Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset) to fund upgrades and improvements at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities.
The law, S-2897, appropriates the remaining $34.3 million from the “Building Our Future Bond Act,” voter-approved legislation sponsored by Senator Kean to fund capital improvement projects at public institutions of higher education statewide.
“More and more high school grads are choosing to pursue a career in STEM-related fields, such as nursing or engineering. They shouldn’t have to travel out of state to study at a school with a state-of-the art research facility or lab,” Senator Kean said. “This appropriation will help our top-notch colleges and universities evolve to meet the needs of incoming students.”
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to transfer governance of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) from the New Jersey Division of Pension and Benefits to a newly empowered PFRS Board of Trustees has been approved by the New Jersey Senate.
Kean sponsors the bipartisan measure, S-3040, with Senate President Stephen Sweeney.
“The police and fire unions covered by PFRS spent two years researching this proposal, including meetings across the country with representatives of other states’ pension systems to learn what works and what doesn’t,” said Kean. “This proposal represents the culmination of that diligent effort. I have no doubt that they have the best interests of all their members at heart, and was glad to work on this innovative approach to help strengthen the pensions earned by our first responders.”
The following editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean was published by the Star-Ledger on February 17, 2017:
As the New Jersey Senate debated a pair of symbolic resolutions on immigration last week, a new bill that has the potential to devastate our state budget and cause unbelievable harm to New Jersey taxpayers was introduced by Senate Democrats with little fanfare.
This new legislation, S3007, follows a proposal floated by President Trump to withhold federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration law enforcement efforts.
The president’s proposal has yet to become actual federal policy or law.
Still, Democrats in the state Senate rushed forward with an ill-conceived response which would require the state to reimburse local governments for the loss of any federal funds resulting from their status as a sanctuary jurisdiction.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) to help homeless individuals during severe winter weather events was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
“We saw just last week the kind of nasty cold and wet weather a New Jersey winter can bring,” Senator Kean said. “Now, we’re one step closer to ensuring that more of our state’s homeless individuals have a warm shelter to stay on harsh winter nights.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean was gaveled down by Senate Democrats and called “out of order” for urging the New Jersey Senate to take action on a number of issues of importance to the people of New Jersey.
Senate Democrats later blocked efforts by Senate Republicans to bring the following three bills up for a vote that would address New Jersey’s crisis of affordability and help to rebuild residents’ trust in government.
- S-1557 (Beck) – Provides full forfeiture of pension of elected or appointed official convicted of any crime touching office.
- S-1888 (Doherty) – Establishes State Transportation Cost Analysis Task Force.
- S-2554 (Kyrillos) – Sets level for health care benefits; requires employee contributions; prohibits reimbursement of Medicare Part B; adds member to SHBP/SEHBP plan design committees; requires retirees to purchase health care through exchanges.
Included below are the full remarks that Kean was blocked from delivering during the Senate’s floor discussion on S-3:
“In his State of the State address on January 10th, Governor Christie called on the Legislature to pass this critical reform that’s before us today to help battle our state’s growing opioid epidemic.
Kean Urges NJ Senate Democrats to Spend Less Time Criticizing Washington & More Time Working to Fix New Jersey
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called on New Jersey Senate Democrats to spend less time criticizing Washington and more time working to fix problems here in New Jersey:
“With Senate Democrats so focused on federal affairs in Washington, they’ve ignored work on reforms they have the power to advance in Trenton that could have a real impact on the lives of every New Jerseyan.
“They’ve planned votes to express opposition, but they haven’t planned any votes on cutting property taxes, nor have they planned votes on creating opportunities for students and job seekers, or on ethics reforms that would help to rebuild trust in our government institutions.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) that she will not seek re-election to the New Jersey Senate:
“Diane Allen has been a fierce fighter for the women and children of New Jersey, a trusted leader in our caucus, and a true friend to me personally.
“Her many accomplishments are too numerous to count, and her resolve and dedication to address issues of importance for the people of New Jersey have been unmatched.
“It’s not possible to sum up a career as distinguished as Diane’s in a few words, or to adequately voice the respect she has earned from all of her colleagues in the Legislature.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) to help homeless individuals during severe weather events was advanced by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“We’re in the middle of winter, and we’ve already seen some frigid temperatures,” Senator Kean said. “We cannot leave our most vulnerable residents to fend for themselves in the harsh winter weather.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement in response to the State of the State address delivered by Governor Chris Christie:
“Few would disagree that the epidemic of drug abuse that plagues New Jersey is among the most pressing issues facing our state,” said Kean. “I commend Governor Christie for choosing such an important forum to highlight the need for a comprehensive state response. We look forward to continuing the bipartisan effort to combat New Jersey’s drug crisis this year, and to advancing other important efforts to rebuild trust in government, create opportunities for residents, and make New Jersey affordable.”
Senators Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset, Mercer, Hunterdon, Middlesex) and Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union, Morris, Somerset) voiced their disapproval of the Federal Highway Administration’s guidance against the painting of a “Thin Blue Line” between the double-yellow center line on roadways.
“Towns paint these lines in order to honor the hardworking members of law enforcement in their own way on locally controlled roads,” Senator Bateman said. “The response from the Federal Highway Administration is an overreaction to a very important local matter. If we can’t support something as simple as the ‘thin blue line,’ what kind of message does that show to our police officers?”