New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Legislation Providing Nearly $3 Million for Historic Preservation Projects Passes Senate

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Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit Among Grant Recipients

The New Jersey Senate has provided final legislative approval to a measure sponsored by Senator Tom Kean (R-21) that funds nearly $3 million in grants awarded by the New Jersey Historic Trust for capital preservation projects. The legislation, S-2911/A-4583, was co-sponsored by Assemblyman Jon Bramnick and Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz (both R-21).

The Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit is among 25 historic New Jersey locations that will receive a preservation grant under legislation sponsored by Sen. Tom Kean. (Reeves-Reed Arboretum)

“We’re working to provide the resources needed to preserve important historic sites across the state and in our local communities,” said Kean. “These special places provide an important link to New Jersey’s history that we cannot afford to lose.”

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Senator Diane Allen
Senator Tom Kean

Advanced: Allen/Kean Resolution to Improve Sportsmanship at Youth Athletic Fields

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A resolution sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) and Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) to ensure better sportsmanship by players, coaches and spectators at youth sporting events was advanced by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Diane Allen and Sen. Tom Kean to improve sportsmanship at youth sporting events was passed by a senate panel. (SenateNJ.com)

“While they can get very competitive, youth sports should still be all about having fun,” Senator Allen said. “When people get too heated it ruins that fun for everyone else. Sometimes people just need a reminder about the rules, and hopefully, this will help ensure a good time for all.”

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Senator Jim Holzapfel
Senator Tom Kean

Senators Sweeney, Greenstein, Kean & Holzapfel Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Child Pornography Law and Establish Stricter Penalties

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Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senate Law & Public Safety Committee Chair Linda R. Greenstein, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, and Senator Jim Holzapfel yesterday introduced legislation that would strengthen New Jersey’s child pornography laws and establish additional penalties for violators.

Sens. Sweeney, Kean, Greenstein, and Holzapfel introduced legislation that would strengthen New Jersey’s child pornography laws and establish additional penalties for violators. (©iStock)

“If someone in New Jersey has engaged in the large-scale collection or distribution of pictures of children in sexually suggestive poses, they pose a serious threat to our children and our community,” said Senator Kean. “The Attorney General has highlighted the need to better address this growing problem, including the establishment of new child pornography crimes, tougher punishments, and better monitoring of offenders. There’s a bipartisan consensus that these protections are overdue.”

“We cannot allow the sexual exploitation of children to be tolerated in this state, nor can we turn a blind eye to loopholes in our laws that allow people to engage in this despicable activity in any way,” said Senator Holzapfel (R-Ocean). “It’s clear that people who collect child erotica are a threat to public safety and the children of New Jersey, and our laws must be tightened to reflect that.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Now Law: Kean Bill to Support Homeless During Winter

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) to help homeless individuals during severe winter weather events is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie.

Sen. Tom Kean’s bill to help protect homeless individuals during the winter was signed into law. (©iStock)

“Extremely cold weather can put our homeless population in incredible danger,” Senator Kean said. “It’s important that we were able to move this legislation forward with plenty of time in the upcoming warm months to implement these changes and ensure we can help people this winter.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Amtrak Needs a Better Plan to Protect New Jersey Commuters

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Amtrak needs a better plan to protect commuters during a pair of track outages at Penn Station over the summer that would last a combined 44 days under a reported draft engineering proposal.

Rails leaving Penn Station in Manhattan. (Wikimedia Commons)

“I’ve heard from my constituent commuters and they are irate. I’m speaking on their behalf when I say that recent serious disruptions on Amtrak’s rails are unacceptable to fare payers.

“Amtrak’s proposal for additional lengthy service outages at Penn Station, including during weekday commuting hours, should be reconsidered. New Jersey’s commuters deserve a better plan.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on Amtrak’s Penn Station Repairs & Long-Term Rail Delays

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Highlights Importance of Gateway Project to Replace Century-Old Rail Tunnels

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Penn Station track repairs announced by Amtrak that will result in more than a year of potential rail delays show the great cost of delaying critical infrastructure work. The projects follow on the heels of several recent service disruptions that caused massive delays for NJ Transit commuters into Manhattan.

Sen. Tom Kean said that expected long-term delays from Penn Station track repairs announced by Amtrak show the great cost of deferring critical infrastructure work. (Amtrak)

“New Jersey commuters will once again pay the price for Amtrak’s failure to properly maintain its rails,” said Kean. “Recent derailments and service disruptions have demonstrated the risk of deferring maintenance on Amtrak’s aging rail infrastructure. It seems likely that work that may have caused a minor inconvenience at an earlier date will now result in major long-term delays. Amtrak should do everything possible to minimize the impact on commuters.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Joins Bipartisan Group of State Leaders to Urge Federal Government Support for Gateway Tunnel Project

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean joined a bipartisan group of state leaders who called on the federal government to continue support for the Gateway Tunnel trans-Hudson rail project:

Sen. Tom Kean joined a bipartisan group of state leaders to urge the federal government to recommit to the Gateway Tunnel project. (SenateNJ.com)

“Advancing the Gateway Tunnel project is critical to protecting New Jersey commuters and the region’s economy. Recent serious disruptions to rail traffic have highlighted the need for immediate action. It is imperative that the federal government reaffirms its commitment to Gateway, which will allow us to continue planning for this important project.”

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Urges Gateway Tunnel Investment in Wake of NJ Transit Train Derailments

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Following the April 3 NJ Transit train derailment, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. released the following statement reaffirming his support for investing in the Gateway Project, and other infrastructure projects benefiting New Jersey commuters.

Following NJ Transit train derailments, Sen. Tom Kean urged support for funding the Gateway Project and other infrastructure projects critical to New Jersey commuters. (SenateNJ.com)

The April 3 derailment occurred less than two weeks after a NJ Transit train was sideswiped by a derailed Amtrak train at New York Penn Station.

“NJ Transit riders cannot afford any more major disruptions that put their safety and their job security at risk,” Senator Kean (R-Union) said. “The Gateway Tunnel would provide one-seat rides to Manhattan on every NJ Transit rail line, alleviate congestion and ensure that New Jersey commuters reach their destination safely and without delay.

“There seems to be a bipartisan agreement among State and Federal legislators that investing in transportation infrastructure projects is critical to creating jobs and securing longterm economic growth, not to mention protecting the thousands of tri-state area commuters who rely on mass transit. Two train derailments in fewer than two weeks should be enough to make this a top priority.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Mike Doherty
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Republicans Propose School Funding Reforms to Improve Opportunities for Students, Provide Property Tax Relief for Families

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Proposals Eliminate Abuses, Establish More Equitable Funding for Overlooked Students in Underfunded Districts

In an effort to improve educational opportunities for New Jersey students and provide real property tax relief to overburdened families, New Jersey Senate Republicans released a series of school funding reform proposals as the starting point for discussions on the replacement of the state’s failed school funding system.

New Jersey Senate Republicans released a series of school funding reform proposals as the starting point for discussions on the replacement of the state’s failed school funding system. (©iStock)

“Senate Republicans want to fix the broken school funding formula that has failed too many students and devastated middle-class property taxpayers,” said Kean. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves to negotiate a funding formula that works, and we’re prepared to come to the table with detailed solutions that we believe will improve educational opportunities statewide and make New Jersey more affordable.”

During his Budget Message last month, Governor Christie challenged the legislative leaders of both parties to join with him to work on a new funding formula to replace the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA).

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Senator Tom Kean

Now Law: Kean Bill Funding Upgrades at NJ Colleges & Universities

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Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset) to fund upgrades and improvements at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities.

Sen. Tom Kean’s bill appropriates $34.3 million for upgrades to NJ’s public colleges and universities. The funds are provided by the “Building Our Future Bond Act,” a voter-approved law sponsored by Sen. Kean and signed into law in 2012.  (SenateNJ.com)

The law, S-2897, appropriates the remaining $34.3 million from the “Building Our Future Bond Act,” voter-approved legislation sponsored by Senator Kean to fund capital improvement projects at public institutions of higher education statewide.

“More and more high school grads are choosing to pursue a career in STEM-related fields, such as nursing or engineering. They shouldn’t have to travel out of state to study at a school with a state-of-the art research facility or lab,” Senator Kean said. “This appropriation will help our top-notch colleges and universities evolve to meet the needs of incoming students.”

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