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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Bill Supporting Pollinators with Special License Plate Clears Senate

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Senator Kip Bateman’s legislation that would create “Protect Pollinator” license plates to express support for New Jersey’s native pollinators has passed the State Senate.

Sen. Kip Bateman’s legislation that would create “Protect Pollinator” license plates to express support for native pollinators has passed the Senate. (SenateNJ.com)

“New Jersey would not be the Garden State without the help it gets from its native pollinators,” said Bateman (R-16). “From the gardens we grow to the produce we purchase at a local farmer’s market, many of our fruits, vegetables, and flowers rely on pollinators like bees and butterflies. The license plates will ensure our ‘Jersey Fresh’ plants and crops grow strong for generations.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: “Baby Bond” Recipients Will Be Close to Middle-Age When Murphy’s Billions in Budget Borrowing Finally Paid Off

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Says Any Benefit Is Sure to Be Offset by Higher Taxes to Repay $4 Billion of New Debt Proposed by Murphy to Fund Spending

Senator Michael Testa (R-1) highlighted the lunacy of Governor Phil Murphy’s plan to borrow $4 billion to pay for unnecessary new spending in his proposed FY 2021 spending plan, including a “baby bonds” program that would give newborns $1,000 to save for expenses later in life.

Sen. Michael Testa highlighted the lunacy of Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to borrow $4 billion to pay for unnecessary new spending, including a “baby bonds” program that would give newborns $1,000 to save for expenses later in life. (Pixabay)

“In what world do you take a cash advance from your credit card to put money in your savings account?” asked Testa, a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee. “You would think a former Goldman Sachs guy like Governor Murphy would have better financial sense than that. Whatever benefit ‘baby bonds’ recipients get from the plan will be more than offset by the extra taxes they’ll pay over their lifetimes to repay billions of new debt. It’s lunacy.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer: Murphy’s Proposed Opioid Tax Would Make Raise Costs for Patients & Providers During Global Pandemic

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Senator Bob Singer (R-30) said a proposed tax on commonly prescribed opioids would make health care more expensive for both patients and providers during the current public health emergency.

Sen. Bob Singer said a proposed tax on commonly prescribed opioids would make health care more expensive for both patients and providers during coronavirus pandemic. (©iStock)

“The opioid tax proposed by Governor Murphy wouldn’t improve access to care or make health insurance more affordable for families hit with rising premiums, nor would it fund treatment programs for those struggling with substance use disorders,” said Singer, the ranking Republican member on the Senate Health Committee. “What the governor has proposed is nothing more than a money grab that would funnel millions of dollars at the expense of patients into the black hole of the State budget to pay for spending completely unrelated to health care.”

The proposed $15 million opioid tax is one component of more than $1 billion of tax increases announced by Governor Phil Murphy this week in support of his newly proposed State Budget for 2021. In addition to the tax increases, the governor’s plan also relies on more than $4 billion of borrowing to support higher levels of spending next year.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio & Bucco Introduce Legislation Protecting Veterans’ and Nursing Home Residents

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Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Anthony M. Bucco have introduced legislation to ensure seniors living in veterans and nursing facilities would no longer be subject to the inhumane conditions known to exist in the homes during the pandemic. The measure sets testing and visitation requirements and employment restrictions in response to the COVID outbreak.

Senator Pennacchio and Senator Bucco have introduced legislation to ensure seniors living in veterans and nursing facilities would no longer be subject to the inhumane conditions known to exist in the homes during the pandemic. (SenateNJ.com)

“These are the most vulnerable members of our society, and they have the right to expect responsive, respectful and caring treatment and safe living conditions,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The reality hasn’t met those expectations, and as a result, 7,000 souls died in the state’s care. This bill will help address issues that contributed to the loss of life. These changes are crucial to protecting residents now during the pandemic.”

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District 24

District 24 Lawmakers Blast Murphy’s Continued $10.4 Million Cut in Local School Aid

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Senator Steven Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths (all R-24) reacted to news that Governor Murphy’s revised budget still includes a dramatic decrease in state aid to schools within the 24th Legislative District.

Senator Oroho and Assemblymen Space and Wirths promised to fight Governor Murphy’s cut of more than $10 million in education funding from schools in their legislative district. (Pixabay)

District 24, which includes towns in Sussex, Warren and Morris counties, is slated to lose $10,371,537 in State education aid this school year under Governor Murphy’s latest budget proposal, according to documentation released by the State Department of Education. This comes on the heels of Murphy and the Democrat legislature slashing funding to school districts by over $5.5 million the previous year.  In fact, this draconian cut is over $1.77 million more than what the Governor proposed to cut in February.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Senate Acts on Bill to Reimburse Restaurants for False Openings

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Bucco Measure Needed to Help Eateries Remain in Business

Legislation to reimburse restaurants, bars and caterers that spent money on supplies in preparation for the return of indoor dining only to have that authorization rescinded was approved by the Senate today.

Restaurants, bars and caterers that spent money on supplies in preparation for the return of indoor dining only to have that authorization rescinded could be reimbursed under Senator Bucco’s bipartisan legislation approved by the Senate today. (Pixabay)

The bill, S-2704, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Anthony Bucco, would fund the reimbursements by appropriating $30 million to the Economic Development Authority from federal block grants allocated to the state from the CARES Act. The EDA would then provide direct financial support, by way of loans or grants, according to the bill.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco/Singleton Measure Cutting Taxes, Saving Jobs Moves to Governor’s Desk

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco and Senator Troy Singleton that would provide protections for school employees covered by an existing collective bargaining agreement has passed both houses of the Legislature and now awaits consideration by the Governor.

Sen. Anthony Bucco and Sen. Troy Singleton’s legislation that would provide protections for school employees covered by an existing collective bargaining agreement has passed the Senate. (©iStock)

The legislation (S-2303) prohibits employers from entering into subcontracting agreements which may affect the employment of any workers in a bargaining unit during the term of a contract. The Senate passed the measure in March and today voted to concur with Assembly amendments.

“This legislation will provide relief to property taxpayers, reduce the cost of healthcare for teachers, and protect the jobs of important school employees during these challenging times,” said Senator Bucco (R-25). “Cafeteria workers, janitors and other valuable members of our school communities would be safe from having their jobs outsourced to vendors while they are protected by contract.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Bill Establishing Overdose Awareness Day in New Jersey Moves to Governor’s Desk

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Statewide Initiative is Necessary to Combat Addiction and Save Lives

August 31 of each year will be designated Overdose Awareness Day in New Jersey under a bill sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco and approved by the Senate and Assembly today.

Senator Bucco’s bill designating August 31 of each year Overdose Awareness Day in New Jersey was approved today by both houses and now awaits consideration by Governor Murphy. (OverdoseDay.com)

“Every day, the battle against substance abuse disorder and opioid-related death continues in this state and across the nation,” said Bucco (R-25). “Information can be empowering to those who often feel helpless against this deadly disease. Establishing this meaningful day will honor the lives of those lost to addiction for years to come and hopefully save many more from the grasp of drugs. Elected officials on both sides of the aisle must work together now more than ever to increase awareness and remove the stigma surrounding addiction.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa & McClellan Bill Designating Historic Cape May Home as NJ’s Harriet Tubman Museum Awaits Governor’s Signature

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The historic Howell House on Lafayette Street in Cape May would be recognized as the Harriet Tubman Museum in New Jersey under legislation approved today by the Senate and on its way to Governor Murphy’s desk for consideration.

The historic Howell House on Lafayette Street in Cape May would be recognized as the Harriet Tubman Museum in New Jersey under legislation sponsored by Senator Testa that is on its way to Governor Murphy’s desk for consideration. (SenateNJ.com)

Senator Michael Testa and Assemblyman Antwan McClellan sponsor the bill, A-3201/S-2585, to honor Tubman, a legendary abolitionist and advocate for women’s voting rights. The bill cleared the Assembly in June.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Blocked Again in Effort to Investigate COVID Response in Long-Term Care Facilities

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On the same morning that the media reported a United States Department of Justice inquiry of the deaths of more than 7,000 nursing home residents in New Jersey, an attempt by Senate Republicans calling for the immediate formation of a Senate Select Committee with subpoena power to investigate the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the facilities was blocked by the Democrats.

Senator Pennacchio continued pressing the Senate to vote on his bill creating a special committee to investigate the state’s handling of COVID in nursing homes, but again the Democrat majority blocked his motion. (Flickr)

For the third time, Senator Pennacchio implored his colleagues to stop dragging their feet and vote on his legislation, SR-68, creating a special committee to review processes and orders that contributed to 148 deaths inside the three State-run veterans’ homes and more than 7,000 deaths across New Jersey’s many nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

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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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