“Because this [unfinished toolkit] is garbage. We passed the real stuff.” – Senate President Stephen Sweeney, The Times of Trenton, 4/15/11
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Union) today said he strongly disagrees with Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s comments characterizing toolkit bills not passed by the Legislature as ‘garbage.’
“Legislation that ends the outrageous practice of paying employees for unused sick leave and preventing a repeat of the multi-million dollar terminal leave bills seen in Atlantic City and Jersey City this year is not ‘garbage,'” said Senator Kean. “That the Democrats oppose ending a costly perk that is virtually only seen in the public sector shows how out of touch the Majority has become after nearly a decade in power in Trenton.”
Senators Condemn Hate Rally Planned by National Socialists in Trenton
Senators Sean Kean (R- Monmouth) and Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth/Mercer) will lead the Republican caucus in submitting a resolution honoring New Jersey’s military service members killed in the line of duty while fighting Nazism in World War II. Their resolution comes in direct response to a rally planned for April 16, 2011 by a neo-Nazi group, which will take place next to New Jersey’s World War II Memorial.
“New Jersey’s World War II Memorial was dedicated in 2008 to honor the sacrifices of those who fought fascism overseas to preserve our freedoms at home,” said Kean. “Their memory is being desecrated by a fringe group of morally repugnant individuals who are exploiting the very Constitutional rights for which those service members fought and died. This resolution will defend the honor of our fallen in the face of those who would disrespect their memory with bigotry and hate.”
Senator Jennifer Beck will be visiting Freehold High School’s Five Star Café tomorrow, April 14, 2011 at 11 a.m.
“Hands on experience is such a vital part of learning,” said Beck, “and the students at Freehold High School are given a wonderful opportunity to participate in a working kitchen that will prepare them for a future in the culinary arts. I am so pleased to have been invited again and I look forward to seeing what’s on the menu.”
Both Sides of the Aisle Praise Commissioner Simpson’s Efforts
The five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee issued the following statement complimenting the Christie Administration’s transportation plan.
“New Jersey’s interconnected transportation network is critical to the economic well-being of this state. In this tough budget environment it is difficult to provide the necessary resources to adequately maintain our transportation infrastructure.
“The FY ’12 Capital Program appropriation provides $3.5 billion in funds to keep our roads, bridges and trains in good condition. These monies are appropriated without any new taxes or additional borrowing.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) today said that a provision in state employee contracts that pays uniform allowances to employees who are not required to wear uniforms is proof of the need to pass a legislative remedy to state pension and healthcare shortfalls.
“It is an absolute outrage that non-uniformed public employees are paid uniform allowances,” Kean stated. “This is seen by taxpayers for exactly what it is- a back door salary increase that is being hidden from the public eye. It is beyond me how either state officials or employee representatives could view this as a legitimate expenditure of taxpayer dollars.”
Bill Gives Governor Veto Power Over Multi-Jurisdictional Authorities, Improves Transparency
State Senators Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth/Mercer) and Kevin O’Toole (R- Essex/Bergen/Passaic) have submitted legislation that establishes gubernatorial veto power over the state’s independent authorities, commissions, and utilities. The legislation mirrors Governor Christie’s “Shadow Government Reform” plan.
“Taxpayers and ratepayers are charged millions of dollars per year by autocratic boards and commissions that answer to nobody under a guise of ‘independence’,” said Beck. “In some cases, these bodies have been corrupt and wasteful. The executive branch can serve an additional check and provide final oversight over these entities.”
Senator Jennifer Beck lauds Governor Christie’s signing of two bills into law today, S-831/A-2513 and S-2390/A-3511.
“I am very proud to have sponsored both of these bills,” said Beck, who sponsors both bills, “and am appreciative that Governor Christie saw fit to sign them both into law. Horseracing has an opportunity to become, once again, a self-sustaining and financially thriving industry for New Jersey with the proper business model, and these bills both address aspects of the new model we have been working towards the past few years.”
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande are pleased with the State’s choice to award New York developer and entrepreneur Morris Bailey a five-year lease to run Monmouth Park Racetrack.
“Mr. Bailey seems like a fortunate choice for this lease,” said Beck, “given his own history as a racehorse owner, as well as his personal commitment to both the sport of thoroughbred horseracing and to Monmouth Park in particular. He is a businessman who has been drawn to the thoroughbred industry for quite some time, and that is very promising for the future of Monmouth Park.”
The five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee agreed today with Governor Christie, Attorney General Dow and former Governor Corzine that the provision requiring early release of inmates in the law be immediately repealed:
“It is unfortunate that the commitment that former Governor Corzine received to repeal this ill-conceived provision of the law was not honored. In fact, Governor Corzine at the time he signed the bill, issued a signing statement that reads in part; ‘that the provision of the bill that would require parole release six months before the maximum expiration of the sentence in cases where the No Early Release Act does not apply, will be removed through immediate remedial legislation.’
Senator Calls for Immediate Vote or Justification from Senate Leadership
“In total, these municipalities (Newark, Atlantic City, Camden, Jersey City, Trenton, South Brunswick, East Orange, Hackensack) paid more than $39 million last year to more than 700 employees who cashed in their unused sick and vacation time.” – The Star-Ledger, 4/11/2011
In light of new information showing eight municipalities in New Jersey paid out $39 million in terminal leave payments to departing public employees, Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth/Middlesex) called for Senate Democrats to explain their continued defense of the practice:
“I have to wonder if the cost to the taxpayers of this outrageous public employee perk is sinking in with my Democrat colleagues.”