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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following on the passing of Bennie Rice, Sr., the father of Senator Ronald L. Rice:
“The Senate Republican caucus and I extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bennie Rice, Sr. As a colleague of Senator Rice and former classmate of Ron Rice Jr., I have come to know this incredible family quite well over the years.
“Bennie Rice, Sr. led by example, leaving a legacy of hardworking and dedicated children and grandchildren who continue to fight for the people of New Jersey.
Senator Joe Pennacchio released the following statement in response to news that the United States Department of State and Cuba are expected to begin talks about the extradition of Joanne Chesimard:
“As a long time advocate for her extradition, I’m encouraged to see this opportunity to finally return Joanne Chesimard to U.S. law enforcement where she can face the penalties she deserves for her heinous crime,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “Chesimard has been allowed to escape justice for more than 30 years. I can’t imagine the pain that the family of Trooper Werner Foerster has endured all these years knowing that his killer has been allowed to go free while they continue to mourn his death. The President must seize on the opportunity of these upcoming talks with Cuba to restore justice for the Foerster family, New Jersey and all of America by demanding the extradition of Chesimard.”
In an effort to improve Routes 35 and 36 in the Hazlet corridor, Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) has announced a beautification project which includes the planting of nearly 85 Okame Cherry, Red Maple, Willow Oak and American Holly trees throughout 11 jughandles, expected to begin as early as next week.
“Improvements to jughandles along Routes 35 and 36 will not only provide a nicer quality of life for the residents of Hazlet but also the thousands of commuters that travel those corridors every day en route to Holmdel, Middletown, Red Bank, Sandy Hook, the shore points and beyond,” said Senator Kyrillos.
At Opening Day for the Lakewood BlueClaws, Senate Republican Conference Leader Robert Singer unveiled several new bills to help create and retain jobs for New Jersey’s tourism and agriculture industries. Senator Singer was joined by BlueClaws Chief Revenue & Operations Officer Adam M. Lorber, who led a tour highlighting FirstEnergy Park upgrades before Senator Singer threw the game’s ceremonial first pitch.
“I’m excited to have the BlueClaws support as we push for legislation that will revolutionize the way New Jersey attracts tourists and jobs to our many unique sites and enhances farm-to-table opportunities for restaurants, farmers and agro-tourism destinations,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “A key bill in this package will overhaul New Jersey’s tourism efforts, in part, with a global marketing campaign to feature a mobile app to attract people in real-time to any of the historical sites, parks, trails, museums, beaches and venues across the state. This package will make New Jersey competitive with other states, including Michigan, California, Florida and New York, which every day are drawing our residents and families from our tourist base to their states and, in turn, improving their economies.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean talked with NJTV News about his legislative effort (S-2854) to eliminate state worker residency requirements.
During today’s Senate Budget & Appropriations hearing with NJ Transit, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) stated the following to try to stop the agency from increasing its fares again on commuters:
“In 2010, I opposed the staggering 22-percent fare hike, and frankly it’s unacceptable to hit hard-working commuters with another increase to fund the same level of services.
Prior to the Lakewood BlueClaws Opening Day on Thursday, April 9, 2015, Senator Robert Singer will announce several new jobs bills that will enhance New Jersey’s tourism and agriculture industries. Senator Singer will be joined by BlueClaws Chief Revenue & Operations Officer Adam M. Lorber.
Following a joint press conference, Mr. Lorber will lead a pre-game tour of FirstEnergy Park, which will be open to the media, and highlight exciting stadium upgrades for the new season. Senator Singer will then throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
“In addition to a great evening of festivities at one of New Jersey’s many first-rate attractions, the BlueClaws’ Opening Day 2015 will also mark a turning point for our state’s tourism and agricultural economies,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “The legislation we are announcing will implement modern technologies to attract people from across the world to this state’s unique sites, such as FirstEnergy Park, creating more jobs and economic opportunities for families and communities. As neighboring states are competing more strongly than ever to attract our residents and tourism base, we must overhaul New Jersey’s tourism and marketing efforts to make people aware in real-time that our state is the place to relax and vacation.”
Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco prepared the following statement for the budget committee overview hearing with the New Jersey Treasurer:
“I’m pleased that Gov. Christie has again presented us with a state budget proposal that focuses on fiscal restraint and everyone’s future.
“This budget makes the largest-ever investment in our students and the next generation, with nearly $13 billion in school aid, all without increasing taxes or fees. It helps continue job creation by implementing the fifth and final year of bipartisan tax reforms that will allow employers to grow and improve their operations and also help continue to increase state revenues.
“With this budget’s record-high $1.3 billion pension payment, the Gov. Christie administration has allocated more money to the state pension system than the five previous administrations combined over 15 years.
Singer to Introduce Legislation Protecting Disabled Adults Following Bullying of Autistic Howell Man
Senator Robert Singer will introduce legislation expanding legal protections for disabled adults following a reported incident in Manasquan where a developmentally disabled man nearly drowned after being dared to jump from a jetty into the frigid ocean.
According to a report in the Asbury Park Press, the 19-year-old man, who is autistic and diabetic, was egged into jumping from the jetty into the ocean on February 25 by two acquaintances who taped the incident with their cell phone and then later posted the video online. Law enforcement authorities said they couldn’t charge the men criminally because the conduct didn’t fall under any current state statute.
“This is a very troubling incident where a young man with a mental disability was taken advantage of,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “This was not a harmless prank. It was flat out wrong and could have resulted in this young man’s death. This type of abuse of a developmentally disabled person who didn’t know any better simply can’t be tolerated.”
The following editorial by Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) regarding the historic number of veto override attempts conducted by legislative Democrats against Governor Christie was published by the Asbury Park Press on March 26:
Editorial writers, Democrats and others have reported Gov. Chris Christie has set a record with the number of bills he has vetoed and have continuously asserted that Republican members of the Legislature are spineless, intimidated cowards because, despite 50 veto override attempts, they have never provided the votes for a single veto override.
A historical review of records of gubernatorial vetoes and veto override attempts belies both of these statements. However, it also reveals the most significant and record-making number usually cited is actually the 50 override attempts. This is truly a record for the last 60 years.