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Assembly hearing on financial transaction tax set for Monday as Democrats refine proposal

Assembly hearing on financial transaction tax set for Monday as Democrats refine proposal


New Jersey Assemblyman John McKeon, D-Madison, introduced the bill in July.

New Jersey Assemblyman John McKeon, D-Madison, introduced the bill in July. | (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

An Assembly committee plans to discuss a major and controversial bill next week that would impose a tax on electronic stock trades processed in New Jersey, potentially generating billions of dollars in revenue for the state.

Monday’s hearing by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee comes as several stock exchanges have threatened to move their data centers in North and Central Jersey out of state if the Legislature and governor move forward with the tax.

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The bill, which Assembly Democratic spokesperson Kevin McArdle said the committee will discuss but not vote on, is expected to be heavily amended before any vote, and will likely include changing the tax rate on transactions and making the tax temporary.

The original bill, NJ A4402 (20R), which Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex) introduced in July, would impose a quarter-cent tax on every financial transaction processed in New Jersey.

Democrats have hired Paul Hastings LLP, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm with expertise on the topic, to help design the proposal. An invoice from the firm shows it’s charged Senate Democrats $30,000 so far.

Background: New Jersey’s economic slowdown from the coronavirus pandemic has cratered some revenue sources, resulting in the state agreeing to borrow billions to fund the current budget.

Financial transaction taxes are nothing new, but the idea to apply them to New Jersey’s vast server farms was first proposed by the late congressional candidate David Applefield in an op-ed earlier this year. McKeon, who read the op-ed, introduced the bill the day after Applefield died.

The bill has since gained traction, with Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders all indicating support for taxing electronic trades.

Impact: Monday’s hearing is the latest indication Democrats are serious about the

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Senate Republicans will ‘go along with’ White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback

Senate Republicans will ‘go along with’ White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback

President Trump’s economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Sunday that Senate Republicans will “go along with” the $1.8 trillion White House stimulus proposal despite their vocal pushback.



Lawrence Kudlow wearing a suit and tie: Trump economic adviser: Senate Republicans will 'go along with' White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback


© Aaron Schwartz
Trump economic adviser: Senate Republicans will ‘go along with’ White House stimulus proposal despite their pushback

Kudlow told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the White House expects GOP support from Republicans in the upper chamber. A source told The Hill on Saturday that several senators expressed “significant concerns” about the proposal’s cost in a call with administration officials.

The White House economic adviser said on Sunday he does not think the coronavirus stimulus bill is “dead.”

“Don’t forget, Republicans in the Senate put up their own bill a few weeks ago and got 53 votes, I think it was, so they united,” he said. “I think if an agreement can be reached, they will go along with it.”

Kudlow also criticized Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for their “intransigence” over funding unemployment assistance, small business loans and stimulus checks in individual bills or an overall bill.

“Well, I’m not talking about your Democratic friends,” CNN host Jake Tapper pushed back. “I’m talking about 20 Senate Republicans who were mad at Secretary Mnuchin and saying that the proposal of $1.8 trillion was way too much.”

The White House economic adviser noted the president would “go beyond” the cost of the current proposal to fund assistance for unemployed people, small business loans and stimulus checks.

“I think if we could get this thing settled on the Democrat side, we will get it settled on the Republican side,” he said. “There will still be further efforts of negotiation perhaps today but certainly this coming week.”

“The D’s are holding this thing up,” he added.

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Yellowstone encourages public comment on a proposal to improve telecommunication

Yellowstone encourages public comment on a proposal to improve telecommunication

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (PRESS RELEASE) – The National Park Service (NPS) encourages public comment on a proposal to improve telecommunication services in developed areas of Yellowstone National Park. The proposal would also give the park the opportunity to remove antiquated telecommunication systems currently on mountain tops and from the backcountry as underground fiber within the road corridor becomes operational.



a sign on the side of a mountain: (Source: NPS)


© Provided by Cheyenne-Scottsbluff KGWN-TV
(Source: NPS)

If approved, the proposal (an application for a right-of-way permit) from Diamond Communications, LLC. would allow for:

  • The installation of fiber-optic cable along 187 miles of park roads. See map.
  • Appropriate equipment e.g., rubber-tracked vehicles, to install the conduit underground within the existing road corridor, immediately adjacent to and/or directly into the roadbed. See photo.
  • Temporary and localized traffic restrictions and speed reductions in work areas from April until early November for three consecutive years.
  • Construction to begin as early as 2021.
  • The removal of five microwave radio reflectors that were installed in the park’s backcountry around 1980. Removal could begin in the near future.
    • Currently, these reflectors are an essential component of the park’s microwave radio telecommunication system.
    • The existing microwave radio system is the only means of telecommunication (telephone, 911 and computer networks) to the park.
    • Each reflector is about 28 feet high and 24 feet wide.
    • Broadband over fiber-optic cable could replace this antiquated system.

Additional proposal details include:

  • It is estimated that 8% of the park is currently covered by cellular.
  • The proposal would not expand authorized cellular phone coverage areas in the park but would substantially improve coverage quality in existing developed areas.
  • This proposal is consistent with Yellowstone National Park’s Wireless Communications Services Plan.
  • No new cellular towers would be installed under this proposal.
  • Diamond Communications, LLC. would pay for all of the up-front construction costs.
  • Once
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