New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Democrats Admit Their Civil Service Bill Falls Short, Won’t Save Money

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Senate Minority Leader Calls for Vote on Governor’s Conditional Veto

“…even if the governor signed the bill, it would not instantly lower property taxes.”
-Asw. Linda Stender (D-Union), The Record, 2/15/2011

“Voters must be allowed to decide whether their towns will keep civil service or chuck it. There is room for a deal on other civil service issues, but not that one.”
The Star-Ledger, 2/14/2011

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) called on Senate leadership to schedule a vote on Governor Chris Christie’s conditional veto of civil service reform. His call comes on the heels of Democrat admission that their changes to the civil service system will not result in savings for property tax payers:

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Senator Tom Kean

Give New Jersey Kids a Chance to Escape Failing Schools

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The following editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean appeared in The Star-Ledger on February 10, 2011:

Most communities in New Jersey are blessed with great schools, good teachers and a local district that prepares children to enter the work force or go to college. By and large, New Jersey public schools produce good outcomes for the majority of their pupils.

But in a handful of communities — our state’s poorest and most dangerous — children and their parents face dire circumstances. Despite billions of dollars spent on education in these cities, their schools are failing nearly every student day in and day out, each and every year, with no end in sight.

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Senator Tom Kean

Tom Kean: “State Bond Rating Downgrade Shows Costs of Legislative Delay”

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Responding to news that Standard and Poor’s has downgraded the State of New Jersey’s bond rating, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) issued the following statement on the Senate Majority’s failure to address needed financial reforms in last year’s legislative session:

“Standard and Poor’s sent a clear message to Legislative leadership today- get serious about reform,” said Senator Kean. “Pension reform, employee benefits reform, and other measures integral to fixing our state’s finances were put on the table last year by Governor Christie, but were left untouched by Trenton Democrats. This is an ambitious agenda, but one necessitated due to eight years of spending, borrowing, and dishonest budgeting by the very same legislators dragging their feet on reform today. The taxpayers are once again the victims, as more of their tax dollars will now be spent on interest and debt service instead of improving their communities.”

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Senator Mike Doherty
Senator Tom Kean

Sens. Doherty, Tom Kean React to Gateway Tunnel Announcement

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State Senators Michael J. Doherty (R- Warren, Hunterdon) and Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) issued the following statements in reaction to the announcement that the now defunct ARC Tunnel project will be replaced by a similar “Gateway Tunnel” undertaken by Amtrak:

Senator Doherty:

“Lo and behold, good things happen when you stand up for the taxpayers. The ARC Tunnel project, was a massively bad deal for New Jersey taxpayers being pushed by spendthrift Democratic politicians for all the wrong reasons: personal legacies, political agendas, and election year posturing. Nothing more perfectly exemplifies the folly of ARC than Senator Menendez’s mind-boggling assertion that a dead-end route to Macy’s basement made sense.

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Senator Tom Kean

Audio: Tom Kean Talks About the Opportunity Scholarship Act

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Program Gives Children in Failing Schools a Chance to Succeed

Senator Tom Kean (R-21), the sponsor of the Opportunity Scholarship Act (S-1872/A-2810), released the following remarks on the legislation:

Click the “Play” button below to listen to the audio clip.

http://www.senatenj.com/uploads/tomkean/tk-opportunity-scholarships.mp3

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Senator Tom Kean

Senator Kean, Assemblyman DeCroce Say New Census Data Will Require Major Changes to Current Map

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Confirms Major Population Shifts from Democrat Northeast to Republican Northwest and South

Hispanic, Asian Populations Surge, Shows Hispanic Underrepresentation

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce said today that an initial review of the official 2010 census data confirms that major changes to the current map are required.

Both the shifts in population from Democrat-heavy northeast New Jersey to Republican-heavy northwest and southern New Jersey and the growth in New Jersey’s Hispanic population particularly in Hudson, Essex and Union counties will legally require the significant changes, the leaders said.

“We now have hard data to prove that the traditional population centers in New Jersey are shifting from the Democrat-heavy northeast, to Republican-rich areas like the shore region, the Philadelphia suburbs and northwest New Jersey,” said Kean. “Of the 15 current legislative districts that are most under-populated, 12 are represented by Democrat Senators with significant concentrations in Essex and Hudson counties. This isn’t particularly good news if you are a Democratic incumbent from northeast New Jersey.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Tom Kean Praises Assembly Committee Passage of Opportunity Scholarship Act

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State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. issued this statement following the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee’s approval of “The Opportunity Scholarship Act,” A2810/S1872:

“With the Committee’s action today, New Jersey stands poised to offer real, immediate help to children and families of limited means who are currently trapped in chronically failing school districts through no fault of their own.

“The vast majority of people can see that the Opportunity Scholarship Act is about providing a solution for a unique group of children facing long odds and massive obstacles, not about dismantling public education in New Jersey.

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Senator Tom Kean

Tom Kean and Sean Kean Call for Anti-Gang Legislation to Be Heard at Next Law & Public Safety Committee Meeting

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Senators Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) and Sean Kean (R- Monmouth) submitted the following letter (view as PDF) to Senate Law and Public Safety Committee Chairman John Girgenti urging him to post two anti-gang bills, S-222 and S-240, on Monday’s Law and Public Safety Committee agenda:

Dear Chairman Girgenti,

We respectfully request the addition of bills S-222 and S-420, of which we are the prime sponsors, to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee agenda for Monday, February 7, 2011.

Given reports of rising gang activity in the State of New Jersey, we applaud your initiative as chairman to examine how state and local law enforcement can respond to this problem.  Any discussion of this issue, however, would be incomplete without the inclusion of S-222 and S-420.  These bills criminalize the very act of belonging to a street gang and enhance penalties for the promotion of street crime, respectively.

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Tom Kean

Republican Senators Call For Hearings on Anti-Gang Legislation

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On the heels of a report by the New Jersey State Police showing 45% of municipalities have reported some gang activity in the past year, Republican Senators Tom Kean, Jr., Sean Kean, and Tony Bucco called for swift consideration of a package of anti-gang bills pending before the Senate:

S-420 (Kean, T.): Enhances penalties for gang criminality and promoting organized street crime.

S-222 (Kean, S.): Makes participation in a criminal street gang a fourth degree offense (18 months in prison and/or $10,000 fine).

S-1729 (Bucco): Requires membership in a gang to be considered by the court(s) when determining a defendant’s bail.

The State Police’s report showed that gang activity has been reported in all 21 New Jersey counties, with 1,575 gang units operating throughout the state.

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Senator Tom Kean

Tom Kean: “Proposal to Cut Corporate Tax Rate Means Broad Based Job Creation”

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Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) said today that all legislators concerned about job creation should support a broad based reduction in the corporate tax rate as recently proposed by Governor Christie. Kean stated that New Jersey’s large corporate tax burden is the chief impediment to sustainable, permanent job creation:

“A corporate tax rate of 9% practically shows the door to employers and the jobs they sustain and create,” said Senator Kean. “One need only look to the closing of Sony’s Pitman plant to understand the consequences our state faces should we fail to act. 300 people in South Jersey employed by that facility are set to lose their livelihoods because it is cheaper to do the work in Indiana. A fact of life in this challenging economy is that job creators will move to the lowest cost environment. If New Jersey chooses not to compete, we will continue to lose jobs and talented citizens to other states.”

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