Following the April 3 NJ Transit train derailment, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. released the following statement reaffirming his support for investing in the Gateway Project, and other infrastructure projects benefiting New Jersey commuters.
The April 3 derailment occurred less than two weeks after a NJ Transit train was sideswiped by a derailed Amtrak train at New York Penn Station.
“NJ Transit riders cannot afford any more major disruptions that put their safety and their job security at risk,” Senator Kean (R-Union) said. “The Gateway Tunnel would provide one-seat rides to Manhattan on every NJ Transit rail line, alleviate congestion and ensure that New Jersey commuters reach their destination safely and without delay.
“There seems to be a bipartisan agreement among State and Federal legislators that investing in transportation infrastructure projects is critical to creating jobs and securing longterm economic growth, not to mention protecting the thousands of tri-state area commuters who rely on mass transit. Two train derailments in fewer than two weeks should be enough to make this a top priority.”
In support of veterans across of the state, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove want to raise awareness that April 9th through 15th of each year is New Jersey POW-MIA Week of Remembrance.
The State Week of Remembrance was established through bipartisan legislation authored by the 9th District Legislative Delegation signed into law in June of 2005. The Delegation’s intent was to pay public tribute to the thousands of men and women who have suffered as prisoners of war or who remain missing in action.
Following recent reports that New Jersey Congressmen Chris Smith and Albio Sires have begun a new effort to pass legislation that seeks the return of fugitives abroad, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Passaic, Morris, Essex) again called for the return of convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard from Cuba.
“We must do everything we can to ensure Joanne Chesimard pays her debt to society,” Pennacchio. “She killed a state trooper in cold blood, but she’s spent more than 30 years living free in communist Cuba.”
Senator Jennifer Beck’s (R-Monmouth) Sandy foreclosure protection legislation, which was signed by the Governor last month, has been put into effect by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
“I’ve heard from Sandy-impacted homeowners how much of a financial burden it is to attempt to float mortgage and rental payments while trying to rebuild.” Beck said “To the greatest extent possible, we should be trying to remove the barriers stopping these families from finally getting back home.”
DCA has contacted all FEMA and RREM/LMI recipients who might be eligible.
Senators Jennifer Beck (R-11), Michael Doherty (R-23) and Joe Kyrillos (R-13) sent letters today inviting Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to join their effort to achieve vacation and sick leave reform.
Their invitation follows the publication of a story by NJ Spotlight today putting the total accumulated liability of towns, counties, and school districts for unused sick and vacation time at nearly $1.9 billion.
In the letter, the senators note that New Jersey residents pay the highest property taxes in the nation, and highlight the bipartisan effort to enact the two-percent cap in 2010.
“When few people thought it was possible, Republicans and Democrats in both houses of the Legislature came together to pass the property tax cap,” said Doherty. “That was a good demonstration of what’s possible, but much more remains to be done. Ending the sick and vacation leave payout abuses that contribute to our state’s property tax crisis should be low-hanging fruit that we can accomplish together if given the opportunity.”
Senate Republicans Propose School Funding Reforms to Improve Opportunities for Students, Provide Property Tax Relief for Families
Proposals Eliminate Abuses, Establish More Equitable Funding for Overlooked Students in Underfunded Districts
In an effort to improve educational opportunities for New Jersey students and provide real property tax relief to overburdened families, New Jersey Senate Republicans released a series of school funding reform proposals as the starting point for discussions on the replacement of the state’s failed school funding system.
“Senate Republicans want to fix the broken school funding formula that has failed too many students and devastated middle-class property taxpayers,” said Kean. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves to negotiate a funding formula that works, and we’re prepared to come to the table with detailed solutions that we believe will improve educational opportunities statewide and make New Jersey more affordable.”
During his Budget Message last month, Governor Christie challenged the legislative leaders of both parties to join with him to work on a new funding formula to replace the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA).
Oroho & Space Honor Sussex County Recovery Coaches, Local Law Enforcement for Efforts to Combat Addiction Crisis
Senator Steven Oroho and Assemblyman Parker Space (both R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) released the following statement in commemoration of the First Anniversary of the establishment of the Sussex County Community Law Enforcement Addiction Recovery Program (CLEAR).
Senator Oroho and Assemblyman Space were in attendance at a press conference marking the first anniversary of the establishment at Sussex County CLEAR. The event was held on March 29, 2017 at the Newton Municipal Building in Newton, New Jersey.
“Sussex County has not been immune to the opioid epidemic tearing apart families across New Jersey,” said Senator Oroho, who is a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Prevention and Counseling. “There were 36 overdose deaths in our area last year. Sussex County CLEAR has been instrumental in responding to this growing crisis. Its success has given our community an immeasurable amount of hope during this difficult time.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) designed to reduce the burden on property taxpayers and improve roads, bridges, and rail safety was signed today by Governor Chris Christie.
“With this legislation in place, we can now move forward on crucial transportation projects that are in need of attention without putting the burden on local property taxpayers,” Senator Oroho said. “The funding of our TTF is so important because a sound, well-maintained transportation infrastructure is key to our state’s economic vitality, it brings needed jobs and will continue to ensure the safety of the traveling public.”
Beck Calls on Senate to Pass “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” to Protect Victims from Contractor Fraud
Makes 6th Request for Bill to Be Considered Following New Report by APP Highlighting Gaps in Sandy Consumer Protections
Following an Asbury Park Press report highlighting the severe difficulties some victims of Superstorm Sandy have faced when dealing with home contractors, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) renewed her call for the New Jersey Senate to pass S-532, the “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act.” Since the bill was introduced, Beck has made five written requests to legislative leaders, and more by email and in person, for the bill to advance.
Beck, the sponsor of the legislation, has prepared new letters to Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo requesting that a hearing be scheduled for S-532.
The “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” would allow the Department of Community Affairs to bar contractors who commit fraud from working in New Jersey and strip them of their licenses. It also would allow the Attorney General to sue on behalf of homeowners for negligence, when they currently can only act in criminal cases. Additionally, in instances where a homeowner was approved for a grant by the State and has made commitments based on that approval, S-532 requires the State to fund the grant even if they later realize the approval was issued in error.
“We’ve heard too many stories of predatory contractors walking away from unfinished Sandy recovery projects after getting paid, and of the State doing little to address complaints or prevent others from becoming new victims,” said Beck. “Sadly, the stories detailed by the Asbury Park Press mirror dozens of others that I’ve heard at the many public and private meetings I’ve held to provide assistance to Sandy victims. The ‘Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act’ was written based on my work with Sandy victims to prevent further harm, and to hold recovery contractors accountable for their work. I’m hopeful that we can continue working on a bipartisan basis in the New Jersey Senate to move these important protections forward.”
Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf, and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have formally requested committee consideration of their legislation that would require the court to consider the results of a domestic violence assessment before dissolving a final restraining order when the defendant has two or more restraining orders against him.
The 9th District delegation’s legislation, S-257/A-1149, would establish a “domestic violence assessment” as an assessment performed by a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or licensed professional counselor with the goal of determining the likelihood that the offender will commit future acts of violence, abuse, or other unacceptable behavior that could pose a threat to the victim, the victim’s family, the victim’s property, or other person identified as being at risk. The defendant would be responsible for the cost of the assessment, which would be considered confidential.
The delegation made the follow remarks on having their legislation posted for a public hearing:
“Despite the considerable efforts of law enforcement and social programs staffed by dedicated personnel, the sad reality is, as statistics clearly show, domestic violence is still pervasive in our society.