By Vin Gopal
Thank you to everyone who made sure to vote in the general election on November 7, where we saw record numbers of people turnout. Voting is the most important part of a democracy and it is always encouraging to see residents exercise that right. I was pleased that our team won by over 21 points at 60.2 percent to 38.8 percent.
Where we see partisan bickering and partisan politics all over the country – right here in Monmouth County we showed that an amazing coalition of Democrats, Republicans and Independents can come together to put bipartisanship and civility first. We carried 17 out of 19 towns with major wins – most of them by double digits. Thank you all for your support, and Margie Donlon, Luanne Peterpaul and I are excited for this new term. We want to thank our opponents for putting their names on the ballot and running hard. It takes a sacrifice of your time, personal and family, as well as physical and mental health, so we sincerely thank them for participating in our amazing representative Democracy.
Looking forward to the closure of the legislative session, there are many legislative priorities at the forefront. One main focus, ensuring that the requirement that insurance carriers pay doctors for telemedicine at the same rates as in-person doctors’ office visits, remains. The legislation that established this pay parity pilot program two years ago is about to expire, which could leave thousands of residents without access to health care and mental health resources. I am committed to ensuring that this does not happen and healthcare remains accessible to residents across the state.
We continue to push legislation to combat the mental health crisis among young people in our schools. With approximately 600 school districts in the state, we need to make sure that services are maximized in schools and mental health funding is used effectively and efficiently.
Bringing about positive change takes a team and I will continue to work hard with all of my colleagues in the State Legislature, as well as county and local governments and our nonprofit and business community partners to make Monmouth County and New Jersey more affordable, safer and fairer for all residents.
Continuing to work in the bipartisan tradition of my Senate office, I will remain a relentless, tireless champion of reducing property taxes, providing fairer funding to our schools, and ensuring equality and inclusion for all residents. As a staunch advocate for civility, I believe that all legislators must be willing to reach across the aisle to work with each other regardless of party and philosophical differences to achieve the best results for residents. A shared sense of community and effective communications are how we achieve the best results.
My priorities remain addressing high property taxes; making sure all residents have access to health care and mental health services; reforming how we fund public education, and providing the benefits that our veterans deserve. I will continue to support Main Street businesses that are the heart of our local economy and the police who keep us safe; and to ensure that any resident who faces difficulties gets the available support for living and growing in Monmouth County.
As we move forward in bipartisan efforts to make New Jersey more affordable, safer and more equitable, your ideas and needs as constituents will continue to drive our legislative agenda.
We look forward to serving all of you.
Senator Vin Gopal serves as Senate Majority Conference Leader and Chair of the Senate Education Committee. Elected in 2018, a lifelong resident of Monmouth County, Senator Gopal represents residents of Asbury Park, Allenhurst, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbor, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Township, and West Long Branch in the State Senate.