Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following about the passing of his former Senate colleague, Robert Littell:
“Bob will never be forgotten as a tireless and universally respected leader who accomplished so much for the state of New Jersey and his home District 24. His legacy of service and bipartisanship persists in Trenton, after his 40-years in the legislature and serving our country as a U.S. Marine. I offer my deepest condolences and my continuing thoughts and prayers to his wife, Ginnie, their daughter, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, their son, Luke, and their entire family.”
Senator Steven V. Oroho (R-24) issued the following statement on the passing of former Senator Robert Littell today. Senator Oroho succeeded Senator Littell as the state Senate representative in the 24th District after Senator Littell retired after 40 years in the state Legislature which at the time placed him as the longest serving state legislator in New Jersey’s history:
“New Jersey lost a giant today. Senator Littell was universally respected because of his fairness and institutional knowledge, but most of all because he was a true gentleman. Even at the highest levels of state politics, he maintained his humble nature. He much preferred to be known simply as “Bob” as opposed to any political title. I considered him a good friend, neighbor and mentor. He leaves a lasting legacy on the state and most especially his beloved home county of Sussex.
The State General Assembly has passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would strengthen State statutes for heroin offenses.
Penalties would be increased under the 9th District legislators’ initiative (A-783/A-2831), for offenses involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing or possessing or having under one’s control with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense heroin by lowering the threshold quantities for crimes of the first, second, and third degree.
Senator Joe Pennacchio issued the following statement after the Assembly today passed legislation he sponsors reforming and bringing accountability to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:
“It’s all well and good that Assembly Democrats finally passed this needed reform legislation for the commuters and taxpayers of North Jersey,” Pennacchio (R-Morris) said. “However, as they patted themselves on the back today, Democrats in both houses continued to neglect South Jersey residents and the need to bring accountability and transparency to the Delaware River Port Authority.”
Gov. Chris Christie signed into law Senator Anthony Bucco’s legislation, S-1092, to reduce the amount of fire duty required to receive a firefighter’s certificate.
“I thank the Governor for recognizing that we don’t just need to cut regulations in order to create more jobs, but we need to do so to keep families safe and ensure communities provide an adequate level of safety services,” Bucco said. “New Jersey has some of the strictest requirements for firefighters, which too often makes it hard for volunteers to continue their public safety service as they advance careers and grow families. This common-sense bill to ease requirements based on a firefighter’s proven expertise and past experiences makes it easier for them to stay on board and should help address the shortfall faced in some communities.”
Senator Jennifer Beck was named the “Woman of the Year” by the State Trooper’s Coalition, a subsidiary of the National Police Defense Foundation (NPDF). The NPDF is a non-profit organization that provides important medical and legal support services to the law enforcement community, as well as several programs involving public safety and child safety programs.
“I was honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Beck. “I have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for our men and women working in law enforcement. Every day, they put themselves in potential danger to keep our communities safe.”
The Senate Education Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) to assure that any student having an anaphylactic reaction will be administered epinephrine.
“Time is of the essence when a child has a serious allergic reaction,” said O’Toole. “This legislation will make sure that schools are prepared to respond immediately in the case any student has an allergic reaction.”
Pennacchio Urges More Democrat, Union Leaders to Support Legislation to Revitalize Atlantic City, Strengthen Pension System
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris) today urged Democrat legislative leaders and education and communications union officials to join two of the state’s largest public sector unions in supporting legislation to support both the revitalization of Atlantic City and the pension system.
In August, Senator Pennacchio introduced a constitutional amendment, SCR-134, to allow video slot wagering at the New Jersey horse racetracks. Under the proposal, which has been publicly endorsed by the Fireman’s Mutual Benevolent Association and the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association, revenue from the expanded gaming would be divided to support both the state’s pension system and the revitalization of Atlantic City.
With overwhelming bipartisan support, the State Senate passed legislation introduced by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would allow municipalities to use a portion of certain affordable housing development fees collected for affordability assistance programs for veterans.
Specifically, the 9th District delegation’s legislation (S-915) would provide that up to 30 percent of the development fee amounts permitted to be spent on affordability assistance programs may be directed to a municipal program for first-time home buying veterans to provide grants for down payment assistance. The legislation is permissive, providing municipalities the option of establishing a program.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement on the second anniversary of the landfall of Superstorm Sandy on the Jersey Shore:
“Two years after our state was hit by the biggest storm in its history, we have made substantial progress with our recovery.
“Debris has been carted away and washed out roads and boardwalks replaced, and thousands of homes have been rebuilt and elevated.