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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senator Michael Testa
Senator Mike Doherty

2 Months After Testa/Doherty Call to Reopen In-Person Unemployment Centers, Crickets from Murphy Administration

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Some Unemployed Workers Waiting Since March for Benefits

Senator Michael Testa and Senator Michael Doherty reiterated their call for Governor Murphy to reopen the New Jersey Department of Labor’s (DOL) in-person unemployment offices to better serve residents who lost their jobs due to the economic impact of COVID-19 and lockdown orders issued by the administration.

Sen. Michael Testa and Sen. Michael Doherty reiterated their call for Gov. Murphy to reopen the DOL’s in-person unemployment offices to better serve residents who lost their jobs. (SenateNJ.com)

“It’s been two months since we requested that the Murphy Administration open unemployment offices for walk-in service, yet there’s still no movement to better serve out-of-work New Jerseyans,” said Testa (R-1). “Our neighbors and friends who have not seen a paycheck since the shutdown began four months ago are racking up credit card debt and draining their bank accounts to survive. It’s clear that trying to obtain unemployment benefits remotely is not working for many people, and struggling New Jersey families cannot afford to wait any longer.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Editorial: Murphy’s Unconstitutional $10 Billion Borrowing Plan Is ‘Wacko on Steroids’

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The following editorial by Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) on an unconstitutional plan proposed by Governor Phil Murphy to borrow $10 billion to fund State operating expenses over the next 12 months was published by NJ.com on July 15, 2020:

The Murphy Administration and the Democratic legislators are prepared to move forward with the largest borrowing scheme in state history. They are seeking to raise $10 billion through bonding to fund state spending over the next 12 months.

In this NJ.com editorial, Sen. Steven Oroho says the Murphy Administration’s unconstitutional plan to raise taxes and borrow $10 billion without voter approval will hurt New Jersey taxpayers for decades to come. (©iStock)

This fiscally irresponsible plan could cost New Jersey taxpayers tens of billions of dollars in debt and interest payments over the next 35 years, depending on the interest rate. They will say “it’s a good time to borrow because interest rates are low.”

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Senator Sam Thompson

ICYMI – Thompson’s Budget Committee Remarks on Democrats’ $10 Billion Borrowing Scheme

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Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) delivered the following remarks during the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee today panning a $10 billion borrowing plan (S-2697/A-4175) proposed by Governor Phil Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders that could cost New Jersey taxpayers tens of billions in debt and interest payments over the next 35 years:

Sen. Sam Thompson’s remarks during the Senate Budget Committee’s consideration of a $10 billion borrowing scheme being advanced by Gov. Murphy and Democrat legislators. (Pixabay)

First off Mr. Chairman, I’d like to say I’m sorry this bill is being rushed. It is indeed unfortunate that this meeting, despite a bill not even being available to the public and not having been introduced yet, was scheduled Friday night with no meaningful notice. The pace at which this bill is moving is unnecessary.

The bill is simple. It’s giving authority to the Governor to issue $10 billion of debt to wash into the 2021 budget that starts October 1. It will be a one-shot revenue, leaving up to a $10 billion budget hole to be fixed in 2022 by either Governor or his successor. Worse than leaving today’s problem to be fixed in 2022, the borrowing will make the problem much worse by adding tens of billions of dollars of interest payments and hundreds of millions of dollars in financial fees and commissions.

The borrowing is incredibly irresponsible. It’s four times larger than the next biggest borrowing in the state’s history. It will throw a $10 billion anchor around the necks of people who are already struggling to make ends meet.

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

ICYMI: Massive Opposition to Democrats’ Rushed Redistricting Scheme

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Numerous organizations have voiced their adamant displeasure with the latest scheme (ACR-188) proposed by Democrats to delay the legislative redistricting process through a rushed constitutional amendment. They have warned that the proposed constitutional amendment would disenfranchise voters and delay by years the opportunity for growing minority communities to be fairly represented.

Numerous organizations have voiced their displeasure with the latest scheme proposed by Democrats to delay the legislative redistricting process. (SenateNJ.com)

The following is a roundup of statements and testimony by nonpartisan election experts, academics, journalists, and representatives from a variety of good-government organizations spanning the political spectrum that have opposed the legislation.

Here’s what they’re saying…

“Today’s bill is not in the best interest of the people of New Jersey generally, and its people of color in particular. We oppose the proposed bill today because it will exacerbate the cracks of structural racism in our foundation by using the existing, outdated legislative maps, which do not include the substantial growth of people of color in New Jersey since 2010, thereby diluting the political strength, influence, and power to which people of color are entitled based on their composition of New Jersey’s population as it exists right now. This Legislature has had almost three months to work on a solution, and despite requests from advocates and the significant public interest about this issue, these discussions have been in backrooms. But instead of holding public hearings and discussions during this time, members of the Legislature have waited to the last minute to introduce and fast track a problematic constitutional amendment. This is not how democracy should work. …turning to the substance of the bill, the 2011 legislative map is no longer representative of New Jersey. This bill, unfortunately, ignores the interests of communities of color in a manner that may violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Finally, this bill inappropriately seeks to make a permanent change to our redistricting process. Today’s bill does not serve the interests of communities of color now, and will undermine those communities in the future. For these reasons, we oppose this bill. We urge you not to pass it.” Henal Patel, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice; Rev. Eric Dobson, Deputy Director, Fair Share Housing Center; Richard T. Smith, President, NAACP New Jersey State Conference; Rev. Dr. Charles F. Boyer, Executive Director, Salvation and Social Justice; and Elise Boddie, Founder, The Inclusion Project, Rutgers Law School

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: ‘Doesn’t Anybody Care About the Deaths of 6,700 Seniors?’

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Reiterates Call for Creation of Senate Select Committee to Investigate

Senator Joe Pennacchio again implored the legislature to act on behalf of more than 6,700 elderly nursing home residents who lost their lives to COVID-19 and vote to create a Senate Select Committee to review the State’s response to the pandemic.

Senator Pennacchio urged the legislature to act on behalf of more than 6,700 elderly nursing home residents who lost their lives to COVID-19 and create a Senate Select Committee to review the State’s response to the pandemic. (CC0 Public Domain)

“The deplorable treatment of vulnerable seniors who were isolated, abandoned and exposed to this deadly virus was a pandemic genocide that stripped the lives of almost 7,000 fragile souls trapped in long term care facilities,” Pennacchio said.  “Now, this shocking nightmare is being compounded by apathy. These innocent victims have been be deserted by the legislature and forgotten by the press. Doesn’t anybody care what happened to these victims?”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman: Hypocritical Democrats Have Enough Time to Rush Redistricting Amendment onto Ballot, But Won’t Give Voters Choice on $10 Billion Borrowing Plan

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Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) said New Jersey Democrats are being utterly hypocritical by rushing a constitutional amendment onto this November’s ballot that would disenfranchise minority voters in next year’s legislative elections, while simultaneously seeking to avoid the voter approval that is required for a record-setting $10 billion borrowing plan they announced today:

Sen. Kip Bateman said Democrats are being utterly hypocritical by rushing a constitutional amendment onto this November’s ballot, while simultaneously seeking to avoid the required voter approval for their new $10 billion borrowing plan. (SenateNJ.com)

“Democrats say they still have enough time to rush a constitutional amendment onto this November’s ballot that good-government advocates say would disenfranchise minorities, but they somehow can’t manage to give voters a say on $10 billion of debt they plan to issue as our constitution requires.

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

Statements from Senate Republican Budget Members on Democrats’ $10 Billion Borrowing Scheme

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee issued the following statements in response to a private, partisan agreement between Governor Phil Murphy and Democrat legislative leaders to borrow $10 billion to fund State spending next year.

Statements from Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee in response to a private, partisan agreement between Gov. Phil Murphy and Democrat legislative leaders to borrow $10 billion to fund State spending next year. (Pixabay)

Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24): “My predecessor, Senator Bob Littell, called a debt issuance one-quarter this size in 1997 ‘wacko.’ Today, taxpayers are still paying off that debt. This debt issuance is ‘wacko’ on steroids. It’s billions of debt for operating expenses with tens of billions of interest more, and won’t be paid off for decades. It’s unbelievably irresponsible. I appreciate the magnitude of the fiscal crisis we are in, but we haven’t even exhausted other fiscal management practices. This borrowing scheme is reckless behavior that will only exacerbate our problems long term.”

Senator Michael Testa (R-1): “The Governor and Democrats agreeing to issue $10 billion of debt for operating expenses isn’t just unconstitutional, it’s insane. Taxpayers will be paying for this madness for the next 35 years.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer: No Rain Check for Restaurants in Inclement Weather

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Calls on Governor to Safely Reopen Indoor Restaurants at 25% Capacity

In light of inclement weather expected this weekend due to Tropical Storm Fay, Senator Robert Singer today called for the opening of indoor restaurants at 25% capacity with social distancing and CDC compliant sanitization measures in place.

In light of inclement weather expected this weekend, Sen. Robert Singer called for the opening of indoor restaurants at 25% capacity with social distancing and CDC compliant sanitization measures in place. (Pixabay)

“Sunshine and clear skies currently determine the fate of restaurant owners and employees across New Jersey,” said Singer. “A downpour should not put a damper on a restaurant’s ability to open and stay in business. Today and tomorrow’s rain and thunder are the perfect examples of why restaurants should be able to safely open and operate at a limited capacity indoors.”

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove Oppose Legislative Redistricting Scheme

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Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove will be voting NO on a legislative redistricting proposal that is being fast-tracked to avoid public scrutiny and deliberation.  The legislation (ACR-188) proposes to amend the State Constitution to allow for the legislative redistricting process to be delayed.

Connors, Rumpf & Gove announced they will be voting against a legislative proposal to delay the redistricting process that is being fast-tracked to avoid public scrutiny and deliberation. (SenateNJ.com)

The 9th District Delegation offered the following remarks:

“This is a Trenton-power play meant to keep control in the hands of the few and protect the status quo. They are going all-in to ensure that the majority of the Legislature remains composed of tax increasers and big-government advocates who want and willingly allow the bureaucracy to micro-manage too many aspects of our lives.

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: Thank Gov. Murphy For Your Long Wait at MVC

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‘Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail’

Senator Michael Doherty released the following statement in response to the blatant failures of the Murphy administration as it neglected to adequately prepare for the reopening of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) that had been shut down since March due the COVID-19 lockdown:

Sen. Michael Doherty responded to the blatant failures of the Murphy administration as it neglected to adequately prepare for the reopening of the MVC. (Wikimedia)

“After a four-month lockdown, the MVC that New Jerseyans returned to was an utter nightmare. Long lines wrapped around the agencies, negatively impacting those waiting in the heat and humidity as well as the communities surrounding the centers. Many residents were turned away without any help or guidance. The failure to properly plan for this reopening is an absolute disgrace.

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony M. 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

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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