In the aftermath of last week's Supreme Court strike-down of the Defense of Marriage Act, state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) wants Acting Attorney General John Hoffman to re-evaluate New Jersey civil union law and acknowledge that it violates the New Jersey Constitution.
"As a matter of law, civil unions do not qualify for federal benefits as same sex married couples do," Lesniak write in a letter to Hoffman. "Therefore, I respectfully request that you concur with the plaintiff's summary judgment motion in Garden State Equality v. Dow since civil unions do not provide the same benefits as marriage.
"For example, the Federal Government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) do not recognize a civil union partner as a dependent for tax purposes. Therefore, employers may have to treat a civil union partner's health benefit as a taxable fringe benefit and withhold federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes on the value of the premiums paid. I look forward to your quick response in reference to this matter."
Zapped by the DNC on his way into New Hampshire this afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie defended his economic record while wooing NH voters for the second time in little more than a month, according to the Associated Press.Read More >
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"Potentially, we can get this done, because it's important. We get it. We understand it. But there are issues. There's the speedy trial component. How are we going to pay for this? How is the risk-assessment piece of it going to be done?" - Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), on bail reform.- The Asbury Park Press
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