Senators Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth/Mercer) and Steve Oroho (R- Sussex/Hunterdon/Morris) have submitted legislation aimed at ending abuse of the state’s pension system. The bill, S-2716, would prohibit retired public employees that return to government service from collecting pension payments while on payroll.
“Pension payments should only be collected by those who have left the government payroll,” said Senator Beck. “Public employees who game the system by collecting a paycheck and a pension check simultaneously commit the worst kind of double dipping. New Jersey’s taxpayers are tapped out, our pension system woefully underfunded, and neither can tolerate this sort of abuse. Nobody should be able to line their pockets in this manner at public expense.”
In response to an apparent ‘sick-out’ staged by Monmouth County SCAT bus drivers, Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth/Middlesex) called for the immediate firing of the 17 CWA workers involved:
“It is outrageous that 174 disabled and elderly clients who depend on SCAT were stranded by what appears to be a coordinated effort by employees to disrupt service without notice,” said Kyrillos. “The actions of these workers is completely unbecoming of any public servant, and should make every taxpayer in Monmouth County furious. CWA, the union representing these employees, needs to denounce their members for putting the well-being of these vulnerable individuals at risk, and the employees in question should be fired.”
March 3rd Agenda Fails Taxpayers, Again
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) today said that Democrats’ failure to post remaining toolkit legislation for a vote during the Senate’s March 3 voting session puts election year politics ahead of New Jersey property taxpayers:
“Rather than vote on ways to help property taxpayers, Democrats have chosen to use the Senate’s time to pick an election year fight with the Governor,” Kean said. “The Legislature’s calendar has been hijacked for political theater instead of taking on the significant challenges facing our state. Rather than scheduling override votes on bills they cannot pay for or trying to one up the Governor on tax cuts proposed in his budget, Senate leadership should be holding votes on the toolkit bills they’ve ignored for a year.”
Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande were on hand Saturday for the Employment Resource Fair hosted by the 12th Legislative District. The Fair was envisioned as a way to connect job seekers with the local, county and State resources available in their job search, and with a turnout of about 100 people, they are pleased to say that it was a success.
“Even with the national upturn in the economy,” said Beck, “New Jersey residents are still struggling. As pleased as we are with the turnout because it means that people may now be getting help they previously didn’t know existed, it also shows the true need for these types of services. I am so glad that my colleagues and I were able to match people with the assistance they need. We are blessed in Monmouth County to have so many wonderful resources. It’s just a matter of connecting people to the right ones, and I think we did just that.”
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (all R- Monmouth) hailed Governor Christie’s signature of legislation expanding Off-Track Wagering as breathing new life into the horse racing industry:
“The Governor’s action paves the way for a horse racing industry that can stand on its own two feet without taxpayer assistance. Expanded wagering options will help stabilize, and eventually expand, the industry’s revenue stream and help it to compete with ‘racinos’ in Pennsylvania and New York.
Senator Joe Pennacchio, the senior Republican Member of the Senate Labor Committee, issued the following statement regarding the release of the report by the New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Task Force.
“I am pleased that the governor has accepted the report today by the task force. The members of the task force, especially the co-chairs Melanie Willoughby and Ed Fedorko and my colleague in the Senate, Fred Madden and the staff at the Department of Labor did an out stand job preparing this comprehensive report. They worked for several weeks last fall in preparing a thorough report that explored the cause of the fund’s imbalance and the reforms necessary to return the fund to fiscal health.
A letter signed by all sixteen Republican members of the New Jersey Senate announcing their opposition to any attempt by Democrats to insert tax increases into Governor Christie’s proposed FY 2012 budget was sent to Senate President Stephen Sweeney today.
The text of the letter follows:
Dear Senate President Sweeney,
Yesterday we learned that for the third year in a row New Jersey residents carried the highest tax burden in America. While clearly undesirable, this distinction should not be a surprise to anyone.
For far too long New Jersey’s answer to its problems was to throw money at them. In the eight years prior to Governor Christie’s election, taxes were raised 115 times to fund $11 billion in spending increases and a doubling of the state’s debt. It’s hardly surprising then that the state has lagged in population growth, seen among the highest job losses in the region, and was rated the worst place in America to employ workers during that time period.
Beck, O’Scanlon & Casagrande: District 12 Schools Receive Additional $7.3 Million in Governor’s Budget
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande are pleased to announce that Governor Chris Christie’s budget will give an additional $7.3 million in state aid to area schools.
“Governor Christie recognizes what I have been saying for years- schools in our area are receiving the short end of the stick in state school aid,” said Senator Beck. “Despite the budget challenges we face, the Governor has prioritized additional school aid for our communities. While we have a long way to go, I’m confident that Governor Christie is as committed to this fight as I am, as evidenced by his budget.”
“New Jersey’s public schools do a wonderful job educating our students in spite of a state a funding formula that is patently unfair,” added O’Scanlon. “We are committed to fighting this injustice together with the Governor, and this year’s budget is the first step in that direction.”
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) today praised Governor Christie’s budget proposal for addressing major drivers of local property taxes: healthcare and pension costs for public employees.
“Pension and health benefits reform for public employees does not just impact the state’s budget, ” said Kean. “The conveniently overlooked story by the Governor’s critics is that reforming these overly generous benefits systems will yield substantial and, in the case of health reform, immediate savings to local government. The Governor’s budget featured sustainable property tax relief by demanding swift enactment of meaningful pension and benefits reform, which are major drivers of municipal, county, and school district budgets. Property tax payers should not be asked to pay for a system of benefits more generous than they themselves receive.”
In light of the recent ruling by a State appeals court upholding Kyleigh’s Law, which requires new drivers under 21 years old to display red decals on their vehicle license plates, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-12) is calling upon the Legislature to pass her bill, which would require the development of an identification that, while invisible to the general public, is identifiable by law enforcement officials.
“Although the court has ruled that Kyleigh’s Law is constitutional and is not preempted by the federal driver’s privacy protection act,” said Beck, “it is important that we find a middle ground with parents who have expressed real concern over the potential risks a visible red decal may present to their teens.”