The New Jersey Senate has advanced bills sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Robert Singer requiring HESAA to cease aggressive collection practices and establish programs that will enable borrowers to afford to pay back their student loans.
Senator Kean’s bill, S-2510, requires the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to obtain a court order prior to using certain collection practices for defaulted loans under the NJCLASS Loan Program.
“I have heard from far too many hardworking college graduates who fell victim to aggressive loan collection practices,” Senator Kean said. “We don’t want to discourage more students from applying to college. HESAA should not be able to engage in drastic measures, such as garnishing wages or revoking professional licenses, without some measure of accountability. Requiring HESAA to get a court order before taking these actions is the right and fair thing to do. ”
Democrats Stop Planned Vote on Bill Reducing Cost to Taxpayers for Public Employee Healthcare Benefits
Measure Mandates Efficiencies to Cut Cost of Government by Eliminating Expensive Redundancies
A planned vote on legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37) and Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) to enact efficiencies protecting taxpayers from the exploding cost of public employee healthcare benefits was blocked today by the majority Senate Democrats. The bill was removed at the last minute from the agenda of today’s session of the New Jersey Senate.
The bill, S-979, would prohibit multiple coverage by public employees with more than one job, eliminates cross-coverage by spouses who are both public employees, and caps payouts for school employees who waive coverage.
“The rapidly rising cost of public employee healthcare benefits is strangling government budgets and hurting struggling taxpayers,” said Kean. “We cannot afford to ignore critical efficiencies that would lower the cost of government, especially when we can do so without impacting the healthcare that public employees receive. I am disappointed that Democrats wouldn’t allow a vote on this critical taxpayer protection to occur today.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement after voting ‘NO’ on legislation to increase New Jersey’s gas tax by 23 cents per gallon:
“A tremendous number of my constituents have reached out to me to say they oppose increasing the gas tax. I’ve received thousands of phone calls, emails and comments on social media over the past few days.
“I’ve listened carefully to the grave concerns many overburdened taxpayers have expressed about the severe financial impact another tax increase would have on them, and that’s why I voted ‘NO’ today.”
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to create the NJ Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnerships has been advanced by the Senate Higher Education Committee.
“Facilitating partnerships between the business community and higher education institutions will create game-changing opportunities for New Jersey’s workforce,” Senator Kean (R-Union, Morris, Somerset) said. “A researcher developing a new treatment would now have a direct line to a pharmaceutical company that can produce a potentially lifesaving drug. That manufacturer would go on to create jobs for numerous employees. I have no doubt that this commission will spur economic development statewide.”
Senate Committee Passes Kean & Singer Bills to Protect Students with NJCLASS College Loans Overseen by HESAA
The Senate Higher Education Committee has advanced two Senate Republican bills to protect students with NJ CLASS loans overseen by the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA.)
Senator Robert Singer’s bill would require HESAA to establish a new income-based repayment option and a loan rehabilitation program for NJ CLASS borrowers. Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s bill would require HESAA to obtain a court order prior to using certain collection practices for defaulted loans.
“College students should be focused on making the most of their degree by finding a career that will allow them to gain financial independence,” Senator Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) said. “Instead, more and more graduates are using their hard-earned dollars to climb out from under a mountain of debt. Requiring HESAA to establish a fair, income-based loan rehabilitation program will enable recent grads to save for the future and funnel the money they can afford to spend on a starting salary back into the local economy.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Morris, Somerset) stated the following on the NJ Transit train crash at the Hoboken Terminal.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the more than 100 passengers who were injured this morning in Hoboken, the first responders who rushed to the scene, and the heroic civilians who worked quickly to help those who were seriously injured in the train crash.”
— Senator Tom Kean (@tomkean) September 29, 2016
“My heart goes out to the countless family members and friends who are anxiously awaiting news that their loved ones are safe, or who are now coping with a tragic loss of life. As a longtime representative of communities that are home to a wealth of NJ Transit commuters, I and my colleagues in the legislature stand ready to support anyone who needs our help in the wake of this tragedy. We will do everything we can to aid all affected in their time of need.”
Following reports that a Camden residence once home to Martin Luther King Jr. is at risk of demolition, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has joined the effort to preserve this important piece of our state and nation’s history.
Kean will introduce a legislative resolution urging the property located at 753 Walnut Street to be added to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.
“Martin Luther King Jr. helped lead the civil rights movement, demonstrating how non-violent resistance could be used to challenge racial inequality,” said Kean. “It’s been suggested that Dr. King’s experiences while living in Camden led to his later involvement in the fight to end racial discrimination, segregation and poverty.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean congratulated law enforcement on the quick capture of the suspect in the weekend bombings in New Jersey and New York City, and recognized the citizens who alerted authorities of suspicious devices that proved to be unexploded bombs.
“The speed with which many law enforcement agencies coordinated to identify and capture the suspect behind this weekend’s bombings is impressive and a testament to their professionalism and improved ability to work together,” said Kean. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the New Jersey State Police, NYPD, FBI and local law enforcement around Elizabeth, Linden and Seaside Park. I also want to wish the victims of the bombings and the two police officers injured in the suspect’s capture a full and speedy recovery.”
The New Jersey Senate has passed Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s bipartisan bill to simplify the international arbitration process for businesses that choose to set up shop in New Jersey.
“Companies that engage in global trade are searching for states with laws that allow them to pursue simpler, less expensive ways to resolve international disputes,” Senator Kean (R-Union) said. “Right now, only a handful of U.S. states have laws that facilitate a streamlined arbitration process. Enacting this law will establish New Jersey as a premier destination for international businesses and corporations who have the capacity to create thousands of in-state jobs.”
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Kip Bateman to allow pari-mutuel betting at the Far Hills Race Meeting was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
The bill, A-1697/S-2394, authorizes the New Jersey Racing Commission to grant a special two-day permit annually to conduct a steeplechase race, and to allow wagering on the event.
“The signing of this legislation represents recognition of the Far Hills Race Meeting’s long history of supporting charitable causes and its positive impact on the region,” said Kean. “Wagering will expand the ability of the event to support local healthcare services and help maintain the viability of New Jersey’s horse farms.”