New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

  • Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean speaking at the reorganization of the New Jersey Senate at the State House on January 9, 2018. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Diane Allen visited the Alice Paul Institute in Mt. Laurel on April 28, 2016 to discuss the importance of legislation they sponsor to boost charitable giving to New Jersey’s non-profits and provide tax relief to state residents. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Tom Kean speaking during a visit with Sen. Diane Allen to the Alice Paul Institute in Mt. Laurel on April 28, 2016 to discuss the importance of legislation they sponsor to boost charitable giving to New Jersey’s non-profits and provide tax relief to state residents. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Steven Oroho toured Project Self-Sufficiency of Sussex County on March 21, 2016. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Tom Kean was presented with the 2015 Humane State Legislator Award by Kathleen Schatzmann, New Jersey Senior State Director for the Humane Society on March 14, 2016. (Full Story)

  • Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Sen. Jennifer Beck visited the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County in Asbury Park on March 8, 2016 to highlight legislation to help non-profits and charities. (Full Story)

  • Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick announced opposition to Democrat-proposed constitutional amendments that would lock in automatic tax increases and diminish voter influence in rigged New Jersey legislative elections. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Jennifer Beck served as judges for the AT&T Civic App Challenge, a two-month hackathon to develop mobile applications that meet a community need. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Tom Kean (left) attended the groundbreaking of NJIT’s $19 million world-class life sciences and engineering facility, designed to foster revolutionary research and high quality instruction, funded in part through Kean’s ‘Building Our Future Bond Act.’ (Full Story)

  • Sen. Kean tours the Cape May Brewing Company’s new facilities while promoting three new bipartisan jobs bills to support NJ’s rapidly-growing craft brewing industry. (Full Story)

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Sports Betting

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Decision Upholds N.J. Law, Paves the Way for Legalized Wagering on Sporting Events

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean applauded the United States Supreme Court for striking down a federal law that had prohibited most states, including New Jersey, from moving forward with efforts to offer legalized sports betting.

Sen. Tom Kean applauded the U.S. Supreme Court for striking down a federal law that had prohibited New Jersey from moving forward with efforts to offer legalized sports betting.(©iStock)

“The Supreme Court’s decision is recognition that the federal government shouldn’t be in the business of helping one state to maintain a monopoly on sports wagering,” said Kean. “Now that the federal prohibition on sports wagering has been struck down, New Jersey businesses will have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Legislation to Study High Rates of NJ Students Leaving for Out-of-State Colleges Approved by Higher Ed Committee

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New Jersey Exports More College-Bound Students than Any Other State

Legislation by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to study why so many New Jersey high school graduates choose to attend college in other states has been approved by the Senate Higher Education Committee.

Sen. Tom Kean’s legislation to study why so many N.J. high school graduates choose to attend college in other states has passed the Senate Higher Education Committee. (©iStock)

“No other state sends more of its high school graduates to out-of-state colleges than New Jersey,” said Kean, a member of the Higher Education committee. “Once they leave, many never return to New Jersey to help build our workforce, support their families, or contribute to our communities. This brain drain really hurts New Jersey, and it’s something we must understand better if we are to counter it successfully.”

An analysis by the Washington Post of data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows New Jersey’s export of 31,510 graduates in 2008 was the most in the nation.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Calls for 2% State Spending Cap

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Decries Murphy’s Massive Spending Hikes as Irresponsible

In the wake of massive spending hikes proposed by Governor Phil Murphy in the upcoming 2019 State Budget, Republicans in the New Jersey Senate are calling for the passage of a constitutional amendment to limit state spending increases to two percent annually.

Sen. Tom Kean said that Senate Republicans are calling for the passage of a constitutional amendment to cap state spending increases at two percent annually. (SenateNJ.com)

Governor Murphy initially proposed an eight-percent hike in state spending and $1.7 billion in new taxes with his budget address, but his costly proposals seem to keep coming.

“Our ship is taking on water and we need to plug the hole,” Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said. “We spent the last few years making some progress, but now Governor Murphy is wrenching the hull wide open. Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature proved that we could work together by instituting our successful two-percent cap on municipal spending, and now it’s time we do it again to cap state spending.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Editorial: Murphy Must Address Affordability Crisis That’s Driving New Jersey Losses

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The following editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean on improving New Jersey’s affordability was published by the Star-Ledger on May 2, 2018:

A recent opinion piece by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott encouraged overtaxed New Jerseyans to consider relocating to the Lone Star State.

Abbott was likely emboldened by Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget plan to raise state spending by nearly $3 billion, funded with billions in income, business and sales tax increases on New Jerseyans.

He apparently understands, unlike our governor, that New Jerseyans already shoulder one of the greatest tax burdens in the nation.

He’s probably seen how many of our families, retirees and businesses of all sizes have been worn down by rising costs and convinced to leave New Jersey for other states with lower and more predictable tax bills. Likely sensing Murphy’s overreach, Abbott took the opportunity to highlight the tax benefits of moving to Texas.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: While Today is Tax Day, New Jerseyans Won’t Celebrate Tax Freedom Day Until May 3rd

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Warns Murphy’s Billions in New Taxes Will Push Tax Freedom Day for New Jerseyans Even Later

On Tax Day 2018, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean warned that New Jersey residents will have to work longer to pay their tax bills if billions in tax increases proposed by Governor Phil Murphy are enacted.

Sen. Tom Kean warned that Tax Freedom Day for New Jerseyans will move further into the year if billions in tax increases proposed by Gov. Phil Murphy are enacted. (SenateNJ.com)

“Although today is Tax Day, the day that income taxes must be filed, New Jerseyans actually will have to work through May 3rd to pay their combined federal, state, and local property tax bills for the year,” said Kean. “If Murphy’s billions in tax increases are enacted, New Jersey workers will have to work even further into the year just to pay their taxes.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Exploring Legal Action to Stop Murphy Administration’s Unconstitutional $3.2 Billion Tobacco Bond Refinancing

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Says One-Shot Revenue Scheme Wastes Money

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean sent a letter to Acting Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio today to advise that he is exploring legal action to prevent the pending closing of a $3.2 billion sale of Tobacco Settlement Bonds.

Sen. Tom Kean said he is exploring legal action to prevent the pending closing of a $3.2 billion sale of Tobacco Settlement Bonds by the Murphy Administration. (Pixabay)

In the letter, Kean said the transaction effectively extends the final payment date of tobacco bonds more than 40 years beyond their initial issuance in 2003 and 2004 — well beyond what is permitted under the New Jersey Constitution which requires principle and interest on all bonds to be paid within 35 years.

“The Murphy Administration is blatantly ignoring provisions in the New Jersey Constitution that are meant to protect taxpayers from irresponsible debt schemes like this tobacco bond refinancing,” said Kean. “The issuance of this debt will cost New Jersey taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in exchange for a one-shot $250 million budget grab. We are calling for the immediate cancellation of the refinancing, and are exploring our legal options to prevent the closing.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on Gov. Murphy’s ‘Free’ Community College Plan

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement after Governor Murphy announced the details of his plan to provide one year of tuition-free community college:

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean on Gov. Murphy’s plan for ‘free’ community college: “No government funded program is free. Taxpayers always pay the price and frankly, people in New Jersey pay far too much already.” (Wikimedia Commons)

“No government-funded program is free. Taxpayers always pay the price and frankly, people in New Jersey pay far too much already,” Senator Kean said.

“I strongly believe we have to do more to make higher education more accessible and affordable for everyone, but we have to do it in a responsible way.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Republicans Have Been Only Consistent Voice in Legislature for Lowering New Jersey Taxes

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Says Waxing and Waning by Democrats on Billions in Taxes Is Driving Families & Employers from New Jersey

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said he wasn’t surprised that Senate President Stephen Sweeney is now backing off a massive business tax increase that he had proposed just weeks ago.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said the Senate President’s “haphazard approach” to tax policy is driving families and employers from New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)

“The only thing that’s consistent about the Senate President’s approach to addressing New Jersey’s high tax burden is his inconsistency,” said Kean. “He pushed for raising income taxes for years, which we forcefully opposed, but suddenly changed his mind. He recently proposed hitting employers with the highest business taxes in the country, which we also opposed, and again he changed his mind just as abruptly. This constant uncertainty in future costs serves to drive families and employers from New Jersey, even if the harmful taxes are never actually implemented. New Jerseyans need more consistency from their leaders.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Senate Passes Kean Resolution Congratulating Israel on 70th Anniversary of Independence

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The New Jersey Senate has approved a joint resolution sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s joint resolution (SJR-56) congratulates the State of Israel on 70 years of independence. Israel’s 70th anniversary will occur on April 20, 2018.  (Flickr)

“New Jersey’s trade partnership with Israel represents more than $1.6 billion. They have been our friends and allies for the better part of a century,” Senator Kean (R-21) said. “The people of Israel are strong and resilient, but they need our continued support. This resolution represents our commitment to working with this great nation, as they strive to achieve peace with their neighbors in the Middle East and around the world.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on Murphy Budget and Tax Increase Proposals

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement in response to Governor Phil Murphy’s Budget Message today:

“Democrats are going full speed ahead with a massive $2.7 billion spending hike, an increase of nearly 8 percent. It’s irresponsible and it represents a bad value for taxpayers.

Statement from Sen. Tom Kean on Governor Murphy’s proposal to increase the state budget by $2.7 billion and increase taxes on individuals and businesses. (Pixabay)

“Proposing to increase income taxes by nearly $800 million will only drive more employers from the state. Further, the Governor says raising taxes on businesses by $110 million will increase ‘the attractiveness of New Jersey as a location for investment and employment.’ He must be kidding to suggest that will help us to lure major employers like Amazon to New Jersey.

“While Democrats want to say they are only increasing taxes on millionaires and corporations, the Governor’s proposed $546 million sales tax increase would hurt all New Jerseyans. It’s beyond callous to say that New Jerseyans will not feel the impact of this change.

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