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Senator Tom Kean

Kean on the Passing of Bennie Rice, Sr.

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following on the passing of Bennie Rice, Sr., the father of Senator Ronald L. Rice:

Bennie Rice, Sr., the father of Senator Ron Rice, passed away at the age of 89.

“The Senate Republican caucus and I extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bennie Rice, Sr. As a colleague of Senator Rice and former classmate of Ron Rice Jr., I have come to know this incredible family quite well over the years.

“Bennie Rice, Sr. led by example, leaving a legacy of hardworking and dedicated children and grandchildren who continue to fight for the people of New Jersey.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Extradition of Cop-Killer Chesimard Must Be Priority in Upcoming Talks with Cuba

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Senator Joe Pennacchio released the following statement in response to news that the United States Department of State and Cuba are expected to begin talks about the extradition of Joanne Chesimard:

Joanne Chesimard is wanted for escaping from prison in Clinton, New Jersey, while serving a life sentence for murdering a New Jersey State Trooper. She relocated to Cuba in 1984, where she is thought to still be living. (FBI)

“As a long time advocate for her extradition, I’m encouraged to see this opportunity to finally return Joanne Chesimard to U.S. law enforcement where she can face the penalties she deserves for her heinous crime,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “Chesimard has been allowed to escape justice for more than 30 years. I can’t imagine the pain that the family of Trooper Werner Foerster has endured all these years knowing that his killer has been allowed to go free while they continue to mourn his death. The President must seize on the opportunity of these upcoming talks with Cuba to restore justice for the Foerster family, New Jersey and all of America by demanding the extradition of Chesimard.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Announces New Mobile Tourism App, Farm-to-Table Promotion at BlueClaws’ Opening Day

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At Opening Day for the Lakewood BlueClaws, Senate Republican Conference Leader Robert Singer unveiled several new bills to help create and retain jobs for New Jersey’s tourism and agriculture industries. Senator Singer was joined by BlueClaws Chief Revenue & Operations Officer Adam M. Lorber, who led a tour highlighting FirstEnergy Park upgrades before Senator Singer threw the game’s ceremonial first pitch.

Sen. Bob Singer unveiled new legislation to enhance New Jersey’s tourism and agriculture industries prior to the Lakewood BlueClaws home opener at FirstEnergy Park on April 9, 2015. (SenateNJ.com)

“I’m excited to have the BlueClaws support as we push for legislation that will revolutionize the way New Jersey attracts tourists and jobs to our many unique sites and enhances farm-to-table opportunities for restaurants, farmers and agro-tourism destinations,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “A key bill in this package will overhaul New Jersey’s tourism efforts, in part, with a global marketing campaign to feature a mobile app to attract people in real-time to any of the historical sites, parks, trails, museums, beaches and venues across the state. This package will make New Jersey competitive with other states, including Michigan, California, Florida and New York, which every day are drawing our residents and families from our tourist base to their states and, in turn, improving their economies.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Video: Kean Discusses Effort to Eliminate State Worker Residency Requirements

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean talked with NJTV News about his legislative effort (S-2854) to eliminate state worker residency requirements.

Click here to view the video.

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer to Unveil New Senate Republican Jobs Bills Before BlueClaws’ Opening Day

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Prior to the Lakewood BlueClaws Opening Day on Thursday, April 9, 2015, Senator Robert Singer will announce several new jobs bills that will enhance New Jersey’s tourism and agriculture industries. Senator Singer will be joined by BlueClaws Chief Revenue & Operations Officer Adam M. Lorber.

Lakewood BlueClaws (Flickr/Ted Kerwin)

Following a joint press conference, Mr. Lorber will lead a pre-game tour of FirstEnergy Park, which will be open to the media, and highlight exciting stadium upgrades for the new season. Senator Singer will then throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

“In addition to a great evening of festivities at one of New Jersey’s many first-rate attractions, the BlueClaws’ Opening Day 2015 will also mark a turning point for our state’s tourism and agricultural economies,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “The legislation we are announcing will implement modern technologies to attract people from across the world to this state’s unique sites, such as FirstEnergy Park, creating more jobs and economic opportunities for families and communities. As neighboring states are competing more strongly than ever to attract our residents and tourism base, we must overhaul New Jersey’s tourism and marketing efforts to make people aware in real-time that our state is the place to relax and vacation.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer to Introduce Legislation Protecting Disabled Adults Following Bullying of Autistic Howell Man

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Senator Robert Singer will introduce legislation expanding legal protections for disabled adults following a reported incident in Manasquan where a developmentally disabled man nearly drowned after being dared to jump from a jetty into the frigid ocean.

A developmentally disabled man nearly drowned in frigid water after he was goaded into jumping off the jetty at the Manasquan Inlet by two men who filmed the incident. (Bing Maps)

According to a report in the Asbury Park Press, the 19-year-old man, who is autistic and diabetic, was egged into jumping from the jetty into the ocean on February 25 by two acquaintances who taped the incident with their cell phone and then later posted the video online. Law enforcement authorities said they couldn’t charge the men criminally because the conduct didn’t fall under any current state statute.

“This is a very troubling incident where a young man with a mental disability was taken advantage of,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “This was not a harmless prank. It was flat out wrong and could have resulted in this young man’s death. This type of abuse of a developmentally disabled person who didn’t know any better simply can’t be tolerated.”

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Senator Sam Thompson

Editorial: Thompson on Historical Rarity of Successful Veto Overrides in New Jersey

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The following editorial by Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) regarding the historic number of veto override attempts conducted by legislative Democrats against Governor Christie was published by the Asbury Park Press on March 26:

Editorial writers, Democrats and others have reported Gov. Chris Christie has set a record with the number of bills he has vetoed and have continuously asserted that Republican members of the Legislature are spineless, intimidated cowards because, despite 50 veto override attempts, they have never provided the votes for a single veto override.

Sen. Sam Thompson notes that Gov. Christie has faced a record number of attempts by Democrats to override his vetoes of legislation, and that successful veto overrides are historically rare in New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)

A historical review of records of gubernatorial vetoes and veto override attempts belies both of these statements. However, it also reveals the most significant and record-making number usually cited is actually the 50 override attempts. This is truly a record for the last 60 years.

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District 9

Governor Signs Connors-Rumpf-Gove-Supported “New Jersey Tuition Equality for America’s Military (NJTEAM) Act”

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove has been signed into law which provides that a veteran, regardless of their state of residence, who is living in New Jersey and attending a public higher education institution in New Jersey, will be eligible to pay an in-State tuition rate.

Legislation sponsored by Connors, Rumpf & Gove that would provide veterans living in New Jersey with in-state tuition at public colleges in the state has been signed into law. (U.S. Navy)

The legislation (A-3967) was entitled the “New Jersey Tuition Equality for America’s Military (NJTEAM) Act.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Editorial: Bateman Condemns COAH, Urges Senate to Enact Common Sense Affordable Housing Reforms

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The following editorial by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman on ending the 40 years of chaos caused by COAH and the need to pass reasonable affordable housing reforms was published by NJ.com on March 24:

Too many people are still struggling to find adequate housing in New Jersey — a troubling issue embodied by the Council on Affordable Housing’s chaotic 40-year existence, which has been marked by the passage of harmfully overreaching court rulings.

Sen. Kip Bateman said the Legislature should abolish COAH and enact common sense affordable housing reform that returns authority and flexibility to local municipalities. (SenateNJ.com)

COAH regulations set forth by New Jersey courts have placed an undue tax burden on residents and crippled communities that have been forced to conform to one-size-fits-all mandates that ignore their unique needs. New Jersey has more inclusionary zoning requirements than any other jurisdiction in the country, according to a 2014 report by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Costly COAH fees have also harmed the economy by stymieing development and related job growth.

Just last week, the state Supreme Court again issued a troubling COAH ruling that state trial judges will now decide housing laws and quotas on a town-by-town basis. That decision will not fix our housing problem and stands to create expensive litigation and countless lawsuits.

What other state allows the courts to mandate to municipalities how much affordable housing to build and where it must go? It should be the legislature’s responsibility to develop statewide policies, not unelected members of New Jersey courts.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Bill Banning Sale, Production of Microbeads Signed Into Law

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset) banning the sale or production of personal care products containing microbeads was signed into law by Governor Christie. The bill (S-2178) will protect New Jersey’s rivers, lakes, and drinking supplies from environmental damage and harmful contamination.

Sen. Kip Bateman’s legislation banning the sale or production of personal care items containing microbeads has been signed into law. (©iStock.com/merznatalia)

Microbeads are small plastic particles that are added to products like face washes and cosmetic products to exfoliate. These tiny beads can become trapped in water filtration systems, ending up in rivers and lakes and contaminating the drinking supplies used by millions of New Jerseyans every day.

“By signing this bill into law, we are placing our state at the forefront of a national effort to eliminate the dangers this product poses to our environment and our water supply,” said Senator Bateman. “We have a responsibility to protect New Jersey residents from contamination and keep our state’s waterways clean and pristine. The only way to keep our drinking water safe and protect our beautiful rivers and lakes is to stop production and get these items off the shelves.”

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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

Holly Schepisi

District 39

Robert Singer

District 30

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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