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Senator Bob Singer

Singer, Kean, Rible Statement on Passing of Aaron Sofer

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Senator Robert Singer and Assemblymen Sean Kean and David Rible (R-30) issued the following statement today regarding the death of Lakewood’s Aaron Sofer.

“Our thoughts and prayers today are with the Sofer family. Aaron’s tragic death is an unthinkable loss for his family, peers and the entire Lakewood community. Aaron’s dedication to his faith and family should serve as an example to us all. We thank those in the community, across the state and the country who offered their support and prayers for Aaron and his family during these past difficult days.”

Senator Joe Pennacchio

NJ State PBA and NJFMBA Back Pennacchio’s Plan to Allow Slots at Racetracks

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Two of the state’s largest public sector unions have come out and endorsed SCR-134, a resolution sponsored by New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Essex/Passaic). SCR-134 is a proposed constitutional amendment giving the Legislature the authority to establish slot machine gambling at New Jersey’s four racetracks.

The NJ State PBA and NJFMBA have announced their support for a constitutional amendment proposed by Sen. Pennacchio to allow slots machines at racetracks. (Jeff Kubina/Flickr)

The racinos would be run by a consortium of Atlantic City’s existing casinos. Fifty percent of those proceeds would be constitutionally dedicated to New Jersey’s public worker pension system, 40 percent would go to the consortium of Atlantic City casinos running the video slot machines and 10 percent would be provided for infrastructure and entertainment enhancements in Atlantic City.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bills to Grow “Farm to School” Program Signed Into Law

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho boosting New Jersey’s “Farm to School” program was signed into law by Acting Governor Kim Guadagno.

Acting Governor Kim Guadagno visited Terhune Orchards on August 25, 2014 to sign into law legislation sponsored by Sen. Steven Oroho (right) boosting New Jersey’s “Farm to School” program. (NJOIT)

The package of bills will raise the profile of the “Farm to School” program by increasing the program’s presence on the state’s website and foster expansion of the “Farm to School” program to more schools by allowing for private investment into the program and by recognizing successful programs established by schools.

“The ‘Farm to School’ program provides students with healthy, nutritious meals while at the same time giving a boost to the local farmers in our communities who grow these crops,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “By better promoting the program and allowing outside investment we can hopefully get even more ‘Jersey Fresh’ produce into cafeterias across the state. Bringing attention to and expanding this valuable program will give more students access to healthy lunch choices and help foster a deeper appreciation and knowledge of New Jersey’s important agriculture industry.”

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District 9

Governor Signs Connors-Rumpf-Gove Supported Bill Enhancing Towns’ Ability to Regulate Vacant Foreclosed Upon Properties

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Legislation sponsored by the 9th District delegation allowing municipalities to adopt ordinances to regulate the care, maintenance, security, and upkeep to the exterior of vacant and abandoned residential properties which have been foreclosed upon has been signed into law.

Under the provisions of the now enacted S-1229/A-1257, prime sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors and cosponsored by Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove, an ordinance would also provide that the creditor of the residential property, if located out-of-State, would be responsible for appointing an in-State representative or agent to interact with the municipality.

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Senator Diane Allen

Allen Bill to Require High School Students Receive CPR/AED Training Signed Into Law

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen requiring public and charter high schools to provide students with training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator is now law after being signed by Acting Governor Kim Guadagno on August 20, 2014.

Acting Governor Kim Guadagno signed into law a bill sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (left) requiring high school students to receive CPR/AED training at a ceremony at Burlington Twp. Middle School on August 20, 2014. (High Res)

“There’s undeniable value in this life-saving training and I’m proud that today as a state we have taken the step to make sure it’s taught in our high schools,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “Teaching students the ability to save a life is the most important skill we can give them.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Calls for Investigation of Alleged Bribery in New Jersey by Red Light Camera Company

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Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) is calling for an investigation by the state Attorney General into allegations that local officials in New Jersey were bribed by Redflex Traffic Systems to secure new contracts to install and operate red light camera systems.

A former senior official at Redflex alleges that the company bribed local officials in New Jersey and a dozen other states to secure new contracts to install and operate red light camera systems.

The allegations were made by Aaron Rosenberg, a former executive vice president and nationwide lead salesman for Redflex, in a lawsuit against the company. Redflex is one of the two major vendors with red light camera systems in New Jersey.

“When a senior insider comes forward to say that red light camera companies are influencing local officials not with statistics proving safety benefits, but with gifts that are almost certainly illegal, we must take action,” said Doherty. “I call on the Attorney General to investigate the claims of Aaron Rosenberg that Redflex engaged in bribery in New Jersey to secure contracts for its red light camera systems.”

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Senator Kevin O'Toole

O’Toole: Now’s the Time to Reexamine Senatorial Courtesy

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The following op-ed by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) was published by The Bergen Record on Sunday, Aug. 17. Senator O’Toole’s op-ed urges legislative Democrats and Republicans to consider solutions to fix the judicial crisis in Bergen and Essex counties, and to step up for the people by making sure other counties aren’t strapped with empty courtrooms due to partisan politics.

A view of the Essex County Courthouse. Essex has a nearly 40 percent judicial vacancy rate as a result of the political practice known as “senatorial courtesy.”

I would like to echo The Record editorial board’s Aug. 11, 2014, piece: “It is time to end the practice of holding up nominees for judgeships and other key positions for undisclosed political reasons.”

The Bergen County court system faces a 25 percent judicial vacancy rate, and Essex County, which I also represent in the state Senate, has an almost 40 percent judicial vacancy rate. By October 2014, Passaic County will have a judicial vacancy rate of over 20 percent. These empty courtrooms caused by the political practice of “senatorial courtesy” add to the backlog of divorce and custody cases, as well as delays in criminal and civil matters.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Partner Racetrack and Video Slots, Aid Public Pensions

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris) has introduced a constitutional amendment to allow video slot wagering at the New Jersey horse racetracks. SCR134, which would need voter approval, allows the legislature to authorize slot machine wagering at New Jersey’s current four racetracks.

Under the proposed constitutional amendment, New Jersey’s horse racing facilities could host slot machines with a portion of the profits supporting the state’s pension system and Atlantic city revitalization. (Meadowlands Racetrack/Facebook)

“Allowing slot machine wagering at New Jersey’s race tracks could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to support the pensions system and the revitalization of Atlantic City,” Pennacchio said. “There is an inevitability to racetrack “racinos” in New Jersey. Why not use the moment to strengthen and encourage Atlantic City and its casinos as well as increasing the solvency of our public workers pensions?”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Completes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on State House Steps

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Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) completed Senator Kevin O’Toole’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on the New Jersey State House steps on Monday afternoon and donated to the ALS Association. The challenge raised $30,000.

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Senator Kevin O'Toole

O’Toole’s Ice Bucket Showdown Raises $30K to Fight ALS

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Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-40) completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on the New Jersey State House steps with ALS Association Greater New York President and CEO Dorine Gordon.

O’Toole raised the stakes by challenging Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senators Steven Oroho and Donald Norcross. His challenge raised $30,000 for ALS.

Click here to view the video.

Click here to view the video.

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