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MEDIA ADVISORY (3/5): Independent Hearing to Examine Murphy Administration’s Handling of Nursing & Veterans Homes, LTC Facilities During Pandemic

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Senate and Assembly Republicans will hold an independent hearing virtually on Friday, March 5 to review Murphy administration policies that led to nearly 8,000 deaths and substantial hardship in New Jersey’s nursing homes, veterans homes, and long-term care (LTC) facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate and Assembly Republicans will hold an independent hearing on Friday, March 5 to review Murphy administration policies related to nursing homes, veterans homes, and LTC facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. (SenateNJ.com)

The legislators will hear from family members of residents and caregivers who have been impacted by the crisis along with advocates and experts.

WHO: Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), Senator Michael Testa (R-1), Senator Steven Oroho (R-24), Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-26), Assemblyman Christopher D. DePhillips (R-40), and invited guests.

WHAT: Virtual hearing to review Murphy administration policies related to nursing homes, veterans homes, and LTC facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHEN: Friday, March 5 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: A live stream of the hearing will be accessible to the public and press at https://fb.com/senatenj and https://fb.com/NJAssemblyGOP/.

The meeting is the first in a series of independent hearings that will be held to understand the policy and management failures of the Murphy Administration that led to preventable deaths, destroyed businesses and jobs, and left millions of New Jerseyans without access to important services and support.

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Warns of Impact of School Funding Cuts

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In Letter to Governor, Senator Says West Milford and Jefferson Twp. Schools May Face Widespread Teacher Layoffs

Reacting to data showing that the proposed Fiscal Year 2022 State Budget would slash aid to at least two local school districts, Senator Joe Pennacchio today condemned the treatment in a letter to Governor Murphy (click here for PDF).

Deep cuts in school funding could lead to widespread teacher layoffs and the loss of educational resources for students, Sen. Joe Pennacchio in a letter to the Governor. (Pixabay)

According to documentation released by the State Department of Education, West Milford and Jefferson Township schools in Pennacchio’s 26th Legislative District will lose a total of more than $5 million in state aid.

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Republican Budget Committee Members Express Concern About School Funding in Letter to Gov. Murphy

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee expressed concerned with proposed school funding in a letter (click here for PDF) to Governor Phil Murphy today.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee expressed concerned with proposed school funding in a letter to Governor Phil Murphy. (Pixabay)

The letter was sent by Senator Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), Senator Michael Testa (R-1), and Senator Sam Thompson (R-12).

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District 10

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano Call for 10% Cap on School Funding Increases

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Legislators’ plan would offset severe losses at Brick and Toms River School Districts

Toms River and Brick Township schools took another hit from Governor Murphy and the controversial bill, S-2, which redirects State funding from many suburban districts to schools in urban areas of the state. Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-10) are calling on the Governor to implement a 10% cap on increases in state aid for school districts this year. The money saved would be used to offset losses to the over 200 districts that lost funding. Any remaining funding from this 10% cap would be used to help small businesses struggling due to the impact of COVID-19.

Sen. Jim Holzapfel, Asm. Greg McGuckin, and Asm. John Catalano are calling on Gov. Murphy to implement a 10% cap on increases in state aid for school districts this year.  (Pixabay)

“Any funding increase over 10% to other districts is unfair to school districts like Toms River Regional and Brick Township that have been fighting for years to maintain a quality education while their funding continues to be slashed, year after year,” said Senator Holzapfel. “The current funding formula continues to drive property taxes higher for our residents, which would be especially harmful this year with so many people out of work.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Vitale & Singer Harshly Condemn Chiropractor Board for Reinstating License of Sex Offender

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Senator Joe Vitale, chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, and Senator Robert Singer, the ranking Republican member of the committee, issued the following joint statement harshly condemning the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners for reinstating the professional license of Bryan Bajakian, a convicted sex offender:

Sen. Joe Vitale, chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, and Sen. Robert Singer, the ranking Republican member of the committee, harshly condemned the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners for reinstating the professional license of a convicted sex offender. (SenateNJ.com)

“This is a decision that defies common sense and ignores the safety of the public the board is responsible for protecting. Anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to reinstate the license of a convicted sex offender who preyed on children can’t be trusted to exercise their oversight responsibilities, or to even to heed their own mission statement directing the board to ‘protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of New Jersey.’

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District 1

Testa, Simonsen & McClellan Oppose Gov. Murphy’s School Funding Cuts

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The District 1 legislative team of Senator Michael Testa, Assemblyman Erik Simonsen, and Assemblyman Antwan McClellan criticized Governor Murphy’s proposed school funding cuts, highlighting the need for additional funds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Michael Testa, Asm. Erik Simonsen, and Asm. Antwan McClellan criticized Governor Murphy’s proposed school funding cuts, highlighting the need for additional funds during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Pixabay)

“Governor Murphy should not target South Jersey schools for big funding cuts while we are grappling with virtual education, technology costs, and planning for a safe return to our classrooms,” said Testa. “This absurd budget proposal put forth by the Governor would leave several of our schools facing a 20-30 percent reduction in aid. These proposed cuts are downright insulting to every student and parent in South Jersey.”

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District 24

Murphy Proposed Budget Hammers Local School Districts Yet Again

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District 24 Lawmakers Decry Cuts, Warn of Big Property Tax Increases

Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblyman Hal Wirths today condemned Governor Murphy’s proposed budget for strangling school districts in the 24th District with inadequate education funding even while proposing record high spending in his overall budget.

Sen. Steve Oroho, Asm. Parker Space and Asm. Hal Wirths condemned Gov. Murphy’s proposed budget for reducing state aid to schools in their district by almost $7 million. (Pixabay)

“Even this year, with the most bloated state budget in our state’s history, the Governor’s funding plan still gives our local school districts short shrift,” said Senator Oroho. “Our schools once again will be crippled by deficient state aid, and property taxpayers in our district will be burdened with higher rates to fill the void. In his budget address on Tuesday, the Governor patted himself on the back for increasing investment in public schools by $700 million, but it is clear the Administration had little regard for sharing that money with many suburban and rural school districts that have consistently been hard hit in each State budget since Murphy took office.”

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District 10

10th District Legislators Continue to Stress Need for Mobile Vaccination Units at Senior Communities

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In an effort to ensure that senior citizens and disabled residents have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano have sent another letter (click here for PDF) to Governor Phil Murphy again urging him to adopt their proposal to send mobile vaccination units to senior communities.

In an effort to ensure that senior citizens and disabled residents have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, Sen. Holzapfel, Asm. McGuckin, and Asm. Catalano have sent another letter to Gov. Murphy urging him to send mobile vaccination units to senior communities. (©iStock)

Prior requests, including a letter sent on January 14, have not been answered by the Governor’s Office.

“Frustrations are mounting for our senior residents who either cannot get through to schedule an appointment or they need to find someone to drive them out of their county to vaccination mega sites,” said Senator Holzapfel. “This is unacceptable and needs to be addressed immediately by the Governor and his Administration. For weeks we have demanded that the Governor establish a plan that prioritizes senior citizens like he originally promised.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: Getting Teachers Vaccinated Will Be Priority

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today announced that there is general agreement among government officials that vaccinating teachers should be a priority as soon as standards make them eligible.

Sen. O’Scanlon announced that there is general agreement among government officials that vaccinating teachers should be a priority as soon as standards make them eligible. (©iStock)

“It is imperative that we put politics aside and do all we can to eliminate any hurdles to getting our kids back in school,” said O’Scanlon. “Although science says vaccination isn’t essential for teachers to safely get back in classrooms with our students, getting teachers vaccinated will give them both a health, and comfort level boost and remove the issue from the debate surrounding reopening schools.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco to Murphy: Fixing NJ’s Broken Unemployment System Not a “Waste” of Money

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco expressed shock at Governor Phil Murphy’s suggestion at his press briefing today that investing funds to fix the State’s broken unemployment system would be “throwing good money after bad.”

Sen. Tony Bucco expressed shock at Gov. Phil Murphy’s suggestion at his press briefing today that investing funds to fix the State’s broken unemployment system would be ‘throwing good money after bad.’ (Pixabay)

The governor then suggested that he believed New Jersey should wait for the federal government to rebuild the unemployment system on their end, saying, “I don’t want to waste money in the meantime.”

“It defies belief that Governor Murphy would say it’s a ‘waste’ of money to fix our unemployment system for those who need quick access to the benefits they earned to survive,” said Bucco (R-25). “It’s shocking that the governor is willing to sit back and wait while people are suffering when there’s no indication that federal action is on the horizon.”

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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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