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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Republicans Propose Balanced Budget Without Murphy’s Billions in Borrowing & Tax Increases

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Evidence Mounting State Revenues Performing Better than Administration Will Admit

The four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee offered a path to a balanced State Budget for 2021 that does not rely on the billions of dollars of borrowing and tax increases proposed by Governor Phil Murphy.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee offered a path to a balanced State Budget for 2021 that does not rely on the billions of dollars of borrowing and tax increases proposed by Gov. Phil Murphy. (SenateNJ.com)

The Republican plan was proposed in a letter (click here for PDF) to the majority Senate Democrats from Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1).

“The Murphy Administration has done everything possible to avoid being transparent with legislators and the public about the true state of the State’s finances,” said Oroho. “Despite the doomsday picture that’s being painted to engender support for the governor’s plan to tax and borrow billions, we have mounting evidence that State revenues are performing much better than the administration will admit. Based on the improving trends reported by nonpartisan budget analysts, we have put forward a fiscally responsible plan to balance the State budget without the harmful and expensive gimmicks proposed by the governor.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso Call American Flag Removal ‘Unacceptable’

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Request Legislation to Stop Turnpike Authority’s Unpatriotic Mandate

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today condemned the misguided removal of American flags by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) from highway overpasses and moved forward with legislation to unequivocally allow them to be flown.

Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso will sponsor legislation ensuring American flags may be displayed when attached to highway overpasses or any other state-owned property as long as they are safely secured and respectfully maintained. (Wikimedia Commons)

“We are deeply saddened to learn that the Turnpike Authority would choose to remove dozens of American flags under the guise of a regulation for advertising material — it is unpatriotic and completely unacceptable,” said O’Scanlon. “While the NJTA claims they are unable to monitor all of the flags affixed to bridges, we clearly have a massive group of private citizens, veterans and police officers dedicated to ensuring that those flags are safely and securely hung, and respectfully maintained. This is an instance where government oversight obviously is not needed. We have requested legislation to undo this arbitrary, unnecessary, offensively unpatriotic action immediately.”

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District 10

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano Object to Budget Cuts to School Counseling for Mental Health and Drug Abuse

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Additional cuts in Governor Murphy’s budget proposal have led to the reduction of aid for school based mental health counseling and municipal anti-drug programs for children.  The 10th District Legislators, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano are warning parents of the damaging effects that could result from the loss of these significant programs for young people and students. The lawmakers believe the Governor is underestimating the need for drug abuse and mental health counseling for students, especially during these isolating times.

Senator Holzapfel and Assemblymen McGuckin and Catalano warn that funding cuts in Governor Murphy’s proposed budget endanger crucial programs providing mental health counseling support and anti-drug programs for school students. (Pixabay)

“We are in the midst of a complete transformation of the school education system and these children have been through enough emotional challenges since the beginning of the shutdowns,” stated Senator Holzapfel.  “Programs such as School Linked Services and the Municipal Alliance programs provide support beyond the home and classroom. Our Governor is out of touch with the needs of our students and it’s obvious he cares more about creating ‘baby bonds’ and diverting school aid to urban districts.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco: Gov. Murphy Must Quickly Sign Bills to Help Drivers Avoid Long Lines at MVC

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After Administration Fails to Plan MVC Reopening, Legislature Sends Solutions to Governor

Senator Anthony M. Bucco called on Governor Phil Murphy to quickly sign a pair of bills into law that would help more drivers to avoid the long lines that have persisted at New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) agencies since their July reopening.

A constituent shared these pictures with Sen. Tony Bucco of long lines at the Randolph MVC agency before 8 a.m on Friday, September 4, 2020. (SenateNJ.com)

“The Murphy Administration failed to come up with an effective reopening plan for the MVC, which has led to ridiculously long lines at agencies and justified frustration for drivers,” said Bucco. “With little help coming from the governor, the Legislature has stepped in with fixes that could help many drivers to skip the trip to the MVC. We put legislative solutions to some of the MVC’s problems on Governor Murphy’s desk, now he needs to sign the bills into law without delay.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Calls for Budget Committee to Take Public Testimony on Murphy’s 2021 Spending Plan

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Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho is calling for at least one Senate Budget Committee meeting that is open for public testimony on the FY 2021 budget.

Senator Oroho, the Senate Republic Budget Officer, is calling for the addition of at least one hearing to allow the public to comment on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. (SenateNJ.com)

In a letter to Senate Paul Sarlo, chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, Oroho said he was disappointed by “the lack of even one opportunity for the public to share their concerns in person or via a Zoom meeting with the full Senate Budget Committee.”

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Senator Sarlo:

I am encouraging you to schedule at least one meeting of the Senate Budget Committee to take public testimony about the 2021 budget.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Slams Gov’s Hypocrisy on Indoor Smoking at Casinos

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today slammed the administration for allowing small businesses to languish for months but illogically calling for smoking indoors at casinos during the pandemic.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon slammed the administration for allowing small businesses to languish for months but illogically calling for smoking indoors at casinos during the pandemic. (Pixabay)

“The administration is consistently hiding behind emergency powers lately until they apparently need to do a favor for…who the hell knows,” said O’Scanlon. “When the Governor relaxed the rules for eating indoors he also says that now you can smoke indoors at a casino. I don’t care what anyone thinks about smoking indoors at casinos in normal times–whatever your position might be–but the idea that the Governor would allow this NOW during a pandemic is ludicrous.”

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senate Republicans Call for Full Federal Investigation Into Preventable Deaths at Veterans Homes & LTC Facilities

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Caucus Sends Letter to U.S. Assistant Attorney General Urging Expansion of DOJ Inquiry

The fifteen members of the Senate Republican caucus wrote to the United States Department of Justice (click here for PDF) asking for an expanded investigation into New Jersey’s failed handling of COVID-19 in veterans’ homes and nursing homes which resulted in thousands of preventable deaths.

In light of the 7,000 COVID deaths of long-term care residents in New Jersey, the 15 members of the Senate Republican caucus asked the United States Department of Justice to conduct an expanded investigation of conditions at the state-run homes. (SenateNJ.com)

The letter followed reports that Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, has requested data from Governor Murphy and the governors of three other states that suffered a significant loss of life in long-term care (LTC) facilities, including nursing homes and veterans homes, during the pandemic.

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Proposed Boat Tax Increase Targeting Shore Economy a Self-Inflicted Wound for Trenton

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Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove are warning that increasing the sales tax on boats will have economic consequences for New Jersey, to the likely benefit of Delaware.

Senator Connors, Assemblyman Rumpf and Assemblywoman Gove warn that Governor Murphy’s plan to increase the sales tax on boats will have severe economic consequences for New Jersey, cost middle-class jobs, and encourage boat-buyers to go to Delaware. (SenateNJ.com)

The Delegation’s warning is in response to Governor Murphy’s FY2021 proposed State Budget announcement that touted increasing the sales tax on boats as yet another means of raising revenue for cash-starved Trenton.

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District 10

10th District Legislators Blame Governor’s Unfair Budget for Toms River Schools Layoffs

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In response to the loss of 240 staff positions at Toms River Regional Schools, Senator Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano point to years of cuts to state education aid which lead to the difficult decision by the Toms River Board of Education.  The legislators blame Governor Murphy’s budget proposals and lack of transparency which disproportionately funnels millions of dollars of state aid into other school districts in urban areas of the state.

The Toms River Regional District is laying off 240 workers and Senator Holzapfel and Assemblymen McGuckin and Catalano blame Governor Murphy for years of one-sided school funding. (Pixabay)

“This is another devastating blow for the school district,” said Senator Holzapfel.  “Toms River Regional has been fighting for years to maintain an elite level of education for their students and create a secure working environment for their staff, while being gutted by the Administration’s funding cuts.  Now they must lay off hundreds of staff positions because our Governor is more interested in creating programs such as ‘Baby Bonds’ for newborns.  The focus should be on our children currently enrolled in public education, not infants.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso: Voters Should Be Allowed to Cast Ballots in Voting Booth If They Haven’t Voted by Mail

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today called for Governor Murphy to allow residents to vote in person at polls if they provide their sealed, mail-in ballot to poll workers to demonstrate they haven’t already voted by mail.

Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso want Governor Murphy to allow residents to vote in person at polls if they provide their sealed, mail-in ballot to poll workers as proof they haven’t already voted by mail. (SenateNJ.com)

“Voting and election integrity is critical to our democracy.  Another fully vote-by-mail election when safety protocols should allow us to proceed with in-person voting is not only absurd and unacceptable, but highly concerning as well,” said O’Scanlon. “The administration claims that residents can still vote in person should they wish, but they must vote by provisional ballot since there is no way to ensure that a resident has not already submitted their mail-in ballot. That is rendered false should a voter present their sealed, mail-in ballot at the polls on election day. Those individuals should be able to vote in-person on machine as in any other election.

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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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