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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Supports Legal Challenge by Republican Legislators to Policy Restricting Access to State House

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean expressed support for a legal challenge filed today by Republican legislators to a policy imposed by the Murphy administration and Democrats in the Legislature that restricts access to the State House for both the public and legislators:

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean expressed support for a legal challenge filed by Republican legislators to a policy imposed by the Murphy administration and Democrats in the Legislature that restricts access to the State House. (SenateNJ.com)

“It seems clear that Democrats far exceeded their authority in adopting a policy that’s intended to limit public access to the State House in a manner that’s discriminatory and violates clear constitutional protections afforded to legislators when performing official duties on behalf of their constituents,” said Kean (R-21). “A ruling from the Court to block enforcement of this policy would be a big win for open, transparent, and accessible government.”

Senate & Assembly Republicans

Republicans File Legal Challenge to Block Policy Restricting Access to New Jersey Statehouse

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Senate and Assembly Republicans have filed an action in New Jersey Superior Court (click here for PDF) to block enforcement of a policy imposed by the Murphy administration and Democrats in the Legislature that restricts access to the Statehouse for both the public and legislators.

Senate and Assembly Republicans have filed an action in New Jersey Superior Court to block enforcement of a policy imposed by the Murphy administration and Democrats in the Legislature that restricts access to the Statehouse for both the public and legislators. (SenateNJ.com)

“We’re petitioning the Court for emergent relief to block enforcement of an exclusionary policy that we believe is unconstitutional and undemocratic,” said Senator Steven Oroho, the incoming Senate Republican leader. “With the policy taking effect today, we felt compelled to take action to ensure continued public access to the Statehouse and the legislative process.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Says Murphy Needs to Get Message that Comprehensive Plan Needed for Billions in Federal Relief

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Senator Steven Oroho, a member of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee (JBOC), issued the following statement after Democrats on the committee expressed concern during today’s meeting that the Murphy administration hasn’t offered a comprehensive plan for utilizing billions in federal pandemic relief funds that were delivered to New Jersey more than six months ago:

After concerns raised by both Republicans and Democrats, Sen. Steven Oroho said Gov. Murphy needs to get the message that he must offer a comprehensive plan for utilizing billions in federal pandemic relief funds that remain unspent. (©iStock)

“During today’s JBOC meeting, it was clear that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle were unsatisfied with the lack of a comprehensive plan from the Murphy administration for spending billions in pandemic relief funds effectively.

“Republicans have repeatedly been calling for a strategic plan since April when we issued our detailed blueprint, including last week when the Governor’s incomplete proposal was shared with us.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: What if Democrat Leadership Had Worked This Hard to Keep COVID Out of Nursing Homes?

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As Democrats in Trenton defend rigid COVID rules at the State House that could block some elected officials from participating in Thursday’s voting sessions, Senator Joe Pennacchio questioned why the same rigor wasn’t used to protect senior residents in nursing facilities from the virus.

As Democrats in Trenton defend rigid COVID rules at the State House that could block some elected officials from entering the building, Sen. Joe Pennacchio questioned why the same rigor wasn’t used to protect senior residents in nursing facilities from the virus. (Pixabay)

“The hypocrisy is obvious,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The Democrats are so concerned about stopping COVID at the door of the capitol. Where was that same urgency when the Governor’s Administration was forcing the virus into nursing homes at great cost and loss of life?”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho & Wirths Call for Comprehensive Plan for Federal Pandemic Relief Funds from Murphy Administration

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Senator Steven Oroho and Assemblyman Hal Wirths, the Republican members of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee (JBOC), said they will not vote to approve an incomplete plan put forward by the Murphy administration for spending federal pandemic relief funds:

Sen. Steven Oroho and Asm. Hal Wirths, the Republican members of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, said they will not vote to approve an incomplete plan put forward by the Murphy administration for spending federal pandemic relief funds. (Pixabay)

“Republicans have proposed a detailed plan to use billions of federal pandemic relief funds to support small businesses, prevent unnecessary tax increases on employers, fix broken computer systems at Unemployment and the MVC, help tenants and homeowners, and provide relief to property taxpayers.

“The Murphy administration, in contrast, has presented no comprehensive plan, no strategy, no process for selecting what gets funded, and no explanation for anything that was submitted to JBOC for approval. Some of what they proposed may be worthy, but it’s not clear based on the incomplete proposal we’ve been provided.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho: NJBIA Survey Makes Case for Improving State Support for NJ’s Struggling Businesses

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Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) said the State must do more to support New Jersey’s small businesses after a new survey found that 60% of business owners were planning on or considering shutting down their businesses due to the continuing challenges of the pandemic.

Sen. Steven Oroho said the State must do more to support New Jersey’s small businesses after a new survey found that 60% of business owners were planning on or considering shutting down their businesses due to the continuing challenges of the pandemic. (Wikipedia)

“We should be extremely concerned when nearly 60% of business owners tell us they are ready or willing to shut their doors for good due to government mandates and restrictions, lower revenues, and other challenges related to operating in New Jersey during the pandemic,” said Oroho, the Senate Republican Budget Officer and incoming Republican Leader. “If the Murphy administration continues to ignore the warning signs, we could be on our way to mass business closures and millions more unemployed. It’s another reason Governor Murphy must consider a comprehensive plan to use billions in federal relief funds effectively.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Locking Legislators and the Public Out of the People’s House is Wrong

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Commission Decision Requiring Vaccine Passports for Voting Session Defies NJ Constitution

Legislators in Trenton are scheduled to vote on dozens of bills in the chambers of both houses on Thursday, but Senator Joe Pennacchio voiced concerns about a decision by the unelected members of the State Capital Joint Management Commission that could stand in the way.

Legislators in Trenton are scheduled to vote on dozens of bills in the chambers of both houses on Thursday, but Senator Joe Pennacchio voiced concerns about a decision by the unelected members of the State Capital Joint Management Commission that could stand in the way. (SenateNJ.com)

The commission’s decision reached last month requires anyone entering the State House to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test and could prevent some lawmakers from casting votes.

“This commission comprised of appointees, not elected representatives, is telling the Legislature and the public that they can’t enter the People’s House,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “This edict violates the State Constitution which protects the Legislature from outside interference. Rules that govern the Legislature should come from the Legislature itself, not an unelected body.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Responds to Murphy Administration’s Release of Overdue Proposal for Using Federal Pandemic Relief Funds

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Senate Republicans Proposed a Comprehensive Plan in April

Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) responded to the Murphy Administration’s release of a long-overdue proposal for the allocation of billions in federal pandemic relief funds that were delivered to New Jersey in May through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Sen. Steven Oroho responded to the Murphy Administration’s release of a long-overdue proposal for the allocation of billions in federal pandemic relief funds. (Pixabay)

“I look forward to finally having the opportunity to review the Murphy administration’s proposal for using billions in federal relief funds that were sent to New Jersey six months ago,” said Oroho, the Senate Republican Budget Officer and incoming Republican Leader. “At first blush, however, it appears the administration’s plan is grossly incomplete and fails to address key needs for New Jersey. Many months ago, Republicans offered a detailed proposal that would help workers and small businesses, support tenants and landlords, invest in infrastructure improvements, fix broken computer systems at unemployment and the MVC, and prevent unnecessary tax increases on employers. Unfortunately, most of those important priorities still haven’t been addressed.”

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Senator Holly Schepisi

Schepisi: There are Lessons to be Learned from Studying Impact of Remote Classes on Students

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National Study Blamed Pandemic for ‘Significant Learning Losses’

Senator Holly Schepisi today called for the Legislature to act swiftly in lame duck and pass a bill that would require the Commissioner of Education to prepare a report on learning loss and the operation of public schools during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Sen. Holly Schepisi called for the Legislature to advance a bill that would require the Commissioner of Education to study and report on the pandemic’s impact on student learning and the operation of public schools. (Pixabay)

“We’re going to have to help students make up the educational ground they lost during the pandemic, and the first step is understanding the severity of the problem,” said Schepisi (R-39), citing a national study that concluded student learning suffered substantially from remote schooling due to COVID.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco: Murphy Must Stop Hiding Costs from New Jersey and Disclose Financial Implications of Impractical Energy Master Plan

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Governor Phil Murphy and his appointees to the Board of Public Utilities have yet to disclose the price tag on his far-reaching energy master plan announced nearly two years ago, and Senator Anthony M. Bucco today chided the front office for its lack of transparency with New Jersey families. At an NJBIA meeting in February 2020, administration officials shared the BPU was conducting a cost study that would likely be released the following month. Over a year and a half later, no cost analysis has been shared with the public, yet the Administration continues to move forward on its implementation.

Sen. Anthony M. Bucco criticized Gov. Murphy for withholding the financial impact of his Energy Master Plan will have on New Jersey families and businesses. The plan is expected to cost a family of four more than $210,000. (SenateNJ.com)

“J.P. Morgan is often quoted as saying ‘if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it,’ and that is certainly the case with this sweeping energy plan that could upend the economy and devastate state residents,” said Bucco (R-25). “I’m calling on the legislature to do its job, begin oversight of the Administration’s plan and request the BPU finally disclose all outside experts cost analyses immediately. The election showed this Administration must stop placating the far-left wing of his party and instead focus on affordability for residents.”

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Anthony M. Bucco

District 25

Chris Connors

District 9

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

Vince Polistina

District 2

Holly Schepisi

District 39

Robert Singer

District 30

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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