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:
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.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has introduced a trio of bills to expand opportunities for craft breweries, microbreweries and brew pubs to open, grow and succeed in New Jersey.
Senator Kean’s S-2910 creates a state permit for local breweries to sell their products at community farm markets in municipalities that do not prohibit alcoholic beverages. Permits would be valid for one full year and issuance and renewal can be no more than $75.
“With warm-weather seasons upon us, this legislation provides countless and timely opportunities to help grow the state’s agriculture and tourism economies,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “It will draw more people to our attractions and eliminate prohibitions that limit how local breweries can develop and expand.”
Senate Passes Kean’s Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism & Rejecting Attempts to Justify Anti-Jewish Hatred
A resolution sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr., Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senate President Steve Sweeney that condemns anti-Semitism and rejects attempts to justify anti-Jewish hatred or violent attacks as acceptable expressions of disapproval over political events in the Middle East or elsewhere, was approved today by the Senate.
“With the rise of anti-Semitism, it is imperative we solidify a united front across political party lines and geographic borders that any acts of hatred and threats against Judaism will not be tolerated,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “The sponsors of this legislation and I are proud to set a strong tone for New Jersey and look forward to working with leaders in other states and nations to make sure we are helping to protect and empower victims of this religious persecution.”
The New Jersey Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean to create criminal offenses for dog fighting and leading dog fighting networks, and amend the RICO statute to include dog fighting.
“As authorities have attested, dog fighting is a barbaric crime that often extends far beyond animal murder or cruelty,” said Senator Kean. “Weapons and narcotics are frequently found at the scene of a fight, posing a threat to the safety and security of the community at large. Amending current racketeering laws to include dog fighting will give law enforcement the tools they need to combat this pervasive underground industry, where dangerous individuals bet tens of thousands of dollars on a single fight, as innocent animals suffer, starve and die in horrifyingly inhuman conditions.”
After TerraCycle Visit, Senate Republicans Introduce Resolution to Spark Statewide Recycling Initiative
After visiting TerraCycle, a Trenton-based recycling operation, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and ranking Republican Environment Committeeman Christopher “Kip” Bateman introduced a resolution urging a statewide effort to keep out of landfills hazardous and hard-to-recycle materials.
“We thank TerraCycle for hosting us today and for being a wonderfully innovative asset for New Jersey’s environment,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “It shows there are local recycling programs that state facilities, parks, libraries, museums, beaches, destinations and rest stops, as well as county governments, local governments, schools and businesses can implement to greatly reduce environmental impacts. Many of them are cost-free and will take just about any nonperishable piece of waste.”
“Before such programs, e-waste and items like used snack bags, cigarette butts, coffee pods and shoes were never considered to be recyclable,” said Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon). “We are encouraging all New Jersey entities to use programs like this, because just about everything we use can and should be recycled. There is no more excuse to continue amassing these hazardous materials in landfills.”
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to create criminal offenses for dog fighting and leading dog fighting networks, and amend the RICO statute to include dog fighting, was advanced by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I had the opportunity to meet some of New Jersey’s brave and gentle survivors of dog fighting rings,” said Senator Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “Such atrocities as those suffered by these innocent animals cannot go unpunished. We must expand our crackdown on this barbaric underground business by holding the leaders of these deadly rings accountable for their actions.”
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean allowing drivers to display electronic proof of automobile insurance was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
The legislation, S2680, allows drivers to show proof of insurance on their smart phones or other electronic devices.
“Allowing drivers to use their phone or another electronic device to show proof of insurance is an easy way to make life more convenient for many drivers,” said Kean. “Motorists now won’t have to worry about facing a hefty fine because they simply forgot to add their insurance card to the glove box. It’s important that as technologies continue to change that steps like this be taken to modernize government services to ensure they are as efficient and convenient as possible.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following on the passing of former Senate Republican Martha Bark:
“My thoughts and prayers to Martha’s family, loved ones and neighbors during this tough time. Martha was a devoted public servant who made a positive impact on all levels of government and people across the state. Her various service efforts gave children and teens a second chance, improved our environment, enhanced agricultural efforts and promoted economic growth. She will be sorely missed.”
Part of Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Package
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Jim Whelan to assist the public in safely disposing of unused or expired prescription medications has been signed into law.
The law, S-2369, codifies in state statute and expands the “Project Medicine Drop” program which provides for secure collection and safe disposal of unused and expired prescription drugs and household medications.
“The expansion of anonymous drug drops to any law enforcement agency in the state can prevent drug abuse, addiction and serious health effects, especially among teenagers,” said Senator Kean (R-Union, Morris, Somerset). “We are doing everything possible to raise prevention awareness and limit the chances that people, especially our most vulnerable youths, are exposed to or have easy access to dangerous substances.”
The Senate Republican leadership team held a State House press conference to culminate their statewide rollout of a 36-bill job creation and economic growth package that will not cost taxpayers extra money.
“In an age when officials in Trenton like to talk a lot about jobs, Senate Republicans have been actually bringing job-creating and economic growth solutions to stakeholders, employers, entrepreneurs, educators and innovators in all corners of the state and from diverse backgrounds,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean. “We’re excited that many of the cost-neutral jobs solutions we’ve unveiled over the past several months have already garnered bipartisan sponsorship and votes, as well as the support of various representatives of the business and higher education community. We’re now trying to accelerate this momentum to finish the job for New Jersey families and people in the workforce.”