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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Blasts Murphy Administration Over Decision to End Popular Student Mental Health Program

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Senator Michael Testa criticized Governor Phil Murphy’s “reckless and tone-deaf” decision to end a popular youth services program next June that has operated in 90 school districts across New Jersey since 1988.

Sen. Michael Testa criticized Gov. Phil Murphy’s ‘reckless and tone-deaf’ decision to end a popular student mental health program. (Pixabay)

Last Friday, the Murphy Administration announced it was going to phase out the School-Based Youth Services Program and replace it with the Governor’s handcrafted “New Jersey Statewide Student Support Services” (NJ4S) network. The announcement has been widely criticized by educators in South Jersey.

“I have heard from outraged educators in my district who do not understand why the Governor would seek to dump the current program or why this new model is better,” said Testa (R-Vineland). “Moreover, they are calling my office to get more information which shows the Administration was not engaging them on the new program at all.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

Republican Budget Committee Members Call for Required Oversight of Pandemic Relief & Debt Funds

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on Democrats to hold required oversight hearings to review proposed uses of federal pandemic relief funds and a state fund intended to pay down and prevent new debt.

Senate Republicans called on Democrats to hold required oversight hearings to review proposed uses of federal pandemic relief funds and a state fund intended to pay down and prevent new debt. (©iStock)

The request was made in a letter from Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho (R-24), Republican Budget Office Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1) to Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-22), Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz (D-29), and Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D-36).

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Legislation to Help Service-Disabled Veteran Business Owners Advances

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Senator Steve Oroho’s legislation to secure a share of projects funded through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB) for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today.

Sen. Steve Oroho’s legislation to secure a share of projects funded through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB) for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. (SenateNJ.com)

“Veterans who were disabled as a result of serving our country have earned special consideration,” said Oroho (R-24). “This legislation will help provide dollars and opportunity to veterans who were injured and are now in the contracting business or provide services or materials for government projects.”

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Senator Kristin Corrado

Corrado Introduces Bill Closing Pension Forfeiture Loopholes for Convicted Public Officials

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Senator Kristin Corrado has introduced legislation that will strip public officials of their pensions if they are convicted of certain serious crimes that touch on their office or employment.

Sen. Kristin Corrado has introduced legislation that will strip public officials of their pensions if they are convicted of certain serious crimes that touch on their office or employment. (©iStock)

“It’s almost unimaginable that public employees and elected officials in New Jersey can be convicted of serious crimes like accepting bribes, molestation, and child pornography while on the job and still be rewarded with a pension for honorable service,” said Corrado (R-40). “If you violate the public trust and break the law while working for taxpayers, you do not deserve a taxpayer-funded pension. The fact that this loophole hasn’t been closed yet is absolutely shameful.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Bill to Help College Students Clears Panel

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco’s legislation that would ensure economically challenged college students who qualify for assistance from New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) could also get help buying groceries from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was advanced by the Senate health committee today.

Sen. Anthony M. Bucco’s legislation that would ensure economically challenged college students receiving assistance from New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) could also get help buying groceries from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was advanced by the Senate health committee. (SenateNJ.com)

The SNAP program helps low-income individuals and families purchase healthy foods, but recipients are required to work a minimum of 20 hours each week to maintain benefits.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Committee Approves Oroho Bill that Would Cut Government Red Tape for Beekeepers

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho that would exempt raw, unprocessed honey from Department of Health cottage food regulations was approved today by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Steven Oroho that would exempt raw, unprocessed honey from Department of Health cottage food regulations was approved by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. (Pixabay)

“For far too long, beekeepers have been subject to unnecessary government red tape that prevents them from easily distributing fresh, unprocessed honey,” said Oroho (R-24). “My legislation will exempt raw honey from these needless Department of Health regulations so that beekeepers and farmers can get their product to the public in an efficient manner.”

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Senator Vince Polistina

Bipartisan Polistina Bill Allowing Disabled Veterans to Discharge Student Loans Tax-Free Clears Committee

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Disabled veterans who had debt discharged through the Total and Permanent Disability discharge program would not be subject to taxation thanks to bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Vince Polistina (R – Atlantic) and Senator Vin Gopal (D – Monmouth) that was approved today by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Disabled veterans who had debt discharged through the Total and Permanent Disability discharge program would not be subject to taxation thanks to bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sen. Vince Polistina and approved today by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. (Pixabay)

“Some veterans have suffered significant disabilities in the line of duty including paralysis, loss of sight, or severe psychological trauma. The last thing they need to worry about is how they are going to afford to pay taxes on discharged debt,” said Polistina (R-2). “This legislation will make sure New Jersey’s disabled veterans will never have to pay taxes on discharged student loan debt and will offer financial relief and stability to these injured veterans during their time of need.”

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Senator Jean Stanfield

Committee Approves Bipartisan Stanfield Bill that Would Provide Benefits to Veterans in Need

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Jean Stanfield (R – Burlington) and Senator Joseph Cryan (D – Union) that would expand benefits to military veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries was approved by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sen. Jean Stanfield that would expand benefits to military veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries was approved by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. (©iStock)

“Many veterans have received ‘less than honorable discharges,’ also known as bad papers, as a result of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or Military Sexual Trauma (MST),” said Stanfield (R-8). “Too many veterans have been shamed and left without the federal benefits they earned. These veterans also lost their rights to state benefits. This bill will align New Jersey with several states that have passed similar laws, and help ensure that our veterans receive the state benefits and respect that they deserve.”

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District 8

8th District Legislators Urge Public to Voice Opposition to Road Permits in Wharton State Forest

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In recent virtual public meetings, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has floated the creation of permits for using the roads in Wharton State Forest.

In recent virtual public meetings, the NJ DEP has floated the creation of permits for using the roads in Wharton State Forest. District 8 lawmakers chastised the DEP for holding virtual meetings on such an important topic to the people of their district. (NJ Division of Parks & Forestry)

“Visitors and residents of the Pine Barrens have never had to pay to use the roads in Wharton State Forest and shouldn’t have to at any point moving forward,” said 8th Legislative District Senator Jean Stanfield. “This is government overreach and something that New Jersey residents already pay for with their highest-in-the-nation taxes.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: NFL’s Tyreek Hill Demonstrates How NJ’s High Taxes Impact Behavior

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon said NFL star wide receiver Tyreek Hill perfectly demonstrated New Jersey’s tax problem when he explained why he chose to be traded to the Miami Dolphins instead of the New York Jets: “It was very close to happening, but it was just those state taxes, man.”

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon said NFL star wide receiver Tyreek Hill perfectly demonstrated New Jersey’s tax problem when he explained why he chose to be traded to the Miami Dolphins instead of the New York Jets. (Instagram/Sports Illustrated)

“If a professional athlete like Tyreek Hill is making a major career decision to avoid New Jersey’s ludicrously high taxes, you can be sure that financial professionals, entrepreneurs, and other high earners are doing so as well,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth), who serves as the Senate Republican Budget Officer. “It’s undeniable that our high taxes impact behavior, which costs the New Jersey economy billions in income, countless jobs, lost productivity, and unrealized revenue. For teams like the Jets and Giants and their fans, New Jersey’s uncompetitive tax rates limit their access to the best talent who could save millions by playing almost anywhere else.”

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Republican Senators

Steven Oroho

Steven Oroho

District 24 - Republican Leader

Jon Bramnick

Jon Bramnick

District 21

Anthony M. Bucco

Anthony M. Bucco

District 25

Chris Connors

Chris Connors

District 9

Kristin Corrado

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

Michael Doherty

District 23

Edward Durr

Edward Durr

District 3

Jim Holzapfel

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Declan O'Scanlon

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Vince Polistina

Vince Polistina

District 2

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

District 39

Robert Singer

Robert Singer

District 30

Jean Stanfield

Jean Stanfield

District 8

Michael Testa

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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