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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Applauds President Trump for Standing Up to GM in Wake of Layoffs

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) applauded President Donald Trump’s decision to consider cutting all subsidies for General Motors, after the corporation announced this week that it plans to close five American factories and eliminate approximately 14,000 jobs.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio applauded President Trump’s actions to hold GM accountable in the wake of the company’s decision to close 5 American factories and cut 14,0000 jobs. (SenateNJ.com)

In 2009, the Obama Administration executed a $50 billion bailout to save General Motors from going bankrupt. The layoffs GM announced this week would wipe out about 15 percent of the company’s workforce.

In the past year alone, GM has received approximately $33.5 million in federal funding.

“All too often, elected officials, including members of my own party, jump at the chance to criticize President Trump. Let them find something to be critical about here. I don’t recall any other President taking such bold steps to hold a corporate behemoth like GM accountable for their actions,” Senator Pennacchio said.

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

ICYMI: Opposition to Dems’ Redistricting Power-Play Continues to Mount

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Not a single expert witness or group testified in favor of SCR-43 during a Nov. 26, 2018 committee hearing on the constitutional amendment, which would make cataclysmic changes to New Jersey ‘s legislative redistricting process.

The constitutional amendment, as proposed by New Jersey Democrats, has been widely characterized as a political scheme designed to cement a permanent Democratic majority, disenfranchising millions of New Jersey voters in the process.

The following is a roundup of statements made by nonpartisan election experts, academics, journalists, elected officials, and representatives from variety of organization spanning the political spectrum, who have opposed the legislation since news of the amendment came to light shortly before Thanksgiving.

Here’s what they’re saying…

“I’m a proud Democrat, but I’m also a believer in democracy and opening up democracy and transparency and good processes of government in getting to the right solutions. And I don’t think this meets those tests,”  Governor Phil Murphy (NJ.com, Nov. 26, 2018)

“This has been a classic throw something out in the proverbial backrooms. It’s completely unacceptable,”Governor Phil Murphy (Insider NJ, Nov. 27, 2018)

“This is undemocratic. Voters should be choosing their politicians — not the other way around.” – Helen Kioukis, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey (Nov. 26, 2018)

“Such a map would create an artificial, evenly-distributed advantage for the majority party. This would drastically reduce the number of seats for the minority party in a way most New Jerseyans would consider to be unfair,” Brian Williams, Princeton University Gerrymandering Project (Nov. 26, 2018)

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer: Murphy’s Marijuana Legalization Rhetoric Goes Up in Smoke When You Follow the Money

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Senator Robert Singer said it’s clear when you follow the money that Governor Phil Murphy’s interest in marijuana legalization has little to do with improving social justice.

Sen. Robert Singer said it certainly appears that money is the primary concern driving marijuana legislation in New Jersey. (Pixabay)

“If improving social justice was truly the Governor’s goal, he could have supported the legislation that I sponsor with Senator Rice to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana,” said Singer (R-Monmouth). “That would prevent both arrests and incarceration, solving the social justice problem for most people. We could have done that a year ago. The fact that Governor Murphy never truly considered decriminalization tells you that money, not social justice, is the driving force behind the movement to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey.”

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senate Republicans Mourn Passing of Former E.D. Jim Harkness

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The following statement was issued today by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean on the passing of former Senate Republican Executive Director Jim Harkness:

Statement from Sen. Tom Kean on the passing of former Senate Republican Executive Director Jim Harkness. (CC0)

“It is with great sadness that I report the peaceful passing this morning of our friend and former colleague, Jim Harkness. Jim will always be remembered for his intellect and humor, for his love of his wife and children, and for his dedication to public service.

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Senator Gerald Cardinale

MEMO on Legalizing Marijuana: Cardinale Addresses Officials, Staff & NJ Press in Advance of Committee Vote

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In advance of  committee hearings on legislation that would legalize marijuana in New Jersey, Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39) electronically distributed the following letter and data to his fellow legislators in the State Senate and Assembly, legislative committee aides, the Governor’s Office, and the media.

Senator Cardinale also plans to testify in opposition to the legislation (S-2703) at the Senate Budget Committee hearing. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday, November 26, 2018, in Committee Room 4 in the Statehouse Annex. An audio livestream of the hearing can be accessed here.

Sen. Gerald Cardinale electronically distributed the following letter and data on marijuana legalization to officials, staff, and the media in advance of the Nov. 26 committee hearings on the legislation. (Pixabay)

The full text of the letter, including links to the data, is included below.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Warns that Democrats’ Redistricting Constitutional Amendment Would Prevent Voters from Holding the Legislative Majority Accountable

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon said a proposed amendment to the New Jersey Constitution being advanced by Democrats is designed to deny voters the opportunity to hold the majority party accountable in state legislative elections.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon said a proposed amendment to the N.J. Constitution being advanced by Democrats is designed to deny voters the opportunity to hold the majority party accountable in state legislative elections. (SenateNJ.com)

“While Democrats have succeeded in having their desired maps adopted during the last two redistricting cycles, there at least has been the opportunity for Republicans to make the case for creating truly competitive legislative districts that would provide voters the opportunity to hold the majority party accountable,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “The proposed constitutional amendment, however, would permanently tip the scales in favor of Democrats by changing the metrics used to draw legislative districts in a way that is virtually guaranteed to result in continued Democratic control of the Legislature, regardless of how people actually vote in legislative elections. Their proposal short-circuits the election process by preordaining the result before a single ballot is cast. It makes a mockery of democracy in New Jersey.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Applauds Governor’s Approval of Hemp Industry Pilot Program

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) applauded Governor Phil Murphy’s signing of legislation that establishes a pilot program to study the cultivation of industrial hemp, licensing growers and distributors.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon applauded Gov. Murphy’s signing of legislation that establishes a pilot program to study the cultivation of industrial hemp.  (Pixabay)

“It’s time for New Jersey to put its finger on the pulse of the hemp industry,” O’Scanlon, an original sponsor of the legislation, said. “This pilot program is a win for local farmers who need a diversity of opportunities to compete in the global agriculture market. Hemp is growing in value as a cash crop, and I am sure the New Jersey economy, and our farmers will benefit from this pilot program. We are the Garden State.”

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

ICYMI: Dems’ Redistricting Scheme Has History of Widespread Opposition

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REMINDER: New Jersey Democrats’ attempts to pass a constitutional amendment that would rig the legislative redistricting process to secure a permanent majority has long-faced widespread opposition from a variety of organizations, editorial boards, and nonpartisan New Jersey election experts.

On Monday, Senate Democrats will attempt to fast track the amendment (SCR-43) through the Senate Budget Committee, with little concern for transparency.

Here’s what’s others have said about the amendment:

“The constitutional amendment is worded in such a way as to pull the wool over voters’ eyes. This is Democrats being overly greedy for no good reason. It’s almost certain that they will do well with the next map and there are less egregious ways to prioritize the fairness metric. This just further erodes public trust in government for little actual gain.” Patrick Murray, Monmouth University Polling Institute Director  (Politico, Nov. 19, 2018)

NJ Democrats’ attempts to rig the legislative redistricting process has long-faced widespread opposition. Here’s a roundup of what’s been said. (©iStock)

“To provide this kind of instruction to the commission undermines, I think, what it was intended to do and its value of being able to have both objective and subjective deliberations. Whatever party benefits, that’s not the point. The point is how the process is conducted. And I think this very specific information about how competitiveness should be determined really undermines the process.” – Ingrid Reed, former director of the Eagleton Institute’s New Jersey Project ( Jan. 7, 2016)

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Democrats’ Redistricting Amendment About Cementing Their Control, Limiting Voter Choice

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said a constitutional amendment (SCR-43) being fast-tracked by Democrats is designed to make legislative elections less competitive while cementing permanent Democratic majorities in the New Jersey Legislature.

Sen. Tom Kean said a constitutional amendment proposed by Democrats is designed to make legislative elections less competitive while cementing permanent Democratic majorities in the New Jersey Legislature. (SenateNJ.com)

“The constitutional amendment proposed by New Jersey Democrats is not about making our elections fairer or legislative districts more competitive,” said Kean. “This sham of an amendment is about power. It’s about Democrats who have controlled the Legislature for nearly two decades trying to cement their power by permanently rigging the election process in their favor.”

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: No Excuse for Delaying Protection of Property Tax Exemptions for Vets Coping with Natural Disasters

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Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are calling for action on their bill to protect tax exempt status of property owned by a 100 percent disabled veteran whose home has been destroyed by flood, storm event, natural cause, or other act of God.

9th district lawmakers are calling for action on their bill to protect tax exempt status of property owned by a 100 percent disabled veteran whose home has been destroyed by flood, storm event, natural cause, or other act of God. (©iStock)

The 9th District Delegation’s bipartisan-supported bill, S-900, passed the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee in late March of this year but has yet to be considered by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The Assembly version of the bill, A-714, is still awaiting action by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“Under current law, 100 percent disabled veterans claim a full local property tax exemption on their primary home. Regretfully, it became apparent after Superstorm Sandy that the law does not protect the veteran’s exemption in the event of a natural disaster if the property is no longer useable as the owner’s residence.

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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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