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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senator Chris Connors

Van Drew/Connors Measure to Provide South Jersey With Stronger Voice in Turnpike Authority Decisions Advances

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Would Require at Least One Member of NJ Turnpike Authority From Atlantic, Cape May or Ocean County

Legislation sponsored by Senators Jeff Van Drew and Chris Connors aimed at providing South Jersey with a stronger voice in the decisions made by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority which operates the Garden State Parkway, a main artery in the southern part of the state, was approved today by the Senate Transportation Committee.

The bill (S-1654) would require that at least one of the seven appointed members of the Turnpike Authority be from the counties of Ocean, Atlantic or Cape May. The senators’ introduction of the measure followed two major projects authorized by the Turnpike Authority that caused significant concern among local residents and public officials in the Southern region of the state. One included the mass cutting of trees along the Garden State Parkway. The other was the installation of security fencing along the parkway, which the authority said was for homeland security purposes.

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Senator Chris Connors

Connors Completes Legislator-in-Residence Program at Stockton College

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Senator Christopher J. Connors, representing the 9th Legislative District, completed the third and final day of the Legislator-in-Residence Program at his alma mater, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Under the Program, members of the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly are invited to Stockton’s campus to interact with students and faculty. Senator Connors was the Legislative participant for the Spring Semester.

On his final day participating in the Program, Senator Connors met with students enrolled in the course “Veterans: A Global Vision” to discuss veterans’ issues. Senator Connors currently serves on the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is a co-chairman of the New Jersey Veterans’ Hospital Task Force.

As an invited speaker, Senator Christopher J. Connors speaks to students enrolled in the course “Veterans: A Global Vision” at Stockton College taught by Professor Thomas O’Donnell, Assistant Dean of Students.

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Senator Bob Singer
Senator Tom Kean

Committee Advances Singer, Kean Bill to Increase Fines for Illegally Passing School Buses

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Paramount legislation by Senator Bob Singer and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to increase fines on drivers who illegally pass school buses was unanimously advanced today by the Senate Transportation Committee.

“We’re dealing with one of the most life-threatening driving offenses and the stakes must be raised for those committing such a senseless crime,” said Singer (R-Monmouth and Ocean). “Vulnerable, defenseless children being picked up or dropped off along our roadways can be killed because of such carelessness. It’s more than reasonable to make violators pay double.”

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Senator Diane Allen

Sen. Allen Lauds Governor’s Vow to Preserve Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act

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Senator Diane Allen (R- Burlington) today voiced her strong support for Governor Christie’s pledge to preserve New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABBRA), saying that a collaborative effort with the Administration, herself, and others has yielded a remedy to unfunded mandate concerns expressed by the New Jersey Council on Local Mandates that put the law in jeopardy of being nullified.

Governor Chris Christie holds press conference, with Senator Diane Allen, Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle, Garden State Equality Chair and CEO Steven Goldstein and Garden State Equality Vice Chair Luanne Peterpaul, announce the introduction of bipartisan legislation to fix the Anti-Bullying law at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. The agreement will strengthen the law and allow the protections it affords to New Jersey students to remain in place. (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

Allen, a prime sponsor of the landmark anti-bullying legislation, is sponsoring changes in light of a recent decision by the Council on Local Mandates to strike down ABBRA due to unfunded cost concerns. Governor Christie thanked the Senator and her staff for their hard work on this legislative fix. Without changes being signed into law this month, the law would most likely be nullified.

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Senator Tom Kean

Tom Kean: “Work Together on Tax Package that Meets the Needs of All New Jerseyans”

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. issued the following statement on Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s tax cut proposal:

For the eight years that Democrats held complete control in Trenton, they attacked the middle class and raised the cost of living in New Jersey with 115 tax and fee increases on everything from owning your home, commuting to work or vacationing down the shore. Property taxes spiked by 60% and property tax rebates diminished when the economy soured and people needed relief the most.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Lauds Federal Ruling on Benefits Reform

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Essex/Passaic) applauds Monday’s U.S. District Court ruling, dismissing several New Jersey unions’ attempts to avoid their part in necessary benefits reform.

“Judge Anne Thompson’s decision is in the best interests of taxpayers and our pension systems,” Pennacchio said.

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Senator Tom Kean

Statement from Sen. Tom Kean on Passing of U.S. Representative Donald Payne

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) issued the following statement mourning the death of U.S. Representative Donald Payne:

“Congressman Payne was not only a pioneer in New Jersey politics, he was a thoroughly decent man and public servant. I had the pleasure of getting to know Don through our shared representation of Millburn. He lent gravitas to every cause he championed, particularly his concern for the poor, disadvantaged, and oppressed the world over.

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck Calls on Victims of Crime Compensation Office to Ensure Mobster’s Estate Won’t Profit from Movie

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Following reports that a movie depicting the life of deceased ex-mobster and convicted hit man Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski is currently in production, Senator Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth) is calling on New Jersey’s Victims of Crime Compensation Office (VCCO) to take action to ensure that Mr. Kuklinski’s estate derives no financial benefit from the film.

“New Jersey’s ‘Son of Sam Law’ requires that the VCCO be notified when a convict stands to profit from his or her criminal acts so as to divert the proceeds to victims and their families through civil action,” said Beck. “It would be highly inappropriate for anyone other than the victims to profit from financial compensation to Mr. Kuklinski’s estate. If any such payments are scheduled, the VCCO must act as it always has to ensure appropriate compensation to the victims of Mr. Kuklinski’s crimes.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Senator Kean’s Legislation Increasing Penalties for Concealing and Harboring Sex Offenders Advances

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Hindering the apprehension and prosecution of a sex offender attempting to evade registration and monitoring requirements under Megan’s Law will become a crime of the third degree with a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison under legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union).

“Those who knowingly aid a sex offender in skirting the requirements of Megan’s Law and evade authorities put our communities at risk,” said Kean. “Given the rate of recidivism among convicted sex offenders and the heinous nature of their crimes, those who harbor these individuals must also be held accountable. The public has a right to know when sex offenders are inhabiting their communities, and those who stand in the way of that right deserve to be brought to justice.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck Responds to Long Branch Investigation of Janitors’ “Prank”

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Authorities Are Taking Matter Seriously, But Situation Is Parents’ Worst Nightmare

Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) responded to the breaking story out of Long Branch concerning two maintenance workers who tied up four middle school students and held them in a bathroom:

“Parents send their children to school with the peace of mind that it is a place of safety and security. All of the employees of a school are entrusted with lives of our children, from the principal to the janitors. A story like this sends a chill through all of our spines. The parties involved must be held accountable and the investigation needs to be expedient and thorough. While the maintenance workers claim it was a harmless prank, in today’s day an age this type of behavior is dangerous and simply unacceptable.

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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

Steven Oroho

District 24

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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