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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck: Property Taxpayers on Hook for $500K Sick Leave Payout While Dems Continue to Block Reform

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Calls for Democratic Leadership of Legislature to “Do the Right Thing” for New Jersey Property Taxpayers

Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) again called for legislative Democrats to join her in moving sick leave reforms following reports that property taxpayers will be on the hook for a potentially record-breaking payout of more than half-a-million dollars for unused days to Jersey City’s retiring police chief.

Sen. Jennifer Beck called on the Democratic leadership of the Legislature to allow sick leave reforms to advance following reports of a potentially record breaking payout of more than $500,000 to Jersey City’s retiring police chief. (Flickr)

“How many six-figure sick leave payouts must fall on the shoulders of property taxpayers before the Democratic leadership of the New Jersey Legislature will allow votes on reform legislation to end this anachronistic practice?” Beck asked. “New Jersey property taxpayers cannot afford to make $500,000 payments to retiring employees when their tax bills are already the highest in the nation.”

According to the Jersey Journal, the police chief is retiring with 450 unused days that are valued at $512,620 in the city’s proposed budget (see page 10).

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman/Ciattarelli Fight to Hold Judges Accountable for Violations of Public Trust

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Effort Launched in Response to Judge’s Questionable Actions Following South Brunswick Affordable Housing Ruling

Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli announced that they are exploring solutions to prevent judges from violating the public’s trust after they leave the bench.

Bateman and Ciattarelli (R-16) are taking action in light of reports that just days after retiring, a Superior Court judge began working for a real estate developer who could benefit financially from the judge’s recent decision to drastically increase South Brunswick’s affordable housing obligations.

Following reports that an NJ Superior Court judge began working for a real estate developer who could benefit from one of his rulings, Sen. Kip Bateman and Asm. Jack Ciattarelli are taking action to prevent judges from violating the public’s trust. (©iStock)

“At the very least, Judge Wolfson’s actions have cast a shadow on an affordable housing ruling that could decimate South Brunswick,” Senator Bateman said. “Now our fear is that the apparent personal benefit he stands to derive from that ruling will also damage the general public’s trust in the judiciary as a whole. New Jersey residents should not have to question whether court decisions are made impartially and in the interests of justice.”

“The New Jersey Supreme Court should honor its responsibility to regulate judicial conduct by taking a hard look at what happened in South Brunswick,” Assemblyman Ciattarelli said. “If no violations are found, then the Supreme Court should take this opportunity to evaluate whether the rules need to change. The Court would be wise to consider regulations that at the very least impose a ‘distancing period’ before former judges can appear back in court on matters that allow them to benefit from their own previous rulings.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Vows to Continue Fight PennEast Pipeline After It Clears FERC Hurdle

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Although the project just cleared another hurdle in the approval process by the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC), Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex) vowed to continue to push back against the controversial PennEast Pipeline.

Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman said despite it recently clearing a hurdle in the federal approval process, the fight against the PennEast Pipeline is not over. (PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC)

“This fight is far from over,” Senator Bateman said. “From the very beginning, our residents have made it clear that they don’t want this pipeline cutting through their communities, and there’s no reason to give up now. There’s a long way to go before this project gets final approval.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Assembly Transportation Committee Had Chances to Improve Rail System

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After a week of commuting troubles caused by a derailed train at Penn Station in New York, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) said he believes the issues related to New Jersey’s rail system and NJ Transit could have been addressed years ago if the Assembly Transportation Committee had advanced his legislation to create a rail study commission.

Following NJ Transit train derailments, Sen. Joe Pennacchio said he believes the Assembly could done more to solve the state’s rail problems. (

“I’ve introduced a bill to create a rail study commission every session since 2010, and it’s passed the Senate three times,” said Senator Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee. “However, the bill has never been granted a hearing in the Assembly. Not once. Had the Assembly acted sooner, we might have had a chance to fix some of our commuter rail problems.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Jersey City Plan for Revenue Sharing with Schools Doesn’t Go Far Enough

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Following reports that Jersey City will now share a portion of its tax abatement revenue with its school district, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Passaic, Essex) said the plan is too little, too late.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio believes Jersey City should share more of its tax abatement revenue with its public school district. (

“I and my Senate Republican colleagues have been pushing for PILOT money to go to local schools for years. We even included it our proposal for school funding reforms just last week,” said Senator Pennacchio, Vice-Chair of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness. “So, it’s great to see Mayor Fulop seriously consider our suggestion, but Jersey City owes it to its students to contribute more instead of leaving the rest of the state’s taxpayers stuck with the bill.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco

Budget Officer Bucco’s Statement on First FY18 State Budget Hearing

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Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) released the following statement on the start of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee’s hearings on Governor Christie’s Fiscal Year 2018 State budget proposal.

Sen. Anthony Bucco said he will work to enact a balanced budget that lowers property taxes; and makes New Jersey a stronger, more affordable, and competitive place for people to work and live. (

“Over the course of the past several years, this committee has worked on a bipartisan basis to enact fiscally responsible measures that are already making New Jersey more affordable for our taxpayers,” Senator Bucco said.

“As Treasurer Scudder noted in his remarks today, we are in a much better place now than we were eight years ago.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Welcomes Start of State Budget Hearings, Says Recently Enacted Tax Cuts Critical to State’s Economy

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Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, released the following statement as the committee began its first budget hearing of the year:

Sen. Steve Oroho released the following statement ahead of the first budget meeting of the year. (

“Last year, in a bipartisan manner, we were able to enact significant, targeted tax cuts that will go a long way in attracting capital investment, addressing the outmigration of income and helping to grow jobs.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Urges Gateway Tunnel Investment in Wake of NJ Transit Train Derailments

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Following the April 3 NJ Transit train derailment, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. released the following statement reaffirming his support for investing in the Gateway Project, and other infrastructure projects benefiting New Jersey commuters.

Following NJ Transit train derailments, Sen. Tom Kean urged support for funding the Gateway Project and other infrastructure projects critical to New Jersey commuters. (

The April 3 derailment occurred less than two weeks after a NJ Transit train was sideswiped by a derailed Amtrak train at New York Penn Station.

“NJ Transit riders cannot afford any more major disruptions that put their safety and their job security at risk,” Senator Kean (R-Union) said. “The Gateway Tunnel would provide one-seat rides to Manhattan on every NJ Transit rail line, alleviate congestion and ensure that New Jersey commuters reach their destination safely and without delay.

“There seems to be a bipartisan agreement among State and Federal legislators that investing in transportation infrastructure projects is critical to creating jobs and securing longterm economic growth, not to mention protecting the thousands of tri-state area commuters who rely on mass transit. Two train derailments in fewer than two weeks should be enough to make this a top priority.”

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District 9

April 9th – 15h is New Jersey POW-MIA Week of Rememberance

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In support of veterans across of the state, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove want to raise awareness that April 9th through 15th of each year is New Jersey POW-MIA Week of Remembrance.

Connors, Rumpf and Gove to recognize beginning of New Jersey P.O.W.-M.I.A. Week of Remembrance. (Flickr)

The State Week of Remembrance was established through bipartisan legislation authored by the 9th District Legislative Delegation signed into law in June of 2005.  The Delegation’s intent was to pay public tribute to the thousands of men and women who have suffered as prisoners of war or who remain missing in action.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Chesimard Must Face Justice in the United States

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Following recent reports that New Jersey Congressmen Chris Smith and Albio Sires have begun a new effort to pass legislation that seeks the return of fugitives abroad, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Passaic, Morris, Essex) again called for the return of convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard from Cuba.

Joanne Chesimard is wanted for escaping from prison in Clinton, New Jersey, while serving a life sentence for murdering a New Jersey State Trooper. She relocated to Cuba in 1984, where she is thought to still be living. (FBI)

“We must do everything we can to ensure Joanne Chesimard pays her debt to society,” Pennacchio. “She killed a state trooper in cold blood, but she’s spent more than 30 years living free in communist Cuba.”

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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

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Joe Kyrillos

District 13

Kevin O'Toole

District 40

Steven Oroho

District 24

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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