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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Op-Ed: Marijuana taxes should benefit all of New Jersey

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The following editorial by Senator Robert Singer (R-30) was published by the Asbury Park Press on November 29, 2020:

New Jersey residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment to legalize the personal use of cannabis by adults.

While the legislation to establish a legal market and regulatory scheme for marijuana was expected to be a slam dunk after the ballot measure was approved by a 2-to-1 margin, disagreements over a slew of concerns have caused the process to stall.

In this Asbury Park Press op-ed, Sen. Bob Singer maintains that marijuana taxes should benefit all New Jersey residents and communities. (Pixabay)

Democrats in the Legislature are now squabbling over everything – how much to tax marijuana, how they will split the money, how best to expunge prior convictions, and even whether to lower penalties for “magic mushrooms.”

They’re fighting over adding more taxes on legal pot – in addition to the State and local sales taxes explicitly approved by voters – that could lead to tax rates of 20 to 40 percent or higher for consumers. Republicans have warned that an excessive tax burden could undermine the legal marketplace and lead to lower tax revenues than expected.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Applauds Formation of New Jersey Legislative Disability Caucus

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean joined with Senate President Stephen Sweeney and a bipartisan group of legislators from both the Senate and General Assembly to launch the New Jersey Legislative Disability Caucus during a virtual event today.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean joined a bipartisan group of legislators from both the Senate and General Assembly to launch the New Jersey Legislative Disability Caucus during a virtual event. (YouTube)

The Disability Caucus will serve as a bipartisan forum within the New Jersey Legislature for lawmakers and their staff to consider the impact on the disability community when shaping all public policies in the Garden State through increased awareness and a greater understanding of the complexities of the disabilities service system and issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.

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Senator Bob Singer

Vitale & Singer Condemn Chiropractor Board for Relicensing Sex Offender

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Senator Joe Vitale, chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, and Senator Robert Singer, the ranking Republican member of the committee, issued the following joint statement condemning the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners for renewing the professional license of Bryan Bajakian, a convicted sex offender:

Sen. Joe Vitale, chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, and Sen. Robert Singer, the ranking Republican member of the committee, issued a joint statement condemning the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners for renewing the professional license of Bryan Bajakian, a convicted sex offender. (SenateNJ.com)

“It is utterly inconceivable that the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners would think it a good idea to reinstate the license of a convicted sex offender who preyed on children. The board’s decision defies common sense and fails to meet the basic standard of public safety. Bryan Bajakian is a predator who should not be placed in a position of trust with patients in a healthcare setting and should not be allowed to threaten anyone again.

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

Senate Republicans Repeat Call for Passage of Substantial Aid Package for Small Businesses & Nonprofits as State Budget Surplus Grows

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Sales Tax Revenues Continue to Outpace Murphy Administration’s Dire Revenue Projections

As sales tax collections continue to outpace the Murphy Administration’s dire revenue estimates for FY 2021 and the State budget surplus grows, the Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee repeated their calls for action on a substantial aid package to support small businesses and nonprofits struggling with the impact of COVID-19.

As sales tax collections continue to outpace the Murphy Administration’s dire revenue estimates for FY 2021 and the State budget surplus grows, the Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee repeated their calls for action on a substantial aid package to support small businesses and nonprofits struggling with the impact of COVID-19. (©iStock)

“While more and more of our small businesses are closing shop with little help from the State, Governor Murphy only seems willing to look out for his own political interests,” said Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13). “He’s building a massive surplus with borrowed and taxed funds that’s not helping anyone but himself. We’re hoping our Democrat colleagues in the Legislature will do the right thing and join us in passing a substantial aid package to help small businesses and nonprofits survive.”

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove Support New Laws Improving Protections for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities

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In representing the interests of their constituents, Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf, and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove supported and voted for bipartisan legislative initiatives that have been enacted to increase protections for residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

In representing the interests of their constituents, Sen. Christopher Connors, Asm. Brian Rumpf, and Asw. DiAnne Gove supported and voted for bipartisan legislative initiatives that have been enacted to increase protections for residents and staff of long-term care facilities. (SenateNJ.com)

The following legislation has been signed into law:

A-4481: Establishes the New Jersey Task Force on Long-Term Care Quality and Safety, which will be tasked with developing recommendations to make changes to the long-term system of care to drive improvements in person-centered care, resident and staff safety, improvements in quality of care and services, workforce engagement and sustainability, and any other appropriate aspects of the long-term system of care in New Jersey as the task force elects to review.

A-4476: Establishes the Long-Term Care Emergency Operations Center (LTCEOC) in the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH), which will serve as the centralized command and resource center for LTC facility response efforts and communications during any declared public health emergencies affecting or likely to affect one or more LTC facilities. The LTCEOC is to enhance and integrate with existing emergency response systems.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Administration’s Nursing Home COVID Policy Still a Recipe for Disaster

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Crest Pointe Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Point Pleasant Admitting New COVID Positive Patients After 19 Residents Died

Senator Joe Pennacchio continues to question the administration and State Department of Health’s policy toward admittance of new COVID patients at long-term nursing facilities. 

Senator Pennacchio questioned the Administration and State Department of Health’s policy for admitting new COVID patients to long-term nursing facilities. (SenateNJ.com)

The Senator’s office received an anonymous call from a resident’s loved one who heard that the center was still accepting new patients who are testing positive for COVID. Office staff confirmed with the nursing home’s admissions office that new patients testing positive for COVID are in fact being admitted.

The State’s current policy for requires nursing homes to have sufficient PPE and staffing to be allowed to admit COVID patients. The State also “wishes” to be notified if those facilities cannot manage the outbreak. Continue Reading…

District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove Oppose Marijuana “Modernization Act”

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“Trenton Should be Doing More for the Economy than Promoting Smoking and Selling Marijuana”

Calling it a train wreck in the making, Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove all stand opposed to the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act.”

Calling it a train wreck in the making, Connors, Rumpf & Gove expressed their opposition to the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act.” (Pixabay)

The 9th District delegation made the following remarks regarding the bill’s provisions:

“Rather than cutting taxes or exercising any degree of fiscal restraint, Trenton still has its priorities misplaced, including when it comes to implementing a legal market for marijuana.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Governor Signs Bateman Bill Investing in Public Libraries

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The New Law Appropriates Money from the Voter-Approved Library Construction Bond Act

Legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman and signed today by the Governor will benefit public libraries across the state. The measure appropriates more than $87 million for library construction and development.

Senator Bateman’s legislation to provide grants to public libraries for construction and accessibility modifications was signed by the Governor. (Abhi Sharma/Flickr)

The grants represent the initial funding round from the Library Construction Bond Act. Bateman sponsored legislation establishing the act to help struggling public libraries, and it was approved by voters in 2017.

“This is an investment in New Jersey counties, cities and towns that will help educate children, train workers for new careers, provide the public with access to the internet and technology, and give patrons the chance to enjoy a good read,” said Bateman (R-16).

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Bill Prohibiting Disclosure of Addresses and Phone Numbers of Judges Becomes Law

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‘Daniel’s Law’ Was Named for the Son of a Federal Judge Who Was Killed in an Attack on Her NJ Home

A new law, signed today by the Governor and sponsored by Senator Robert Singer protects the safety and privacy of judges and judicial officers.

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Singer that would make it a crime to disclose the address of a judge or judicial officer was signed today by the Governor. (©iStock)

“This measure takes the steps necessary to obscure details about judges that could put them and their families at risk,” said Singer (R-30). “There is so much information exchanged online, and a reckless post or an innocuous comment can, in the wrong hands, be dangerous. Enacting this law will help increase security for judges our legal system relies on.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Without Oversight, the Administration and the Legislature Own the Current COVID Situation in Nursing Homes

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Just as they did in the spring, COVID outbreaks are now running unchecked through nursing homes in New Jersey, and Senator Joe Pennacchio today said both the Governor’s Administration and the Legislature share culpability for failing to act expediently.

As COVID levels continue to spike in nursing homes in the state, Senator Pennacchio said the Governor and Legislature must do more to protect elderly residents. (Pixabay)

A newspaper report published this week cited an increase of close to 50 percent in COVID outbreaks at nursing homes, and reported almost 80 new hot spots in just 20 days.

“This is exactly what we were trying to prevent in the spring when we started calling for – pleading for – a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, and especially in our veterans and nursing homes,” said Senator Joe Pennacchio. “Utilizing subpoena power to compel witness testimony, we could have discovered which policies failed so changes could be made to ensure the same disastrous mistakes would not be repeated.

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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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