Warns of Longer Commutes, Higher Fares & Tolls
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Garden State commuters will pay the price for the New Jersey Senate’s continued failure to adopt Port Authority reforms that have languished since May.
“The Port Authority’s search for a new chief executive has stalled due to uncertainty in the agency’s future structure and governance, and plans for a new Manhattan bus terminal to receive New Jersey commuters have begun to fall apart.
“We need an extremely experienced leader to head the Port Authority and direct the tens of billions of bus, rail and airport projects that are on the horizon.
“Until we finish the legislative process of reforming the agency, however, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to hire someone who is capable of getting critical projects like the Manhattan bus terminal back on track.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on the passing of former Senator Joe Palaia:
“I am saddened by the loss of Joe Palaia. He was one of the kindest and most decent legislators to ever serve in Trenton.
“As a son of the Jersey Shore, Joe was beloved by Monmouth County residents. A dedicated public servant, he served for more than four decades as a council member, mayor, freeholder and legislator.
New Jersey will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service on August 25, 2016 under legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) and signed into law by Governor Christie.
“From the Paterson Great Falls, to the Pinelands Preserve, the landscape of our state would not be the same without the preservation efforts carried out by the National Park Service over the course of the last 100 years,” Senator Kean said. “I am pleased to see the Governor sign this law honoring the Park Service for protecting natural and historic treasures in the Garden State and across the nation.”
Senators Join Bipartisan Effort to Preserve One-Seat Ride to New York for New Jersey Commuters
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset) and Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) have joined State and federal officials on a bipartisan basis to call for the construction of a new bus terminal in New York that will preserve a one-seat ride to New York for New Jersey’s commuters and create economic growth throughout the bi-state region.
Kean and Kyrillos, both longstanding advocates for New Jersey commuters, are joined by eight members of the New Jersey House delegation and eight other members of the New Jersey Legislature in sending a letter to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey leadership detailing the need for construction of a new bus terminal on Manhattan’s West Side designed to meet a projected 50 percent increase in ridership demand by 2040.
Click here to view a PDF of the letter. The full text of the letter is below:
The Star-Ledger published an editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset) on a bipartisan compromise bill to provide significant protections to the victims of domestic violence.
The New Jersey Senate advanced a bipartisan compromise on Aug. 1 that will provide significant protections to the victims of domestic violence.
At issue was legislation (S-805) sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) that addressed how firearms are handled in cases of domestic violence.
That bill was conditionally vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie based on concerns that it represented symbolic reform that did little to make the victims and those at risk of domestic violence safer.
Kean, Cunningham, Ruiz & Mazzeo Bill Would Require Court Order to Garnish Wages, Take Other Actions To Collect on Student Loans
Senator Tom Kean, Senator Sandra B. Cunningham and Senator M. Teresa Ruiz announced they will introduce legislation requiring the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to obtain a court order prior to using certain collection practices for defaulted loans under the NJCLASS Loan Program. Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo will also introduce the bill at the General Assembly’s next quorum.
“Every student should be able to pursue a college degree without being saddled with a lifetime of unmanageable debt,” Senator Kean said. “The students who testified today were just trying to build a better future. This legislation is a strong step forward in our ongoing battle to make higher education more affordable and accessible for every child across New Jersey, regardless of income or background.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called for Senate Democrats to immediately advance Port Authority reforms to ensure transparency and accountability at the bi-state agency.
Kean reiterated his call for action following statements made by Port Authority Inspector General Mike Nestor that New Jersey’s failure to advance reforms identical to those signed into law in New York prevents the inspector’s office from fully investigating certain allegations of fraud, corruption and waste at the agency.
“The Inspector General’s concerns are proof positive that if we do not enact reforms, the cycle of waste and abuse at the Port Authority will only continue to grow,” Senator Kean said. “The reforms I sponsor would uphold transparency and accountability at the agency, and ensure the inspector’s office has the tools they need to fully investigate allegations of misconduct. We cannot continue to tie the hands of those who are working to protect the millions of commuters who rely on the services provided by the Port Authority.”
Kean Calls for Immediate Passage of Pay-to-Play Campaign Finance Restrictions for Public-Sector Labor Unions
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called for the immediate passage of pay-to-play legislation (S-341) that would restrict campaign contributions by public employee labor organizations.
His action follows claims made by Senate President Stephen Sweeney that certain public labor unions expressly tied future campaign contributions to specific legislative action they are demanding on measures they support.
“I don’t think anyone is shocked by the allegations made by the Senate President that public-sector labor unions are attempting to influence the legislative process with campaign donations,” said Kean. “The only surprise is that it is happening so publicly in this instance. This just serves as confirmation that the quid pro quo actually occurs that most people suspected between unions and the elected Democrats they usually support.”
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Kip Bateman to allow pari-mutuel betting at the Far Hills Race Meeting was approved by the New Jersey Senate in a 38-0 vote.
The bill, 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 Far Hills Race Meeting has a long history of supporting charitable causes in the region,” said Kean. “Allowing wagering will boost interest in the event, support New Jersey horse farms and ensure continued support for local healthcare facilities.”
Says We’ve Come Too Far to Allow Reform Effort to Stall
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called for the advancement of reforms to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including the approval of a new chief executive officer and the passage of legislation that would cement the position and other critical changes.
Kean’s action follows concerns expressed by Port Authority Chairman John Degnan that momentum to enact reforms is stalling. Degnan has asked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to approve a new CEO from a shortlist of candidates produced by a search committee.
Kean is the sponsor of S-355 which provides governance, transparency, and accountability reforms to the Port Authority.
“With the Port Authority so important to our region and economy, we must work to eliminate the structural deficiencies that have been identified,” said Kean. “The failure to adopt a new management structure, hire a CEO, and codify reforms is an invitation for continued abuse.”