Time to rally the rational, reach out to the reasonable

File photo Senate Minority Leader Jon Bramnick.

Government works best when we put partisanship aside and work together to address the major issues facing our state. It is clear our work is cut out for us. Serious reforms are necessary to lower property taxes and make New Jersey more competitive.

I look forward to working with the majority party in the state Assembly, and intend to seek common ground in finding solutions. Although Assembly Republicans are the minority, we will speak clearly, loudly and respectfully regarding policies that affect our state and its citizens.

It is my hope that all 80 Assembly members will work together to enact additional fiscal reforms that are desperately needed to make New Jersey affordable and more competitive. We have made good progress during the past eight years — and we have done that on a bipartisan basis — but much more work needs to be done. These reforms will be painful, but they are necessary for the survival of the state.

We don’t have to look far for some of those solutions. It is time we considered the creative legislative ideas proposed by Assemblymen John DiMaio (R-Bridgewater), Jay Webber (R-Parsippany) and Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-Parsippany) as well as the affordable housing plans of Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-Westwood) and the tax reduction ideas from Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Red Bank).

On a separate but somewhat related issue, it is clear that Americans and New Jerseyans are frustrated with government that can be slow, cumbersome and, many times, less than adequate. This should not, however, lead us to attack the very institutions that have sustained democracy for hundreds of years. The frustration has led to vicious personal attacks that are not worthy of our American democracy or our history as a nation.

New Jersey Republicans will stand up for the people of this state, and we will do so in a civil, respectful and serious manner.

We have reached an important moment in our history. The reasonable and rational people of this state and our country must stand together and condemn bad behavior. Whether that behavior comes from the left-wing media or directly from the White House, we need to stand together and speak as one against that kind of vitriol.

We, the rational majority, must be louder and stronger to fight intolerance, injustice and bitterness. Today is the day to start acting reasonable and civil to each other. I intend to do my part by traveling around the state to rally the rational and reach out to the reasonable. I know you are out there.

Whether you are a Republican, Democrat or independent, I will find you and ask you to join with me to work together as one people, one state and one nation.