Governor Christie has signed legislation co-sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck and supported by Assemblymen Declan O’Scanlon and Caroline Casagrande (all R- Monmouth/Mercer) establishing a “Gold Star License Plate” for families of soldiers killed in the line of duty. In response to the Governor’s action, the 12h District Legislators issued the following statement:
“When a soldier is killed in the line of duty, the thanks of a grateful nation is extended to the families and loved ones of the fallen. The respect and appreciation owed those families is exceeded only by that which is owed to the man or woman who died in the line of duty fighting for our freedoms.
Second Bill Introduced That Would Strengthen NJ’s Crime Laws
Senator Robert Singer (R-Ocean) introduced legislation today that would increase the penalty for individuals interfering with the apprehension, prosecution, or conviction of a person following the commission of a crime. This legislation comes on the heels of a bill introduced last week by Senator Singer that would reinstitute the death penalty for individuals who murder a child, kill a police officer in the line of duty or commit a terrorist attack that results in fatalities.
“Anyone who assists an individual after the commission of a crime is just as guilty as the original perpetrator and the punishment received should reflect that fact, ” Singer stated. “Tough enforcement today is crime prevention tomorrow.”
Senator Steven Oroho, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, and Assemblyman Gary Chiusano (R-24 – Sussex, Morris, Hunterdon) were pleased with recent comments made by Governor Christie to re-work the state’s school funding formula and stand ready to assist him in making the funding allocation fairer for the benefit of schools in their legislative district.
On the heels of a report by the New Jersey State Police showing 45% of municipalities have reported some gang activity in the past year, Republican Senators Tom Kean, Jr., Sean Kean, and Tony Bucco called for swift consideration of a package of anti-gang bills pending before the Senate:
S-420 (Kean, T.): Enhances penalties for gang criminality and promoting organized street crime.
S-222 (Kean, S.): Makes participation in a criminal street gang a fourth degree offense (18 months in prison and/or $10,000 fine).
S-1729 (Bucco): Requires membership in a gang to be considered by the court(s) when determining a defendant’s bail.
The State Police’s report showed that gang activity has been reported in all 21 New Jersey counties, with 1,575 gang units operating throughout the state.
State Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth) has been named “State Senator of the Year” by BIO-NJ. The group is the New Jersey Chapter of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the industry leading advocacy and support group.
“As the Medicine Chest of the World, New Jersey’s economy is intimately tied to a thriving biotech industry,” said Senator Kyrillos. “It is a point of pride for all New Jerseyans that life saving innovations happen right here in our great state, and it is incumbent upon policymakers to do everything we can to nurture and encourage this industry. I’m honored to receive this award.”
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) said today that all legislators concerned about job creation should support a broad based reduction in the corporate tax rate as recently proposed by Governor Christie. Kean stated that New Jersey’s large corporate tax burden is the chief impediment to sustainable, permanent job creation:
“A corporate tax rate of 9% practically shows the door to employers and the jobs they sustain and create,” said Senator Kean. “One need only look to the closing of Sony’s Pitman plant to understand the consequences our state faces should we fail to act. 300 people in South Jersey employed by that facility are set to lose their livelihoods because it is cheaper to do the work in Indiana. A fact of life in this challenging economy is that job creators will move to the lowest cost environment. If New Jersey chooses not to compete, we will continue to lose jobs and talented citizens to other states.”
State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. issued the following statement in support of Governor Christie’s decision to remove six members of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. The Governor has initiated termination for cause proceedings against the Commissioners due to reports of nepotism and abusive contracting practices:
“New Jersey finally has a Governor who is willing to enforce high ethical standards at every level of government. The PVSC Commissioners in question seem to have no remorse for, or desire to fix, the blatantly unethical hiring and contracting practices that occurred on their watches.
Legislation aimed at making wholesale changes to New Jersey’s emergency services system was amended to remove a provision opposed by the 9th District Delegation that would have required two EMTs to staff an ambulance operated by a basic life support first aid, rescue, or ambulance squad. The legislation, A-2095, which is the companion measure of S-818, was recently considered by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.
In response to serious concerns raised by local volunteer EMS squads, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove urged in testimony submitted to the Committee that the provision be removed. Local squads feared that the two-EMTs-per-ambulance requirement would force volunteer squads to disband.
Executive Order Will Ensure Transparency at Sewerage Authority
Senator Kevin O’Toole, Senate Minority Whip (R-Bergen, Essex, Passaic), issued the following statement regarding Governor Christie’s Executive Order firing the board at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC):
“I commend Governor Christie for decisive and courageous action that will finally remake the PVSC. The PVSC needs a fresh start in order to lower the costs for the families and businesses that utilize the very necessary services that the PVSC provides.
Senator Kevin O’Toole, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s confirmation of David Samson as a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“David Samson is an excellent choice for the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority,” O’Toole began. “Mr. Samson has the experience and the intellect to lead the Port Authority into the 21st century.”