New Jersey Republican lawmakers fight to retain some power

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TRENTON -

Republicans may be outnumbered in the New Jersey State House, but GOP members say that this doesn’t mean they are without power.

Republican lawmakers say that they are still interested in working for the people of New Jersey. Some even say that they may vote to support newly sworn-in Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana.

The lawmakers say that they plan to hold rallies around the state to get their voices heard. They are calling the rallies “Rally the Reasonable.” 

Republican Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick says that he wants to distance New Jersey Republicans from the Trump administration.

“We’re a kinder, gentler Republican Party,” Bramnick says. “I get the fact that we want programs to help people. All we’re saying is, please tell us how we afford them and who’s paying for it.”

Gov. Murphy is pledging free community college and universal pre-K. 

Republican lawmakers say that they have three humble requests from the Democrats: A bill to cap payouts to public workers for unused sick days, a renewal of the 2 percent salary increase cap on police and fire salaries and a bill to lower public worker health care costs.

“Let’s work in a bipartisan manner, get these things done that we’ve already begun to work on,” says Republican Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz. “They can listen to us and we can listen to them.”

Republicans lost two Assembly seats following the November elections. But they say that they are confident that they will have the last word from taxpayers.

Bramnick says that he predicts that Democrats will struggle to keep taxes down. But he says that he is open to progressive ideas, such as legalizing marijuana.

“Understand that even though we’re the minority and we have 26 seats, we’re alive and well and we’re watching.”

Bramnick did say that he does not believe that there are enough votes in the state Senate to pass a bill to legalize marijuana for recreational use. But Murphy has said that he bets that will change.

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