New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

  • Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean joined Republican colleagues and state business leaders representing thousands of employers at a State House press conference on June 22, 2015 to oppose job-killing income and business tax increases proposed by Democrats. (Full Story)

  • Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean joined the New Jersey Realtors at the groundbreaking ceremony for their new Trenton headquarters on June 11, 2015. (Facebook)

  • Sen. Tom Kean visited Terracycle in Trenton on May 14, 2015 and announced a resolution urging a statewide effort to keep hazardous and hard-to-recycle materials out of landfills. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Kip Bateman visited Terracycle in Trenton on May 14, 2015 and announced a resolution urging a statewide effort to keep hazardous and hard-to-recycle materials out of landfills. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Tom Kean testifying on his dog fighting legislation during the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 7, 2015 in the State House. Union County Prosecutor Grace Park (left) also testified in support of the measure. (Full Story)

  • Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean speaking at the jobs package press conference at the New Jersey State House in Trenton on April 23, 2015, with Sen. Diane Allen. (Full Story)

  • Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean visited Valley View Middle School in Watchung on April 2, 2015 to commend students in the district for working to put an end to bullying on the web, in the classroom and across the country. (Facebook/Tom Kean)

  • Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (right) and Senator Raymond Lesniak (left) announced the formation of “Faith Leaders Against Violence” at a New Jersey State House press conference on Monday, February 9, 2015. (Press Release)

  • Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean discussed efforts to address chronic poverty through education and economic policies at the Anti-Poverty Network of NJ’s Annual Summit in Monroe on December 4, 2014. (Photo Gallery)

  • Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean toured the Murray Hill headquarters of Bell Labs with company President Marcus Weldon (right) after unveiling legislation on October 10, 2014 to foster innovation and increase job growth in New Jersey. (Press Release)

Senator Diane Allen
Senator Tom Kean

Allen, Kean Introduce Bill to Protect Nail Salon Workers From Exploitation, Health Hazards

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Senate Republicans Diane Allen and Tom Kean are introducing legislation to protect manicurists and cosmetologists from dangerous health hazards and exploitative labor practices in nail salons across the state.

Legislation by Sens. Tom Kean and Diane Allen would protect manicurists and cosmetologists from dangerous health hazards and exploitative labor practices. (©iStock.com)

The bill would amend the Cosmetology Act of 1984 by requiring the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling to enforce safety and health standards for all workers in licensed nail salons, conduct random inspections, ensure that salon workers are aware of their rights to a fair wage, and mandate that employers provide protective equipment.

“We know that working with toxic chemicals for long hours, day after day, often in poorly ventilated areas can cause long-term damage to a person’s health,” said Senator Allen. “Across our state, women and men are forced to live in fear and put their lives at risk – often for little or no compensation. It is our responsibility to ensure that all workers in New Jersey have access to safe working conditions and that their basic rights are upheld, regardless of what language they speak.”

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Passes Bill to Give Families Choice in “Return Home” Program

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Legislation sponsored by  Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. to modify the state’s ‘Return Home’ policy was approved by the Senate.

Sen. Kip Bateman with families who celebrated the Senate’s passage of reform legislation to fix the state’s flawed “Return Home New Jersey” program on July 23, 2015. (SenateNJ.com)

Under the legislation (S3117), agreed upon by the Christie Administration, the state Division of Developmental Disabilities will be prohibited from transferring an individual with a developmental disability currently residing out-of-state to a placement in New Jersey if the individual or their guardian objects in writing. The legislation is also sponsored by Senator Bob Gordon and Senate President Steve Sweeney.

“Throughout this process I’ve heard heart-wrenching stories from many families concerned about the disruption and change in the level of care that will occur if their loved ones who had spent the majority of their life at one facility were suddenly uprooted and moved back to New Jersey,” said Senator Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer). “This legislation recognizes those concerns by giving families and guardians the option to determine what’s best for the treatment of their loved one.”

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Senator Tom Kean

New York Times Urges NJ Dems to Pass Kean’s Port Authority Reform

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following regarding a New York Times editorial urging Trenton Democrats who control the New Jersey Legislature to “step aside” and allow a vote to pass Senator Kean’s bipartisan, bi-state, comprehensive and “fair” legislation to reform the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey:

A New York Times editorial on July 22, 2015 urged Trenton Democrats who control the New Jersey Legislature to allow a vote on Sen. Tom Kean’s legislation reforming the PANYNJ. (SenateNJ.com)

“I hope today’s New York Times editorial is the final wake-up call prompting New Jersey legislative Democrats to allow my hybrid legislation to prevent an abusive Port Authority.

“With New York’s passage of this bill and Gov. Christie’s commitment to sign it into law, Trenton Democrats are the lone obstructers of this reform bill that would stop the Port Authority from wasting or wantonly increasing the billions of dollars the public agency takes each year from hard-working commuters and taxpayers. It’s past time for them to join us bipartisan, bi-state reformers and seize the opportunity we now have to enact workable, comprehensive Port Authority reform for all of the people we represent.”

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Tom Kean

Bateman, Kean Announce Bipartisan Agreement on ‘Return Home’ Policy

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Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Senator Bob Gordon and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced they have reached an agreement with the Christie Administration to end the state’s ‘Return Home’ policy as it currently exists.

Sen. Tom Kean speaking at a State House press conference on July 20, 2015 to announce an agreement to end the state’s ‘Return Home’ policy as it currently exists. (SenateNJ.com)

Under new legislation sponsored by the senators and agreed upon by the administration, the state Division of Developmental Disabilities would be prohibited from transferring an individual with a developmental disability currently residing out-of-state to a placement in New Jersey if the individual or their guardian objects in writing.

“Throughout this process I’ve heard heart-wrenching stories from many families concerned about the disruption and change in the level of care that will occur if their loved ones who had spent the majority of their life at one facility were suddenly uprooted and moved back to New Jersey,” said Senator Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer). “This legislation recognizes those concerns by giving families and guardians the option to determine what’s best for the treatment of their loved one.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on Porrino’s Service With Governor’s Office

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement regarding the announced departure of Chief Counsel Chris Porrino from the Governor’s Office:

Chris Porrino (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

“Chris is a very solutions-oriented person who added incredible value to the Administration. We worked together frequently. He has always focused on what was in the best interests of the people of New Jersey. I thank Chris for his service and wish him well in all his future endeavors.”

Senator Tom Kean

Senate Advances Bipartisan Kean Resolution to Halt Pilgrim Pipeline Project as Proposed

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean opposing the proposed route of an oil pipeline that would run from Albany, New York to Linden, New Jersey was approved by the Senate.

The Senate approved a resolution sponsored by Senators Kean and Codey calling for the rejection of the Pilgrim Pipeline project as currently proposed. (Coalition to Stop Pilgrim Pipeline)

“If tragedy strikes, this pipeline – which could carry as much as 16.8 million gallons of highly explosive crude and refined fuel through my district a day – could damage the water supplies used by millions of people,” said Senator Tom Kean (R-Morris, Somerset, Union). “The Pilgrim Pipeline would travel through areas as diverse as our most densely developed towns, to environmentally protected lands in the Highlands. As an advocate for the safety and health of the constituents I serve, I stand with the 35 towns across four counties who have spoken out in clear opposition to the pipeline. I urge the Department of Environmental Protection and United States Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a thorough environmental impact report before allowing a potentially catastrophic pipeline to run through the communities we serve.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Senate Advances Kean Anti-Bullying Bill Urging Publishers to Include ‘Upstander’ Definition In Dictionaries

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The New Jersey Senate passed Senator Tom Kean’s resolution urging Merriam-Webster Inc. and the Oxford University Press to include the word “upstander” in the dictionary. According to Pulitzer-Prize winner Samantha Power, who coined the term in 2002, an upstander is a person who chooses to take positive action in the face of injustice.

Sen. Tom Kean visited Valley View Middle School in Watchung on April 2, 2015 for an anti-bullying event. Students in the district are teaching  classmates to be “upstanders,” and have started an effort to add the word to dictionaries prompting a Senate resolution by Kean. (Facebook)

Senator Kean’s bill (SR-105) applies this definition to the robust anti-bullying efforts across the state. In Watchung Borough, students such as Watchung Hills High School graduates Monica Mahal and Sarah Decker have committed to fighting bullying in their school district and around the world by encouraging their peers to be upstanders and working to raise awareness by joining Senator Kean’s effort to add “upstander” to the dictionary.

“The students I met with in Watchung have shown me what a powerful difference upstanders can make in the face of bullying in the classroom and on the web,” said Senator Kean. “We live in a world where 71 percent of students witness bullying in their schools, with one in three identifying as a victim of bullying. By passing this resolution, we are bringing national attention to this issue and giving countless New Jersey students the information and motivation they need to become allies for their peers instead of bystanders to bullying.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Introduces Consensus Port Authority Reform; Legislation is Expected to Be Made Law This Week in NY

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following after introducing Port Authority of New York & New Jersey reform legislation that is supported by the bipartisan governors of both states, bipartisan leaders of both houses in the New York Legislature and bipartisan sponsors in the New Jersey Assembly.

Sen. Tom Kean has introduced consensus legislation to reform the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. (Flickr)

“This new legislation — supported by both governors, bipartisan legislative leaders in both houses of New York’s legislature and bipartisan sponsors in the New Jersey Assembly — will prevent the Port Authority from wasting, abusing and wantonly increasing the billions of dollars the public agency takes each year from hard-working commuters and taxpayers. This bill ensures an accountable, transparent, efficient and transportation-oriented Port Authority that will be vital to economic growth and job creation in New Jersey.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Latest NJ Dem Income & Employer Tax Hike Proposals Are Dead

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The following is Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s speech as prepared for delivery at today’s press conference hosted by leaders from the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce; New Jersey Business & Industry Association; the New Jersey Society of CPAs; and the state’s largest trade associations:

“Picture this: A New Jersey employer or prospective New Jersey job creator in another state is watching TV. Their prime-time program is interrupted by an enticing invitation: Move here. Our state is so affordable you can spend your money on growing, hiring the best that the tri-state area’s workforce has to offer and increasing your success.

“The advertisement continues: We have lowered our CBT rate to among the lowest in the country; we’ve lowered income taxes, and we are offering you a 10-year tax break to start or grow your operations and workforce in one of our tax-free zones.

“This scenario is not some Republican tax-cutting, regulation-reducing fantasy. It is an ongoing marketing campaign by the State of New York and its Democrat governor that is winning them our hard-working residents, entrepreneurs and innovators.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean on Need to Pass New Common-Ground Port Authority Reform

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following after today’s announcement of new hybrid legislation to reform the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey:

New Port Authority reform legislation has been announced. (Flickr)

“I’m pleased that the common-ground, comprehensive reform effort I started in December served as the framework for Port Authority reform legislation that is supported by both governors, as well as bipartisan legislative leaders in New York, and should immediately become law in both states.

“This legislation will prevent the Port Authority from wasting, abusing and wantonly increasing the billions of dollars the public agency takes each year from hard-working commuters and taxpayers. This bill ensures an accountable, transparent, efficient and transportation-oriented Port Authority that will be vital to economic growth and job creation in New Jersey.

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