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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Questionable DRPA Appointee Proves Immediate Need to Pass Bi-State Reform Bill

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Assistant Senate Republican Leader Joe Pennacchio stated the following about a troubling unilateral appointment by Pennsylvania’s governor to the Delaware River Port Authority board, which was exposed by the Philadelphia Daily News:

Sen. Joe Pennacchio said an exposé by the Philadephia Daily News on the questionable qualifications of DRPA board member Whitney White, pictured, further demonstrates the need for reforms to increase legislative oversight of the troubled agency. (Facebook)

“This Daily News exposé is yet another example of why the DRPA, with its continuing history of corruption, cronyism, waste, abuse and billions of dollars in debt, simply cannot operate unchecked. Our bi-state, bipartisan reform legislation would prevent unilateral DRPA appointments by Pennsylvania’s governor, just as any DRPA commissioner nominees by New Jersey’s governor must be approved in public by New Jersey’s Senate before being allowed on the board.

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Time to Take the Fight to Heroin Dealers

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Heroin dealers must face harsher sentencing in light of the devastating consequences of their criminality activity, says the 9th District Legislative Delegation. Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove want the New Jersey Legislature to follow through on enhancing penalties for heroin possession as a direct measure to curb New Jersey’s deadly heroin epidemic.

Legislation sponsored by Connors, Rumpf and Gove would increase penalties for certain heroin offenses. (Victor/Flickr)

Connors, Rumpf and Gove have worked closely with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office on heroin-related policy matters, including the drafting of legislation. The 9th District legislators pointed to two recent major announcements regarding the deadly consequences and costs related to heroin use in their call for legislative action to go on the offensive with heroin dealers:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that, nationwide, heroin-related deaths have nearly quadrupled from 2002 to 2013. Confirming what many already suspected, our own state statistics show that New Jersey’s death rates are higher than the national average which was 2.7 per 100,000 people for that time period whereas the death rate in our state for 2013 was 8.3 deaths per 100,000. The number of heroin deaths in New Jersey was 781 in 2014, including those in which morphine was found to be present according to the New Jersey Office of the State Medical Examiner.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho: Restoring State’s Horse Racing Industry Starts With Expansion of Gaming

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Following the announced closure of one of the state’s preeminent horse racing training facilities, Senator Oroho today reiterated his call for a referendum to expand gaming beyond Atlantic City. Last week it was announced that after 36 years in business Showplace Farms in Millstone would be closing in October.

Sen. Oroho said an expansion of gaming beyond Atlantic City would help boost the state’s horse racing industry and related businesses. (Flickr)

“It’s no secret the equine industry in New Jersey has been struggling as racetracks here have to compete with larger purses in neighboring states that are fueled by casinos,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “To give the breeders, trainers and boarding facilities across New Jersey a fighting chance we have to even the playing field and that starts by opening up gaming across the state. The fact that the announced closure of Showplace Farms came soon after it became clear the legislature had run out of time to put the referendum on the ballot this November should be a wake up call.

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Senator Dawn Addiego

Addiego Joins Fight to Keep Cruel and Inhumane Animal Traps Out of New Jersey

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Senator Dawn Addiego has signed on as a co-prime sponsor of a resolution (SCR-175) opposing the New Jersey Fish and Game Council’s proposal to allow the use of enclosed foothold traps, as the new policy is in violation of the plain language and legislative intent of a 1984 New Jersey law banning animal steel-jaw leghold traps and similar types.

Household pets such as cats can become ensnared in foothold traps. (Flickr)

“These traps can snare household pets as well as local wildlife, causing serious injury, trauma and death,” said Senator Addiego. “The 1984 legislation is absolute and unambiguous in its intention to protect animals languishing in this type of trap.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Latest Planned Parenthood Video Adds to the Concern of Agency’s Motives, Practices

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Senator Joe Pennacchio today issued the following statement today regarding the release of a second video apparently depicting a Planned Parenthood representative discussing the procedure and price for providing body parts from aborted fetuses to medical research centers.

“This latest troubling video of a Planned Parenthood representative discussing the price of fetal tissue from aborted fetuses and apparent suggestions that abortion procedures can be altered to better harvest organs or tissue only adds to the concern surrounding the agency’s practices and true motives,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “For this high-level Planned Parenthood director to say that she wants a Lamborghini during the same conversation as naming prices for the cost of harvesting organs from aborted fetuses is at best a disturbing representation of the agency’s greed and complete disregard for human decency. At worst, the selling of aborted body parts is not only despicable but flat out illegal.”

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Senator Diane Allen
Senator Tom Kean

Allen, Kean Introduce Bill to Protect Nail Salon Workers From Exploitation, Health Hazards

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Senate Republicans Diane Allen and Tom Kean are introducing legislation to protect manicurists and cosmetologists from dangerous health hazards and exploitative labor practices in nail salons across the state.

Legislation by Sens. Tom Kean and Diane Allen would protect manicurists and cosmetologists from dangerous health hazards and exploitative labor practices. (©

The bill would amend the Cosmetology Act of 1984 by requiring the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling to enforce safety and health standards for all workers in licensed nail salons, conduct random inspections, ensure that salon workers are aware of their rights to a fair wage, and mandate that employers provide protective equipment.

“We know that working with toxic chemicals for long hours, day after day, often in poorly ventilated areas can cause long-term damage to a person’s health,” said Senator Allen. “Across our state, women and men are forced to live in fear and put their lives at risk – often for little or no compensation. It is our responsibility to ensure that all workers in New Jersey have access to safe working conditions and that their basic rights are upheld, regardless of what language they speak.”

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Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg
Senator Dawn Addiego

Addiego & Rodriguez-Gregg Bill Allowing Amusement Games in Bars and Restaurants Clears Senate, Moves to Governor’s Desk

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Senator Dawn Marie Addiego and Assembly Republican Maria Rodriguez-Gregg’s bill to allow Dave & Buster’s-style restaurant and entertainment venues in New Jersey earned the approval of the Senate. The measure (A-4143), which passed the General Assembly last month, permits issuing an amusement game license to qualifying bars and restaurants.

Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego and Asw. Maria Rodriguez-Gregg’s bill to allow Dave & Buster’s-style restaurant and entertainment venues in New Jersey earned the approval of the Senate. (Flickr)

“We’re finally leveling the playing field,” said Addiego, R — Burlington, Atlantic and Camden. “Competing states have been enjoying a monopoly on this entertainment. Allowing food, drink and amusements in the same building will provide an economic boost for New Jersey.”

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District 10

Senate Passes Holzapfel-Wolfe-McGuckin “Betsy’s Law” Bill to Protect Boarded Animals

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin, all R-Ocean, to protect pet owners and their boarded animals was approved by the New Jersey Senate. The bill now heads to Gov. Christie for his consideration.

Betsy’s Law was drafted after the death of a Rottweiler, Betsy, who suffocated in her cage after being left unsupervised overnight at an animal hospital following a minor procedure. (Facebook)

“Betsy’s Law” was drafted in response to the death of a dog following a minor veterinary procedure. Betsy was boarded overnight and hanged herself in her crate as a result of a lack of animal supervision.

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Passes Bill to Give Families Choice in “Return Home” Program

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Legislation sponsored by  Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. to modify the state’s ‘Return Home’ policy was approved by the Senate.

Sen. Kip Bateman with families who celebrated the Senate’s passage of reform legislation to fix the state’s flawed “Return Home New Jersey” program on July 23, 2015. (

Under the legislation (S3117), agreed upon by the Christie Administration, the state Division of Developmental Disabilities will be prohibited from transferring an individual with a developmental disability currently residing out-of-state to a placement in New Jersey if the individual or their guardian objects in writing. The legislation is also sponsored by Senator Bob Gordon and Senate President Steve Sweeney.

“Throughout this process I’ve heard heart-wrenching stories from many families concerned about the disruption and change in the level of care that will occur if their loved ones who had spent the majority of their life at one facility were suddenly uprooted and moved back to New Jersey,” said Senator Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer). “This legislation recognizes those concerns by giving families and guardians the option to determine what’s best for the treatment of their loved one.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Bill to Protect Developmentally Disabled From Dangerous Acts Gains Senate Approval

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer that would upgrade current law to better protect those with developmental disabilities from being victimized by the acts of others that are dangerous and potentially deadly gained Senate approval.

Sen. Robert Singer introduced the legislation after a 19-year-old autistic man was coerced into jumping into frigid Atlantic waters in February from a jetty in Manasquan by two men who videotaped and posted the incident to social media. (Flickr)

“Today’s unanimous Senate vote sends a clear message that bullying or taking advantage of anyone, especially those who are less able to protect themselves, is wrong and won’t be tolerated,” said Senator Singer. These updates to current law will enhance protection for those with developmental disabilities and will make sure anyone committing these types of troubling acts is held accountable.”

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Senate Republican Solutions

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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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