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Senator Michael Testa

Testa to Governor: Wake Up and Do Your Job

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Senator Michael Testa spoke during the July 2nd, 2020 New Jersey State Senate Remote Voting Session in regards to Governor Phil Murphy’s Conditional Veto of A-4132 and the State Legislatures concurrence with the legislation. Below is his statement:

“The bill we are voting on today started out as a creative idea (two months ago) by people to help solve a very real fiscal crisis.”

“Credit is due. Senate President Sweeney came up with a way to furlough public employees, while having the federal government pay for the costs of unemployment benefits.

Senator Michael Testa on the phone voting during July 2, 2020 New Jersey State Senate Session.

“If it was done right – and at a time when tens of thousands of State employees not on the frontlines were sidelined and unable to work, it would have allowed public employees to continue being paid through a work share program when they couldn’t work anyway.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco: Savings from Original Furlough Bill Could Have Funded Homestead Benefit & Senior Freeze

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Governor Leaves $750 Million of Savings on the Table, Threatens to Slash Popular Property Tax Relief Programs

Senator Anthony M. Bucco said Governor Phil Murphy missed an opportunity to implement State employee furloughs back in May that could have provided more than enough savings to fund property tax relief programs that provide critical assistance to families and seniors:

Sen. Tony Bucco said Gov. Phil Murphy missed an opportunity to implement State employee furloughs back in May that could have provided more than enough savings to fund property tax relief programs that provide critical assistance to families and seniors. (©iStock.com)

“The Legislature sent Governor Murphy bipartisan furlough legislation back in May that could have saved the State an estimated $750 million, more than enough to fund the Homestead Rebate and Senior Freeze programs. Instead, he returned to the Legislature a watered down furlough bill that is unlikely to produce any substantial savings. This is unacceptable.

“Because the governor failed to enact the original legislation, the State budget is in a deeper hole. In fact, the administration says it may cancel Homestead Benefit credits on upcoming property tax bills and Senior Freeze reimbursements that otherwise would have been paid this month. It didn’t have to be this way.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Republicans Pan Murphy’s Watered Down Furlough Bill

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Entire Caucus to Vote “NO” on Murphy’s Conditional Veto of S-2350/A-4132

The four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee panned Governor Phil Murphy’s recommended changes to legislation approved by the Legislature with broad bipartisan support in mid-May that would have allowed the State to more easily and quickly furlough non-essential public employees while they were unable to work with the federal government picking up all of the tab of unemployment benefits.

Senate Republicans panned Gov. Murphy’s furlough plan as ‘too little, too late,’ saying his delayed action has left hundreds of millions of federal dollars on the table, and will leave State government offices understaffed just as they begin to reopen facing a backlog in citizen needs. (Pixabay)

The members, Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1), issued the following joint statement prior to today’s Senate session when the entire Senate Republican caucus will vote “NO” on accepting the the governor’s recommendations in his conditional veto of S-2350/A-4132:

“Like many aspects of Governor Murphy’s response to the coronavirus crisis, his delayed action on furloughs is too little, too late. By failing to enact the original legislation when it passed the Legislature in May with overwhelming bipartisan support, he left hundreds of millions of federal dollars on the table. Even worse, the cost of furloughing workers going forward will be paid almost 100% by New Jersey taxpayers, when the cost of the original bill would have been picked up entirely by the federal government. To say the governor’s inaction represents a missed opportunity would be an understatement.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Introduces Bill Cracking Down on Pandemic Predators

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Senator Moved by Sister of Victim’s Plea

Senator Joe Pennacchio has introduced legislation that would upgrade charges for committing personal crimes, increasing sentencing and fines for the duration of the ongoing coronavirus Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor’s executive order.

Senator Pennacchio has introduced legislation that would temporarily upgrade certain charges and penalties for crimes against persons during the coronavirus emergency. (SenateNJ.com)

“Residents are especially susceptible due to heightened stress, health fears, and financial instability resulting from the pandemic,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Unfortunately, predators are taking advantage of our communities during these vulnerable times. States of emergency should never be interpreted as an open invitation for criminals to abuse residents during these high-risk conditions. The perpetrators must be held accountable.

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Senator Michael Testa

South Jersey Lawmakers Call for Federal Monitor of Primary Election Amid Recent Scandals

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South Jersey lawmakers, Sen. Mike Testa and Assemblymen Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen called upon the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey to monitor the state’s upcoming primary elections on July 7.  The lawmakers also introduced a resolution Monday in the Senate and Assembly (SCR-120/ACR-185) calling for a fair and legal election in New Jersey and for federal monitors to prevent voter fraud.

Sen. Michael Testa and Assemblymen Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen called upon the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey to monitor the state’s upcoming primary elections on July 7. (SenateNJ.com)

“The integrity of New Jersey’s upcoming primary election is at risk as more and more evidence of voter fraud, ballot tampering, post office failures, and misprints of mail-in ballots come to light,” said Testa. “We believe an election completed entirely through a rushed vote-by-mail process is going to be highly problematic and likely wrought with errors. People deserve to know that their votes will be counted and that this vote-by-mail election will be conducted fairly.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman-Sponsored Clean Water Infrastructure Bill Signed into Law

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Appropriates Funds for Important Environmental Projects

The Governor signed Senator Kip Bateman’s bill appropriating federal and state funds to implement more than $1 billion in vital environmental infrastructure construction.

Essential clean water and environmental projects across the state will be green-lighted under a new law sponsored by Senator Bateman. (Pixabay)

The bipartisan measure (S-2499) ensures clean water and environmental projects across the state will be green-lighted through the new fiscal year.

“We must ensure that construction protecting our drinking water and keep the taps flowing proceeds, and this will get that done without placing more of a burden on property taxpayers,” said Bateman (R-16). “Parts of the state are proceeding with costly renovations to bolster and update water treatment facilities and wastewater controls damaged by Storm Sandy. These are all essential projects that need to be completed.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

NOW LAW: Bateman Measure Allows Retiring Troopers to Remain on Duty During Pandemic

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Senator Kip Bateman’s legislation to allow New Jersey State Troopers who have reached retirement age to continue serving the public during the COVID-19 outbreak has been signed into law.

Sen. Kip Bateman’s legislation to allow NJ State Troopers who have reached retirement age to continue serving the public during the COVID-19 outbreak has been signed into law. (Flickr)

“Our brave Troopers who are willing and able to remain working during these unprecedented times should not be forced to retire immediately upon hitting a certain age,” said Bateman (R-16). “Their institutional knowledge and experience is sorely needed, especially as we continue to face the uncertainty of a second wave of COVID-19 hitting New Jersey. This law will help ensure that we always have enough Troopers to  serve our communities during this crisis.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Bill Extending Government and Private Projects Permits During the Public Health Emergency Signed into Law

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco to extend the duration of existing permit approvals from state, county and municipal agencies for the duration of the COVID-19 health emergency was signed today by Governor Murphy.

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Bucco to extend existing permit approvals from state, county and municipal agencies for the duration of the COVID-19 health emergency was signed into law today. (SenateNJ.com)

The majority of business and government projects came to a sudden halt when the coronavirus pandemic hit and the Governor locked down the state. The enactment of Bucco’s bill (A-3919/S-2346) ensures those projects can resume without costly delays.

“The economy was stopped in its tracks by COVID-19,” said Senator Bucco (R-25). “Work has been frozen by mandated precautions and strict social distancing orders. During indefinite delays, permit approvals can expire, jeopardizing important construction projects and placing public and private investment at risk. By extending permits during this health crisis, we can prevent important, already-approved work from being abandoned.

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Senator Chris Brown

Brown: It’s Time to Return Our American Flags to Full Mast

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Senator Chris Brown (R-2) called on Governor Phil Murphy to order the American and New Jersey flags to be raised to full mast.

Sen. Chris Brown called on Gov. Murphy to order the American and New Jersey flags to be raised to full mast. (SenateNJ.com)

“It is time to raise the flag. First, flying our flags for a prolonged period at half-mast minimizes the sacrifices and the honor due to our servicemen and women along with our first responders who died in the line of duty while intentionally putting themselves in harm’s way. Raising the flags acknowledges we will overcome our current circumstances. Consider the fact the American flag is lowered on Memorial Day only from sunrise to noon, after which it is raised to its full, glorious height, symbolizing America’s resilience,”Brown wrote.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Governor Signs O’Scanlon Bill Saving Money on Health Benefits Coverage for Taxpayers, Teachers

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Declan O’Scanlon and signed today by the Governor promises to save New Jersey taxpayers more than $600 million.

Legislation sponsored by Senator O’Scanlon and signed into law today could save New Jersey taxpayers more than $600 million. (SenateNJ)

“This has been a long time coming,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “It has taken almost 10 years of discussion and fighting, desk-pounding and compromise. The result is reform we can all live with that will benefit property taxpayers, teachers, and our students.”

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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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