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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Comptroller’s Scathing Report on Newark Agency Exposes Big Government at Its Absolute Worst

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9th District Representatives Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove today called the report issued by New Jersey’s Office of the State Comptroller on the now-defunct Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation as a warning on the trappings of big government.

On February 19, the State Comptroller’s Office issued a report that detailed its findings on abuses by the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation, which was a nonprofit organization that was responsible for running the city’s water infrastructure.

Highlighted among the worst abuses in the Comptroller’s report was how the former executive director wrote unauthorized checks to herself, handed out no-bid contracts as patronage, engaged in risky investment actions that lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. On top of this, the former executive director was granted a severance package worth more than $450,000, to which appears she was not entitled to, according to the report.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio, Rumana Claim Red Tape Holding Up Job Creation at Port of New Jersey

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New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris & Passaic) and Assemblyman Scott Rumana (R – Bergen, Essex, Morris & Passaic) today both questioned why the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, a bi-state agency, has delayed the port of New Jersey from filling approximately 600 vitally needed jobs.

The Waterfront Commission was created in the early 1950s to perform background checks and eliminate the presence of organized crime in the ports.  It also has veto authority over the actual number of new hires.

“Even though management and labor have both agreed that additional staffing is needed, it still must go through a third party just to get approval for those numbers.  What other business has to subordinate themselves to a third party when dealing with hiring practices?” questioned Senator Pennacchio.

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove Support Assembly Committee’s Advancement of Jessica Lunsford Act

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The Assembly Judiciary Committee advanced legislation, A-892, entitled the Jessica Lunsford Act, which is cosponsored by 9th District Representatives Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove.

The Act, which is named after the Florida girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a convicted sex offender, requires mandatory terms of imprisonment for persons convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a child under the age of 13, for a specific term of years fixed by the sentencing court, between 25 years and life imprisonment, of which 25 years or more must be served before parole eligibility.

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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson Urges ‘Select Committee’ Inquiry on Newark’s Abuse of Tax Dollars, in Light of Latest Comptroller Findings

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Senator Sam Thompson (R-Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean) urged the chairman and chairwoman of the “New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation” to open a full inquiry into the City of Newark’s abuse of tax dollars, in light of state Comptroller investigative report released today.

“This Committee is empowered to investigate any matter ‘raising concerns about abuse of government power or an attempt to conceal an abuse of government power’ over the next two years,” said Thompson. “Democrats vowed that this would remain a bipartisan committee. Just as other legislative committees address many different matters during a legislative session, this committee can investigate how New Jersey’s largest city has been wasting billions of dollars from taxpayers all across this state — and potentially covering up such action.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Video: Tom Kean Talks About How Educational Opportunities Impact New Jersey’s Economy

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) appeared on Comcast Newsmakers with host Jill Horner to talk about how educational opportunities impact New Jersey’s economy.

District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove Renew Effort to Combat Heroin Epidemic

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Large-scale drug dealers, including those at the center of the heroin trade, would receive lengthier sentences under legislation re-introduced by 9th District Legislators Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove.

Under the 9th District Delegation’s legislation (S-209/A-782), which was drafted in close collaboration with Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, a new classification scheme would be established for certain controlled dangerous substances that empower prosecutors the option to grade the seriousness of a drug distribution offense by the number of dosage units involved rather than the actual weight of the drugs. The legislation was drafted in response to the deadly heroin epidemic sweeping across the state.

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Senator Gerald Cardinale

Cardinale: While Pushing for a Zero Tax Cap, Sweeney Can’t Bail on Sick Leave Reform

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Senator: There’s Still Hope After Senate President Relinquished Sponsorship of His Own Bipartisan-Supported Sick-Leave Bill

Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen) wants to work with the Senate President to finally pass bipartisan-sponsored sick leave legislation that mirrors a bill sponsored last session by Senator Sweeney.

“As the Senate President pushes an initiative to impose a zero-percent property tax cap on local entities that do not share services, he cannot neglect the billion-dollar sick leave liability that drives up property taxes in the short and long term,” Senator Cardinale said. “Sick leave reform needs to be done before you can even consider a zero-percent tax cap. A zero cap would force towns to have to bond or cut critical services at a moment’s notice to make these six-, seven- and eight-figure payouts.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Op-Ed Questions Partisan Maneuvering by Select Committee on Investigation

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The following Op-Ed by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) calling into question partisan maneuvering by the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation was published in the Asbury Park Press on Feb. 1.

The full text of the of Op-Ed can be read below:

The New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation is ironically perpetuating the very malfeasance that necessitated its formation.

My Senate colleagues and I unanimously voted to establish this committee to seek facts surrounding George Washington Bridge lane alterations. But legislative Democrats who publicly vowed to conduct themselves in a transparent and bipartisan fashion are now taking this committee down a purely partisan path marred by secrecy.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman, Ciattarelli & Simon: BPU Recommendation for Lower JCP&L Rates Is Great News for Beleaguered Rate-Payers

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JCP&L Asked for a $31M Increase; BPU Calls for a $200M Cut

Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Assemblywoman Donna Simon today commended the Board of Public Utilities’ strong recommendation for a substantial reduction in the Jersey Central Power & Lights’ electricity rates.

BPU is calling for more than a $200 million cut in the rates charged to the power company’s customers, mirroring a similar opinion issued by the Division of Rate Counsel, New Jersey’s ratepayer advocate.

“I want to applaud BPU and Rate Counsel for their due diligence in uncovering the facts and representing the best interest of the ratepayer who deserve a reprieve from high electric rates,” said Bateman, R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho, Sarlo Measure to Support Donations to Veterans Cemetery in North Jersey Advanced

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Steven Oroho and Paul Sarlo to facilitate charitable contributions for the development of northern New Jersey’s first veterans cemetery was advanced today by the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

The Senators’ bipartisan measure, S361, would give taxpayers the option on their tax return to contribute a portion of their tax refund to support the development and operation of the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery. The planned 66-acre parcel in Sussex County would be the first cemetery dedicated to veterans in the northern part of the state.

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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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