O’Toole Introduces Legislation to Address Reported Issues Regarding Restraint of Special Education Students
Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) has introduced legislation to address several reported issues regarding the restraint of special education students, as depicted by a series of investigative reports by News 12 New Jersey’s “Kane in Your Corner.”
“There are serious, eye-opening issues with how special education students are being treated in New Jersey schools, via at times overbearing and borderline abusive, unregulated and secretive physical restraining practices,” O’Toole said. “This legislature is empowered to do everything possible to protect our children, and that includes making sure they grow in a safe, nurturing learning environment. We must act accordingly by passing this legislation immediately.”
The Senate Republican members of the Budget & Appropriation Committee — Jennifer Beck, Anthony Bucco, Steven Oroho, Kevin O’Toole and Sam Thompson — joined in support of options to avoid $1.7 billion in tax and fee increases proposed for the FY15 New Jersey state budget.
“We oppose the Senate Democrats plan to raise taxes by $1.6 billion. It is not a workable plan for the people of New Jersey, and for similar reasons, we oppose $137 million in tax and fee increases proposed in the governor’s budget and supported by Senate Democrats.
“The federal tax increases on families and small business owners have already caused a state revenue shortfall, to the detriment of New Jersey’s workforce. The Senate Democrats’ proposal to raise taxes by $1.6 billion will damage our economic viability regionally, nationally and internationally.
New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-40) met this morning with mayors from the legislative district to address local issues, such as jobs and the economy.
“I’d like to thank the Lt. Governor for taking the time to join us in our community to discuss job creation and retention, as well as other local issues in District 40,” O’Toole said. “The Lt. Governor and her department continue to offer tremendous programs, services and assets for New Jersey’s workforce, small businesses and communities, which are in a constant economic battle with other states. This forum was very helpful in letting our Mayors know first hand there are resources available from the state to help them grow their local economies.”
The following editorial by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-40) and Mayor Paul Aronsohn in support of Senate Bill 2132, which would address a major statewide shortfall of special-needs housing, was published in The Record on June 10, 2014:
RECENTLY, the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing established its latest housing regulations. It was a long-awaited attempt to clarify an increasingly complex situation and to provide our communities with clarity on this issue.
While we can spend hours debating the merits of such rules imposed on our municipalities, a housing shortfall must be addressed beyond this new set of COAH rules. This issue poses its own set of moral and practical challenges, as a relentless source of anxiety for many New Jersey families. Specifically, we are talking about our state’s significant shortage of special-needs housing.
Senators Diane Allen, Kevin O’Toole and Jeff Van Drew introduced today bipartisan legislation to repeal all Realty Transfer Fees in New Jersey.
“I am proud to have bipartisan support for this initiative to help all of New Jersey’s property owners keep thousands of their hard earned dollars,” said Deputy Republican Leader Allen (R-Burlington). “This legislature has the opportunity, and the duty, to correct some costly wrongs done under previous administrations. By working together we can indeed give a break to the middle class — including those struggling to make ends meet, facing short sales or foreclosures — in our uniquely expensive state.”
“This repeal effort launched by Gov. Christie sends a clear message to our constituents: we know how to cut your taxes to give you greater opportunities,” said O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic). “We will work tirelessly to completely reverse the course of past administrations that piled on to your tax and fee burdens.”
Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Passaic and Morris) sent a letter today to state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, urging action to prevent catastrophic flooding around the Passaic River Basin.
“We’re coming off one of the worst winters in recent memories, with record setting freezing temperatures and snowfall, including 58 inches in Bergen County, 64 inches in Essex, 50 inches in Passaic and 59 inches in Morris,” O’Toole said. “Given this amount of snowfall, and as we enter the spring season all this snow will melt and couple that with eventual rainfall my communities will be at risk for potentially catastrophic flooding in already flood prone areas. I ask that you begin the process now of lowering the reservoirs that feed into the Passaic River Basin in advance of the rainy season.”
Senators Joe Pennacchio and Kevin O’Toole released the following today after it was reported that the state Board of Public Utilities filed a brief recommending JCP&L should cut customer rates by more than $200 million because the utility had earned a profit above its approved amount. The Senators have urged the BPU to reject JCP&L’s application for a $31 million rate increase.
“I commend the BPU staff for heeding calls by Senator O’Toole and I to urge that thousands of people who already pay some of the highest utility rates in the country for unreliable service will not have to cough up even more of their hard-earned money,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “JCP&L failed its customers here time after time in past storms, yet now tried to grab more of their hard-earned cash to further line the pockets of its parent company. The attempted rate hike was flat wrong and I hope BPU commissioners will officially act on this recommendation and put money back in the hands of the customers too often left in the dark by JCP&L.”
Senate Republicans Gerald Cardinale (Bergen), Michael Doherty (Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren) and Kevin O’Toole (Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) issued the following statement about their service on the seven-member “Senate Select Committee on Investigation,” which was initiated today by the full Senate:
“We thank Senate Republican Leader Kean, Senate President Sweeney and Chairwoman Weinberg for their confidence in us to serve the people on this committee in a rational and bipartisan fashion.
Senators Joe Pennacchio and Kevin O’Toole today continued their call for JCP&L’s request to raise rates on its customers across the state to be denied and urged action on legislation to hold utility companies accountable for failed service. JCP&L, which has requested a $31 million annual rate increase, was scheduled to go before the state Board of Public Utilities today for an evidentiary hearing regarding costs occurred during past storms.
“It’s outrageous that during a time when energy costs are dropping JCP&L wants to raise rates on the very customers it has repeatedly failed,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “JCP&L needs to be held accountable for its failings, not rewarded on the backs of customers it too often left in the dark for days and weeks during Hurricane Irene, past snowstorms and Superstorm Sandy.”
O’Toole Urges State Investigation into Christmas Delivery Failures; Urges Companies to Reimburse Affected Customers
Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) sent today a letter urging the state Division of Consumer Affairs to conduct an investigation into UPS and FedEx failing to make their as promised deliveries for Christmas. The Senator also wrote the companies, urging them to fully refund all customers affected by Christmas delivery delays.
“Both UPS and FedEx ‘guaranteed’ to certain customers that their deliveries would be made by Christmas, and claimed that they failed many customers as a result of ‘higher than anticipated volume’ and ‘weather conditions in the Midwest,’” O’Toole stated. “Millions of customers across the United States and in particular here in New Jersey took that ‘guarantee’ to mean that they will be able to bring Christmas Joy to their loved ones that they could not be with. Unfortunately, that was not the case.”