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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Urges Eligible Residents to Take Part in Senior Freeze Property Tax Relief Program

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Deadline to Apply is October 31, 2018

In light of the affordability struggles many homeowners are currently facing in New Jersey, Senator Joe Pennacchio is strongly encouraging all eligible residents to apply for the Senior Freeze Property Tax Relief Program, before the October 31, 2018 deadline.

Senator Joe Pennacchio urged eligible New Jersey residents to apply for the Senior Freeze Program Property Tax Relief Program before the October 31, 2018 deadline. (SenateNJ.com)

Pennacchio noted that more than 140,000 seniors currently use the Senior Freeze property tax relief program in New Jersey.

“Our seniors have paid more than their fair share of taxes,” Pennacchio (R-26) said. “Retirees in New Jersey who are living on a fixed income often struggle to make ends meet. The Senior Freeze Program places $204.4 million back in the pockets of New Jersey residents, ensuring these homeowners can stay with their families in the state they call home.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on NJ Transit Hearing

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on today’s NJ Transit Legislative hearing and Gov. Murphy’s announcement regarding lifting residency requirements for “mission critical” NJ transit employees.

Senator Tom Kean comments on the Aug. 16, 2018 NJ Transit hearing and Gov. Murphy’s announcement regarding lifting residency requirements for NJ transit employees. (SenateNJ.com)

“I appreciate the fact that NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett, the DOT Commissioner, and others were willing to come and testify before us today. It was refreshing to hear these officials acknowledge the pain and suffering our commuters are going through,” Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) said.

“We know now, from multiple summers of hell, that one person taking an unplanned vacation day can shut down an entire train line. The staffing issues at NJ transit are extremely problematic. Individual choices are impacting thousands of lives.

“I am glad to see that Kevin Corbett and Governor Murphy agree with me, that we need to lift residency requirements and expand the pool of hires. This is a solution I have spent years advocating for. I hope that Legislative leaders will also consider expanding this effort to include all types of public employees, as I have proposed. There is no reason not to bring the best and brightest candidates to New Jersey. In the meantime, we need to pass this limited exemption immediately.

“Everyone knows the old saying, ‘we train them and they leave.’ We hear it from business owners all the time. Why not lift this rule and grab highly trained candidates from other states while we can? This is a crisis. Commuters need us to use every tool at our disposal to solve it.

“Executive Director Corbett is right – there is no magic wand of silver bullet, but there are certainly steps we can take right now to get this agency back to where it needs to be.

“We will continue to fight alongside each other, regardless of party, to make sure our commuters have a safe, reliable and accessible way to get to work on time.”

District 10

Holzapfel, Wolfe & McGuckin Call on NJDOT to Investigate Link Between Recently Completed GSP Exit 91 Interchange and Local Flooding

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Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Dave Wolfe, and Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (all R-Ocean) called on the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to investigate if massive flooding that occurred in the Greenbriar I senior community in Brick yesterday is related to the recently completed interchange construction at Exit 91 of the Garden State Parkway.

Holzapfel, Wolfe & McGuckin called on the NJDOT to determine if the reconfigured GSP Exit 91 interchange led to flooding in the Greenbriar senior community in Brick, and to undertake any necessary improvements to prevent it from happening again. (Brick Twp. Police Department)

“The flooding that occurred yesterday along Burrsville Road and in Greenbriar is unlike anything the area has previously experienced, including during Sandy,” said Holzapfel. “We’re concerned that the recent reconfiguration of Exit 91 has impacted the area to make it susceptible to flooding. The NJDOT needs to investigate and undertake improvements if that’s the case.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Sweeney-Oroho P-3 Bill Becomes Law

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Public-Private Partnerships Will Support Building & Highway Projects

Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Steve Oroho permitting government entities to enter into public-private partnership agreements with private entities for undertaking building and highway infrastructure projects was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy.

Sen. Steve Oroho’s bipartisan legislation permitting government entities to enter into public-private partnership agreements with private entities for undertaking building and highway infrastructure projects was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy. (SenateNJ.com)

“Public-private partnerships will pave the way for innovative and sustainable infrastructure in New Jersey,” said Senator Oroho (R-Sussex/Warren/Morris). “Governments on the local, county, and state levels should be permitted flexibility in financing their capital needs given proper oversight. These partnerships are an important way to stretch scarce public dollars to complete needed projects that will benefit our residents and create jobs and economic growth.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Renews Call for Mandated Government Transparency

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Senator Urges Legislative Action Following News of Murphy Administration’s Failure to Produce Regular Fiscal Reports

In response to reports that Governor Phil Murphy’s administration has failed to produce monthly performance updates to taxpayers, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) is calling for the passage of his “Transparency in Government Act,” legislation that would hold school boards, State and local agencies, and government authorities accountable to all New Jersey residents, by preventing abusive spending of public funds.

In response to reports that Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration has failed to produce monthly performance updates to taxpayers, Sen. Joe Pennacchio is calling for the passage of his bill to prevent the abusive spending of public funds. (Pixabay)

“Transparency is an essential public instrument that holds government officials accountable for how they spend taxpayer dollars,” Pennacchio said. “Governor Murphy’s latest lapse in fiscal responsibility exposes the urgent need for a comprehensive website that shows if public money is being spent wisely. Additionally, the creation of a transparency committee places public interest at the forefront. I have been advocating for this bill for many years now. I hope that my colleagues in the Legislature will finally be able to work together to deliver honest government throughout the Garden State. ”

In the category of transparency, New Jersey received a C- for from the Public Interest Research Groups (US PIRG.) US PIRG grades each State’s ability to offer accessible government spending data and information to the public.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Gov. Signs Bateman’s $9.7 Million CBT Appropriation for State Park Projects

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Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman appropriating $9.703 million from constitutionally-dedicated corporate business tax (CBT) revenue to the NJ DEP for State capital and park development, preservation, conservation, and recreation projects.

Gov. Phil Murphy signs Sen. Kip Bateman’s legislation appropriating $9.703 million of CBT revenue funds to the NJ DEP for State capital and park development, preservation, conservation, and recreation projects. (SenateNJ.com)

“New Jersey is blessed with some of the most beautiful parks in the country, but we cannot keep them that way without funding regular maintenance, let alone build new ones,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “Using constitutionally dedicated CBT revenue is a voter-approved, fiscally responsible way to expand these preservation projects in every part of our state.”

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Senator Tom Kean

SIGNED: Kean Bill Allowing Out-of-State Licenses to Be Used in NJ

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Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to allow out-of-state workers who have suffered through a catastrophic event or natural disaster to use their professional licenses in New Jersey.

Governor Phil Murphy has signed Sen. Tom Kean’s bill to allow out-of-state workers to use their professional licenses in New Jersey. The law will help workers who have suffered through a natural disaster or catastrophic event and relocate to NJ. (SenateNJ.com)

“We need to do more to attract highly-trained professionals to New Jersey. Forcing someone to reapply for a license they already have is an unnecessary barrier to employment, particularly for innovative entrepreneurs and people who are self-employed. That’s exactly the kind of worker we want to move here. Let’s not drive them away,” Senator Kean (R-21) said. “Allowing these folks to use an out-of-state license in New Jersey is a commonsense way to grow our economy, and it’s something that many other states already do. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this legislation for years to come.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: NJ Transit, State Leaders Must Address Engineer Shortage ASAP to Keep Commuters Safe

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In light of recent reports, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) is urging NJ Transit and State leaders to work together to immediately address the engineer shortage at the troubled agency.

Sen. Tom Kean is urging NJ Transit and State leaders to work together to immediately address ongoing problems at the troubled agency, including a catastrophic engineer shortage. (SenateNJ.com)

“More than a year ago, I spoke out publicly at our Legislative Oversight hearings on the need for NJ Transit, public sector unions, and State government leaders to work together to develop solutions to the catastrophic staffing shortages that continue to put thousands of commuters in harm’s way,” Senator Kean said. “It is no surprise that customers are facing a ‘summer of hell part two.’ We’ve known about staffing shortages for quite a while. What is surprising, is that next to nothing has been done to address this crisis.

“This is not a problem that NJ Transit can solve alone – clearly, there are additional steps previous administrations could have taken, and Governor Murphy must be much more aggressive on this front as well. Additionally, my Legislative colleagues and I have proposed a number solutions, such as allowing out-of-state residents to apply for State jobs. Being a rail engineer requires a very specific skill set. We need to expand the pool of potential hires immediately and the best way to do that is to pass legislation I sponsor that would allow us to consider out-of-state applicants.

“Despite what has been recently said in the public arena, New Jersey Republicans have been very vocal advocates for NJ Transit commuters. My colleagues and I have repeatedly advocated for projects such as the Gateway Tunnel, securing one-seat rides, and Port Authority Reform. To say that we have been silent on this issue is just not factual.

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Senator Tom Kean

Statement from Sen. Kean on Recommendations of Economic and Fiscal Policy Group

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement in response to the recommendations issued by the Economic and Fiscal Policy Group:

Sen. Tom Kean said he’s confident legislators can work together in a bipartisan fashion to accomplish many of the reforms proposed by the Economic and Fiscal Policy Group. (Pixabay)

“I’m glad that the bipartisan Economic and Fiscal Policy Group has recognized the serious long-term fiscal challenges that Senate Republicans have fought for years to resolve for New Jersey taxpayers.

“The members of our caucus have long championed legislative initiatives that are similar to many of the group’s recommendations, including my proposals to create a new tax deduction for charitable contributions to the non-profits that serve our communities and to look at the efficiencies of county and local governments.

“I’m confident that we can work together in a bipartisan fashion on many of these reforms for the betterment of the people of New Jersey.”

District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Restoration of Homestead Benefit Program Funding is a Small Victory in State Budget Process

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Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove want concerned constituents to know that proposed cuts to the Homestead Benefit Program were avoided in the adopted Fiscal Year 2019 State Budget.

Sen. Connors, Assemblyman Rumpf and Assemblywoman Gove want concerned constituents to know that proposed cuts to the Homestead Benefit Program were avoided in the FY 2019 State Budget. (©iStock.com)

In April, the 9th District Delegation alerted constituents that Governor Murphy had proposed cutting Homestead rebates in half, and pledged their commitment to reject funding cuts to the vital property tax relief program.

“In what was an otherwise irresponsible and bloated State budget, the proposed $154 million cut to the Homestead Benefit program ultimately never happened, with the funding fully restored in the final approved budget. Certainly, the program has been and remains underfunded, but at least devastating funding cuts that would have proven very financially difficult for affected homeowners were successfully defeated.

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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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