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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Rafferty, Pennacchio, Vereb Announce Major DRPA Reform Legislation

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Pennsylvania Senator John Rafferty, New Jersey Senator Joe Pennacchio and Pennsylvania Representative Mike Vereb held a press conference on Thursday to announce bi-state legislation to significantly reform the Delaware River Port Authority.

New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio discusses bi-state DRPA reform legislation during a press conference in front of the Ben Franklin Bridge in Camden, NJ on April 24, 2014. Also pictured are Pennsylvania officials: Rep. Mike Vareb, Sen. John Rafferty, John Dougherty (DRPA board member) and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

“I am pleased to stand today with my friends and colleagues from both sides of the Delaware River and both sides of the political aisle to call for long overdue common-sense reforms,” said Rafferty (R-44), chairman of the P.A. Senate Transportation Committee. “DRPA spent nearly two decades and a half billion dollars carelessly wasting the resources of its users for purposes that in no way benefited DRPA’s bridges or the PATCO commuter system. This legislation will ensure that DRPA honors its core mission of providing safe and efficient travel as opposed to pet projects and perks.”

“People have long been at the breaking point with the DRPA and are demanding better transparency and accountability,” said Pennacchio (R-26), a N.J. Senate Transportation Committeeman. “The DRPA must use the people’s money to provide the best possible transportation via its regional railway and four bridges. They are not an ATM to be used for outside development. This legislation is a wake up call to the DRPA: Representatives in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania will not tolerate any more abuses.”

Click here to view the New Jersey version of the DRPA reform legislation.

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Senator Chris Connors

Connors Named to Intergovernmental Relations Commission

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Naming NJ Representative to Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission Is Senator’s Key Role

Senator Christopher J. Connors (R-9) has been named to the State’s Intergovernmental Relations Commission, which has the primary function of carrying forward the participation of New Jersey as a member of the Council of State Governments, both regionally and nationally.

Senator Connors agreed to serve on the Commission, which had been defunct for years, in the effort to appoint a New Jersey legislative member of the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission. Presently, New Jersey is the only of the 15 states included in the Commission which currently has not appointed a legislative member.

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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson: Millions Wasted in Newark Abuses Could Have Been Used to Fund Public Safety, Prevent Spike in Violent Crimes

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Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) said that the spike in violent crimes in Newark precipitated by budget problems and police layoffs demonstrates the tangible harm caused by fraud and the abuse of government authority by public officials in the city:

“At the same time that the State Comptroller identified millions of dollars being wasted at the Watershed Corporation under ex-Mayor, now U.S. Senator Cory Booker, hundreds of Newark police officers were laid off due to budget cuts leading to a surge of violent crimes, including a 41 percent increase in murders in the city from 2009 to 2013.

“It is crystal clear that the reported waste, abuse or fraud associated with the Newark Watershed has directly impacted the safety and well being of residents.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Video: Bateman Talks About Bipartisan Effort to Create Stable Source of Open Space Funding

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Sen. Kip Bateman (R-16) appeared on Comcast Newsmakers with host Jill Horner to talk about the bipartisan effort to create a stable source of open space funding.

Click here to view the video.

Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck: Binding Arbitration Cap Must Be Made Permanent to Protect Property Taxpayers

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The following letter to the editor by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) on the need to make the two-percent binding arbitration cap permanent to help local governments lower costs and protect property taxpayers was published in the Star-Ledger on April 17, 2014:

Preserve 2% award cap

Few things in government are ever black and white. Most fall within shades of gray, to be parsed out by policymakers. But the current issue of the expired binding arbitration cap is not one of these. The message is simple: We must make this law permanent. Allowing this critical law to expire is a serious disservice to our constituents.

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove Update Galloway Officials on GSP Exit 40 – Rt. 30 Connector Study

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Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove of the 9th Legislative District sent the following letter to the Mayor and Council of Galloway Township providing an update on an improvement study conducted by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) regarding the establishment of a full interchange at Garden State Parkway Exit 40-Route 30 Connector.

Included below are PDFs of the letter sent to Mayor Purdy and council members, along with the study documents provided by the NJTA.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Recognized by New Jersey Environmental Lobby

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Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset) was recognized Wednesday evening by the New Jersey Environmental Lobby for his contributions to the protection and preservation of New Jersey’s environment.

Senator Bateman and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. were awarded the annual Frank J. Oliver Environmental Award at NJEL’s awards reception at Seton Hall University.

“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition from the tireless advocates at the NJEL,” said Bateman, a member of the Senate Environment and Energy committee. “I have always believed as a legislator that we have a responsibility to make our beautiful state a healthier and safer place to live for future generations.

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Senator Diane Allen

Allen to Introduce Bill Repealing Realty Transfer Fees

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Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) is introducing legislation to repeal Realty Transfer Fees in New Jersey, in response to Gov. Chris Christie’s vow to eliminate this tax if given the opportunity.

“When you sell your home in New Jersey, you’re getting whacked by this arbitrary tax, and that’s wrong,” Allen said. “This initiative will help struggling homeowners, including those who might be facing short sales or foreclosures. It will save property owners across this state a burden of thousands of dollars, which particularly hurts those who have lost equity in their homes due to the economic recession.”

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Senator Sam Thompson

Video: Thompson Breaks Down Need for Legislative Select Committee to Investigate Abuses in Newark

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In the following video, Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) breaks down the need for the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation to look into serious abuses of government power in Newark that were uncovered by the State Comptroller.

Click here to view the video.

Thompson and Senator Ron Rice (D-28) have launched a petition at to support their bipartisan call for the Select Committee perform this inquiry.

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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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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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