Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement on the passage and signing of the Fiscal Year 2011 budget:
“This year’s state budget was drafted in the most demanding fiscal environment in decades. The Legislature had to close an opening $11 billion shortfall, the largest per capita deficit in the nation.
“The common-sense budget that Governor Christie signed today is a fiscally responsible, honest and forthright budget that will begin to return New Jersey to prosperity. The governor’s blue print for fiscal sanity will be a model for many states dealing with budget shortfalls. We only need to look to our neighbor, New York to see Democrat leaders embracing the same spending restraint that is the lynchpin of Governor Christie’s plan.”
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande issue the following statement on the passage of New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2011 State Budget:
The New Jersey State budget has passed both the State Senate and General Assembly, and did so through a bipartisan effort lead by the minority party. There were hard choices, but this is the first step in putting New Jersey on the right course towards economic recovery and prosperity. We firmly believe that by following the plan set forth by Governor Christie, we will see lower taxes, less waste and a brighter future for New Jersey.
The 12th District Legislators are pleased to announce the passage of the Monmouth Economic Revitalization Act by the State Senate and General Assembly yesterday evening. The bill creates and authority to which the federal government can transfer the Fort Monmouth property after its scheduled 2011 closure.
“When this legislation was first introduced last year,” said Senator Jennifer Beck, “it needed a lot of work to make it something acceptable to all the parties that will be most effected by the fort’s closure. I put my name to it to get those changes made, and we have been able to secure 40 amendments on behalf of local and county officials. Many hours and late night meetings have taken place between then and now, and I am satisfied that all parties have been heard and the best consensus reached. We have made sure that Monmouth County residents will hold five of the nine voting seats on the authority, and that a super majority of seven of nine is needed for any major changes to the redevelopment plan. I am proud of the work that has gone into this bill, and I believe we are in a strong position for when the gates come down at Fort Monmouth.”
The State Senate today passed legislation (S-1493/A-1944) sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors and co-sponsored by Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would make various changes to membership requirements of the Veterans’ Services Council.
“The changes provided for under this legislation to the Veterans’ Services Council were recommended by members of the Council,” stated Senator Connors, a member of the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “After considering testimony and reviewing the provisions of the legislation over the course of two Legislative Sessions, I am fully confident the changes will allow for the Council to operate more effectively in carrying out its core mission, which includes formulating comprehensive policies for the coordination of all services for war veterans and their dependents.”
Next Step: Tax Reform
Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) issued the following statement today on the Fiscal Year 2011 State budget:
“This budget fundamentally changes the way the state maintains its finances and provides an opportunity for long-term economic growth, job creation and a more affordable New Jersey.
“During these tough economic times people understand there is just not enough money to do everything we want.
Establish Tight 2.5% Property Tax Levy Cap and Empower Voters
Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) will be offering amendments on the floor of the Senate today to fundamentally strengthen property tax levy “cap” legislation moving through the Legislature.
The amendments would effectively implement the 2.5% constitutional cap proposal first proposed by Governor Christie and sponsored by Senator Kyrillos in the Senate.
$4.3 Million Returned to 304 State Libraries
Five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee announced today that $4.3 million in funding for public libraries has been restored in next year’s state budget:
“No one denies that this year’s state budget is the most challenging budget in living memory. Of the many necessary savings that were made this year, cutting libraries has been one of the most problematic and difficult,” the members stated.
The Regional Council for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey is honoring Senator Diane Allen. They chose Senator Allen “to receive our Child and Family Advocacy Award for her many years of dedicated advocacy that improved the quality of life for many children, adolescents and their families, ” according to Mary Diamond, President of the Regional Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Senate Approves Measures Sponsored by Connors, Rumpf & Gove Supporting Veterans and Emergency Service Volunteers
The State Senate passed two legislative initiatives sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that, separately, are aimed at assisting veterans and emergency service volunteer personnel.
The first measure, S-1024/A-515, would expand “Operation Recognition,” a program which offered state-endorsed high school diplomas to veterans who left high school prior to graduation to serve in the military, to include veterans of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho and Senate President Sweeney that would create a commission on government efficiency and cost control passed the Senate today. The commission would be a public-private partnership staffed by volunteers. The bill is modeled on the federal governments “Grace Commission” created in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan. Three other states have established similar programs, South Carolina, California and Texas.
“It is vitally important that state government leave no stone unturned in the search for government waste,” Oroho stated. “This commission will be staffed by volunteers from the public and private sectors. Additionally, perhaps most importantly, this commission designed to root out government waste and inefficiencies will not use taxpayer funds to support its operations.”