State Senator Joe Kyrillos, Jr. (R- Monmouth/Middlesex) signaled his strong opposition to the federal takeover of healthcare by opposing the formation of a state taskforce charged with implementing the law (SCR 141).
“I strongly disapprove of President Obama’s federal takeover of healthcare because it will increase costs, restrict access, deny patients choices in their care, and place a heavy financial burden on taxpayers.
Troubled by legislative efforts to weaken witness tampering rules adopted by the New Jersey Supreme Court, Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington/Camden) today announced she will submit a floor amendment in today’s voting session to SJR-25 nullifying the proposed changes.
“The New Jersey Supreme Court adopted witness tampering rules that match those used by the federal judiciary and more than 20 states,” said Senator Allen. “Reports show that witness tampering is a serious, and growing, problem for New Jersey prosecutors. Defendants must not be rewarded in any case- criminal or civil- for any effort to make a witness against them unavailable.”
Senator Kip Bateman (R-16), the sponsor of legislation (S-2039) that would enact comprehensive reform to the state’s civil service laws, released the following remarks on his effort to reform outdated laws that tie the hands of elected officials and drive up property taxes:
Click the “Play” button below to listen to the audio clip.
A bill sponsored by Senators Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset/Morris) and Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) that prohibits payment of temporary disability benefits to incarcerated individuals passed the Senate today.
“If you break the law and are serving time in prison, you shouldn’t receive a disability check, ” Bateman stated. “You are already being fed, clothed and sheltered at the taxpayers’ expense. The limited money in disability funds should be reserved for hard working, law abiding citizens who need that money to survive.”
Nation Could Face Shortage of 150,000 Doctors in Next 15 years
A bill sponsored by Senators Robert Singer (R-Ocean) and Sean T. Kean (R-Monmouth) that would assess how to increase the number of teaching hospitals and medical residency programs throughout the State was passed by the Senate today.
“We need to address the impending physician shortage by ensuring we have adequate openings in classrooms and hospitals for qualified students who wish to train to become doctors,” Singer stated. “The nine million New Jersey residents deserve to know that well-trained doctors will be available to serve their health care needs when they need it most.”
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) said that Governor Christie’s proposed changes to teacher tenure will bring a much needed focus on student outcomes to public education:
“Current tenure protections provide no incentives for excellence in the classroom and no consequences for failure,” said Senator Kean. “A system of career promotion based solely on seniority and length of service serves neither the interests of teachers who care about their jobs nor the students who are entitled to a thorough and efficient education. Governor Christie’s proposed tenure reforms are pro-teacher, pro-student, and bring the focus of education policy in New Jersey where it truly belongs- educational outcomes for our children.”
State Senator Diane Allen (R- Burlington), a member of the Senate Education Committee, issued this statement following the release of Governor Christie’s tenure reform proposals:
“I sincerely believe that reforms to teacher tenure must be made, and that those changes must protect our schools from undue political influence, use multiple measures of teacher performance, reward excellence in the classroom, and make it easier to get poorly performing teachers out of the profession. Everyone is in agreement that the system must be changed, even the NJEA.
Lawmakers Will Introduce Three-Bill Package to Protect Public
A package of bills to be introduced by Senator Dawn Marie Addiego, Assemblyman Scott Rudder, and Assemblyman Pat Delany increasing the penalty for misuse of a flashing blue emergency light, establishing a fourth-degree crime for using a vehicle to impersonate a police officer, and providing for fines for selling blue lights to unqualified individuals.
The legislators were motivated by a recent incident in Medford in the 8th District. A teenage female driver was pulled over by a vehicle flashing a blue emergency light, but after she was questioned by the male “officer,” it became apparent that he was not a policeman.
“This is a story that could have had horrible repercussions,” said Senator Addiego. “Drivers of all ages need to be assured that flashing blue lights are used only for legitimate, lawful purposes. Public safety demands the highest level of public confidence.”
Senate Minority Leader Calls for Vote on Governor’s Conditional Veto
“…even if the governor signed the bill, it would not instantly lower property taxes.”
-Asw. Linda Stender (D-Union), The Record, 2/15/2011
“Voters must be allowed to decide whether their towns will keep civil service or chuck it. There is room for a deal on other civil service issues, but not that one.”
–The Star-Ledger, 2/14/2011
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) called on Senate leadership to schedule a vote on Governor Chris Christie’s conditional veto of civil service reform. His call comes on the heels of Democrat admission that their changes to the civil service system will not result in savings for property tax payers:
Senator Gerald Cardinale, the senior Republican member of the Senate Commerce Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Trenton Democrats attitude towards the potential privatization of certain state services:
“I am very disturbed by the attitude exhibited by my colleagues across the aisle on the issue of privatization. When properly done, privatizing certain services can streamline and enhance the delivery of services, while lowering the cost to consumers. The services would be delivered more efficiently at a great benefit to the taxpayer while creating sustainable private sector jobs. This will improve the business climate in New Jersey turning the clock back on initiative like SCR-150 that will hurt job creation.