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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Praises A.G.’s Investigation of Elizabeth School District, Urges That Probe Be Expanded Statewide

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Senator Michael Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, commended Attorney General Paula Dow for her investigation of allegations of corruption and fraud in the National School Lunch Program in the Elizabeth school district. According to published reports in the Star-Ledger, the president of the Elizabeth Board of Education, a school principal, and a supervisor of custodians, all have children enrolled in the free or reduced price lunch program, even though their incomes appear to significantly exceed the level needed to qualify for the program.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho, McHose & Chiusano Applaud Extension of Moratorium on COAH Fee, Press for Complete Repeal

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Moratorium on Affordable Housing Fee Extended

The extension of a statewide moratorium of a fee assessed on commercial development is another step toward fixing the Democrats’ affordable housing policy enacted in 2008, Senator Steve Oroho and Assembly members Alison Littell McHose and Gary Chiusano, all R-24, said today.

As part of the Democrats’ COAH law, which further stymied economic development without creating affordable housing, Democrats imposed a 2.5 percent fee on commercial development. But just one year later, Democrats admitted their costly mistake by putting a moratorium on those fees.

Acting Gov. Kim Guadagno today signed bipartisan legislation extending that deadline until 2013.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Dems Were Aware of Problems with School Lunch Program; Failed to Approve Republican Oversight Resolution

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Calls for Hearings to Implement Solutions

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, sent a letter today to the Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee calling for an investigation of the Elizabeth School Board school lunch scandal. The program is administered by the State Department of Agriculture. Senator Pennacchio asked the Chairman to call the State Commissioner of Agriculture and the State Auditor, Steven Eells to discuss the administration of the program. The letter and a Budget Resolution are attached:

“Thanks to an expose’ in the Star-Ledger the numerous problems that have been obvious for many years in the National School Lunch Program are now a symbol of waste, fraud and abuse in the public school bureaucracy. The goals of the program are worthwhile and commendable. School children need proper nutrition to perform at their best in a learning environment.

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Asks Commissioner of Education Cerf to Investigate Elizabeth School Lunch Case

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Senator Michael Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, has sent a letter to New Jersey Acting Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf asking him to investigate allegations of fraud in the National School Lunch Program by the Elizabeth school district detailed in a published report by the Star-Ledger.

Click here to view a PDF of the letter from Doherty to Cerf.

Doherty said: “The program that provides free or reduced price lunches to needy children is certainly important to ensure that those children have the proper nutrition during the school day. Sadly, it seems that cynical officials have expropriated the program for their own selfish needs.

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Asks A.G. Dow to Investigate School Lunch Fraud in Elizabeth

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Expose by Star-Ledger Uncovers Fraud at Highest Levels

Senator Michael Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, has sent a letter to New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow asking her to investigate allegations of corruption and fraud in the National School Lunch Program in the Elizabeth school district. According to published reports in the Star-Ledger, the president of the Elizabeth Board of Education, a school principal, and a supervisor of custodians, all have children enrolled in the free or reduced price lunch program, even though their incomes appear to significantly exceed the level needed to qualify for the program.

Click here to view a PDF of the letter from Doherty to Dow.

Doherty stated, “If the Star-Ledger story is true, it appears that highly paid school officials in Elizabeth are gaming the system for their own personal enrichment. Perhaps of greater importance, under New Jersey’s system for funding schools, enrolling a student in the free and reduced price lunch program triggers an “At Risk” designation for the student, which results in an additional $6,000-7,000 of state school aid for each student enrolled in the program. This additional school aid, which can exceed hundreds of millions of dollars per year, is collected from taxpayers throughout the state.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho: Continued NJ Job Growth a Positive Sign

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Employment Report Shows Six Straight Months of Private Sector Job Growth in New Jersey

Senator Steve Oroho (R-24) said that a string of positive employment reports showing sustained private sector job growth in New Jersey is proof that the common-sense approach to budgeting and tax policy employed by the Christie Administration is yielding results.

“Governor Christie and Republicans in the Legislature have maintained that the best way to create jobs in New Jersey is to lower the cost of government and create a stable environment for businesses that want to grow here,” said Oroho. “Our approach, which is working, stands in stark contrast to the massive increases in taxes and spending under past Democrat administrations that drove businesses and jobs from the Garden State in the last decade.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

McHose-Oroho Bill Requiring State Agencies To Feature “Jersey Fresh” Products Is Signed Into Law

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State Agencies Serving Food Would Have to Feature and Encourage Use of “Jersey Fresh” Products

State agencies now have to feature and promote “Jersey Fresh” products in their eateries under a law signed today by Governor Christie that was sponsored by Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose and Senator Steve Oroho.

“Serving homegrown produce or baked goods at our state facilities sends a positive message about our state, supports local economies and helps preserve New Jersey’s farming heritage,” McHose, R-24, said. “When people eat at a New Jersey facility, they should have no doubt they’re in the Garden State with plenty of menu options featuring Jersey peaches, corn and tomatoes to choose from.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho’s Farmland Preservation Bills Signed Into Law

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Over $60 Million in Voter-Approved Funding to Help Local Communities Preserve Open Space

Two bills sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Morris, Hunterdon) that help local governments purchase farmland for preservation purposes were signed into law today.

“These lands are integral to maintaining the beauty and character of our state, maintaining jobs in the farming and agri-tourism sectors as well as supplying healthy, locally grown food options for families, ” Oroho stated. “This legislation will protect valuable open space while ensuring property owners receive fair market value for their land.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Tom Kean: “The Numbers Don’t Lie, Show Wisdom of Governor’s Budget”

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July Tax Collections Come in as Governor Projected

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) today issued the following statement regarding state revenue collections for the month of July:

“The Treasury Department has released actual tax collections for the month of July, and the numbers confirm what Republicans said in June: that the Governor’s revenue certification was fiscally sound. While one month does not a trend make, it is heartening that the governor balanced the Democrats’ budget by veto. Had their revenue estimates been allowed to stand in this years budget, we would be in trouble if this month’s revenue tracking holds throughout the year.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

O’Toole, Oroho: MVC Budget Hearing a Campaign Event

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Calling today’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee field hearing regarding long-standing technology issues at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission little more than a campaign event, Republican committee members Kevin O’Toole (R- Essex), and Steve Oroho (R- Sussex) issued the following statements:

Senator Kevin O’Toole (R- Essex):

“The idea that problems resulting from MVC’s computer systems have miraculously sprung up in less than two years under the Christie Administration is laughable on its face. Today’s hearing, held in a swing legislative district rather than Trenton despite no public testimony being taken, is little more than a campaign event held for the benefit of area legislators’ re-election campaigns. Today’s hearing was great political theater. However, this hearing accomplished nothing in the line of problem solving.”

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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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