Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex, Bergen, Morris) sent a letter to the FDA calling for the agency to work swiftly to approve generic epinephrine auto-injectors to combat Mylan’s apparent monopoly on the market. O’Toole sponsors a bill to combat Mylan’s EpiPen price hike by providing a tax credit to retailers who keep the drug affordable.
“It is baffling to me that although EpiPens have been on the market for many years, the FDA has yet to approve any generics,” Senator O’Toole said. “It seems that Mylan’s deplorable price hike was, in part, a response to competition from generic EpiPens that were awaiting FDA approval. I strongly urge the FDA to uphold its mission to serve the public health by speeding innovations that make medicine more affordable. We cannot stand by and allow Mylan to put lives at risk. Families need affordable options now.”
Bill would provide tax incentive for retailers who continue to sell EpiPens at the 2009 price of $100 to those without prescription coverage.
Senator O’Toole announced plans to introduce legislation to provide a tax credit incentivizing EpiPen retailers to keep the drug affordable. The bill would allow any retailer who sells an EpiPen at the 2009 price of $100 to qualify for a tax deduction for the difference. Since the purchase by Mylan of EpiPen, the cost has risen to $609 per pair of syringes.
“I am appalled by reports of Mylan’s monopolistic pricing tactics that are forcing retailers and families to pay an astronomical amount of money for one of the only drugs that can save a child’s life during an anaphylactic attack,” Senator O’Toole said. “There is no justification for the manufacturer to raise the price by more than 500 percent in less than 10 years. Especially when the only thing that changed was the name of the company producing the EpiPen. What has happened here under Mylan’s watch is unconscionable. This is not 1987 or the fictitious movie ‘Wall Street,’ greed is not always good.”
Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus stated their support of Governor Christie’s decision to veto A-3689 and S-816, legislation sponsored by Senate and Assembly Democrats that would have placed further unnecessary restrictions on responsible citizens seeking to own, buy or sell guns in New Jersey.
“We applaud Governor Christie’s conditional vetoes issued Thursday, Aug. 24, on A-3689 and S-816 and we urge Democrat legislative leadership to post these changes for a vote when the legislature convenes in September,” Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Space and Assemblywoman Phoebus said. “We have long been supporters of concealed carry and repealing the “smart-gun” mandate.
The following editorial by Senator Samuel Thompson (R-12) on the urgent need to fill vacancies on the Election Law Enforcement Commission board and preserve the public’s trust in the political process was published in The Record on August 25, 2016.
In just over a year, New Jersey voters will decide who will become the next governor and weigh in on a number of other high-profile state and local elections. Unless swift action is taken, the political organizations and lobbyists who control millions of campaign dollars spent to secure those seats may go unregulated. In turn, those who squander or try to hide donations may never be held accountable for their crimes.
The Election Law Enforcement Commission is charged with the critical mission of regulating all campaign financing of state and local elections. Without a fully-operational board, ELEC cannot hold hearings or fully investigate violations of New Jersey’s stringent campaign finance laws.
Three out of the four seats on the ELEC board are still vacant and the agency is woefully understaffed. The resulting backlog of cases has delayed hearings for notorious fundraisers who have shown no qualms about violating the public’s trust in the political process.
Doherty: NJSEA Set to Approve $1 Billion Taxpayer Handout for American Dream Meadowlands in Sweetheart Deal
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) said that the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) is set to approve a billion dollar taxpayer handout to Triple Five Group, the Canadian developer of the decade overdue and billions over-budget American Dream Meadowlands project.
“Triple Five claims this sweetheart bonding deal will have no impact on taxpayers and carries no risk, but that’s a lie,” said Doherty. “Not only will we give up tax revenues to repay bondholders, we’ll also likely lose additional sales tax revenue from the business American Dream siphons from the many nearby malls that do pay the full taxes they owe to the state.”
Warns of Longer Commutes, Higher Fares & Tolls
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Garden State commuters will pay the price for the New Jersey Senate’s continued failure to adopt Port Authority reforms that have languished since May.
“The Port Authority’s search for a new chief executive has stalled due to uncertainty in the agency’s future structure and governance, and plans for a new Manhattan bus terminal to receive New Jersey commuters have begun to fall apart.
“We need an extremely experienced leader to head the Port Authority and direct the tens of billions of bus, rail and airport projects that are on the horizon.
“Until we finish the legislative process of reforming the agency, however, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to hire someone who is capable of getting critical projects like the Manhattan bus terminal back on track.
Law Provides $411 Million for Environmental Infrastructure Projects Statewide
New Jersey will receive up to $411 million for environmental infrastructure projects statewide under legislation co-sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. Nearly $16 million will fund clean water projects in Burlington County.
“This legislation funds important projects that will keep New Jersey’s drinking water clean, safe and contaminant-free without placing an added burden on taxpayers,” Senator Allen said. “Without the $15.6 million awarded to Burlington County, we may not have been able to finance upgrades to local drinking water systems, or purchase a tank system to safely remove groundwater discharged during construction projects across the county.”
Now Law: Singer Bill to Fund $11.5 Million of NJEIT Clean Water Projects in Sea Girt & South Monmouth
Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) to provide $411 million for environmental infrastructure projects across New Jersey has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. Nearly $12 million will fund projects to repair infrastructure and protect clean water in Sea Girt and South Monmouth.
“Storm infrastructure in Sea Girt and Southern Monmouth County sustained serious damage in Superstorm Sandy,” Senator Singer said. “Without the $11.6 million awarded to this community, it is likely that the pumping stations and drainage systems damaged during Sandy would continue to go unrepaired. This legislation will ensure that municipalities are better prepared for future storms, while protecting clean drinking water for residents statewide.”
Seeing right through the political rhetoric and special interest gamesmanship, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove oppose the regressive and unconscionable 23 cent per gallon increase in the state gas tax.
Connors, Rumpf and Gove made the following remarks regarding their opposition to the proposed gas tax increase:
“Simply stated, the majority of our constituents cannot afford an excessive gas tax increase and still pay their bills. They’ve seen enough of Trenton shell games to know when the state is trying to sell them snake oil, even when it’s a gas tax increase. The whole situation just doesn’t pass the smell test.
“Unquestionably, our constituents will be even more disparately impacted by the fact that there is no mass transportation in the general area. Our legislative District is largely composed of commuters living in bedroom communities who drive considerable distances to their jobs.
“More than 126,000 of our constituents are registered EZPass users, the most of any legislative district in the state. This is significant as suburban and rural area residents will be hardest hit by the gas tax increase just as they were with the Corzine toll hikes.
Measure Doubles Funding to Protect Jersey Shore & Boost Tourism Economy
Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) to double the resources available to the New Jersey Shore Protection Fund has been approved by both the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.
The committees held a special joint hearing on August 18th in Toms River to consider the legislation to increase support for the fund, which helps pay for projects that protect the Jersey Shore from storms and the important shore tourism industry.
“Boosting the Shore Protection Fund will help us to strengthen our state’s $40 billion tourism economy and the half-million New Jersey jobs that depend on it,” said Kyrillos. “It will provide the resources we need to maintain beaches that rival any on the East Coast, and make returning to the Jersey Shore an easy choice for families planning their next vacation.”