Posts matching: republican
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. announced that he will share Senate voting session agendas via Facebook so more people will have advanced notice of what their state government is doing, and that he will share his Senate session votes with “friends”/“followers” to promote government transparency, accountability and public participation at a time when it’s most needed.
“In this past election, a record-low 38 percent of voters participated in choosing our governor and full state legislature,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “Those results prove what we’ve heard and read: too many people don’t know their state legislators, what they do or what they fail to do. I’m hoping to help change that with more activity on social media.”
Senate Republican Budget and Appropriations Committee member Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement on Governor Christie’s proposed budget for the 2015 fiscal year.
“Under Governor Christie’s leadership we have changed the course of mismanagement and failed obligations of past administrations by making the tough choices like pension and benefits reform. This budget again makes a record-high payment to the pension system while including less discretionary spending than fiscal year 2008, and providing $20 million for Sandy recovery.
“Today the Governor has rightly issued a call to action. While we have made progress, it’s clear that if we want to better New Jersey for all people by investing in things like education and public health we will have to do more to lessen the consuming pension burden on the state. Ninety percent of new spending this year has been swallowed by pension, healthcare and debt service obligations. We must address these costs.
Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) stated the following about today’s New Jersey Budget address by Gov. Chris Christie:
“Gov. Christie has again produced a state budget for the people, with the largest single contribution for education, the largest-ever pension payment, increased aid to Superstorm Sandy victims and $1.2 billion in direct property tax relief. This budget will also help create jobs by continuing bipartisan tax reforms that will allow employers to spend an additional $600 million to grow and improve their operations, instead of having to fund excessive government.
Senator: There’s Still Hope After Senate President Relinquished Sponsorship of His Own Bipartisan-Supported Sick-Leave Bill
Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen) wants to work with the Senate President to finally pass bipartisan-sponsored sick leave legislation that mirrors a bill sponsored last session by Senator Sweeney.
“As the Senate President pushes an initiative to impose a zero-percent property tax cap on local entities that do not share services, he cannot neglect the billion-dollar sick leave liability that drives up property taxes in the short and long term,” Senator Cardinale said. “Sick leave reform needs to be done before you can even consider a zero-percent tax cap. A zero cap would force towns to have to bond or cut critical services at a moment’s notice to make these six-, seven- and eight-figure payouts.”
The following Op-Ed by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) calling into question partisan maneuvering by the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation was published in the Asbury Park Press on Feb. 1.
The full text of the of Op-Ed can be read below:
The New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation is ironically perpetuating the very malfeasance that necessitated its formation.
My Senate colleagues and I unanimously voted to establish this committee to seek facts surrounding George Washington Bridge lane alterations. But legislative Democrats who publicly vowed to conduct themselves in a transparent and bipartisan fashion are now taking this committee down a purely partisan path marred by secrecy.
The Senate Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee has advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to create more “Safe Havens” for newborn infants in New Jersey.
“This bill is to save as many of these vulnerable infants as possible,” Bucco said. “Since my Republican colleagues and I enacted the Safe Haven law in the 2000-2001 legislative session, the lives of more than 50 infants have been saved and there has been a 60 percent reduction in the number of illegal child abandonments in New Jersey.”
Senator Raises Issues with (Attached) Committee Resolution Passed to Give Democrats Total Control
Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) issued the following statement on the “New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation,” which was established today via Senate and Assembly adoption:
“I am deeply concerned that Legislative Democrats are taking this committee down a purely partisan path to divert from what should be fair and transparent fact-finding mission into Port Authority lane alterations.
“While trying to portray that this is a ‘bipartisan committee,’ the sham of a resolution passed this afternoon by Democrat committee members has positioned their political party to have absolute control over subpoena power and any documents or information.
Senators Urge Assembly Action
The Senate Transportation Committee on Monday advanced legislation sponsored by Senators Joe Pennacchio and Mike Doherty to create a Passenger Rail Study Commission to determine how to best utilize existing rail infrastructure. The Senators’ legislation, SJR-14, was passed unanimously by the Senate in each of the last two sessions but died by state Assembly inaction.
“A thorough examination of the many rail systems throughout New Jersey to create a more streamlined, efficient and cost effective mass transportation system is long overdue,” said Pennacchio. “This study has overwhelming, bipartisan support in the Senate and is rightly being fast-tracked for approval yet again. I urge my colleagues in the Assembly to get on board and give this legislation the attention it deserves in order to ease out-of-control expenses levied on the backs of taxpayers and commuters.”
“All opportunities to cut costs through consolidations or mergers should be explored to assure commuters are receiving the best service possible and that taxpayers are being protected from duplicative costs and infrastructure projects,” added Doherty (R-Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset). “Senate Republicans stand ready to work with the Senate President on our shared goal of achieving efficiencies through consolidation. However, to achieve true reform all cost-cutting solutions must be explored and the full legislature must come to the table.”
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. to expand notification when an offender is released from custody or transferred within the criminal justice system was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.
“This law will protect victims, witnesses and other people close to violent crimes, and encourage more witnesses to stand up and testify in court against criminals,” said Kean (R-Union, Morris, Somerset). “The notification system is the least we can do for people, as we continue to look at ways to mitigate violent crime in New Jersey.”
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen to help breast cancer survivors complete their recovery has been signed into law.
The measure, S374, grants a state sales tax exemption for services prescribed by a doctor in conjunction with reconstructive breast surgery. The procedures, currently subject to the 7 percent tax rate, are utilized to restore the appearance of the breast.
“Eliminating the sales tax burden for these important procedures removes a significant hurtle in a patient’s journey to restore her normal life,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “Utilizing these procedures to restore the breast to its pre-surgery appearance is an important step in the physical and emotional healing process for many women who have had reconstructive surgery because of cancer or a genetic risk of the disease.”