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 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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Senator Tom Kean

Kean’s Statement on Tragic Charleston Church Shooting

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following about the tragic news of a Wednesday night church shooting in Charleston, S.C., which police have deemed a hate crime against religious black people by a white gunman.

Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., via Google Street View. (Google Maps)

“I must echo the calls for justice and peace from the black community: This type of terrorism, too, must be stopped.

“By now, our society should have evolved into one in which all people are equally treated and respected. Yet, tragedies like this prove that we indeed have not. This is not cause to give up, rather, it is a reason for more people to come together to prevent such unthinkable acts of violence and hatred.

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Senator Tom Kean

Panel Passes Bipartisan Kean Resolution to Halt Pilgrim Pipeline Project

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A Senate resolution sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Richard J. Codey opposing the proposed route of an oil pipeline that would run from Albany, New York to Linden, New Jersey passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today.

A resolution sponsored by Senators Kean and Codey call for the rejection of the Pilgrim Pipeline project as currently proposed. (Coalition to Stop Pilgrim Pipeline)

This resolution, SR-106, urges the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council, and any other federal, state, or local entity engaged in review of the Pilgrim Pipeline project to reject it as currently proposed.

“I am very concerned as to the safety risks that the construction and operation of these pipelines might pose to the neighborhoods in my district and to the integrity of the natural resources throughout the region,” said Senator Kean (R-Morris, Somerset, Union).

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Senator Jennifer Beck
Senator Tom Kean

Panel Passes Kean, Beck Bill to Strengthen Local Government Ethics Laws

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The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee passed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Deputy Conference Leader Jennifer Beck to strengthen local government ethics and accountability, in part, by transferring oversight at the municipal and school board level to the State Ethics Commission.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Jennifer Beck would strengthen local government ethics and accountability. (©iStock)

“I’m proud to say that this essential ethics reform is now one step closer to ensuring more accountable and less wasteful government at all levels,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “Each year, New Jersey’s public school districts collectively manage around $27 billion taxpayer dollars, while municipalities and counties collectively control approximately $15 billion taxpayer dollars. They must be held to the highest and most efficient ethics and accountability standards. Without this legislation, fragmented ethics oversight, which subjects a variety of government officials to different standards, will continue to be a recipe for the violation of public trust.”

The senators introduced this bill, S-729, in June 2012. Shortly thereafter, then-New Jersey Comptroller Matthew Boxer published a case-in-point investigative report about a Chesterfield Township Committeeman exploiting his position to reap a $200,000 windfall on the sale of development rights on his property.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean’s Statement on NJ Supreme Court’s Pension Ruling

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following in response to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling regarding state pension payments:

Senate Republican Leader Kean said he expects all parties will now return to the table to negotiate a comprehensive pension system solution. (SenateNJ.com)

“It is time to move forward. I will work to ensure that the state continues to make the largest responsible pension payment and to develop reforms to make the system solvent while protecting vital services, such as health and education, for all New Jerseyans.

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Tom Kean

Editorial: A Senate Commitment to Widespread Recycling in NJ

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The following editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, ranking Republican member of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, on their legislation to urge expanded recycling efforts by government entities was published by the Star-Ledger on May 22, 2015:

Sen. Bateman (left) and Sen. Kean (right) visited TerraCycle’s Trenton facility on May 14, 2015, inspiring SR-130 which urges the implementation of recycling programs to keep commonly un-recycled and difficult-to-recycle items out of landfills and incinerators. (SenateNJ.com)

Every year in New Jersey, tens of millions of tons of solid waste are incinerated or deposited into landfills, posing a serious threat to the environment, public health and safety.

New Jersey’s growing landfills release toxic chemicals into the soil and groundwater. Incinerated waste emits dangerous toxins and air pollutants.

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