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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senator Michael Testa
Senator Steve Oroho

Testa Introduces Breweries Bill to Allow Garden State Brewers Greater Freedom & More Control Over Their Business’ Future

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Senator Michael Testa (R-1) introduced his breweries bill Monday in the State Senate to allow brewers more freedom and control over their small businesses which are growing jobs and opportunity across New Jersey.

Sen. Michael Testa introduced his breweries bill Monday in the State Senate to allow brewers more freedom and control over their small businesses which are growing jobs and opportunity across New Jersey. (©iStock)

“I believe that brewers building a business in our state deserve to have more say in how they run their operations because the term ‘free enterprise’ applies to them as well,” said Testa.  “I look forward to working with my colleagues and with legislators across the aisle to ending these bureaucratic obstacles and fix a dysfunctional system.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Republicans Propose Special Committee to Investigate Massive Increase in Public Employee Health Benefit Costs

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Proposed Premium Hikes Up to 24% Will Squeeze Local Budgets, Drive Property Taxes Higher

Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) and Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) have introduced legislation to form a special legislative committee with subpoena power to investigate massive proposed premium increases for the health plans that cover state government, local government, and school employees.

Sen. Steven Oroho and Sen. Declan O’Scanlon have introduced legislation to form a special legislative committee with subpoena power to investigate massive proposed premium increases for the health plans that cover state government, local government, and school employees. (©iStock)

“The proposed premium increases will impact hundreds of thousands of state and local government workers, teachers, and retirees who will see their health care costs soar if the proposal is adopted,” said Oroho, the Senate Republican Leader. “These higher premiums will also have a huge impact on school districts and local governments that pay a large portion of the total premiums for their employees. Any higher costs they pay will translate directly into higher property taxes for our families. We must investigate the failures that led to these catastrophic premium increases to develop an effective plan going forward.”

The measure, SCR-120, would create a special committee of the Senate and General Assembly entitled the “New Jersey Public Employee Health Care Program Costs Investigation Committee” to review proposed premium increases for the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) for Fiscal Year 2023.

The legislation was drafted following calls by Republican leadership in the Senate and General Assembly for an investigation after it was revealed that premiums for active employees covered by the SHBP are set to increase by 24% this year, while those for school employees and teachers covered by the SEHBP are set to rise by 15.6%.

Similarly, SHBP retirees are set to pay an additional 15.6% for health care, while SEHBP retirees will pay 13.6% more.

The proposed legislative committee would also be charged with reviewing and investigating state contracts with Horizon and allegations published by Bloomberg that the Murphy administration squashed an attempt to recover $34 million paid to Horizon for a failed program to lower costs.

Horizon administers the health care plans for the hundreds of thousands of state and local government employees and retirees in New Jersey who are covered by the SHBP and SEHBP.

“It’s imperative that the Legislature investigate the proposed premium increases to understand the cost drivers since nobody else seems to be doing the job,” said O’Scanlon, the Senate Republican Budget Officer. “While some of the higher costs may be attributable to inflation or the pandemic, it’s almost certain that Murphy administration mismanagement and lax oversight of state contracts with Horizon play a substantial role. Our goal, however, isn’t to place blame. It’s to understand how we can lower the premium costs that will be paid by public workers, teachers, and taxpayers.”

The legislation is sponsored by all 16 members of the Senate Republican caucus.

Senator Edward Durr

Durr Blasts NJEA for KGB-Like Effort to Have Teachers Report Parents Who Express Concerns

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Senator Ed Durr blasted the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) for urging teachers to submit reports about parents and community groups that have expressed concerns about school-related matters that involve their children.

Sen. Ed Durr blasted the NJEA for urging teachers to submit reports about parents and community groups that have expressed concerns about school-related matters that involve their children. (NJEA)

“The NJEA is so afraid of parents that they’re resorting to KGB tactics to squash any effort in local communities to challenge the indoctrination of children in our schools,” said Durr (R-3). “If a parent or group of parents express concerns about curriculum, teaching materials, or age-inappropriate books in school libraries, the clear threat is that they’ll be reported to and attacked by the NJEA.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Praises AG Nominee Platkin’s Support for Jewish Community

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Following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s approval of the nomination of Matt Platkin to serve as Attorney General, Senator Robert Singer praised the Acting Attorney General’s support for Lakewood and the Jewish community:

Sen. Robert Singer praised Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin’s support for Lakewood and the Jewish community. (©iStock)

“Our Jewish community in Lakewood and surrounding towns has been targeted with hate crimes, stabbings, and vile anti-Semitic social media posts in recent years,” said Singer (R-Ocean). “Whenever those issues arose, Matt Platkin was a partner in helping us to protect the rights of our community and fight for justice. He did that as chief counsel to the governor, and I have no doubt he’ll continue to do it once he’s confirmed as Attorney General.”

Senator Michael Testa

Testa Blasts Murphy, DOL Over Lack of Transparency for Latest UI Tax Hikes

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Senator Michael Testa slammed the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) and the Murphy administration for their failure to notify business owners in a timely manner about new unemployment insurance payroll tax hikes.

Sen. Michael Testa slammed the New Jersey Department of Labor and the Murphy administration for their failure to notify business owners in a timely manner about new unemployment insurance payroll tax hikes. (Pixabay)

“As far back as March 2021, it was obvious to anyone paying attention that the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fund was facing a serious financial crisis. I, along with my Republican colleagues, offered a sensible solution—we called on Governor Murphy to stabilize the UI Fund using a portion of the billions in federal pandemic relief funds that New Jersey was given, a proven solution used by many other states,” said Testa (R-1). “Time and again the Murphy administration and their allies declined to even consider this common-sense option. Instead, to maintain the solvency of the Fund, they continued to both borrow money from the federal government and raise taxes on small businesses—which were already struggling to survive under the Governor’s irrational lockdowns. Finally, adding insult to injury, the Murphy administration can’t even notify businesses about the payroll tax hikes in a timely manner.”

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District 8

Stanfield, Torrissi & Umba Host School Supply Drive for Hammonton

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Senator Jean Stanfield, Assemblyman Michael Torrissi and Assemblyman Brandon Umba will be collecting school supplies and clothes for students of the Hammonton School District throughout the month of August.

Sen. Jean Stanfield, Asm. Michael Torrissi, and Asm. Brandon Umba will be collecting school supplies and clothes for students of the Hammonton School District throughout the month of August. (SenateNJ.com)

Starting today, the 8th District Legislators will be accepting supplies at their new office located in the Elmwood Business Park, Suite B-101 in Marlton. The office park is located off of Route 70. Supplies and clothing can be mailed or dropped off anytime between 9am – 5 pm from Monday – Friday. Please don’t hesitate to call or email the office with questions at (856) 817-2143 or by emailing Chief of Staff Brian Woods at bwoods@njleg.org. 

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco and Codey to Propose Stiffer Penalties to Stamp Out Car Theft Epidemic and Protect Juveniles

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Senator Richard J. Codey and Senator Anthony M. Bucco today announced plans to introduce bipartisan legislation that would give law enforcement new tools to fight “an epidemic of car thefts, often organized by gangs that prey on at-risk juveniles.”

Sen. Anthony M. Bucco and Sen. Richard J. Codey announced plans to introduce bipartisan legislation that would give law enforcement new tools to fight “an epidemic of car thefts, often organized by gangs that prey on at-risk juveniles.” (Pixabay)

Citing data and discussions with local law enforcement officials over the past three months, the senators said brazen networks of car thieves and gangs have pushed New Jersey to the point of crisis. The state is on pace to see more than 17,000 vehicles stolen this year. Car thefts also have been increasing at least 20% annually since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and they noted that one case involved a 14-year-old girl.

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Bill Protecting Health Services for Military Dependents Signed by Governor

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New Law Ensures Family Members of Service Members Stationed in NJ Will Have Access to Care Through the Department of Human Services

Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to ensure that dependents of military personnel assigned to duty stations in New Jersey qualify for home- and community-based services under the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services was signed today by the Governor.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Robert Singer to ensure that dependents of military personnel assigned to duty stations in New Jersey qualify for home- and community-based services was signed into law. (SenateNJ.com)

“Military members who relocate their families here won’t have to struggle to get the assistance their children need and deserve. There will be no question about it,” said Singer (R-30). “When they are assigned here, they meet residency requirements as soon as they move in and will be treated like New Jerseyans.”

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District 10

Harmful Health Impacts of Recreational Marijuana Has 10th District Legislators Saying “I Told You So” to Advocates

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A recent report conducted on the potency of cannabis and the increased risk of psychosis and addiction has 10th District Legislators saying “I told you so” to marijuana advocates. Recreational sales of marijuana are now available statewide, however, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano stand firmly in their opposition to this change.

A recent report conducted on the potency of cannabis and the increased risk of psychosis and addiction has 10th District Legislators saying “I told you so” to marijuana advocates. (CC0 Public Domain)

“For years, we have been warning the public and elected officials of the dangers associated with marijuana consumption,” said Senator Holzapfel. “We openly fought against and voted down any legislation aimed at a legalizing cannabis, urging our colleagues to see through the empty promises made by the Democrats. Now, recreational marijuana is stronger than ever, with no limit on the level of potency, leading to severe health issues for the general public.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho/Pennacchio/Corrado Chide Trenton Democrats for Muddled Priorities

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Senator Steven Oroho, Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Kristin Corrado today blasted Democrat leadership in Trenton for their response to the price of concert tickets.

Sens. Oroho, Pennacchio and Corrado said the Legislature should be focused on more important issues than concert ticket prices. (Pixabay)

“The priorities in Trenton are off the rails,” said Oroho (R-24). “There is more interest in investigating the price of admission to a Bruce Springsteen concert than there has ever been for unraveling the bureaucratic confusion that led to the deaths of almost 10,000 people in nursing homes.”

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Republican Senators

Steven Oroho

Steven Oroho

District 24 - Republican Leader

Jon Bramnick

Jon Bramnick

District 21

Anthony M. Bucco

Anthony M. Bucco

District 25

Chris Connors

Chris Connors

District 9

Kristin Corrado

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

Michael Doherty

District 23

Edward Durr

Edward Durr

District 3

Jim Holzapfel

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Declan O'Scanlon

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Vince Polistina

Vince Polistina

District 2

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

District 39

Robert Singer

Robert Singer

District 30

Jean Stanfield

Jean Stanfield

District 8

Michael Testa

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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