Recognizing them for the landmark tax reforms that reduced taxes on retirement income, increased tax savings for the working poor, cut the estate tax and provided long-term funding for the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, the Tax Foundation has honored Senator Paul Sarlo and Senator Steve Oroho with its “Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform” award.
The Tax Foundation, one of the nation’s leading independent tax policy research organizations, providing research, analysis, and advocacy on federal, state, and local tax policies, selects honorees each year who “accomplished extraordinary work to advance the cause of simpler, smarter tax policy.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean was gaveled down by Senate Democrats and called “out of order” for urging the New Jersey Senate to take action on a number of issues of importance to the people of New Jersey.
Senate Democrats later blocked efforts by Senate Republicans to bring the following three bills up for a vote that would address New Jersey’s crisis of affordability and help to rebuild residents’ trust in government.
- S-1557 (Beck) – Provides full forfeiture of pension of elected or appointed official convicted of any crime touching office.
- S-1888 (Doherty) – Establishes State Transportation Cost Analysis Task Force.
- S-2554 (Kyrillos) – Sets level for health care benefits; requires employee contributions; prohibits reimbursement of Medicare Part B; adds member to SHBP/SEHBP plan design committees; requires retirees to purchase health care through exchanges.
Included below are the full remarks that Kean was blocked from delivering during the Senate’s floor discussion on S-3:
“In his State of the State address on January 10th, Governor Christie called on the Legislature to pass this critical reform that’s before us today to help battle our state’s growing opioid epidemic.
Legislation (S2477/A4083) sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho and Assemblyman Parker Space Enabling qualifying businesses to get a refund for the excess portion of their Business Employment Incentive Program tax credit was signed today by Gov. Chris Christie.
“These businesses signed agreements with the state under BEIP to move or expand here with the understanding that they would receive these grants,” said Oroho (R-Sussex). “We’ve already passed legislation that allows them to convert their grants into tax credits, but this now gives insurance companies the same opportunities that other businesses have to get a refund on those credits.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho to protect consumers from price gouging during a natural disaster and support small businesses following a state of emergency declaration is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie.
“The protections we put in place will deter businesses from taking advantage of consumers during a natural disaster by spiking prices for necessities, such as gasoline and groceries,” Senator Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) said. “This bill will ensure business won’t be put at a disadvantage because of the inflexibility of the current protocol, while still protecting consumers from price gouging tactics that threaten their welfare and safety.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to speed up the process of getting a commercial driver license by using private third-party vendors to administer the test is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie.
“Companies are always looking to hire new drivers, but because we have trouble keeping up with that demand because of the long wait to get a CDL,” Senator Oroho said. “We have a huge backlog of drivers just waiting to start working. This will help speed up the process of getting a CDL so we can get these people trained and on the road.”
Following today’s public hearing, Senators Joe Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck (both R-Monmouth) urged state officials and agencies to reject an unnecessary power line project that has been fiercely opposed by residents of Monmouth County.
“These unsightly power lines would cut through some of Monmouth County’s most significant historic districts and most beautiful natural landscapes,” Senator Kyrillos said. “This project is no more welcome now than it was when it was first proposed 25 years ago. Residents have made it clear both in written correspondence, as well as at public meetings, that they do not want these power lines. We believe that the state should take these objections seriously and reject this project.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to track and address chronic absenteeism at New Jersey’s public schools was advanced by the Senate Education Committee.
“Students that repeatedly miss school aren’t getting the education they deserve,” Senator Allen said. “They fall behind their classmates and suffer serious setbacks in their studies that can have a significant effect on their future success. We need to make attendance a top priority, and this legislation helps us do that.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) to expand the list of retired law enforcement officers who are eligible to receive a permit to carry a handgun was advanced by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
“We already allow many retired officers to carry firearms,” Senator Cardinale said. “This measure will give us an extra line of defense to protect the public against violence.”
Singer to Withdraw Legislation Opposed by NJAC that Would Have Helped Counties to Implement Bail Reforms
Senator Says, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”
Senator Robert Singer (R-30) announced that legislation he sponsors to help counties implement recently enacted criminal justice reforms would be withdrawn in response to vocal opposition from the New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC).
“I introduced this legislation to help counties account for the one-time implementation costs that were expected as a result of recently enacted bail reforms,” said Singer. “It seems that no good deed goes unpunished, however. Despite my effort to help our counties, the NJAC doesn’t want the legislative relief that I’ve offered, so I’ll withdraw the bill.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) will next week bring Commissioner of Education Kimberley Harrington to schools in Asbury Park, Long Branch, Freehold Borough, and Red Bank, where the Commissioner will have the opportunity to join Senator Beck on a tour of each school and participate in a discussion on a variety of educational issues with school officials.
“The school officials, Commissioner Harrington, and I will meet with all have different challenges and accomplishments they want to highlight,” Senator Beck said. “Whether it is school funding, literacy, or career readiness each district is different and will have an opportunity to brief Commissioner Harrington on the unique issues impacting their students and schools.”