At today’s reorganization of the New Jersey Senate, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called for a bipartisan effort to transform the Garden State into a place where affordability and opportunity abound. Below are his remarks, as prepared for delivery:
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean speaking at the reorganization of the New Jersey Senate at the State House on January 9, 2018. (SenateNJ.com)
I’d like to start by welcoming colleagues old and new, and all of our families and guests, who have joined us today for this reorganization of the New Jersey Senate.
Voters across the state and in each of our particular districts have made their voices heard and sent the 40 of us to this chamber to do an important job.
We all worked hard to get to this exact point.
It is important that we remember why we all made the choice to engage in public service; we care deeply about New Jersey, and about the future that our friends, families, and neighbors have in the Garden State.
Our choice to serve the public is about the 9 million New Jersey residents who are depending on us to get it right.
It’s about parents who want their children to have the opportunities that comes with a good education; young workers who want to build careers and families of their own in their home state; families that want to build financial security; and seniors who shouldn’t have to leave their grandchildren behind when they’re forced to flee to a more affordable state.
Right now we have a blank slate, with four years together ahead of us, to come together and make New Jersey a better state.
Many of my Democrat colleagues in the State House have criticized the actions of single-party government in Washington. Well, you now face that same challenge in this state house. Your party controls both legislative chambers and the Governor’s office.
The 40 members in this chamber today have some serious issues that we are going to need to address. We want to make New Jersey worth the investment that our residents are making in it.
A good first step would be to invite Republicans into the process. We have a talented pool of legislators who bring a wealth of insights, experience and passion to this chamber.
We can send a message to the people of New Jersey that Trenton is not consumed by politics, that we’re working together to solve these problems. Let’s start with bipartisan bills that address the impact of the federal tax reform of state property taxes and offer a bold solution on the minimum wage.
It is time to transform the Garden State into a place where affordability and opportunity abound.
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