Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) that she will not seek re-election to the New Jersey Senate:
“Diane Allen has been a fierce fighter for the women and children of New Jersey, a trusted leader in our caucus, and a true friend to me personally.
“Her many accomplishments are too numerous to count, and her resolve and dedication to address issues of importance for the people of New Jersey have been unmatched.
“It’s not possible to sum up a career as distinguished as Diane’s in a few words, or to adequately voice the respect she has earned from all of her colleagues in the Legislature.
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) issued the following statement announcing that she will not seek re-election to the New Jersey Senate:
“It has always been my intention to run for another term in the New Jersey Senate; however, over the last few weeks I have come to realize I must face some health issues that I have been trying to ignore. Consequently, with my family’s support, I have decided to make this term my last and 2017 my last year in office.
Municipal master plans would now be required to include strategies concerning energy efficiency, storm resiliency and environmental protection under a bill sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and advanced by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. The strategy required under the bill would be located within the land use section of the master plan.
“Every municipality should be actively working to improve energy efficiency and shore up our environmental infrastructure,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “As the most densely populated state in the nation, we have to be aggressive in our efforts to protect the environment. Requiring every master plan to address sustainability issues will ensure each community is doing their part to safeguard natural resources for the next generation.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) to help homeless individuals during severe weather events was advanced by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“We’re in the middle of winter, and we’ve already seen some frigid temperatures,” Senator Kean said. “We cannot leave our most vulnerable residents to fend for themselves in the harsh winter weather.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Ocean) to help individuals with special needs live more independent lives was advanced by the Senate Health Committee.
“Individuals with special needs can live normal lives. They just need a chance,” Senator Singer said. “I think we can give them that chance by providing them more opportunities for housing in assisted living facilities across the state.”
Amid growing public safety concerns among communities, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are calling for action on their legislation (S-253 and A-1142) to require that county prosecutors determine a sexual offender’s risk of re-offense, or tier, prior to the inmate’s release from incarceration. Prosecutors classify sex offenders in one of three tiers based on the degree of risk they pose to the public: low risk (Tier 1), moderate risk (Tier 2), or high risk (Tier 3).
The 9th District delegation’s request comes in response to an incident in Little Egg Harbor in which an already convicted sex offender had been released on bail, despite the objections of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, following new accusations of attempting solicit sexual favors from a minor. The delegation issued the following statement on the need for a public hearing on their sexual offender legislative initiative:
“For Megan’s Law to be as effective as possible, the state needs to correct an inherent system flaw preventing sex offenders from being tiered until they’ve been released into our communities.
The following editorial by Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) on the legislative debate on pay equity legislation was published by NJ.com on January 27, 2017:
Everyone agrees that women deserve equal pay for equal work. Thankfully, both state and federal law already prohibit wage discrimination on the basis of an employee’s gender, as they rightly should.
Those prohibitions are explicit in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, as well as in New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination.
Further, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act signed by former President Barack Obama in 2009 set the modern standard for how to address pay inequities experienced by women.
Senate Republicans Steven Oroho, Mike Doherty and Sam Thompson issued the following statement on the first meeting of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness. As committee members, the senators are working on a bipartisan basis to examine the state’s broken school funding system – a major component of New Jersey’s property tax crisis.
“This committee to examine school funding reform was created on a bipartisan basis, and I am encouraged by the fact that we seem to share a common goal,” Senator Doherty (R-Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset) said. I’ve had a constitutional amendment in since 2011 to make school funding as equitable as possible. I’ve been in this fight to restore fairness to school funding and provide property tax relief to residents for years. Our taxpayers and our children deserve no less.”
“Our flawed school funding formula creates inequities that hurt students and taxpayers alike,” Senator Steven Oroho (R–Sussex, Warren, Morris) said. “I am hopeful that this committee will not limit itself to making slight adjustments to the current formula or just look to throw more money at the problem when we already spend near the top nationally in state aid per pupil. We simply cannot address high property taxes without enacting more comprehensive school funding reform.”
“Finding solutions to fix New Jersey’s inequitable school aid formula is critical to easing the property tax burden for our residents, especially those who reside in one of the many woefully underfunded school districts in suburban and rural communities throughout the state,” Senator Thompson (R-Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington) said. “I am committed to working diligently with my fellow committee members to finally deliver long-awaited and much needed school funding reform.”
The following editorial by Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) on the impact that a New Jersey Suprement Court ruling on affordable housing will have on taxpayers and open space was published in the Star-Ledger on January 27, 2017:
Providing enough affordable housing for people in need is one of the most important issues we face in this state. The constant string of misguided court decisions has done nothing but create confusion for our towns.
Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a ruling that could be devastating to taxpayers.