Says We’ve Come Too Far to Allow Reform Effort to Stall
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called for the advancement of reforms to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including the approval of a new chief executive officer and the passage of legislation that would cement the position and other critical changes.
Kean’s action follows concerns expressed by Port Authority Chairman John Degnan that momentum to enact reforms is stalling. Degnan has asked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to approve a new CEO from a shortlist of candidates produced by a search committee.
Kean is the sponsor of S-355 which provides governance, transparency, and accountability reforms to the Port Authority.
“With the Port Authority so important to our region and economy, we must work to eliminate the structural deficiencies that have been identified,” said Kean. “The failure to adopt a new management structure, hire a CEO, and codify reforms is an invitation for continued abuse.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service on August 25, 2016 unanimously passed the New Jersey Senate
“Establishing and protecting our beautiful national parks has been one of our country’s greatest achievements,” Senator Kean said. “But you don’t have to go to Yosemite or Yellowstone to see our National Park Service at work. You can find some fantastic natural and historic wonders right here in New Jersey.”
In New Jersey, the National Park Service oversees three national historical parks – Morristown, Paterson Great Falls and Thomas Edison; two national recreations areas – Delaware Water Gap and Gateway-Sandy Hook Unit; two national trails – Appalachian and Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route; one national monument – Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island; five wild and scenic rivers – Great Egg Harbor, Middle Delaware, Lower Delaware, Maurice and Musconetcong; one national heritage area – Crossroads of the American Revolution; and the nation’s only national reserve – the New Jersey Pinelands.
“We are so lucky to have these magnificent places right in our backyard,” Senator Kean said. “If you haven’t had the chance to explore places like the Delaware Water Gap or the Appalachian Trail, go out on Aug. 25, to celebrate our state’s natural beauty, as well as the National Park Service on its centennial.”
The National Park Service has helped preserve more than 400 sites covering more than 84 million acres of land in every state, as well as Washington D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In addition to national parks, they oversee sites like battlefields, monuments and recreation areas.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) and Senator Tom Kean (R-Union, Morris, Somerset) to make more students aware of their possible eligibility for the New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Program Scholarship (NJ STARS) passed the New Jersey Senate.
“The cost of college is only getting higher, and NJ STARS offers students a chance to attend college without weighing them down with debt for years to come,” Senator Singer said. “If we can connect more students with the money available to them, we’ll make college more affordable and keep more of our brightest students in the state.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s statement on the passing of former Senate President Raymond Bateman this morning:
“When it came to public service, Senator Ray Bateman was a giant. He was one of the people that I admired most growing up in a family that followed a similar path. He’s someone that many of us who serve now try to emulate.
“I would like to offer my deepest condolences to his family, and to his son, my friend Senator Kip Bateman, with whom I have the honor to serve.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that the approval of legislation increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15/hour would almost surely lead to job losses for those who are unskilled or lack prior experience, especially when those positions can be replaced by technological alternatives.
The legislation, A-15/S-15, would increase the minimum wage from the current rate of $8.38/hour to $10.10/hour on January 1, 2017, followed by annual increases reaching $15/hour on January 1, 2021.
“It’s undeniable that increasing the minimum wage by nearly 80% will result in substantial job losses for people already struggling,” said Kean. “Taking away opportunities to get a foothold in the workforce will harm the same young and inexperienced people that the sponsors of this legislation are trying to help.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) will be the prime sponsor of a school funding reform proposal announced by Governor Chris Christie to give all children an equitable share of state school aid and provide real property tax relief to the overwhelming majority of taxpayers.
“Senator Doherty has led a years-long effort in the Legislature to adopt a fairer school funding formula that treats all students equally and taxpayers fairly,” said Kean. “Considering the great similarities between his ‘Fair School Funding’ plan and the Governor’s proposed ‘Fairness Formula,’ there couldn’t be a better person than Senator Doherty to take the lead on this new legislation.”
Kean will join Doherty as a co-prime sponsor.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) and Senator Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) to make sure more students are aware of the New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJ STARS) passed the Senate Education Committee.
“The NJ STARS program is a fantastic way for bright students who may not be able to afford college themselves to pursue a college degree,” Senator Singer said. “We have the resources and we have the students. We need to make sure those students know about this program so they can actually take advantage of it.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service on Aug. 25, 2016 passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
“America has so many beautiful natural wonders that have been protected through the work of the National Park Service,” Senator Kean said. “From coast to coast, you can visit countless parks that have been set aside for us, as well as for future generations.”
Kean Introduces Proposal to Increase Transparency, Public Participation in Legislative Redistricting and Allow Competitive Races in Every District
Offers as Alternative to Widely-Panned Proposal by Democrats that Protects Incumbents, Tilts Future Elections in Their Favor
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has introduced a constitutional amendment to reform New Jersey’s legislative redistricting process to make it more transparent, open to public involvement, and to remove political considerations from the formulation of legislative districts.
The proposal, SCR-110, includes widely acclaimed aspects of the redistricting processes used in several other states, including Iowa and California. It also incorporates non-partisan proposals from Wisconsin and Illinois.
Over the past two legislative cycles, Democrats have introduced widely-panned proposals that one highly regarded election expert testified, “entrenches a permanent Democratic majority,” and, “is a bald-faced attempt to pull the wool over voters’ eyes.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that while Democrats in the Legislature purport to be the party of “working people,” they haven’t told the full story about how the major legislative initiatives they are working to advance would actually put many hard working New Jerseyans out of work.
“New Jersey Democrats have been on a warpath in recent months, and the enemy appears to be jobs,” said Kean. “While Republicans are focused on enacting solutions to our state’s affordability crisis, Democrats have doubled-down on efforts to impose expensive mandates that would put the jobs of many New Jersey residents at risk.”
Kean highlighted several proposals sponsored by Democrats that are likely to have negative, unintended consequences for those seeking a job, as well as those already employed: