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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Failure to Extend Arbitration Cap Cripples Bipartisan Reforms to Curb Property Tax Growth

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr., (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) issued the following statement today after joining Governor Christie, state and local elected leaders in urging the Assembly Majority to take action on legislation extending the 2-percent interest arbitration award cap.

“The Senate Republican Caucus stands with Governor Christie in urging the passage of this bipartisan legislation to extend the 2-percent cap on arbitration awards. It’s no coincidence that under the cap, contracts and property taxes grew at the lowest levels in decades.

“Unfortunately, we now stand to lose the progress we have made. How can we expect municipalities to hold down costs if there’s no ability to control arbitration awards for police and fire salaries?

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Senator Joe Kyrillos
Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty and Kyrillos Urge Assembly Action on Arbitration Cap

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Senators Michael Doherty and Joe Kyrillos, who sponsor legislation capping arbitration awards at two percent, urged the Assembly to pass the current bipartisan cap extension legislation.

“Assembly Democrats’ refusal to extend the cap on arbitration awards has placed towns on the precipice of having to choose between raising property taxes to pay for limitless spikes in salaries or eliminating critical services,” said Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Warren, Somerset). “We can’t let this ticking bomb explode, eliminating the historic bipartisan reforms made in the last four years to limit property tax growth.”

“Municipal officials have made it abundantly clear that without this means to control public employee contracts they lose the key tool to keeping costs in check and to stay within the current property tax cap,” said Kyrillos (R-Monmouth). “The Assembly must act now to extend the cap, or once again already overburdened taxpayers across the state will be on the losing end.”

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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson Op-Ed: Activist Judges Need to Be Held Accountable

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The following op-ed by Senator Sam Thompson (R-11) on the need to hold activist judges accountable was published in the Star-Ledger:

Members of the New Jersey Bar Association and the judiciary have expressed concern over what they see as a threat to judicial independence posed by Gov. Chris Christie and others who criticize “activist” jurists, and the governor’s break with tradition when he declined to nominate two sitting Supreme Court justices for lifetime tenure.

Ralph Lamparello, president of the bar association, was quoted in the April 6 Star-Ledger: “There is a concerted effort among the executive and legislative branches of government to politicize the judicial branch and to subordinate its co-equal status.”

To the contrary — it is the activist judges who long ago eliminated the co-equal status of the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Activist judges have decreed the judiciary is superior to the executive and legislative branches, and they have done so time after time by issuing rulings based not upon what the constitution or statutes clearly state, but rather upon what they believe they should have said.

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck to Join Senate Colleagues in Sleep Out on State House Steps for Homeless Awareness

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Tonight, five members of the Senate will sleep out on the steps of the New Jersey Statehouse to bring attention and awareness to the problem of youth and teen homelessness. Senators Jennifer Beck, Joseph F. Vitale, M. Teresa Ruiz, Nellie Pou and Peter J. Barnes III will participate in Covenant House’s first New Jersey Legislator Sleep Out from 7 o’clock tonight to 7 o’clock Saturday morning. Each legislator will receive a sleeping bag and cardboard box for the sleep out.

“Those of us sleeping outside tonight are lucky, ” said Beck (R-Monmouth) “We only have to do it for one night and it’s during the spring. Hundreds of youths sleep outside every night through the most brutal of seasons and during the harshest of weather. We hope that our short night of hardship will help raise some much needed funds so the Covenant House can bring more of these young people in from the cold and show them that that they still can have bright futures. I’ll be spending one night outside so, in the future, New Jersey’s youth won’t have to.”

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Updated Alzheimer’s Statistics Demonstrate Need for Long-Term Plan

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Women More Impacted by the Disease

Reacting to the latest set of statistics provided by the Alzheimer’s Association, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove, remarked on the need to press forward with New Jersey’s plan for developing a long-term strategy to improve treatment for those suffering from the disease and strengthen the support system for caregivers.

Connors, Rumpf and Gove wrote the 2011 bipartisan supported law that established the Alzheimer’s Disease Study Commission, which was first proposed by the Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey Chapter. The Commission, which Senator Connors serves on as a legislative member, is tasked with studying the current impact and incidence of Alzheimer’s disease among State residents and making projections about the future impact and incidence among State residents.

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Op-Ed: Sandy Shows NJ Needs a New Way to Pay for Disaster Relief

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The following Op-Ed by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth/Ocean) on the need for further recovery from Superstorm Sandy was published in the Star-Ledger today. A copy of the full text of the Op-Ed is below.

I have lived at the New Jersey Shore for 40 years. Like my neighbors, I was shocked by the devastation that Hurricane Sandy caused. We were unprepared in so many ways, and the people of New Jersey are still in the process of a long recovery. Now, with Sandy still large in our thoughts, we must continue the hard work of recovery, but also start making changes that will leave our communities better protected against extreme weather. This need has never been so great.

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Op-Ed on Legislation Creating Rutgers Program for Students With Intellectual Disabilities

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The following Op-Ed by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) on legislation creating a program at Rutgers University to serve students with intellectual disabilities was published in the Asbury Park Press today. The full text of the Op-Ed is below.

Following graduation in the coming months, high school seniors across New Jersey will move on to a new chapter in life. Many teenagers will excitedly head off to college with dreams of independence, new experiences and a future career.

But for those with intellectual disabilities, there are not enough opportunities to embark on this journey and experience the benefits of college that can last a lifetime for all students.

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Video: Beck Says State Will Make Record Investment in Education

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) appeared on NJTV News with host Mike Schneider to talk about state education funding.

Beck said that under the proposed state budget for FY 2015, schools would receive a record amount of state education aid.

Click here to view the video.

Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman, Ciattarelli & Simon to Introduce Law Returning Off-Track Wagering Approval to Towns

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State legislators Sen. Kip Bateman, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Assemblywoman Donna Simon, all R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex, said they will immediately introduce a bill that reverses a section of law changed in 2011 that eliminates a municipality’s right to have the final say on whether or not an off-track wagering (OTW) business could operate within its borders.

Though approval is still needed by the New Jersey State Racing Commission, the state’s fifth OTW is proposed for the former Hillsborough Township Maestro 206 restaurant on southbound Route 206 by Veterans Industrial Park. The New Jersey State Racing Commission will be scheduling a public hearing in the township.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Measure Establishing “Horticultural Therapy Week” Advanced by Senate

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman raising awareness of the value of horticultural therapy has been passed by the Senate.

Senator Bateman’s SJR12 designates the third full week in March of each year as “Horticultural Therapy Week” in New Jersey. The measure passed the Senate on March 27 and now must be passed by the full Assembly before going to the Governor for final approval.

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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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