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Senator Anthony Bucco

Bucco Bill Honoring New Jersey Residents Entering Service Academies

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The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris and Somerset) which would require New Jersey’s Adjutant General to issue the State flag to residents enrolled in a federal service academy.

Sen. Anthony Bucco’s bill would require the Adjutant General to issue the State flag to residents enrolled in a federal service academy. (©iStock)

“It’s no small thing to make a commitment to enter one of our nation’s esteemed service academies,” Bucco stated. “It’s fitting for us to recognize the accomplished young men and women who dedicate themselves to careers serving and protecting our state and nation.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Files OPRA Complaint as Murphy Admin Withholds Public Financial Records

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Says Secrecy Preventing Proper Review of Murphy’s Massive Budget & Tax Increase Plans

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said the administration of Governor Phil Murphy has failed to comply with the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA) by improperly withholding readily available public financial documents that were requested more than 45 days ago from the Treasury Department.

Sen. Tom Kean filed a Government Records Council complaint seeking access to State financial documents that the Murphy Administration is withholding from legislators engaged in the budget review process. (SenateNJ.com)

The charge was made today in a complaint filed by Kean with the Government Records Council (GRC), the State entity responsible for adjudicating complaints related to the denial of access to public agency records. Kean said Treasury officials have granted themselves multiple extensions to delay responding to the OPRA request with information that he believes is critical to informing legislators engaged in budget and tax deliberations.

Click here to download the complaint. (Note: the PDF file will not display in browsers, it must be downloaded and opened in Adobe Acrobat Reader)

“Senate Republicans submitted an OPRA request to the Treasury Department in April to obtain documents detailing New Jersey’s finances that have already been provided to Wall Street,” said Kean. “We’re concerned that the Murphy Administration’s repeated failure to provide any responsive documents is a deliberate effort to force legislators to vote on nearly $2 billion of tax increases proposed by the Governor without the disclosure of relevant budget information. With our June 30th deadline for adopting a new State budget rapidly approaching, we were left with no choice but to file a complaint today to obtain access to the public records that will allow us to perform our constitutionally mandated duties.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bill to Help Utilities Trim Trees to Prevent Power Outages Passes Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to ensure the ability of electric utility companies to trim branches and trees around power lines to prevent unnecessary outages has passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee. Oroho said that following repeated lengthy power outages this past winter as well as several other recent storms, it’s imperative to eliminate bureaucratic red tape that might prevent utilities from conducting preventative vegetation maintenance that can decrease the frequency and length of power outages.

Sen. Steven Oroho’s legislation to ensure the ability of electric utility companies to trim branches and trees around power lines to prevent unnecessary outages has passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee. (Flickr)

“Having consistent, dependable power is paramount to New Jersey families, particularly during nasty weather conditions,” Oroho (R-24) said. “Overgrown trees and shrubs often tend to be the culprits when your power goes out during a storm. Removing some of the bureaucracy will help utility companies to engage in the preventative maintenance that’s needed to guarantee access to lifesaving utilities regardless of the elements.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Legislation to Prevent and Address Teacher Sexual Misconduct Passes Committee

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Senator Joe Pennacchio’s legislation requiring schools to establish policies to keep students safe from sexual abuse has passed the Senate Education Committee.  This follows a recent scandal in which teachers’ union representatives were caught on video saying they “bend the truth” to “defend the worst people,” and boasted of covering up a teacher’s sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s legislation requiring schools to establish policies to keep students safe from sexual abuse has passed the Senate Education Committee. (SenateNJ.com)

“We all know that the overwhelming majority of New Jersey teachers want what’s best for our students,” Pennacchio (R-26) said. “However, we have proof that serious accusations of teacher sexual misconduct are being brushed under the rug. Empowering our New Jersey educators to better spot the warning signs of abuse and enacting new prevention techniques will help keep our kids safe in school.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Bill Requiring Witnesses to Notify Authorities of Child Sexual Abuse Passes Committee

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Senator Kip Bateman’s legislation requiring witnesses of child sexual abuse to notify law enforcement officials has passed the Senate Education Committee.

Sen. Kip Bateman’s legislation requiring witnesses of child sexual abuse to notify law enforcement officials has passed the Senate Education Committee. (Flickr)

“It is nauseating when adults know that child abuse is occurring, yet they fail in their moral duty to take the appropriate steps to end it,” Bateman (R-16) stated. “This legislation requires witnesses to notify law enforcement authorities of these obscene violations immediately. This is crucial to keep our children safe in school.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Kristin Corrado

Bucco /Corrado Bill to Protect Students by Expanding Background Checks for All School Employees Passes Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) and Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40) that would require all public school employees to undergo a Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background check has passed the Senate Education Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Bucco and Senator Corrado would require CARI background checks for all public school employees. (©iStock)

“How many of our teachers, camp counselors, cafeteria workers, and school employees have histories of child abuse?” Senator Bucco asked. “The scary truth is that under New Jersey’s current laws, we just don’t know. We should learn the answer to that question before something bad happens. We must require all school employees who have regular contact with students to undergo CARI checks.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Thrilled Sports Betting Signed

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Says We Cannot Lose Focus

Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) praised Governor Murphy for finally signing legislation regulation sports betting:

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon praised Gov. Phil Murphy for finally signing into law legislation regulation sports betting in New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)

“This was the right choice for Monmouth Park, and for New Jersey. The equine industry is vital to our tourism and the preservation of thousands of acres of open space in New Jersey. It’s disappointing that we were unable to capture such a huge weekend for sports betting. However, hopefully this process will inform future efforts between the Governor’s Office and the Legislature so that together we can move things forward more efficiently when time is of the essence.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Sweeney-Oroho P3 Bill Advances

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Committee Approves Measure for Building & Highway Projects

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Steve Oroho permitting government entities to enter into public-private partnership agreements with private entities for undertaking building and highway infrastructure projects advanced out of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today.

The bill, S-865, provides for oversight of these agreements by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho and Sen. Pres. Steve Sweeney permitting government entities to enter into public-private partnership agreements with private entities for undertaking building and highway infrastructure projects advanced out of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. (SenateNJ)

“Public-private partnerships will pave the way for innovative and sustainable infrastructure in New Jersey,” Oroho (R-24) said. “Governments on the local, county, and state levels should be permitted flexibility in financing their capital needs given proper oversight.  These partnerships are an important way to stretch scarce public dollars to complete needed projects that will benefit our residents and create jobs and economic growth.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Advanced: O’Scanlon Legislation Improving Asset Forfeiture Transparency Passes Budget Committee

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon’s legislation expanding transparency and reporting requirements of assets seized by law enforcement has been approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon’s legislation expanding transparency and reporting requirements of assets seized by law enforcement has been approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. (SenateNJ)

“Accountability is paramount when law enforcement agencies seize assets from people, including homes and cars, which may have been utilized in illegal activity,” O’Scanlon (R-13) said. “We need to balance efforts to remove instruments employed in criminal activity with the property rights of owners. It can be extremely difficult for the owner to regain possession of a seized asset, even if no wrongdoing has been proven. Requiring the regular reporting of seized assets will improve transparency to ensure that the process of asset forfeiture isn’t abused.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty/Sweeney Bill to Improve the Efficiency of County Government Passes Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Michael Doherty and Senate President Steve Sweeney to make government more efficient by allowing counties to share tax administrators has passed the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Michael Doherty and Sen. President Steve Sweeney to make government more efficient by allowing counties to share tax administrators has passed the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

“This will encourage government efficiency through shared services,” said Senator Sweeney. “It can produce cost savings for county government and the taxpayers. Sharing a tax administrator will improve access to information, allowing one official to gain a broader perspective of the tax equalization, revision, review, and enforcement policies.”

“The number one concern of New Jersey residents is affordability,” Doherty (R-23) said. “Allowing counties to share tax administrators with excess capacity will produce tangible savings for New Jersey’s overburdened taxpayers. We should continue to explore every opportunity to help local governments to share services and reduce costs.”

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Steven Oroho

District 24

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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