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The following editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, ranking Republican member of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, on their legislation to urge expanded recycling efforts by government entities was published by the Star-Ledger on May 22, 2015:
Every year in New Jersey, tens of millions of tons of solid waste are incinerated or deposited into landfills, posing a serious threat to the environment, public health and safety.
New Jersey’s growing landfills release toxic chemicals into the soil and groundwater. Incinerated waste emits dangerous toxins and air pollutants.
The following editorial by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) about the benefits of giving motorists the choice of whether they want full or self-service at New Jersey gas stations was published by the Asbury Park Press on May 21, 2015:
When I’m driving around Bergen County and my gas light comes on, I enjoy being able to pull into a local service station and have my gas pumped by an enterprising teenager. As a senior citizen, I appreciate the convenience more now than ever.
I know there are many New Jersey natives who feel the same way. However, over the years I have been in elected office I have heard from many drivers who would love the convenience of pumping their own gas. I’m not going to let my feelings stand in the way of the rights of others. Neither group’s preference should be cavalierly dismissed by their elected representatives.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has introduced a trio of bills to expand opportunities for craft breweries, microbreweries and brew pubs to open, grow and succeed in New Jersey.
Senator Kean’s S-2910 creates a state permit for local breweries to sell their products at community farm markets in municipalities that do not prohibit alcoholic beverages. Permits would be valid for one full year and issuance and renewal can be no more than $75.
“With warm-weather seasons upon us, this legislation provides countless and timely opportunities to help grow the state’s agriculture and tourism economies,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “It will draw more people to our attractions and eliminate prohibitions that limit how local breweries can develop and expand.”
Senate Passes Kean’s Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism & Rejecting Attempts to Justify Anti-Jewish Hatred
A resolution sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr., Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senate President Steve Sweeney that condemns anti-Semitism and rejects attempts to justify anti-Jewish hatred or violent attacks as acceptable expressions of disapproval over political events in the Middle East or elsewhere, was approved today by the Senate.
“With the rise of anti-Semitism, it is imperative we solidify a united front across political party lines and geographic borders that any acts of hatred and threats against Judaism will not be tolerated,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “The sponsors of this legislation and I are proud to set a strong tone for New Jersey and look forward to working with leaders in other states and nations to make sure we are helping to protect and empower victims of this religious persecution.”
The Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole to protect stalking survivors from being re-victimized.
“Violations of stalking restraining orders are both common and often associated with significant danger to victims,” said O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic). “We need to give survivors all the protection we can to help prevent them from being re-victimized.”
The Senate passed a Superstorm Sandy recovery bill sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco to prohibit municipalities from charging residential development fees on reconstruction after natural disasters.
“There are so many prohibitive costs and duplicative regulations in this state that hurt vulnerable victims and stymie disaster recovery,” said Bucco (R-Morris). “Families still trying to restore normalcy after Sandy and others who will be victims of future storms need this common-sense measure to reduce cost burdens.”
Senate Committee Clears Singer Bill Prohibiting Standardized Testing for Kindergarten Through Second Grade
The Senate Education Committee advanced a bill sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to prohibit commercial standardized testing for students in kindergarten through second grade.
The bill, S-2766, will protect New Jersey’s youngest students from being subjected to identical standardized assessments that are developed and scored by a commercial entity under contract with a board of education.
“While it is vital that teachers and administrators have the resources they need to track a child’s progress and ensure that students are ready for college and careers, many have expressed concern that children are being subjected to rigid, commercial standardized assessments at far too young an age,” said Senator Singer. “By passing legislation that prohibits schools from administering these assessments to students in this age group, we are ensuring that children can learn and grow in a nurturing environment, monitored and organized by the teachers and staff familiar with their individual needs.”
The New Jersey Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean to create criminal offenses for dog fighting and leading dog fighting networks, and amend the RICO statute to include dog fighting.
“As authorities have attested, dog fighting is a barbaric crime that often extends far beyond animal murder or cruelty,” said Senator Kean. “Weapons and narcotics are frequently found at the scene of a fight, posing a threat to the safety and security of the community at large. Amending current racketeering laws to include dog fighting will give law enforcement the tools they need to combat this pervasive underground industry, where dangerous individuals bet tens of thousands of dollars on a single fight, as innocent animals suffer, starve and die in horrifyingly inhuman conditions.”
Kyrillos, Beck Congratulate Hanlon as ‘Right Choice’ for County
Senators Joe Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck (both R-Monmouth) stated the following after the Senate confirmed the governor’s nomination of Christine Giordano Hanlon as Monmouth County Clerk, to fulfill the unexpired term ending this calendar year:
“We congratulate Christine on being affirmed as the county clerk. She is the right choice for the people of Monmouth County, and we are confident that she will continue to excel in executing some of the most vital government services, just as she has in the past in her impressive community and organizational leadership positions.”
Senate Passes Allen, Bateman Bill Increasing Penalties for Assaults Against Certain Law Enforcement Officers
The Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans Diane Allen and Christopher “Kip” Bateman to increase penalties for assaulting a corrections officer, sheriff’s officer and other law enforcement personnel because of their job status.
“These law enforcement officers have some of the most difficult and dangerous jobs that there are,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “Unfortunately, the risk carries over into their personal lives as we were made aware of an instance where a corrections officer was assaulted by a former inmate out in public.”