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New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris & Passaic Counties) and Assemblyman Scott T. Rumana (R – Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic Counties) today reported having a productive meeting with the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor on March 4, 2014 regarding a delay in hiring needed positions at the port.
“The port of New Jersey is a vital part of our economic engine,” said Senator Pennacchio. “It is imperative that these high paying, quality jobs are filled as soon as possible.”
“It is equally important that the terminals have proper staffing so that they remain competitive and superior to the other regional and national shipping ports,” said Assemblyman Rumana.
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) issued the following statement today on Rutgers faculty’s shameful attack on Condoleezza Rice:
“Rutgers University faculty recently voted to rescind an invitation to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Citing ‘her support’ of the Iraq War, the learned faculty decided that First Amendment rights applied only to themselves and like minded individuals. Others need not apply.
“Secretary Rice has a wonderful life story to tell. She is a dynamic and gifted speaker, a woman, an African American, who rose to the highest levels of our government. Why in the world would we not encourage her to share her story and inspire students on their graduation?
Senator Robert Singer, Assemblyman Sean Kean and Assemblyman David Rible (R-District 30) issued the following statement following the passage of H.R. 3370 – the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 – by the United States House of Representatives on March 4, 2014.
“New Jersey primary homeowners whose lives were disrupted by the devastation of Superstorm Sandy are now closer to reprieve following the House of Representatives passing H.R. 3370 – the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.
Thompson, Rice Announce Bipartisan Initiative for ‘Select Committee’ Investigation into Abuses by City of Newark, Booker
New Jersey Senators Sam Thompson (R-12) and Ron Rice (D-28) held a joint press conference this morning to announce a bipartisan initiative for the “New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation” to open a full inquiry into government abuses of power and cover-ups in The City of Newark, under its former mayor and now U.S. Senator Cory Booker.
“Senator Rice and I are urging this committee to start this investigation on behalf of taxpayers all across New Jersey who give $100 million a year in state tax dollars as well as federal funds to the state’s largest city,” Thompson said. “The City of Newark has a storied history of government issues and state Comptroller reports from December and this month raise deeply troubling concerns for all New Jerseyans who are now represented in the U.S. Senate by the city’s former mayor. Such abuses have no place in any government and beg many questions as to what other abuses of power and tax dollars or cover-ups were done under Newark’s former mayor Booker and council.”
At a press conference today, Senator Jennifer Beck joined with other legislators who will be sleeping outside of the State House on April 11 in an effort to raise money for and awareness of the homeless population in New Jersey.
Beck said: “Those of us sleeping outside on the 11th will be lucky. We only have to do it for one night and it will be during the spring. Hundreds of youths sleep outside every night through the most brutal of seasons and during the harshest of weather.
The Senate today passed legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to allow adults who were adopted to obtain their birth certificates. Birth certificates for residents who were adopted have been sealed in New Jersey for more than 70 years. Since the records were sealed to protect the adoptee and the adoptive family from interference by the biological parents, it is time to remove the impediment so that adoptees can move forward and enjoy the same rights everyone else does.
“Frankly, it’s embarrassing that adoptees in New Jersey have been treated as second class citizens for so many years. Something as uncontrollable as a person’s family history and who they are born to should in no way preclude them from enjoying basic human rights,” said Allen, who has worked to change the state’s law for 17 years. “This legislation at last recognizes that adoptees should have the same right to information we all take for granted, like things as important as finding out information about their family medical history, who their birth parents are and whether they have siblings.”
The Senate today passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to protect homeowners elevating their homes in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The bill, S942, establishes new consumer protection standards for home elevation contractors.
“Many homeowners have already begun the process of elevating their homes to safeguard against future storms and many more will do so in the coming months and years,” said Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex). “This type of work has never been done here at this scale before and we have to take steps to make sure there’s proper oversight and that the work is done safety and correctly. Elevating a home is a serious undertaking that requires experience and proper equipment.”
Senate Education Committee member Diane Allen (R-Burlington) issued the following statement today on Governor Christie’s nomination of David Hespe as state education commissioner.
“David’s a topnotch selection whose extensive experience and passion for education are hard to match.
“I have had the privilege of working very closely with David over the years both in his past roles as commissioner and interim superintendent in Willingboro and more recently as president of Burlington County College. David’s proven to be an experienced leader who cares deeply about students and is willing to fight for their interests. We need someone who is going to speak for the children of New Jersey as commissioner and David has proven time after time he will do just that.
The Senate today again passed legislation sponsored by Senators Joe Pennacchio and Mike Doherty to create a Passenger Rail Study Commission to determine how to best utilize existing rail infrastructure.
“We owe it to passengers and taxpayers to explore every option of creating a more streamlined, efficient and cost effective mass transportation system,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris, Passaic, Essex). “This legislation seeks to begin the process of easing duplicative costs and providing better rail transportation throughout the state for decades to come.”
“The study commission will make sure we’re getting the most out of the rail infrastructure we already have and hopefully identify efficiencies that will help to ease the burden on commuters and taxpayers,” added Doherty (R-Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset). “Through consolidation, shared services or just better coordination on major projects, we can better avoid unnecessary costs being passed on to riders.”
Senate Passes Doherty Legislation Designating Rt. 173 Between Clinton & Phillipsburg as “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway”
The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation (S-650) sponsored by Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) that would designate Route 173 between Clinton in Hunterdon County and Phillipsburg in Warren County as the “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway” in honor of the brigade’s many years of heroism and sacrifice in defense of our country’s freedom.
“From service in France during World War I to recent deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ‘Sky Soldiers’ of the 173rd Airborne Brigade have distinguished themselves for nearly a century,” said Doherty. “It is fitting that the Senate has chosen to recognize the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s service and sacrifice by passing legislation that names part of Rt. 173 in their honor.”