Senate Committees advanced a trio of bills sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to enhance public safety and help military veterans.
The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committees passed to the full Senate S-1560, to enhance the New Jersey State Police with military veterans.
“The people of New Jersey can be better protected and served if the State Police has a clear path to hire more military veterans,” Bucco said. “With their vast and profound experiences in dangerous, life threatening and fast-paced environments, military veterans become some of the best law enforcement officers. Our heroes and heroines are just what the State Police needs right now to help address historic levels of turnover.”
The Senate Republican members of the Budget & Appropriation Committee — Jennifer Beck, Anthony Bucco, Steven Oroho, Kevin O’Toole and Sam Thompson — joined in support of options to avoid $1.7 billion in tax and fee increases proposed for the FY15 New Jersey state budget.
“We oppose the Senate Democrats plan to raise taxes by $1.6 billion. It is not a workable plan for the people of New Jersey, and for similar reasons, we oppose $137 million in tax and fee increases proposed in the governor’s budget and supported by Senate Democrats.
“The federal tax increases on families and small business owners have already caused a state revenue shortfall, to the detriment of New Jersey’s workforce. The Senate Democrats’ proposal to raise taxes by $1.6 billion will damage our economic viability regionally, nationally and internationally.
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) praised the New Jersey Senate’s approval of new legislation, A-3424, capping the annual salary increases that may be awarded by arbitrators during contract disputes between public employers and their police and fire departments.
“Arbitration caps limiting salary increases are a critical element that make possible New Jersey’s two-percent property tax cap, which has succeeded in drastically lowering the rate of property tax increases in recent years,” said Doherty. “Without this agreement, we’d likely return to the massive annual property tax increases of the McGreevey and Corzine years.”
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) voted against the reconfirmation of New Jersey Supreme Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and the confirmation of Lee Solomon as a justice of the Supreme Court, saying their approval will only result in the maintenance of a liberal, left-leaning court.
“It is the Supreme Court’s refusal to respect clear constitutional boundaries that has resulted in judicial decrees that have locked the state into a spiral of failure at taxpayer expense,” said Doherty. “The Senate’s approval of these nominees will only ensure the continuance of failed education funding and affordable housing policies that the court has mandated, and preserve a judicial culture that respects neither voters nor taxpayers.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris) released the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court confirmations of Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and Judge Lee Solomon.
“For years some of us have challenged our Supreme Court for its over-reaching judicial activism. I take very serious our separate but equal creed. I take more serious our founding fathers’ principle that all of us were created equally.
“Historically, this court has legislated school funding beyond our constitutional and legislative intent. This has lead to 22% of our state’s children receiving 60% of our states education funds. Unfortunately, the remaining funds must be divided by 80% of our students. When it comes to school funding this court has determined that the most important variable in school funding is a child’s zip code.
The New Jersey Senate will hold a voting session on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. in the New Jersey State House Senate Chambers to consider the following bills.
|A3424||Police ff interest arbiration-revise law||2RS||6/16/2014|
|S1860||Rutgers bd. of gov.-incr. voting memb.||2RS||6/12/2014|
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco presented options to eliminate approximately $1.7 billion in tax and fee increases proposed for the FY15 state budget.
“Senate Republicans believe that budget negotiations should steer sharply away from dozens of tax and fee increases,” said Kean (R-Union). “We support 99 percent of the Governor’s proposed budget, but believe that there is a better way to finish the document than raising so many costs on New Jerseyans and job creators.
“We are not surprised and we will absolutely not support the Senate Democrats’ proposals to raise $1.6 billion in taxes on those who pay the most to fund critical public services, which would drastically decrease state revenues and put middle-class public pensioners out of work,” Kean said.
Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement against the Senate Democrats proposal to increase taxes in the FY15 budget by $1.6 billion:
“This $1.6 billion tax-raising proposal represents an all-time low — on a day that the Feds sharply cut economic growth forecasts — despite the fact that Trenton Democrats managed to raise 115 taxes and fees during their last decade of total control.
“Earth to Senate Democrats: Your addiction to tax increases costs people in the public- and private-sectors their jobs and jeopardizes the state’s ability to fund critical public services.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean is excited to unveil “Senate Republican Solutions to Make New Jersey the Place to Be” (website link below).
“I am proud and excited to announce today on behalf of the caucus, Senate Republican solutions to make New Jersey the place to live, grow, work, vacation and retire,” Kean said. “New Jersey is at its best when three generations of families can afford to grow together and improve our state.”
This announcement comes as Kean and Senate Republicans are working to eliminate higher taxes and fees in the upcoming, FY15 state budget, and as just a handful of Senate sessions remain to accomplish meaningful reforms before the legislative summer recess.
The following editorial by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) on the need for further teacher tenure reform in New Jersey was published in the The Record on June 17:
A JUNE 10 California court ruling that teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional and violate students’ rights to quality education signals the need for further education reforms in New Jersey and other states across the country.
New Jersey was the first state to pass tenure legislation more than 100 years ago, and despite bipartisan reforms enacted two years ago, many antiquated state education laws still persist.
In 2012, the Legislature and Governor Christie compromised to pass a bipartisan reform law, addressing teacher tenure and the teacher dismissal process. Although it was a good first step, that effort came up short because public teachers’ unions had enough influence over the Legislature to preserve policies such as “last-in, first-out.”