tuition continues to rise, many students are finding it harder to pay for college, and end up being saddled with debt. We must continue to fight for sustainable solutions that provide students affordable access to our colleges and universities so they are prepared for the 21st century workforce and which ensures that when these students graduate they can find good paying jobs here in New Jersey.”

Additionally, the team of Barnes, Diegnan and Pinkin is working towards protecting families and children from gun violence.  Barnes was the lead sponsor of legislation that would get .50 caliber military-style weapons off the streets and Barnes and Diegnan both voted for sensible gun legislation that is now law, including ensuring that dangerous individuals on the terrorist watch list can’t buy guns.  Together, Barnes, Diegnan and Pinkin will work to protect both our communities and the rights of gun owners.

“Recent horrific incidents from Aurora, Colorado, to Newtown, Connecticut, to the Washington DC Navy Yard have proven yet again that we need to have sensible gun laws to protect our children and families from violence,” said Pinkin. “In the Assembly, I will work to ensure that guns stay out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. From mandatory background checks, revoking gun permits at criminal sentencing and improving school security, we must do everything possible to make our communities safe.”

Barnes, Diegnan and Pinkin have years of experience fighting and getting results for the residents of Middlesex County. They will continue to advocate for middle-class families and seniors to provide real property tax relief, bring high-tech and innovative jobs into the region and make our communities safer.