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.
It's not 'out of order' to urge NJ Senate to act on making the state more affordable & holding gov't accountable https://t.co/YBVloCbPCn
— Senator Tom Kean (@tomkean) February 6, 2017
“Here we are, less than a month later, voting on this bill, which I am proud to sponsor with the Senate President and Senator Vitale.
“The speed with which we’ve moved to answer the governor’s call to help battle addiction shows that this house is capable of moving quickly when its leadership allows us to act.
“We shouldn’t stop here. Let’s show the same willingness to tackle property taxes, and let’s do it quickly.
“Let’s show the same willingness to create opportunities for students and job seekers.
“Let’s show the same willingness to adopt ethics reforms to help restore New Jerseyans’ trust in their government.
“We have bills already introduced that we could vote on today that would help to accomplish each of those goals, if this body’s leadership would allow us to act.
“Instead, we’re only voting on a single bill today that will accomplish something tangible for the people of New Jersey. I must ask, where are the rest?
“We have the opportunity to enact meaningful reforms that would directly impact and improve the lives of every New Jerseyan.
“Let’s not be satisfied with this one real accomplishment that will be advanced by this body today.
“Let’s keep our focus on solving the real problems of the people of New Jersey, and let’s act just as quickly as we’ve shown we can do with the legislation that’s currently before us.”