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Senate Republicans Propose School Funding Reforms to Improve Opportunities for Students, Provide Property Tax Relief for Families
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.
“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).
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.
“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.
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:
“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.
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.
“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.”
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:
“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.
The New Jersey Senate Republican caucus unanimously re-elected Senator Tom Kean (Union, Morris, Somerset) as its leader for the 2016-17 legislative session.
“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.”
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 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.
After TerraCycle Visit, Senate Republicans Introduce Resolution to Spark Statewide Recycling Initiative
After visiting TerraCycle, a Trenton-based recycling operation, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and ranking Republican Environment Committeeman Christopher “Kip” Bateman introduced a resolution urging a statewide effort to keep out of landfills hazardous and hard-to-recycle materials.
“We thank TerraCycle for hosting us today and for being a wonderfully innovative asset for New Jersey’s environment,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “It shows there are local recycling programs that state facilities, parks, libraries, museums, beaches, destinations and rest stops, as well as county governments, local governments, schools and businesses can implement to greatly reduce environmental impacts. Many of them are cost-free and will take just about any nonperishable piece of waste.”
“Before such programs, e-waste and items like used snack bags, cigarette butts, coffee pods and shoes were never considered to be recyclable,” said Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon). “We are encouraging all New Jersey entities to use programs like this, because just about everything we use can and should be recycled. There is no more excuse to continue amassing these hazardous materials in landfills.”
The Senate Republican leadership team held a State House press conference to culminate their statewide rollout of a 36-bill job creation and economic growth package that will not cost taxpayers extra money.
“In an age when officials in Trenton like to talk a lot about jobs, Senate Republicans have been actually bringing job-creating and economic growth solutions to stakeholders, employers, entrepreneurs, educators and innovators in all corners of the state and from diverse backgrounds,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean. “We’re excited that many of the cost-neutral jobs solutions we’ve unveiled over the past several months have already garnered bipartisan sponsorship and votes, as well as the support of various representatives of the business and higher education community. We’re now trying to accelerate this momentum to finish the job for New Jersey families and people in the workforce.”
The Senate Republican Leadership team will hold a State House press conference on Thursday, April 23 to culminate their statewide rollout of a 36-bill job creation and economic growth package.
When: Thursday, April 23, 2015, at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Room 319 (Senate Republican Caucus Room) of the New Jersey State House, 125 West State Street, Trenton, NJ
Who: Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean; Deputy Republican Leader Diane Allen; Conference Leader Robert Singer; Deputy Conference Leader Jennifer Beck
Availability: Full, open