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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Says Corzine ‘Transparency’ Site Very Weak, Even for a First Effort

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) said he is “beyond frustrated” that Governor Corzine’s ‘transparency’ website isn’t user friendly for taxpayers.

“The site provides only the vaguest information on how government money is spent, and nothing on who gets the taxes and fees collected from state residents,” Pennacchio said. “It also does nothing to help taxpayers track how billions of dollars of federal aid are spent by state and local governments, who gets billions of dollars in aid to schools and municipalities, or how hundreds of millions of dollars in tolls and fees collected by sports, highway, port and bridge authorities are doled out.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Wonders What’s the Rush to Spend Money We Don’t Have

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Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the state Budget and Appropriations Committee, said he was outraged but not surprised by the decision of the Local Finance Board to rush through $121 million in ‘Special’ Municipal Aid grants.

“In past years, the board awarded these grants in April or May,” Oroho said. “Clearly, the Corzine administration is afraid that this process would not survive the scrutiny of a new governor who demands people play by the rules when handing out taxpayer money.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Tom Kean Praises Martin, Schundler and Governor-Elect Christie

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean hailed Governor-elect Christie’s selection of Bob Martin as Environmental Protection Commissioner and former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler as Education Commissioner. These Cabinet-level positions are among the most important positions in the state, and Christie has chosen well, Senator Kean said.

“With these nominations, Governor Christie again has demonstrated his deep understanding of the most important needs of our state and his willingness to wholeheartedly embrace the change we need in Trenton,” Senator Kean said.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Outraged that Corzine Was Allowed to Boost Deficit by $121 Million

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Senator Steve Oroho, Republican member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, said he was outraged that the Joint Budget Oversight Committee approved Governor Corzine’s last-minute deal to give $121 million to just five, chronically mismanaged cities.

“The governor is spending $121 million the state just doesn’t have, and he is spending it on cities that have demonstrated year after frustrating year that they can’t be trusted with taxpayers’ money,” Oroho said. “Governor Corzine has provided zero evidence that this is the best way to spend these precious dollars during the worst economic downturn in 80 years.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho: Tomorrow’s Outrageous Giveaways Through Unaccountable Special Municipal Aid Program

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Last Minute Giveaways of Tens of Millions of Dollars to Favored Towns by Corzine Breaks Back of State Budget and Comes at Time of School Aid Cuts

Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, is condemning Governor Corzine’s planned giveaway tomorrow of tens of millions of dollars to the politically connected municipalities of Camden, Paterson, Union City, and Bridgeton through the arbitrary and mismanaged Special Municipal Aid Program. Award of aid to the towns has been scheduled for a vote at tomorrow’s meeting of the Local Finance Board at the Department of Community Affairs at 10 AM.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Tom Kean

Pennacchio, Kean Urge Governor Corzine to Speak Up for Transparency in Government

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, prime sponsor of the Transparency in Government Act, and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean urged Governor Jon Corzine to use all his influence to help win passage of the Transparency in Government Act during the lame-duck session. This bill, which is also sponsored by Senate President Richard Codey, will create a searchable, easy-to-use Web site that taxpayers can use to track government spending. Governor Corzine has said in the past that he supports this bill, which cleared the Senate State Government Committee today.

“It’s been more than a year since I introduced this vitally needed legislation, yet without a full court press from Democrat leaders, its passage is far from assured during this session,” Pennacchio said. “Governor Corzine needs to use all his influence to help push this through a Legislature controlled by his party.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck, O’Scanlon & Casagrande: Thrilled at the News that Sean Goldman Is Finally Coming Home

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The 12th District Legislators are thrilled with the recent announcement that Brazil’s top justice announced his decision that Sean Goldman should be returned to his father, David Goldman. Below is a statement from Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, who have advocated on David Goldman’s behalf in his on-going struggle to bring his son home after he was abducted by his Brazilian mother in 2004 and taken to Brazil:

“This most recent decision by Brazilian Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes is the culmination of years or hard work and struggle by so many people especially David Goldman and Rep. Chris Smith, who took on David’s mission as his own. It’s so heartening to see that justice is being served and that David will soon have his son home after so many years without him.

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Senator Gerald Cardinale

Cardinale Says Pascack Valley Hospital Should Be Allowed to Create Jobs, Lower Health Costs

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Senator Gerald Cardinale, R-Bergen, said the state Health Department should stop playing politics, help consumers and boost the economy by letting Hackensack University Medical Center re-open Pascack Valley Hospital.

“The most vocal opponents of Pascack Valley are well-paid executives of hospitals that don’t want a competitor cutting into their profits,” Cardinale said. “Consumers know competition is the best way to improve quality and lower the cost of health care in their communities.”

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Senator Joe Kyrillos

Kyrillos Pleased that Abducted Child Closer to Coming Home from Brazil

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Father Waged 5-Year Custody Battle

Senator Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement today after a Brazilian court ruled that David Goldman’s son be returned to him after a 5-year custody battle. Goldman has been seeking custody of his son, Sean, who was taken to Brazil in 2004 by his now deceased mother and never returned. Lawyers on both sides agreed there is still a chance for the Brazilian family to appeal, though the chances of success are slight.

“I am pleased, that after 5 years, Brazil’s Chief Justice has decided to do what is morally and legally right, based on the tenets of the Hague convention. Now Sean Goldman is one step closer to being returned to the loving arms of his Dad, his only living parent. This has been a long time coming, and I am overjoyed for David, Sean and the entire Goldman family.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Thanks Franklin Templeton for Listening, Giving Parents a Break

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Senator Joe Pennacchio congratulated Franklin Templeton Investments on its announcement of a more than 50 percent reduction in fees to parents who invest in the NJBest college savings plan. Franklin Templeton manages the state plan.

In April, Senator Pennacchio was the first state legislator to call attention, through news releases and with questioning during Senate hearings, to a Morningstar report that ranked NJBest as one of the five worst 529 college savings plans in the nation. Morningstar said the fund had high fees and overly risky investment choices. Senator Pennacchio’s crusade for working parents included meeting with Franklin Templeton representatives, who promised him they would come up with a better plan and institute it as soon as it could get it through the state bureaucracy.

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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

Kevin O'Toole

District 40

Steven Oroho

District 24

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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