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Senator Tom Kean

Video: Senator Tom Kean on Protecting Unemployment Insurance Funds

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Senator Tom Kean released a video discussing the importance of SCR-60, legislation which would protect the state unemployment insurance funds that workers depend on when they lose a job or fall ill.

Click here to view the video.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Responds to Senator Menendez on Health Care

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The following statement was released by State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) regarding the government takeover of health care:

“Senator Menendez, rather than showing facts to defend his support of the government takeover of health care chose instead to describe opposition as ‘fearful, partisan tactics.’ The Senator failed to mention that it is within his party’s power, the Democrats, to enact this legislation now. Unlike himself, it is ‘moderate’ members of his own party who are expressing the same concerns with this legislation as have I and countless New Jersey citizens.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bill Extending Appraisal for Green Acres and Farmland Preservation Clears Senate Budget Committee

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Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the passage of S-1875 which would extend the expiration date of special appraisal process for Green Acres and farmland preservation programs from 2009 to 2014.

“This is a fundamental issue of fairness. The landowners in the Highlands region were given assurances that they would be fairly compensated for the value of their land that was dramatically reduced in value by the implementation of the 2004 Highlands Act. In many cases, red tape and time delays hampered the ability of property owners from filing for consideration under the dual appraisal provision of the Highlands Act.

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Senator Diane Allen
Senator Tom Kean

Tom Kean & Diane Allen Express Disappointment that NJ Has Not Applied for Federal Education Grants

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Diane Allen, both members of the Senate Education Committee, expressed disappointment that New Jersey is woefully unprepared to apply for federal “Race to the Top” education grants. Published reports indicate that the state Department of Education ceased working on the application in mid-November. The deadline for the grant application is January 19, 2010.

“It is disappointing that the state Department of Education will be unable to complete the grant application by the deadline,” Kean stated. “I believe, especially in our current fiscal situation, it is imperative to make every effort to apply for all of the federal aid for which we are eligible. Remember, New Jersey only gets back 61 cents of every dollar we send to Washington. To refuse to apply for a $200 million to $400 million education grant is simply inexcusable.”

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Assemblyman Brian Rumpf
Senator Chris Connors

Committee Advances Connors/Rumpf Measure to Establish Stable Funding Source for Island Beach State Program

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors and Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf to establish a dedicated funding source for the interpretive program at Island Beach State Park advanced through the Senate Environment Committee today. The Park’s interpretive program is an educational resource that describes the Island’s natural history through tours and activities.

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Senator Diane Allen

Allen Bill Lets New Jerseyans Help Their Military Families

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Senator Diane Allen, R-7, advanced her bill allowing taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to help members of the military and their families. The New Jersey Military Family Relief Fund would be financed with voluntary contributions from taxpayers. Taxpayers would be asked, as they file their tax returns, if they want to include a contribution or dedicate a portion of a refund to help military families in need of assistance.

“This bill makes it easy for good-hearted, patriotic people to help the most deserving families in our state deal with the stresses of overseas deployment and long terms of duty,” Senator Allen said. “It costs taxpayers nothing unless they donate, and it could mean the world to a military family that is making tremendous sacrifices for every American citizen.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

SCI Report Details Tens of Millions of Waste & Abuse at Local Government Level

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Senators Bill Baroni and Jennifer Beck, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Kevin O’Toole, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, commented today on a report issued by the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) detailing waste and abuse at the local government level.

“The examples of waste and abuse of taxpayers dollars detailed in this report are appalling,” Beck stated. “The examples of abuse are widespread and cross partisan lines. Sadly it seems that some local officials are not interested in being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

New Law Sponsored by Senator Doherty Helps Small Towns

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Two-Year Extension for Recycling Coordinator Certification

Senator Michael Doherty, R-Warren/Hunterdon, said he is pleased that his legislation giving municipalities a two-year extension on requirements to train a certified recycling coordinator has been signed into law.

“Many recycling coordinators are volunteers or part-time employees who get little or no extra pay for ensuring that their towns are in compliance with recycling laws,” Doherty stated. “A recession is the wrong time to force cash-strapped towns to pay the extra expense of training and increased compensation to meet new certification requirements.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Bill Banning Raids on Unemployment Fund Advances

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s bill calling for a constitutional amendment to end raids on the state unemployment insurance fund advanced today in the Assembly Labor Committee. The bill calls for a statewide referendum on whether the state should be able to balance its budget or finance unrelated spending by raiding funds collected solely by taxes taken from employers or employees’ paychecks.

Past raids have forced the state to borrow more than $1 billion to pay unemployment claims during this recession,” Senator Kean said. “Continuing deficits caused by raids on the unemployment fund will lead either to more borrowing or calls for job-killing tax increases on employers. Senate Concurrent Resolution 60 should be sent to voters as soon as possible.”

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Senator Joe Kyrillos

Kyrillos: Trenton Must Listen to Pleas of Discouraged Business Owners

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Senator Joe Kyrillos, senior Republican on the Senate Economic Growth Committee, noted the New Jersey Business and Industry Association’s annual survey of current economic conditions shows business owners don’t believe that recovery will come in 2010. More importantly, survey respondents gave “record low marks to New Jersey as a place for expansion of their business facilities.”

“It’s time for Trenton to listen and respond to the pleas of the beleaguered business owners that New Jersey depends on to create jobs and economic growth,” Kyrillos said. “Business owners not only expect no growth in 2010 – business people are saying that New Jersey is a bad place to grow if they could expand.”

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Diane Allen

District 7

Kip Bateman

District 16

Jennifer Beck

District 11

Anthony Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Joe Kyrillos

District 13

Steven Oroho

District 24

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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