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ICYMI: Dems’ Redistricting Scheme Has History of Widespread Opposition

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REMINDER: New Jersey Democrats’ attempts to pass a constitutional amendment that would rig the legislative redistricting process to secure a permanent majority has long-faced widespread opposition from a variety of organizations, editorial boards, and nonpartisan New Jersey election experts.

On Monday, Senate Democrats will attempt to fast track the amendment (SCR-43) through the Senate Budget Committee, with little concern for transparency.

Here’s what’s others have said about the amendment:

“The constitutional amendment is worded in such a way as to pull the wool over voters’ eyes. This is Democrats being overly greedy for no good reason. It’s almost certain that they will do well with the next map and there are less egregious ways to prioritize the fairness metric. This just further erodes public trust in government for little actual gain.” Patrick Murray, Monmouth University Polling Institute Director  (Politico, Nov. 19, 2018)

NJ Democrats’ attempts to rig the legislative redistricting process has long-faced widespread opposition. Here’s a roundup of what’s been said. (©iStock)

“To provide this kind of instruction to the commission undermines, I think, what it was intended to do and its value of being able to have both objective and subjective deliberations. Whatever party benefits, that’s not the point. The point is how the process is conducted. And I think this very specific information about how competitiveness should be determined really undermines the process.” – Ingrid Reed, former director of the Eagleton Institute’s New Jersey Project ( Jan. 7, 2016)

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Democrats’ Redistricting Amendment About Cementing Their Control, Limiting Voter Choice

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said a constitutional amendment (SCR-43) being fast-tracked by Democrats is designed to make legislative elections less competitive while cementing permanent Democratic majorities in the New Jersey Legislature.

Sen. Tom Kean said a constitutional amendment proposed by Democrats is designed to make legislative elections less competitive while cementing permanent Democratic majorities in the New Jersey Legislature. (SenateNJ.com)

“The constitutional amendment proposed by New Jersey Democrats is not about making our elections fairer or legislative districts more competitive,” said Kean. “This sham of an amendment is about power. It’s about Democrats who have controlled the Legislature for nearly two decades trying to cement their power by permanently rigging the election process in their favor.”

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: No Excuse for Delaying Protection of Property Tax Exemptions for Vets Coping with Natural Disasters

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Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are calling for action on their bill to protect tax exempt status of property owned by a 100 percent disabled veteran whose home has been destroyed by flood, storm event, natural cause, or other act of God.

9th district lawmakers are calling for action on their bill to protect tax exempt status of property owned by a 100 percent disabled veteran whose home has been destroyed by flood, storm event, natural cause, or other act of God. (©iStock)

The 9th District Delegation’s bipartisan-supported bill, S-900, passed the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee in late March of this year but has yet to be considered by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The Assembly version of the bill, A-714, is still awaiting action by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“Under current law, 100 percent disabled veterans claim a full local property tax exemption on their primary home. Regretfully, it became apparent after Superstorm Sandy that the law does not protect the veteran’s exemption in the event of a natural disaster if the property is no longer useable as the owner’s residence.

“In what should be an easy and obvious fix, our delegation introduced this bill to continue the veterans’ property tax exempt status enjoyed before the destruction of their home, so long as substantial, ongoing construction is undertaken within a specified period of time.

“Veterans who served our nation, especially those who are 100 percent disabled, should be afforded the protection offered by our bill so as not to be victimized twice – first by having their home destroyed, and then by incurring a financial hardship from the loss of a considerable form of tax relief.

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Senator Gerald Cardinale

Cardinale Legislation to Require Pediatric Cohorting Plans in Response to Wanaque Virus Deaths

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In response to a severe viral outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, Senator Gerry Cardinale (R-39) will introduce legislation requiring pediatric hospitals in New Jersey to develop plans to cohort patients who exhibit signs of potentially contagious infections.

Following the deaths of 11 children, legislation by Sen. Gerry Cardinale will require pediatric hospitals to develop plans to cohort patients who exhibit signs of potentially contagious infections. (©iStock)

“We were devastated to learn this morning that an 11th child has died from a contagious infection they received at the Wanaque Center,” said Cardinale. “This is an absolute tragedy for all of the families that are still struggling to understand what went wrong. We’re learning that part of the problem was an inability to separate those who were showing symptoms of infection from those who were not. We need to ensure that every pediatric facility has a plan and the ability to cohort patients to prevent dangerous viral outbreaks from spreading.”

Cohorting is the practice of grouping patients with the same infection together in a segregated area. Cohorted patients are often treated by dedicated staff that does not treat other patients. This practice helps prevent those who are sick or their caregivers from transmitting infectious diseases to other patients who may be susceptible.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio on Murphy’s Snowmess: Governor, Don’t Blame Meteorologists – You Own This One

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) released the following statement on Governor Murphy’s administration’s response to yesterday’s winter storm:

Sen. Joe Pennacchio said that Gov. Murphy should stop blaming meteorologists and take full responsibility for the Nov. 15 winter storm that put thousands of New Jerseyans in harm’s way. (SenateNJ.com)

“People have the right to expect their roads to be salted and plowed. This storm was not a surprise, but the State’s epic failed response was,” Senator Pennacchio said. “New Jersey citizens’ lives were profoundly disrupted. Families were separated for hours. First responders were stifled and put at risk.”

“Governor, don’t blame it on the meteorologists, or the poor guy driving the salt or plow truck. You own this one,” Pennacchio said.

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Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Kean & Oroho: First Amazon, Now Google. How Many Opportunities Will NJ Miss Before We Take Action?

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Senate Republicans Call for Changes to Business Tax Policies in Wake of NYC Google Expansion Announcement

In light of yesterday’s Wall Street Journal report detailing Google’s plans to add 12,000 new jobs in New York City, Senate Republicans Tom Kean and Steven Oroho said that the expansion would cost New Jersey thousands of  jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.

Senate Republicans Tom Kean and Steven Oroho are calling for action following reports of Google’s plans to add 12,000 new jobs in New York City, which the senators said will cost New Jersey thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue. (WikiCommons)

“Given our state’s bad-for-business policies, it wasn’t a surprise that Amazon chose Long Island City over New Jersey, but the news of Google’s decision to expand to New York City is just as bad,” Senator Oroho said. “Many of these new Google employees will most likely choose to raise families in New Jersey, while paying income taxes in New York. That means we will lose out on the high-paying jobs that could have been created here, and the tax revenue we need to fund our schools.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Murphy’s Tax Increases Blew NJ’s Shot for Amazon’s HQ2

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said massive tax increases imposed by Governor Phil Murphy and legislative Democrats this year have likely blown New Jersey’s shot at luring Amazon’s new headquarters and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.

Sen. Tom Kean said massive tax increases imposed by Gov. Phil Murphy and Democrats this year have likely blown New Jersey’s shot at luring Amazon’s new headquarters and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. (SenateNJ.com)

“New Jersey was well on the path to creating the stable, predictable tax environment that employers like Amazon require until Governor Murphy’s budget reversed nearly a decade of fiscal discipline,” said Kean. “The massive multi-billion dollar business tax increase signed by Governor Murphy in July was the nail in the coffin for Newark’s proposal to host HQ2.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Jersey City Should Nix Proposed Payroll Tax, Share PILOT Payments with Schools

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Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) said Jersey City’s consideration of a new payroll tax would hurt the city’s efforts to lure businesses and jobs from New York, and suggested the city change how it shares payments from tax abated properties as a better alternative to fund local schools.

Sen. Mike Doherty said a proposed payroll tax would hurt Jersey City’s competitiveness. He said sharing payments from tax abated properties is a better alternative to fund schools. (SenateNJ.com)

“Jersey City has asked for and used many tax incentives over the years, including UEZs and PILOT agreements, to draw both development and jobs from across the river,” said Doherty. “The imposition of a new payroll tax would negate the various benefits they’ve offered, creating a complicated tax picture that would discourage future investment in Jersey City.”

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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson Says Voters Who Did Not Receive Requested Mail-in Ballots Should Go to Polls and Vote Provisionally

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Senator Sam Thompson addressed concerns raised by constituents in recent days that they will be unable to cast a vote in the upcoming general election due to mail-in ballots they requested never arriving.

Sen. Sam Thompson says voters who have not received requested mail-in ballots for the upcoming general election should go to their local polling station on Election Day and vote by provisional ballot. (SenateNJ.com)

“My legislative office has been contacted by a number of constituents from Middlesex County who are concerned that their mail-in ballots have not arrived yet for the general election that’s just days away,” said Thompson (R-12). “The Middlesex County Clerk is advising anyone who does not receive their mail-in ballot to go to their local polling station on Election Day and vote by provisional ballot. That’s the best way to ensure that your vote will be counted.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: NJ Transit Rail Commuters Need Relief Now

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Following yet another day of major service disruptions for commuters who rely on New Jersey Transit trains to get to work, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called for the agency to take immediate action to prevent future problems.

Following major service disruptions for NJ Transit rail commuters, Sen. Tom Kean called for the agency to take immediate action to prevent future problems. (SenateNJ.com)

“I’ve heard from countless commuters that whenever they think things are as bad as they can possibly be on our rails, NJ Transit finds a way to prove them wrong,” said Kean. “After so many repeated failures to deliver safe and reliable service, there’s no more time for excuses from Transit’s management. Commuters deserve to hear from the leadership at NJ Transit what contingency plans they can implement today to improve service.”

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Steven Oroho

District 24

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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