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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Murphy’s Veto of Rent Relief Is a Slap in the Face to Small Businesses

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Senator Michael Testa slammed Governor Phil Murphy for vetoing legislation aimed at providing much-needed rent relief to small businesses during the shutdown.

Sen. Michael Testa slammed Gov. Murphy for vetoing legislation aimed at providing relief to small businesses. Pictured: Testa speaking at a press conference on May 9, 2020 to highlight the plight of small businesses. (SenateNJ.com)

“Governor Murphy hypocritically claims that small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, yet he is solely responsible for bleeding them dry,” said Testa (R-1). “This commonsense bill received overwhelming bipartisan support in the State Legislature, yet the governor turned a blind eye as mom-and-pop stores face the grim reality of permanently closing their doors,” added Testa. “As our state’s most influential elected officials, we should work together to help small business owners attempt to salvage their livelihoods.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Steve Oroho

Republican Senators Urge Sweeney to Ensure Protections for Disabled Residents, Provide Committee with Subpoena Power

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Senator Steven Oroho wrote to Senate President Steve Sweeney today (click here for PDF) urging that a recently announced Senate committee review new concerns regarding the State’s COVID-19 response to group homes and other facilities that care for residents with disabilities. They also reiterated their call for the new Senate Review and Recovery Committee to be given subpoena power to compel the appearance of witnesses.

Senators Pennacchio, Corrado, O’Scanlon, and Oroho urged Senate President Steve Sweeney to allow a recently announced Senate committee to review new concerns regarding group homes and other facilities that care for residents with disabilities, and to give the committee subpoena power to compel the appearance of witnesses. (SenateNJ.com)

The full text of the letter is below:

May 29, 2020

Dear Senate President Sweeney,

Two weeks ago, our Senate Republican caucus wrote to you calling for the formation of a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Murphy administration’s response to COVID-19, including the orders that contributed to the loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities.

We are thankful that you listened to our requests and announced jointly with Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean the formation of a bipartisan Senate Review and Recovery Committee for this purpose. This is a positive step that will allow New Jersey to learn from its mistakes and improve our State’s response as we look to reopen safely.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: NJ Department of Health’s Management of EMS Stinks of Failure and Corruption

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Over the past year, Senator Declan O’Scanlon has tried to work with a reluctant Department of Health (DOH) in fixing major flaws in the New Jersey EMS system.

Senator O’Scanlon said the firing of the department of health’s assistant commissioner is indicative of deeper problems within the department. (Flickr)

Today, after the department’s head of Public Health Infrastructure, Laboratories & Health Preparedness was dismissed, O’Scanlon is raising a red flag over the department’s management of the entire program.

“Yesterday it became grossly apparent how bad things are over at DOH when assistant commissioner Chris Neuwirth was fired from his position,” he said.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Towns Can Recoup Revenue Shortfalls During Pandemic Under Bateman Legislation

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Workers and businesses are not the only ones taking a financial beating from the pandemic. Municipalities have seen revenues plummet and many are facing huge budget shortfalls.

Municipalities, financially stressed by the impact of the COVID pandemic, will be able to fill budget shortfalls without major tax increases on residents under a bill sponsored by Sen. Bateman. (Pixabay)

Senator Kip Bateman sponsors bipartisan legislation that will allow towns to borrow money to fill the fiscal voids.

“For some local governments, borrowing might be the only solution,” said Bateman (R-16). “Across the state, tax revenue is down substantially and expenses have skyrocketed due to the virus. As a last resort, long term debt could help towns buy time until businesses reopen, people go back to work, and a sustainable recovery is under way.”

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Trenton is At It Again – Vetoed Common Interest Community Bill Reintroduced and Back on the Agenda

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Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove are alerting constituents that the controversial Common Interest Community Legislation from last year, S-2425, has been reintroduced and advanced in committee.  The new bill number for the current Legislative Session is S-2261.

More than 9,000 residents signed a petition opposing legislation, later vetoed by the Governor, to change common community laws. The bill is back again, and Senator Connors, Asm. Rumpf and Asw. Gove are leading the opposition. (@iStock)

On May 27 of this year, Senator Connors voted against S-2261 as a member of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.  Following the bill’s release from Committee, the 9th District Delegation provided an update to constituents:

“A large and actively engaged majority of our constituents living in age-restricted communities do not want or need Trenton interfering with the operations of their communities.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Chaos at the State Department of Health

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Pennacchio: Fired Deputy Commissioner Should be Called as Witness for Special Senate Committee

As reported in the New Jersey Globe, the state’s top health official in charge of emergency preparedness has been fired, and Senator Joe Pennacchio said it paints a disturbing portrait of the Murphy Administration’s COVID performance.

Fired high-level health department official should be one of the first witnesses for the Senate’s pandemic response investigation, Senator Pennacchio said. (SenateNJ.com)

“With the revelation that the fired assistant commissioner of health claims he was being ‘scapegoated,’ and recent statements by the commissioner herself that she and the Governor had yet to have a ‘one on one meeting,’ a picture begins to emerge,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “A picture of a chaotic department that was in over their heads. A picture that saw the Administration safely fall back on and hide behind the skirts of the CDC, FDA, and WHO for guidance. A picture that had no forethought in COVID policy but rather played follow the leader with New York. An administration that became comfortable managing this mess instead of looking for ways to lead us out. The souls of 6,000 dead in our nursing homes and their families deserve answers now.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso: “Restaurants Don’t Have Weeks to Wait”

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) stood by restaurant owners from across the state and the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association (NJRHA) at a press conference this morning calling for immediate action by the Governor to reopen New Jersey’s restaurant industry.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Asw. Serena DiMaso stood by restaurant owners from across the state and the NJ Restaurant and Hospitality Association calling for immediate action by the Gov. to reopen NJ’s restaurant industry. (Pixabay)

“We fully support our restaurant owners today in their call for immediate reopening actions. The Governor has said that we are weeks off from seeing restaurants reopen in some capacity. The problem is that our restaurant owners do not have weeks to wait anymore. There are 350,000 New Jersey restaurant workers on unemployment right now. Every week that we wait is another week that keeps these workers unemployed.”

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District 13

O’Scanlon, DiMaso, Scharfenberger Demand June 15 Graduation Ceremonies

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Monmouth) today called for Governor Murphy to permit graduation ceremonies as of June 15th and remove the restrictive guidance issued.

O’Scanlon, DiMaso, Scharfenberger called for Gov. Murphy to permit graduation ceremonies as of June 15 and remove the restrictive guidance issued. (©iStock)

“We were thrilled to see what appeared to be acquiescence to our request for outdoor graduation ceremonies, only to find out that the Governor has effectively cancelled them with his micro-management.” said O’Scanlon. “As long as they adhere to social distance, they should be permitted from June 15th.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho: Child Care Centers & Camp Operators Tell Senators They Have Detailed Plans to Operate Safely

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Says Working Parents Need Clarity on Reopening of Child Care from Administration

After hearing directly from child care providers and camp operators about their plans to operate safely, Senator Steven Oroho said the Murphy Administration must produce a clear timeline for the reopening of child care centers and summer camps.

After hearing directly from child care providers and camp operators about their plans to operate safely, Sen. Steven Oroho said the Murphy Administration must produce a clear timeline for the reopening of child care centers and summer camps. (Pixabay)

“Without access to child care and summer camps, it will be impossible for many parents to leave their homes to earn a living as their workplaces reopen,” said Oroho (R-24). “Thankfully, it’s clear that child care and camp operators have produced detailed plans that demonstrate their ability to keep children safe and healthy as their parent get back to work.”

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Senator Kristin Corrado

Corrado: Gov. Murphy Should Let High School Graduates Walk in June

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Says July 6th Date Set by Governor Is Completely Arbitrary, Not Based on Any Metrics or Benchmarks

Senator Kristin Corrado is calling for New Jersey schools to hold in-person graduations on their own schedules. Earlier this week, Governor Phil Murphy announced that the Class the 2020 will be permitted to hold in-person graduations with various restrictions after July 6th.

Sen. Kristin Corrado is calling for New Jersey schools to hold in-person graduations on their own schedules. (Pixabay)

“The governor has continuously repeated that ‘data determines dates,’ but he has never explained the specific benchmarks that must be met for his executive orders to be lifted,” said Corrado (R-40.) “The July 6th date he has set for graduations seems completely arbitrary and does not appear to be based on any public health metrics or benchmarks. Also, the current restrictions on the size of permitted gatherings seems to conflict with the goal of allowing classmates to graduate together. Governor Murphy should explain to graduates and their families why graduations will be any safer on that date than if they were to take place in June as they normally do.

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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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