Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean appeared on NJTV’s NJ Today with Mike Schneider tonight to discuss important Republican-sponsored legislation that has been blocked by Senate President Stephen Sweeney. Sweeney has said that he will not post any Republican-sponsored bills for a vote.
Speaking of the need for sick leave reform, Kean noted it was reported today that 25 retiring police officers in Jersey City could cost property taxpayers $5 million when their accumulated sick leave is paid out, and taxpayers statewide are on the hook for $880 million in accumulated sick leave that may need to be paid.
New Jersey’s 16 Senate Republicans today sent the attached letter to Senator Stephen Sweeney. In light of today’s news about Jersey City’s impending $5 million payouts and because Senator Sweeney has publicly vowed not to post Republican-sponsored bills, this caucus urges Senator Sweeney to act for the people and post his measure to end gross sick-leave payouts:
The Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee has approved legislation sponsored and supported by 9th District Legislators Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that contains the recommendations issued by the Veterans’ Hospital Task Force for a comprehensive plan for expanding health care access for military veterans living in the southern part of the state.
The 9th District Delegation sponsored the law that originally established the Task Force. Subsequently, Senator Connors and Assemblywoman Gove were named to the Task Force by the Governor. The bipartisan-supported Concurrent Resolution (SCR-142) urges the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to take appropriate action to expand health care access for military veterans living in the southern part of the state.
Citing Recent Old Bridge School Bus Crashes, Thompson Says Measure Would Offer Increased Child Safety
Senator Sam Thompson said that recent school bus accidents in Old Bridge, including a crash in which several children were injured, has prompted his introduction of legislation to make school buses safer. The bill, which is being drafted, would require all new school buses to include three-point lap and shoulder seat belts.
Tow trucks hoist a flipped school bus following an accident on Route 9 on January 10, 2013. Source: NJ.com
“Parents put their children in infant seats and booster seats to make sure they’re protected in their own cars, but when they send a child onto a school bus, all the child has is a lap belt to keep them safe from harm,” said Thompson. “Parents shouldn’t have to give up the expectation of safety when their children board a bus for a daily ride to school.”
Hoping to raise awareness for Tourette Syndrome during National Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month, 16th District legislators Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Assembly members Jack M. Ciattarelli and Donna Simon recently toured the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome DNA Sharing Repository at Rutgers University.
“Rutgers University’s Cell and DNA Repository is at the forefront of groundbreaking research being done with Tourette Syndrome, a disorder too often mischaracterized and stigmatized,” Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex, said. “I’m extremely proud to have the center and many dedicated researchers located at Rutgers and look forward to helping raise awareness about the syndrome and the work being done here.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to eliminate a costly state mandate requiring all full-time college students in New Jersey maintain health insurance coverage was approved Thursday by the Senate Higher Education Committee.
“Families and students are already struggling with the rising costs of college and should not have to face additional, burdensome state mandates,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean.) “By lowering financial burdens, New Jersey’s college students are better poised to finish their degrees and become our next generation of leaders.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio said today he plans to introduce a resolution calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the disturbing revelation of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups.
“The actions of the IRS were a direct breach of the public’s trust and to the fundamental principals of our democracy,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “We can not allow a heavy-handed government to squash Constitutional rights.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean discussed important legislative initiatives and other unfinished business that majority Democrats in the Legislature have failed to act upon at a New Jersey State House press conference on May 20, 2013.
The General Assembly approved today bipartisan legislation sponsored by the 16th District delegation Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Assembly members Jack M. Ciattarelli and Donna Simon to dedicate the U.S. Route 206 bypass in Hillsborough to the late Assemblyman Peter J. Biondi.
“Peter Biondi lived the life of a true public servant, dedicating his life to work for the residents of Somerset County and Hillsborough,” said Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex. “From serving as a volunteer firefighter, to mentoring young political candidates to serving in the Assembly, Biondi worked tirelessly to better the lives of others.”
Senator Jennifer Beck expressed concern over the recent IRS scandal that has sent shockwaves through the federal government. It was recently revealed that the IRS was specifically targeting certain conservative groups who applied for non-profit status.
“It is exactly this type of practice that gives many pause when it comes to the breadth of governmental authority. The IRS’s actions scream of partisan politics which is not only unacceptable, it is illegal. These hearings must be incredibly thorough, leaving no rock unturned,” said Beck. “The American public deserves to know who gave the orders, what was done with the culled information and how high up the chain of command does this scandal go? We should not be intimidated by our government. No one has the right to use the power given to them by the people to take advantage of those very same people. Needless to say, I will be watching these hearings with great interest as they proceed. We all should.”