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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senator Joe Pennacchio

PASSED: Pennacchio Urges Federal Passage of ‘Huntington’s Disease Parity Act’

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Pennacchio: Removing 24-Month Medicare Waiting Period Will Save Lives

A concurrent resolution sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) urges the immediate federal passage of the “Huntington’s Disease Parity Act” has passed the New Jersey Senate.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s  bill urges federal passage of the “Huntington’s Disease Parity Act.” (SenateNJ.com)

“Today, I urge the President and Congress to pass the ‘Huntington’s Disease Parity Act’ immediately,” said Pennacchio. “This Act would waive the 24-month waiting period for Medicare eligibility for our neighbors, family members, and friends who are disabled by Huntington’s disease.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill Creates The Title of ‘Commissioner’ Dropping Outdated ‘Freeholder’ Term

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Pennacchio: Through Change New Jersey is More Inclusive of All Residents Participating In Local Government

Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) allows county governments to adopt the inclusive title of “commissioner,” replacing the pre-revolutionary term of “freeholder” has passed the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s bill would create public awareness of county government positions. (SenateNJ.com)

“County freeholder is not a term known to many New Jerseyans,” said Pennacchio. “Allowing counties to adopt the name of ‘county commissioner’ while replacing ‘freeholder’ will increase public awareness and bring county government into the 21st century.”

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District 9

Connors-Rumpf-Gove Move to Protect Veteran Property Tax Exemption Status for Homes Destroyed by Natural Disasters

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Legislation introduced by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would continue the tax exempt status of property owned by a 100 percent disabled veteran whose home has been destroyed by flood, storm event, natural cause, or other act of God was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Legislation by Connors, Rumpf & Gove would continue the tax exempt status of property owned by a 100 percent disabled veteran whose home has been destroyed by flood, storm event, natural cause, or other act of God. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)

Under current law, 100 percent disabled veterans of this State may claim a full local property tax exemption on their dwelling homes and the ground upon which the respective dwellings are located. In the event of a natural disaster, such as a storm or flood that destroys the dwelling, the property becomes taxable because it is no longer usable as the owner’s residence. The delegation’s legislation would continue the tax exempt status that the prior dwelling house and land enjoyed before its destruction, so long as substantial, ongoing construction is undertaken within four years of the destruction.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Bill Selecting NJ State Reptile Moves Forward

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NJ Students Inspire Effort to Protect Endangered Bog Turtle With State Reptile Designation

The Senate State Government, Waging, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) to designate the bog turtle as New Jersey’s Official State Reptile.

From left: Vita Moss-Wang, a Princeton fifth-grader at Riverside Elementary School, Avi Weiss, a Princeton sixth-grader at John Witherspoon Middle School, Senator Kip Bateman, and Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker before testifying in support of making the endangered bog turtle New Jersey’s Official State Reptile. (SenateNJ.com)

“You used to be able to find bog turtles almost anywhere in New Jersey, but habitat destruction has really taken its toll here,” Senator Bateman said. “We have to act fast before bog turtles are gone from the Garden State forever. I am very grateful to the students at Riverside Elementary and their teacher, Mark Eastburn, for inspiring me to become a fierce advocate for this unique and special creature. Together we will work hard to save New Jersey’s bog turtles from extinction.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Bill Barring NJ Transit from Settling Discrimination Cases in Secret Passes Senate Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Singer to prohibit NJ Transit from settling a discrimination or equal opportunity case, unless the settlement agreement has been approved by the NJ Transit Board of Directors, has passed the Senate Transportation Committee.

Sen. Bob Singer’s bill would prohibit NJ Transit from settling discrimination cases, unless the settlement is approved by the NJT Board of Directors. Between 2012 and 2017, NJT paid more than $12 million in settlement agreements. All but one were related to discrimination cases. (SenateNJ.com)

Between 2012 and 2017, NJ Transit paid more than $12 million in settlement agreements, according to records provided to the Legislature. All but one were related to discrimination cases.

“This bill is about protecting innocent people from unfair settlements and increasing transparency at a state agency – two issues that are of grave importance when it comes to protecting the public trust,” Senator Singer  (R-30) said. “NJ Transit is on thin ice. We need to do everything we can to hold them accountable for how they treat employees and ratepayers, and how they spend taxpayer dollars. Bringing these settlements out of the shadows is a step in the right direction.”

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Senator Kristin Corrado

Corrado: Acting Treasurer Muoio Must Explain Mishandled & Missing Money, Large Tax Increases During Her Time as Freeholder

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Independent Auditor Was Unable to Determine What Happened to $33 Million in State & Federal Grants, Said $475,000 in County Funds “Unlocated”

Senator Kristin M. Corrado (R-40) said a new document provided by the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) raises questions about financial irregularities that occurred during Acting Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio’s time in local government that will need to be answered at her confirmation hearing on Monday.

Sen. Kristin Corrado said that Acting Treasurer Muoio must answer questions at her confirmation hearing about missing and mishandled money during her time as a Mercer County Freeholder. (SenateNJ.com)

“The Senate Judiciary Committee has a responsibility to carefully vet gubernatorial nominees to confirm that they’re qualified and fit for the office to which they’ve been appointed,” said Corrado, a member of the committee. “During our routine research into Acting Treasurer Muoio’s time as a Mercer County Freeholder, we were disturbed to learn that the county could not account for the receipt or appropriate use of $33 million of state and federal grants. Further, we were shocked to learn that hundreds of thousands of dollars went missing, which an independent auditor was unable to locate. Given Acting Treasurer Muoio’s indication to the Judiciary Committee that she worked ‘closely’ on budgets during her time in local office, we’d like to know if she can explain these financial discrepancies that occurred on her watch.”

The OLS memo includes a 2003 audit in which an independent auditor noted “an inability of management” at Mercer County at that time to reconcile accounts receivable, including nearly $22 million of grants authorized by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and more than $11.4 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Endorses Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program

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Says current program has proven results

Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) is calling for the expansion of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon is calling for the expansion of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. (©iStock)

Discussion surrounding marijuana has ramped up following commitments by the Murphy administration and legislature to legalize marijuana. O’Scanlon has been an active part of marijuana discussions; committed to ensuring that only evidence-based and effective policy is passed.

“Based on the experience we have gleaned from the careful rollout of our Medicinal Marijuana program and the protocols put in place by the Christie administration, we now know a number of things. First, it is indeed possible to implement a medically precise marijuana program. Second, marijuana is an extremely effective drug that can supplant other, much more highly addictive, opioid medications. Lastly, it is the right time to expand our program,” O’Scanlon stated. “My staff and I have toured cannabis facilities in both Colorado and Nevada. We’ve seen what an expanded medicinal program looks like and it’s not something to fear.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco

Editorial: Hold Governor Accountable for Shocking Budget, Taxes

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The following editorial by Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-25) on Governor Phil Murphy’s massive budget and tax increase proposal was published by The Record on March 18, 2018:

Gov. Phil Murphy shocked all of New Jersey with an outrageous budget proposal that would massively increase state spending while raising taxes by billions of dollars on our already overtaxed families and businesses. While the Governor had promised tax increases during his campaign, the sheer scope of the proposal offered in his budget address last week left most in disbelief.

Editorial by Sen. Anthony Bucco on Gov. Phil Murphy’s outrageous budget proposal that would massively increase state spending while raising taxes by billions. (©iStock)

Tellingly, Democratic legislators offered little applause as Murphy laid out the gory details of tax increases totaling more than $1.6 billion.

The Democratic leadership, which had seized every opportunity in recent years to criticize every aspect of the former administration’s budget proposals, scurried off the Assembly floor following the speech to avoid questions from the press.

What’s so distasteful? To start, Governor Murphy wants to hike spending by nearly $3 billion to $37.4 billion in 2019, an increase of almost eight percent over the current year’s budget.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Editorial: The Time to Fund Gateway Project Is Now

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The following editorial by Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) on the need to advance funding for the Gateway Tunnel project was published by the Courier News on March 16, 2018:

New Jersey rail commuters have dealt with crippling delays and detrimental cancellations for far too long. Politicians cannot gamble using commuters as leverage for political gain. It is critical that partisan feuds are not entangled with sensible public policy. This not only inconveniences our commuting workforce but wreaks havoc on our thriving business economy throughout the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area.

Editorial by Sen. Kip Bateman on the importance of advancing funding for the Gateway Tunnel project. (SenateNJ.com)

Almost a million people utilize the Northeast Corridor in eight states and Washington, D.C. every day. 200,000 daily commuters take the Hudson River tunnels in and out of New Jersey. If railroad service was to be disrupted, the Northeast Corridor Commission estimates an economic loss of $100 million per day. According to the director of Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative 825, a shutdown of a single Hudson tunnel could reduce commuter capacity by 75%.

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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson, Dancer & Clifton: School Districts Like Chesterfield Shortchanged by Murphy’s Misguided School Funding Plan

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Call for School Funding Reform to Fix Broken Formula

Senator Sam Thompson, Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, and Assemblyman Robert Clifton (R-12) responded to Gov. Phil Murphy’s release of proposed state school aid for 2019, which failed to provide necessary school funding increases for underfunded districts like Chesterfield and Kingsway:

Thompson, Dancer & Clifton responded to Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed state school aid for 2019, which fails to provide necessary funding increases for underfunded districts like Chesterfield. (©iStock)

“Governor Murphy’s budget proposal fails to meet the needs of Chesterfield’s students and teachers,” said Thompson. “This is unacceptable and provides further proof that New Jersey’s school funding formula is critically flawed and in need of reform. While the formula is flawed, the application is even worse, with many school districts such as Jersey City being utterly overfunded.”

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Steven Oroho

District 24

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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