DESARNO NAMED PSI SENIOR PARTNER

DESARNO NAMED PSI SENIOR PARTNER

TRENTON, N.J. (November 15, 2021) – Roger Bodman, Managing Partner of Public Strategies Impact (PSI), announced that Tracie DeSarno has been promoted to Senior Partner. DeSarno joins, Bill Maer and Joe Simonetta as Senior Partners.

“Tracie is a talented hardworking member of the PSI family and has dedicated herself to the firm for three decades”, said Bodman. “Her ability to achieve results on behalf of clients is second to none.”

DeSarno joined the firm in 1989, and had previously worked at New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she worked on special projects in the President’s office. Previously, she served nearly 10 years as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Essex County, gaining invaluable experience in government operations from the municipal to federal affairs levels.

“Tracie’s dedication to PSI is a major force in the success of our firm and her intellectual experience and knowledge is invaluable. We are thrilled she has accepted the role of Senior Partner and look forward to our continued work together advocating for our clients”, said Managing Partner Roger Bodman.

Ms. DeSarno is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Douglass College, Rutgers University, and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology. She has served as an elected member of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, and as a member of the Union County College Board of Governors. She also served for years as a PTA president and executive board member in Union Township.

In 2008, the New Jersey Hemophilia Association recognized Ms. DeSarno as the recipient of its Congressman Dean A. Gallo Memorial Award for Distinguished Legislative Leadership.

“I am thrilled to become a Senior Partner at PSI and look forward to continuing the work of the firm with my colleagues and for our clients”, said DeSarno. “It has been an honor to work with my clients and colleagues over the last three decades at the firm.”

Public Strategies Impact is a 35-year-old Trenton New Jersey based bipartisan lobbying and public affairs firm.

2021 NEW JERSEY LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR

SENATE SCHEDULE: NOVEMBER 2021 THROUGH JANUARY 2022:

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2021: 12:00 PM – Quorum

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2021: 10:00 AM – Group 1 Committees /12:00 PM – Quorum Call / 1:00 PM – Group 2 Committees

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2021: 10:00 AM – Group 3 Committees/ 12:00 PM – Quorum Call / 1:00 PM – Group 4 Committees

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2021: 2:00 PM – Voting Session

MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2021: 10:00 AM – Group 1 Committees / 12:00 PM – Quorum Call / 1:00 PM – Group 2 Committees

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2021: 10:00 AM – Group 3 Committees / 12:00 PM – Quorum Call / 1:00 PM – Group 4 Committees

MONDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2021: 10:00 AM – Committees at the Call of the Senate President / 12:00 PM – Quorum Call

MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2021: 2:00 PM – Voting Session

THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 2022: 10:00 AM – Committees at the Call of the Senate President / 12:00 PM – Quorum Call

MONDAY, JANUARY 10, 2022: 2:00 PM – Voting Session

TUESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2022: 12:00 PM – Reorganization / (Time TBD) State of the State Address (General Assembly Chamber)

 

ASSEMBLY SCHEDULE FOR NOVEMBER 2021 THROUGH JANUARY 2022:

November 8 – Committees at the Call of the Speaker/Quorum

November 15 – Committees at the Call of the Speaker/Quorum

December 2 – Voting Session

December 6 Committees: Group A 10:00 a.m./Quorum/Group B 2:00 p.m.

December 9 Committees: Group C 10:00 a.m./Quorum/Group D 2:00 p.m.

December 13 – Committees at the Call of the Speaker/Quorum

December 16 – Voting Session

January 3 – Committees at the Call of the Speaker/Quorum

January 6 – Committees at the Call of the Speaker/Quorum

January 10 – Voting Session

January 11 – Reorganization of the 220th Legislative Session/State of the State Address

Insider NJ’s 2021 Insider OUT 100 LGBTQ Power List

Welcome to InsiderNJ’s 4th Annual OUT 100 Power List, a tribute to politically influential LGBTQs in NJ Politics. [Read More]

Congratulations to #53 – Senior Partner Joe Simonetta!

2021 NEW JERSEY LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR

SENATE SCHEDULE FOR MARCH 2021:

THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 2021:

10:00 a.m. – Committees at the Call of the Senate President

12:00 p.m. – Quorum Call

 

MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2021:

10:00 a.m. – Committees at the Call of the Senate President

12:00 p.m. – Quorum Call

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 2021:

*1:00 p.m. – Voting Session

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY SCHEDULE FOR MAY 2021 THROUGH JUNE 2021:

May 5 – Committees: Group A / Quorum / Group B

May 12 – Committees: Group C / Quorum / Group D

May 17 – Committees at the Call of the Speaker / Quorum

May 20 – Voting Session

June 2 – Committees: Group A / Quorum / Group B

June 9 – Committees: Group C / Quorum / Group D

June 14 – Committees at the Call of the Speaker / Quorum

June 16 – Committees at the Call of the Speaker / Quorum

June 21 – Voting Session

June 24 – Voting Session

June 28 – Voting Session

June 29 – Voting Session

June 30 – Voting Session

FISCAL YEAR 2022 BUDGET ADDRESS

On February 22, 2021, Governor Murphy presented his budget for Fiscal Year 2022 to the Legislature. The Governor proposed a $44.8 billion dollar budget with no increase in taxes. The spending proposal assumes 2.4 percent growth in total revenue and includes a surplus of $2.19 billion, just under five percent of budgeted appropriations. It calls for a $6.4 billion payment to the public employee pension fund, the first full payment into the fund since 1996.The Legislature will begin its review of the Governor’s proposed budget in March. Both houses must pass the budget and the Governor must sign it by July 1, 2021.

DIRECT RELIEF

The proposed FY2022 budget includes $319 million in direct tax relief for middle-class families, which will provide up to a $500 rebate to over 760,000 couples and individuals with qualified dependents. The budget also includes $1.25 billion in funding to support various property tax relief programs. Additionally, it includes funding to expand the Veterans’ Property Tax Deduction to those who served in peacetime; to make the Child and Dependent Care Credit refundable and expand eligibility to families making up to $150,000 and expands eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit to roughly 70,000 senior citizens without dependents.

HEALTHCARE

The proposed budget contains several healthcare related initiatives including an additional $25 million in NJ Health Plan Savings subsidies; launching the “Cover All Kids” initiative with the ultimate goal of ensuring affordable, accessible health coverage is available to nearly 88,000 children without coverage; raising the income threshold by $10,000 for the Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled and Senior Gold programs; $19 million to support the new Reproductive Health Care Fund, which will cover costs for contraceptive, prenatal, labor, and delivery care for those without access to medical assistance; $19.5 million for Family Planning Services, $8.5 million to expand Medicaid coverage for 365 days postpartum and $2 million to create a new pilot program to support rental assistance for expecting mothers.

 EDUCATION

The proposed budget includes an increase of over $700 in education aid for New Jersey’s school districts, including an increase in funding for Pre-K programs. It allocates $50 million to fund The Garden State Guarantee, which provides two years of free tuition at four-year institutions for students with household incomes of less than $65,000, invests $27 million in the Community College Opportunity Grant program, which provides tuition-free community college for eligible students, an increase in funding for the Educational Opportunity Fund of $2.8 million and an increase in aid to community colleges of $5 million.

GROWING THE ECONOMY

The proposed budget also includes a new multi-departmental economic growth initiative, a roughly $200 million investment, that will boost economic recovery in New Jersey communities, provide access to capital for minority-owned businesses, and help government support sustainable economic growth.

It includes $20 million for the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Down Payment Assistance program, providing nearly 2,000 mortgages for first time homebuyers.

 

 

2021 New Jersey Legislative Calendar

The legislative branch in New Jersey consists of two houses: the Senate and the General Assembly. It is the job of these legislators to enact laws by passing bills through both houses and obtaining approval by the governor. The legislature may also propose amendments to the New Jersey Constitution to be voted on by each house and appear on the ballot in November for public vote. The legislature typically meets every Monday and Thursday. During these sessions, bills are introduced and the president of the Senate or the speaker of the General Assembly refers the bill to a committee for review. Throughout the rest of the week, committee meetings and public hearings are held to consider the bill or report the bill with amendments. The bill is eventually read a second and third time before going through both house votes and governor approval before becoming law.

In the upcoming legislative sessions, there are designated days for voting sessions (see below). These voting sessions and any committee meetings are open to the public with no advance arrangements necessary to gain admission. If you are passionate about an issue, plan your visit to a voting session. Every house committee has a schedule for when their bills will be up for vote. Find the committee schedules here. While a member of the public is unable to contribute their opinion at this time, it’s still a great opportunity to see New Jersey legislation in action and stay up-to-date on the issues you’re passionate about.

UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS:

Monday, February 22, 2021       

Assembly Group C and D Committees; Quorum

 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021       

Senate Voting Session

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 

Assembly, Committees at Call of the Speaker; Quorum

 

Monday, March 1, 2021              

Assembly, Voting Session

 

Thursday, March 4, 2021            

Senate Committees at Call of Senate President; Quorum

 

Monday, March 8, 2021              

Assembly Group A and B Committees; Quorum

 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021              

Senate Committees at Call of Senate President; Quorum

 

Thursday, March 11, 2021          

Senate Committees at Call of Senate President; Quorum

 

Monday, March 15, 2021            

Assembly Group C and D Committees; Quorum

 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021     

Assembly, Committees at Call of the Speaker; Quorum

 

Thursday, March 18, 2021          

Senate Voting Session

 

Thursday, March 25, 2021          

Assembly Voting Session

Team Member Spotlight: Matt Halpin

PSI Partner Matt Halpin was named Outstanding Executive Director-Organizational Development of the NJ Academy of Ophthalmology by the National Academy of Ophthalmology. Congratulations Matt!

New Jersey Lobbyist and Marijuana Industry Spending Breaks Record

New Jersey’s largest teacher union, an issue advocacy group, and a health insurance firm has helped break the record of lobbyist spending above $100 million in 2019. According to the annual report filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), overall lobbying expenditures grew $8.4 million from the previous year (a 9.1 percent jump). The top three spending groups consisted of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), New Direction NJ Corporation, and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey – combined these three spent $10.2 million more in 2019 than the previous year. 

NJEA represents about 200,000 teachers and other school works and it increased it’s spending in 2019 by 1,187 percent. In 2018, they spent $484,740 and in 2019, they spend $6.2 million. During the last legislative session, they showed an interest in 350 different bills, which included school funding, pension and health benefits, arbitration, school meals, sick leave, and programs to help deaf students.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey spent $1.4 million in 2019, a 234 percent jump from the previous year. Part of these funds supported Move Health Care Forward NJ Inc.’s campaign seeking support for legislation that would let the state’s largest health insurer modernize its corporate structure. 

Another player among the top spenders was the marijuana industry. 2019 was a big year for cannabis legislation in New Jersey. Several marijuana issues were pending before the Legislature last year, resulting in lobbying expenses shooting up 32 percent from $1.4 million to $1.9 million. Since marijuana interests have come to fruition in New Jersey over the past few years, about $3.8 million has been spent on issues including medical marijuana expansion, decriminalization of marijuana use, and legalization of recreational marijuana use. Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director, predicts even higher spending this year due to the referendum – lawmaker’s decision to allow voters to decide on the issue of recreational marijuana legalization this fall. Brindle projects upwards of $10 million in spending.

A big reason why overall expenditures grew so much in 2019 was due to $13.6 million spent on communications – the third biggest total ever for this category. Lobbyists today are allotting more resources on the airwaves and the Internet to spread their message and mobilize grassroots support.

Find out how New Jersey lobbyists can benefit your organization. See what Public Strategies Impact in Trenton, New Jersey has to offer.

Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Address Recap

On Tuesday, February 25, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy delivered his third budget address at the statehouse in Trenton. Fiscal year 2021’s budget was built around the slogan: “Building On Our Progress”, to highlight the plans for continuing the progress that the Administration has made for the past two years. The budget features plans for maintaining fiscal responsibility, improving affordability and stabilizing property taxes, growing the economy, and investing in New Jersey’s future. Here’s a recap of what you need to know about Governor Murphy’s budget for each of these subjects:

Maintaining fiscal responsibility

In 2021’s budget plan, maintaining fiscal responsibility involves building up New Jersey’s surplus, doing more for the pension system, pursuing savings opportunities, and reducing non-recurring revenues. 

  • The budget includes a deposit into the Surplus Revenue Fund, with projected surplus totaling $1.6 billion. 
  • Governor Murphy also proposed making a $4.6 billion pension payment, a nearly 13 percent increase over 2020’s budget. 
  • Murphy included nearly $400 million in departmental savings and $174 million in health benefits savings.
  • The plan reduces non-recurring resources to 0.8 percent of the budget.

Improving affordability and stabilizing property taxes

The new budget plans to continue to tackle New Jersey’s property taxes by providing additional funding for public education, lowering the cost of health care, and applying the millionaire’s tax.

  • Strengthening public education, expanding pre-K education, and transforming higher education are all featured in 2021’s budget. It includes an additional $336.5 million for K-12 education formula aid and $50 million in Stabilization Aid. Murphy proposes an additional $83 million in new spending to expand pre-K education. As for higher education, the Garden State Guarantee is introduced in this budget. This would add over $50 million of new funds to the outcomes-based funding formula so that four-year public colleges and universities can provide two years of free tuition to students with household incomes of less than $65,000
  • The budget funds the Governor’s new Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency, which is aimed to help consumers and create health care savings. Murphy also proposed creating a state-level health insurer assessment to reclaim revenue previously sent to the federal government. 
  • The Governor proposes applying the millionaire’s tax enacted in FY2019 to all income above $1 million, not just income over $5 million.

Growing the economy

The Governor’s budget makes new investments in workforce development, NJ TRANSIT, and water infrastructure.

  • The Department of Labor and Workforce Development will allocate over $20 million to advance Murphy’s Jobs NJ plan. This plan is aimed at both expanding opportunities for career seekers and ensuring that employers have access to the talent they require.
  • The plan will fast track NJ TRANSIT improvements with a General Fund subsidy of approximately $600 million. This will support the agency’s daily operations and allow for enhancements, new hiring, and a Battery Electric Bus program to advance clean energy goals. 
  • The budget proposes an $80 million appropriation to the Drinking Water Program to ensure safe and modern water infrastructure.

Investing in New Jersey’s future

The budget plans to invest in New Jersey’s future by supporting working families, continuing to fight the opioid epidemic, and criminal justice reform.

  • The budget proposes nearly $20 million for family planning services and advances the First Lady’s Nurture NJ program to reduce maternal mortality rate and ensure equitable maternal and infant care.
  • The Governor is staying consistent with a $100 million commitment to fighting the opioid epidemic through carefully designed programs and data-driven analysis.
  • The budget aims to reform New Jersey’s criminal justice system. It includes almost $30 million in implementation funds for Earn Your Way Out and Hepatitis C treatment. It also includes funds for transitional housing and job training 

Stay up-to-date with important New Jersey legislation and government news by signing up for our email alerts!

Team Member Spotlight: Roger Bodman

Roger Bodman

Roger Bodman

Roger Bodman is the founder and managing partner at Public Strategies Impact. With over 35 years of experience and knowledge in politics and government, Roger is widely respected in New Jersey. Throughout his career, Roger has been a frequent political commentator for NJTV and News 12 NJ.

Roger grew up in Bernardsville, New Jersey and graduated cum laude from Ohio University in 1974 with a degree in political science.

After graduation, Roger first got involved in New Jersey politics when he was hired as a driver for Millicent Fenwick’s campaign for Congress. He then went on to serve as district office manager for Fenwick and as chief of staff for former New Jersey Congressman James Courter. 

In 1981, Roger was selected as manager of Tom Kean’s campaign for governor. After Governor Kean’s victory, Roger was named to two cabinet posts. As the State Commissioner of Labor, he implemented extensive legislative reforms of the unemployment insurance program. At 29 years old, he was the youngest New Jersey Department of Labor Commissioner. As Commissioner, Roger was responsible for, among other things, maintaining safety standards at working places and administering unemployment insurance and vocational training programs. Later, as the State Commissioner of Transportation, he was the chief advisor to the governor on transportation matters. 

In 1987, Roger was appointed by Governor Tom Kean to chair the Study Commission on Regulatory Efficiency, where he received an Eagle Award from the Alliance for Action. Roger is also a visiting professor at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. He co-taught an undergraduate political campaigning course for 20 years. 

Most recently, Roger has co-chaired a super PAC to help Tom Kean, Jr. win a congressional seat in New Jersey’s 7th district. He formed the Perfect Together PAC based on Kean’s catchphrase “New Jersey and You: Perfect Together” to promote tourism in the state.

In his free time, Roger enjoys golf, boating, and restoring old vehicles. 

Learn more about Roger Bodman and the Public Strategies Impact team here.

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