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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio to Republicans and Democrats in Congress: Time to Work Together to Fix DACA

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) released this statement following President Donald Trump’s decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

Sen. Joe Pennacchio released this statement following President Donald Trump’s decision on the DACA program. (SenateNJ.com)

“I believe that President Trump made the tough, but necessary decision to end the DACA program and send the issue of immigration reform back to Congress. Sadly, Democrats speaking out against this high-profile decision are just using it as a chance to grandstand and further obstruct the administration’s policies.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Tom Kean

Pennacchio Elevated to Republican Whip

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean announced today that Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) has been elevated to the position of Whip within the Senate Republican caucus leadership.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean announced on Aug. 21, 2017 that Sen. Joe Pennacchio has been elevated to the position of Republican Whip. (SenateNJ.com)

“Senator Pennacchio has been a tried-and-true leader in our caucus for many years now. The elevation to Republican Whip is well-deserved,” Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said. “Joe has consistently demonstrated a keen understanding of our legislative priorities. He has been a passionate advocate for school funding reform, protecting the innocent, and expanding our community outreach efforts. I have no doubt that as Republican Whip, he will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that every taxpayer has a voice in Trenton.”

Pennacchio previously served as Assistant Republican Leader from 2014 to 2017. He is taking over the role of Whip following the departure of former Senate Republican Whip, Kevin O’Toole.

“Kevin was a tenacious and dedicated public servant. He left big shoes to fill,” Senator Pennacchio (R-26) said. “I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to serve as the next Republican Whip. We have come a long way, but there is still much more we can do to cut taxes, create opportunities, and make New Jersey a better, more affordable place for everyone. I look forward to working with my colleagues to swiftly advance Republican solutions to achieve those goals.”

Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Republicans Urge Governor to Reject Backroom Deal on School Funding

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A letter signed by all sixteen members of the Senate Republican caucus was sent to Governor Chris Christie urging him to reject the school funding plan proposed by Democratic leadership, saying it does nothing to fix the systemic problems in New Jersey’s school funding formula. In the letter to the governor, the Republican senators said the deal between Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto was made without transparency and completely ignored months of work by the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness.

Senate Republicans asked Gov. Christie to reject backroom deal on school funding. (SenateNJ.com)

“This plan was negotiated in secret by the Democratic leadership and does nothing to fix the many problems inherent in our flawed school funding formula,” said Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Bergen, Passaic), Vice-Chair of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness. “Mr. Governor, please kill this backroom deal.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Mike Doherty
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Republicans Propose School Funding Reforms to Improve Opportunities for Students, Provide Property Tax Relief for Families

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Proposals Eliminate Abuses, Establish More Equitable Funding for Overlooked Students in Underfunded Districts

In an effort to improve educational opportunities for New Jersey students and provide real property tax relief to overburdened families, New Jersey Senate Republicans released a series of school funding reform proposals as the starting point for discussions on the replacement of the state’s failed school funding system.

New Jersey Senate Republicans released a series of school funding reform proposals as the starting point for discussions on the replacement of the state’s failed school funding system. (©iStock)

“Senate Republicans want to fix the broken school funding formula that has failed too many students and devastated middle-class property taxpayers,” said Kean. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves to negotiate a funding formula that works, and we’re prepared to come to the table with detailed solutions that we believe will improve educational opportunities statewide and make New Jersey more affordable.”

During his Budget Message last month, Governor Christie challenged the legislative leaders of both parties to join with him to work on a new funding formula to replace the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA).

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Calls on Republican Legislators to Defend Trump

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Calling it “a moment of truth” for our party and its leadership, Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) called on every Republican legislator to unite in opposition to a Democrat move to “condemn” President Trump’s efforts to create greater scrutiny of those entering the United States from countries in which Islamic terrorists are harbored and sustained.

President Donald J. Trump (WhiteHouse.gov)

“There are those who have called this a ‘Muslim ban’ but that is more a term of propaganda than of fact,” said Oroho. “The seven countries targeted by President Donald Trump in his executive order on immigration were initially identified as ‘countries of concern’ under the Obama administration.”

Trump’s order bars citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the U.S. for the next 90 days. In December 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law a measure placing limited restrictions on certain travelers who had visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011.

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Senator Tom Kean

Statement from Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean on the Announced Retirement of Sen. Diane Allen

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) that she will not seek re-election to the New Jersey Senate:

Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Diane Allen during a visit to the Alice Paul Institute in Mt. Laurel on April 28, 2016 to discuss the importance of legislation they sponsor to boost charitable giving to New Jersey’s non-profits and provide tax relief to state residents. (SenateNJ.com)

“Diane Allen has been a fierce fighter for the women and children of New Jersey, a trusted leader in our caucus, and a true friend to me personally.

“Her many accomplishments are too numerous to count, and her resolve and dedication to address issues of importance for the people of New Jersey have been unmatched.

“It’s not possible to sum up a career as distinguished as Diane’s in a few words, or to adequately voice the respect she has earned from all of her colleagues in the Legislature.

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Senator Anthony Bucco

Bucco: Republican Discipline on Taxes and Spending Has Led to N.J. Job Gains

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Senator Anthony Bucco said the positive jobs numbers – announced today by Gov. Chris Christie at an event at Union County College – are the direct result of the Republican effort to limit spending and prevent tax increases.

Sen. Anthony Bucco said the recent job gains in New Jersey are the result of Republican discipline on spending and taxes. (©iStock.com)

“Over the last several years, we have worked with the administration to put New Jersey in a much better position in our shifting economy,” Senator Bucco (R–Morris) said. “By keeping firm on taxes and holding the line on spending, we have been able to lure in new job creators and give our state a chance to rebound from the crippling unemployment of the Great Recession.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck & Senate Republicans Stand with Taxpayers against Tax-Raising SCR-184

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) stated the following after she and her Senate Republican colleagues voted against the Democrats’ constitutional amendment, SCR-184, which would lock in billions of extra tax dollars to fund public pensions on a quarterly basis before the state collects the money to even attempt those payments:

Senate Republicans voted against the Democrats’ SCR-184, which would lock in billions of extra tax dollars to fund public pensions on a quarterly basis. (SenateNJ.com)

“The plain-English translation of this misleading constitutional amendment, SCR-184, and associated ballot question is: massive tax hike, with borrowing.

“SCR-184 will spend all, if not the vast majority, of future state revenues on pensions, crippling the state’s ability to fund critical public services, such as public safety, education, transportation, health care and natural disaster recovery. This poorly constructed public policy does a huge disservice to New Jerseyans, including public pensioners, and it will force tax hikes.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Re-Elected Senate Republican Leader

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The New Jersey Senate Republican caucus unanimously re-elected Senator Tom Kean (Union, Morris, Somerset) as its leader for the 2016-17 legislative session.

The New Jersey Senate Republican caucus unanimously re-elected Senator Tom Kean as its leader for the 2016-17 legislative session. (SenateNJ.com)

“I thank my colleagues for their unanimous support. Senate Republicans will continue to create and advance solutions to make New Jersey the place to live, grow, work, vacation and retire,” Kean said. “I look forward to working with Governor Christie, Steve, Jon and Vincent on lowering costs, creating jobs, enhancing education, empowering people and shoring up our infrastructure and benefits systems. We may disagree on some policy items, but those priorities of our constituents are not debatable and must get done in the session ahead.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Editorial on Senate Republican Solutions to Address High Cost of NJ Property Taxes

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The following editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean on Senate Republican solutions to address the root causes of New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes was published in the Asbury Park Press on October 9, 2015.

To ensure three generations of families can stay together in a prosperous and thriving New Jersey, property tax bills must finally be lowered.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean speaking at the jobs package press conference at the New Jersey State House in Trenton on April 23, 2015, with Sen. Diane Allen. (SenateNJ.com)

Senate Republicans and I are advocating for solutions to address the top three root causes of this state’s nation-high property tax burden: local government spending, costly mandates and the need for education reform.

New Jersey has thousands of layers of local government, which, through legislation that my colleagues and I sponsor, should share services, consolidate and decrease duplicative and wasteful local government costs.

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Diane Allen

District 7

Kip Bateman

District 16

Jennifer Beck

District 11

Anthony Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Joe Kyrillos

District 13

Steven Oroho

District 24

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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