New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean to Sweeney: Make Monday’s Session Count

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. stated the following regarding today’s announcement of Monday morning’s Senate session, which is currently devoted to one open space agenda item.

“I’m glad that Senate Democrats have finally decided to show up to work in Trenton this summer,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “But that’s only half the battle. I urge Senate President Sweeney to make this voting session mean more. Whenever we meet, we should be doing everything possible to address the people’s two top issues: taxes and jobs.”

Senator Kean renews his call from earlier this month for Senator Sweeney to post Republican legislation that addresses the people’s priorities.

Since then, one of New Jersey’s top competitor states, North Carolina, has taken monumental action in the form of tax simplification and reduction that will draw more students, families, innovators and job creators from New Jersey.

“Perhaps the Senate President has struggled to get his caucus to show up, because they have heard the people’s resounding message: We do not need legislators in Trenton who protect the status quo of high taxes and a noncompetitive job climate,” Kean concluded. “Hopefully, their attendance on Monday means that they are ready to work on a bipartisan basis to pass real solutions to improve the quality of life for all New Jerseyans.”

Senator Kean reiterated some examples:

  • Ending sick-leave retirement jackpots via S808 or Sweeney’s own bill S1564, which he won’t post for a vote even though it has Republican support;
  • Passing civil service reforms, and cut other duplicative spending at the local level: (S1694, Doherty, with Sweeney signing on later, permits counties to share tax administrators);
  • Repealing taxes: New Jersey is one of two states with two forms of a “death tax,” while North Carolina is moving to immediately eliminate any form of an estate tax. Senator Steve Oroho’s S239, which is bipartisan legislation, would phase out New Jersey’s estate tax over five years. Senator Oroho’s S1996, also bipartisan legislation, would eliminate New Jersey’s inheritance tax and raise the threshold of the estate tax from $675,000 to match the federal level. With North Carolina ending their “death tax,” just 16 states have one.
  • Implementing real pay-to-play and ethics reforms to save taxpayers from funding excessively rich contracts and the costly actions of abusive public officials:
    • S601 (suspends public pensions of retired public employees who resume public employment with compensation greater than $15,000, in order to mitigate pension system burden and help ensure equal opportunity for new positions); and S1891 (With bipartisan support in the Assembly, mandates that insurance producers perform bona fide services in order to be paid public dollars; requires insurance producers disclose public contracts with the state and detail services provided).
    • S2068 (makes all local public officials accountable to state ethics laws); S1917 (levels the pay-to-play playing field); S590 (co-sponsored by Weinberg) full forfeiture of pension of elected or appointed official convicted of any crime touching office); S1333 (Requires forfeiture of public office, position or employment upon conviction of certain offenses); S597 (no wheeling).

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