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.
“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.”
Senate Advances Kean Anti-Bullying Bill Urging Publishers to Include ‘Upstander’ Definition In Dictionaries
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.
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.”
Kean Introduces Consensus Port Authority Reform; Legislation is Expected to Be Made Law This Week in NY
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.
“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.
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:
— Senator Tom Kean (@tomkean) June 22, 2015
“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.
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:
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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).
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.
“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.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following in response to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling regarding state pension payments:
“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.
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.