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New Jersey Senate Republicans

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Senator Chris Brown

July: Make a Difference to a Child Month

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Murphy’s Diversion of NJ Transit Capital Funds is the Height of Hypocrisy

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement, in light of today’s news that the Murphy Administration has authorized New Jersey Transit to divert $511 million in capital funds to pay for operational costs.

Sen. Tom Kean said he was deeply disappointed to see Gov. Murphy divert NJ Transit capital funds, calling it the height of hypocrisy. (SenateNJ.com)

“Governor Murphy swore to commuters that he would fix New Jersey Transit, without relying on financially-unsustainable practices. Today he broke that promise. His decision to use capital funds to cover up his complete inability to manage money is misguided.

“Governor Murphy is using the very same practices that he campaigned against, by diverting money from the Clean Energy Fund, the Turnpike Authority and now, New Jersey Transit’s capital funds to plug holes in his budget.

“New Jersey Transit’s capital budget should be used to make essential investments and expand services that benefit our commuters, such as one-seat rides. As someone who represents thousands of commuters, I am deeply disappointed to see Governor Murphy make the same mistakes that got us into this mess in the first place. I will continue to be a vocal advocate for ensuring people have a safe, easy and affordable way to get to work.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Praises Supreme Court’s Proposed Municipal Court Reforms—Will Introduce Legislation to Take the Profit Out of Policing and Local Courts

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) issued praise to the Supreme Court Committee on Municipal Court Operations, Fines and Fees for their comprehensive report which, after a 16 month investigation, “revealed a number of significant concerns where aggressive reform is needed. Many of those issues identified by the Committee undermine both the administration of justice and the independence of the Municipal Courts.”

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon praises the Supreme Court’s proposed Municipal Court Reforms. (SenateNJ)

“In law enforcement and judicial systems, profit is the mortal enemy of justice,” Senator O’Scanlon said. “We must take real steps towards reforming municipal court and ticketing procedures. Policing for profit is an unacceptable practice that tarnishes the reputation of all our upstanding police officers and often results in devastating consequences for petty infractions.”

“Municipal Courts should be about the administration of justice, not a profit center to plug holes in local governments’ budgets,” O’Scanlon continued. “In the twenty-five years since our Courts were last reformed, too many towns have come to rely on fines to fund their municipal operations and too many local judges have turned into de facto tax collectors. This is not justice and it has to stop.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson Call For Reforms At Palisades Parkway Police

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) today joined forces in calling for reforms to the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department in light of a scathing report issued by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office following an eight month investigation.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Asm. Gordon Johnson call for reforms to the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department in light of a scathing report issued by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. (SenateNJ.com)

The 28 member department patrols 11 miles of the poorly maintained highway along the Palisades between the George Washington Bridge and the New York/New Jersey border in northern Bergen County.

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Senator Tom Kean

Weinberg, Kean: Port Authority Bus Terminal Expansion on Track with Bi-State Support

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Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-Union) today expressed optimism about the progress made on plans for the expansion of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and on the support for the project expressed by New York officials and community leaders.

Sen. Loretta Weinberg and Sen. Tom Kean expressed optimism about the progress made on plans for the expansion of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. (Flickr)

“While no decision will be made until the final Environmental Impact Study of various options is completed, it is clear that New York and New Jersey officials are on the same page in our support for the ‘build in place’ plan that would add two floors to the existing Port Authority Bus Terminal,” said Senator Weinberg.

“Expanding the existing Port Authority Bus Terminal would preserve a one-seat bus ride for New Jersey commuters while providing increased capacity to support rapidly growing demand,” said Senator Kean. “Now that there seems to be a general consensus that this is the right approach to pursue, we should not waste time in proceeding after so many delays.”

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District 9

Forced Consolidation: Counterfeit Reform Based on Faulty Premise That Bigger Is Better

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Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf, and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove urged residents to reject the false narrative that forced municipal consolidation will produce a windfall of savings for taxpayers:

Forced or coerced municipal consolidation is an issue that rears its head periodically but, nonetheless, should be taken seriously given its severe and wide-ranging implications for representative government in our state. Residents would be best served by rejecting the false narrative that having Trenton unilaterally redraw the borders of their hometowns by one means or another will somehow produce a windfall of savings.

Connors, Rumpf & Gove urged residents to reject the false narrative that forced municipal consolidation will produce a windfall of savings for taxpayers. (SenateNJ.com)

For the most part, tax bills are high because of the broken state school funding formula and Trenton’s misplaced spending priorities. Smaller government has proven far more effective in providing services as opposed to cities, and the State, for that matter. So the question remains: why are smaller and mid-sized municipalities, as a whole, even being labeled as culprits of high taxation?

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls for State Audit of Wasteful Tax Incentive Programs

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Says Garden State Film Tax Credit is a ‘Gross Misuse of Funds’ & Urges Action to Protect NJ Taxpayers from Unnecessary Spending

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) today announced that he has sent a letter requesting that the State Auditor conduct a full evaluation of the Garden State Film Tax Credit, to determine if it is in fact a worthwhile investment of New Jersey’s scarce financial resources.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio sent a letter to the State Auditor requesting a full evaluation of the Garden State Film Tax Credit to determine if it is in fact a worthwhile investment. He also announced plans to introduce legislation to evaluate these types of tax incentive programs. (SenateNJ.com)

In the letter, Pennacchio notes that the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services has determined that New Jersey could lose $425 million in revenue as a result of the program in question – money that could and should be spent on critically-needed services, instead of catering to special interest groups that only stand to make a temporary investment in the State of New Jersey, and its people.

The Senator also noted that he plans to introduce legislation that would require the State Auditor to conduct further evaluation of these types of tax incentives and related programs.

Click here for a PDF of the letter.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: NJ Taxpayers Deserve Answers & Action on Health Savings, Reforms

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following response to today’s announcement from the State Treasurer’s office:

Sen. Tom Kean said that Treasurer Muoio and Gov. Murphy owe taxpayers an explanation on how the health savings announced could have been factored into the budget to avoid tax increases. Kean also called for immediate action on comprehensive public employee benefit reform. (SenateNJ.com)

“Treasurer Muoio and Governor Murphy owe New Jersey taxpayers an explanation as to how or if these healthcare savings could have been factored into the State budget, which increased State spending by 5.4 percent.  If these initiatives had been enacted, maybe these new, onerous tax increases could have been avoided.

“While I’m happy to see some action, these reforms are not nearly enough. We need comprehensive public employee benefit reform in order to deliver real relief to property taxpayers across New Jersey.

“Senate Republicans have solutions on the table and our reforms are an order of magnitude greater. In fact, enacting the reforms we proposed could save more than a billion dollars for the State, and perhaps double that for local municipalities.

“We stand ready and willing to work with the administration and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this done as soon as possible. The people of New Jersey deserve no less than an immediate response to this crisis.”

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Budget Process One-Sided Debate – Higher Taxes and No Spending Cuts

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Following the conclusion of State budget deliberations which centered on how much to raise taxes, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove reemphasized the pressing need to control government spending and oppose extreme taxation policies that drive residents out of the state.

Connors, Rumpf & Gove reemphasized the pressing need to control government spending and oppose extreme taxation policies that drive residents out of New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)

“While we certainly had our disagreements with Governor Christie, the bipartisan conversation with Democrats almost always centered on cutting taxes with the understanding that New Jersey is unaffordable for far too many taxpayers and businesses.

“Now, with one-party control of Trenton, a circus-like atmosphere took hold over budget deliberations as new tax and fee increases were proposed on a daily basis with no discussion or consideration, whatsoever, given to actually cutting state spending. It would be almost comical if the stakes weren’t so high for our state.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Tom Kean

PSA: New State Ombudsman for People With Disabilities Meets Critical NJ Need

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A vulnerable population that has been left behind in recent years now has a new lifeline in New Jersey, thanks to the appointment of Paul Aronsohn, the new Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families.

People with disabilities, and their families, now have a lifeline in New Jersey in the form of NJ’s new Ombudsman, Paul Aronsohn, who serves as a resource for those in need of support. He can be reached at 609-649-1734 or paul.aronsohn@treas.nj.gov.  (SenateNJ.com)

Aronsohn’s appointment, as established by recently-enacted legislation, is essential to ensuring people with disabilities can access the services they need without delay, filling a critical statewide need.

“It is hard to imagine the pain of watching a loved one go without the resources they need to live a happy and healthy life. For years, far too many New Jersey families were deprived of the support and services they need. When a conflict with a state agency arose, there were very few people who could help them find an efficient and expedient resolution. Now we have a solution to that problem,” Senator Joe Pennacchio, who recently met with the newly appointed Ombudsman, said.

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony 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

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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