Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding Governor Christie’s budget speech today:
“Governor Christie was left with an unprecedented budget deficit when he took office 23 days ago. The size of the budget hole that needed to be closed by the end of this fiscal year is more than $2 billion. Sadly, the governor only had $6 billion in unexpended funds to work with to close this extraordinary gap.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean made the following statement about the uncommonly courageous leadership shown by Governor Christie in dealing with a $2.3 billion budget gap left by the past administration:
“It’s been years since New Jersey has had a governor who will talk about our state’s fiscal problems with decisiveness, honesty and courage,” Senator Kean said. “After less than two months in office, the governor has come up with a plan to close a $2.3 billion budget gap without tax increases, furloughs or disruption of our state’s schools.
Third Round Rules to Be Suspended for 90 Days
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, a prime sponsor of legislation that would dismantle the Council On Affordable Housing (COAH), applauded Governor Christie’s Executive Order suspending COAH’s third round rules.
“Governor Christie should be commended for his quick, decisive action suspending the third round rules,” Bateman stated. “For too long COAH’s arbitrary and unpredictable rules and regulations have destroyed open space and stifled job growth without helping build adequate affordable housing.”
Measures Would Protect Retirements of Rank-and-File Public Employees, Require Government to Meet Its Obligations
Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Thomas Kean announced that bipartisan legislation to complete the unfinished business of reforming the state’s public employee pension and benefits system first begun nearly four years ago was formally introduced last night in the Senate.
The four bills would return the pension and benefits system to its original goal of ensuring the retirements of rank-and-file public employees and constitutionally require government to meet its annual pension obligations.
Senator Michael Doherty, R-Warren, introduced legislation Senate today that would establish an employee cost sharing arrangement for the State Employees Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and the School Employees Health Benefits Program (SEHBP). The measure is part of a four-bill package designed to safeguard the state’s pension and benefits system.
“It is clear that the New Jersey’s pensions and health benefits systems are on the verge of financial collapse,” Doherty stated. “It is imperative that reforms be passed now to prevent the complete collapse of the system.”
Senator Joseph Kyrillos made the following comments following the unanimous approval of acting Attorney General Paula Dow by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It is clear that acting Attorney General Dow is more than qualified to lead, manage and advance the priorities of the Christie Administration at the Department of Law and Public Safety. Attorney General Dow’s appointment also illustrates that Governor Christie intends to appoint the most qualified individual regardless of party affiliation.
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman said that he will continue to push for passage of legislation that reforms the state’s failed rules governing so-called “affordable” housing.
“I’m part of a law firm that represents clients on both sides of the current debate over affordable housing,” Senator Bateman said. “However, as a senator, I have to take a clear stand for policies that best represent the interests of my constituents.
Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) issued the following statement in response to the release of the Boston College Migration of Wealth Study which shows that New Jersey’s high-tax policies have resulted in a population flight of entrepreneurs and job creators to lower-tax states:
“This discussion is about one thing and one thing only – the critical need to create permanent, quality jobs for the middle class of New Jersey. It’s the entrepreneurs and small businesses owners that generate the stable, high-paying jobs we need to recruit and retain in New Jersey to build a new foundation for a strong economic recovery.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean of Union County introduced a Senate resolution today urging the NFL to select New Jersey as the location for Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. The NFL owners’ Super Bowl Advisory Committee allowed the Meadowlands Stadium Co. to place a bid, waiving the traditional requirement that host stadiums have a minimum outdoor temperature of 50 degrees or an indoor stadium.
“New Jersey offers the best venue for the Super Bowl, period,” Kean stated. “We have the image, logistics and ambiance that is unparalleled in the world and the millions of diehard fans in this region would do everything in their power to make Super Bowl XLVIII the biggest, most talked about game in the history of the NFL.”
Study Shows Food Assistance Need Increased Nearly Two-Fold Over Past Four Years in Monmouth and Ocean Counties
If you are interested in donating to or volunteering at the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, please call 732-918-2600 or visit www.foodbankmoc.org.
12th District Legislators Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande applaud the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties for their participation in a nationwide study conducted by Feeding America that exposes the alarming and devastating reality being faced here in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
At a press conference earlier today at the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Neptune, the findings of the study were announced.