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Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service on August 25, 2016 unanimously passed the New Jersey Senate
“Establishing and protecting our beautiful national parks has been one of our country’s greatest achievements,” Senator Kean said. “But you don’t have to go to Yosemite or Yellowstone to see our National Park Service at work. You can find some fantastic natural and historic wonders right here in New Jersey.”
In New Jersey, the National Park Service oversees three national historical parks – Morristown, Paterson Great Falls and Thomas Edison; two national recreations areas – Delaware Water Gap and Gateway-Sandy Hook Unit; two national trails – Appalachian and Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route; one national monument – Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island; five wild and scenic rivers – Great Egg Harbor, Middle Delaware, Lower Delaware, Maurice and Musconetcong; one national heritage area – Crossroads of the American Revolution; and the nation’s only national reserve – the New Jersey Pinelands.
“We are so lucky to have these magnificent places right in our backyard,” Senator Kean said. “If you haven’t had the chance to explore places like the Delaware Water Gap or the Appalachian Trail, go out on Aug. 25, to celebrate our state’s natural beauty, as well as the National Park Service on its centennial.”
The National Park Service has helped preserve more than 400 sites covering more than 84 million acres of land in every state, as well as Washington D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In addition to national parks, they oversee sites like battlefields, monuments and recreation areas.
A resolution sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) and Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to raise awareness about shelter pets passed the New Jersey Senate.
The legislation, SJR-41, designates September of each year as “New Jersey Adopt a Shelter Pet Month” as a way to raise awareness about the ongoing need for pet adoption, as well as the joy of pet ownership.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-Ocean) and fellow District 10 legislators creating a task force to study industry-wide systems for tracking stolen jewelry has passed the New Jersey Senate. The “Secondhand Valuables Transaction Reporting Task Force” would also make recommendations for implementing the system for retail and law enforcement use.
“We currently have excellent record-keeping systems in place to track and recover stolen jewelry from pawnshops,” Senator Holzapfel said. “As we saw during the rash of burglaries in Monmouth County, criminals are circumventing these systems by selling stolen goods to jewelry stores who do not have access to the same program. This task force will investigate how to arm all retailers with cutting edge systems to track stolen valuables, report crimes to law enforcement, and return these treasured items to the rightful owner.”
The New Jersey Senate passed a bill sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon) that commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the National History Preservation Act of 1966.
“I’ve always been inspired by the many historic places that can be found in New Jersey,” Senator Bateman said. “I’m so thankful that efforts like the National Historic Preservation Act have protected these treasures and allowed people like me, as well as our future generations, to learn from them.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to make the registration process easier for pharmaceutical companies passed the New Jersey Senate. The measure came out of the New Jersey Red Tape Review Commission.
“The seemingly never ending list of regulations and rules has handcuffed business in this state for far too long,” Senator Oroho said. “Six years after it was created, the Red Tape Review Commission is still finding ways to cut back the bureaucracy and make it easier for entrepreneurs and job creators to grow their businesses in the state. This bill reduces the time it takes for drug companies to set up shop in New Jersey.”
Job-creating legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) to encourage small-scale and boutique casinos to set up shop in Atlantic City has passed the New Jersey Senate.
“The closure of Atlantic City’s four largest casinos put nearly 8,000 residents out of work and far too many are still struggling to get back on their feet,” Senator Kyrillos said. “Cutting red tape is critical to encouraging boutique casino owners to invest in Atlantic City. By passing this legislation, we can shore up the city’s fragile economy, put hardworking locals back to work, and generate huge benefits for New Jersey taxpayers.”
Cardinale Calls for Taxpayer Protections in Wake of $2 Million Paterson Police Officer Pension Abuse Scandal
In the wake of a Paterson legal case that will cost taxpayers $2 million, Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Passaic, Bergen) today renewed his call for swift passage of taxpayer-protections to end pension abuses and million-dollar payouts.
“It is unconscionable that Paterson, a city that receives $430 million in state aid every year, would waste millions of taxpayer dollars to keep a police officer accused of such a heinous crime on the payroll,” Senator Cardinale said. “Now Manuel Avila will be eligible for lifetime Cadillac health benefits and thousands of dollars in extra pension payments – all on the backs of hardworking taxpayers.”
Manuela Avila, a suspended Paterson Police Officer who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in custody, collected $900,000 in pay during the nine years he was suspended, according to recent reports. Despite accusations of wrongdoing, city officials allowed Avila to remain on the job long enough to be eligible for lifetime health benefits and extra annual pension payments.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11), Senator Michael Doherty (R-23), and Senator Gerry Cardinale (R-39) were joined by anti-tax advocates today in releasing a statement reiterating their opposition to a billion dollar gas tax increase. The General Assembly approved a 23-cent gas tax hike last evening, with a half-cent sales tax reduction starting January 1, 2017 and another half-cent reduction on January 1, 2018.
“I have heard the residents of New Jersey loud and clear and I remain steadfast in my opposition to a billion dollar, 23 cents per gallon increase in our gas tax,” said Senator Beck. “New Jersey residents see right through the fiscal shell game that is being played. Literally in three days, this Friday, July 1st, all 7 million New Jersey drivers will be faced with a billion dollar tax increase that will be imposed every time they take a trip to the beach, commute to work, or bring their kids to school. Without question, lowering the sales tax a penny over two years will not stop Democrats from raising it again as they have done before.”
Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) issued the following statement on the Legislature’s passage of compromise legislation, S-2456, that would implement the constitutional dedication of revenues for open space, farmland and historic preservation approved by voters in a 2014 referendum.
“This bipartisan compromise carries out the will of the voters to preserve New Jersey’s open spaces,” said Bateman. “We ensure that the funding voters chose to dedicate to preserving farms, creating parks and saving our state’s historic sites is used as intended.”
Under Ballot Question No. 2, which appeared before votes on November 4, 2014, the New Jersey Constitution was amended to dedicate four percent of Corporation Business Tax (CBT) revenues collected by the state for preservation programs.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) to create a new task force that will study ways to expand New Jersey’s biotechnology industry passed the New Jersey Senate.
The resolution, SJR-57, creates the “New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force” to improve communication between state government and the biotechnology industry and to find ways to help retain and attract new biotechnology companies to the state. According to BioNJ, Inc., the industry directly provides more than 66,000 jobs and more than $1.5 billion in tax revenue to the state.