Senator Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union) made the following statement in the context of today’s Assembly Budget hearing on the State’s structural deficit:
“The need to fix a decade long structural deficit in New Jersey is old news. What’s new is Governor Christie’s commitment to not raise taxes. The legislature should now build on the structural reforms started since Governor Christie took office. Here’s a plan of immediate action: further reforms to pension and health benefits, acting on proposals to save our gaming industry, and moving forward with ‘tool kit’ reforms that drive down the costs of government at the State and local levels. My hope is that we come to the center of the room and find these solutions in bipartisan hearings.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement regarding the composition of the Legislative panel that will consider Governor Christie’s proposed changes to New Jersey’s gaming industry:
“It’s unacceptable to inject partisan politics into the modernization of major industries in New Jersey’s economy. The long-term futures of gaming and horse farming cross geographic and ideological boundaries. A transparent and fair process should include a balance of stakeholders including bipartisan representatives of the people.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean expressed optimism today after it was announced that New Jersey is among 19 finalists for federal Race to the Top funding. The Race to the Top Fund provides competitive grants to encourage and reward States that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform. If successful, the grant could bring up to $400 million in federal funding to New Jersey’s cash-strapped public schools over the next four years.
“New Jersey is home to some of the best schools and most dedicated teachers the country has to offer. Unfortunately, there are some schools that are failing our children year after year, as reflected in their low test scores and high drop-out rates, ” stated Kean. “It is time to challenge the status quo in these failing schools and ensure that a New Jersey high school diploma means our young people are prepared for college or to enter the workforce.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement:
“Many Republican members consider these priorities worthy of support. However, to fund them now would knock our budget out of balance. Having thoroughly analyzed Governor Christie’s full message and having discussed the state of our finances with members of the Republican caucus, there is strong support for maintaining a balanced budget. Should Senate President Sweeney determine the need to call another vote on these measures, there will not be enough support to spend money we do not have. It is now time to move forward with substantive committee hearings and a timely up or down vote on the property tax relief tool kit.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement today after the Senate passed a property tax cap. Under the bill, property tax increases would be capped at 2 percent annually with a limited number of exemptions, including voter override:
“New Jersey residents will finally have some predictability and control when it comes to their property tax bill. Giving voters a choice will help prevent another family from moving out or another business from closing due to rapidly escalating property taxes.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and the Republican Caucus issued the following statement regarding Governor Chris Christie’s Saturday special session on property taxes in New Jersey:
“The Senate Republican Caucus welcomes the agreement between Governor Christie and the Legislature that will impose a 2.0 percent hard cap on property tax increases at every level of government. We also understand that a hearing and vote on the various ‘Toolkit’ legislation will take place in the late summer. This is good news for New Jersey residents who have been routinely subject to more than seven percent property tax increases over the past decade.”
All seventeen members of the Senate Republican Caucus came to Trenton today prepared to act on Governor Chris Christie’s permanent property tax relief package, but the Democratic Majority failed to show up.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union) made the following statement on behalf of all seventeen members:
“The Democrats refused to show up today to fix our property tax crisis while families fight to stay in their homes. There is a real affordability crisis in New Jersey. We must act before another family moves out or another business closes.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement on the passage and signing of the Fiscal Year 2011 budget:
“This year’s state budget was drafted in the most demanding fiscal environment in decades. The Legislature had to close an opening $11 billion shortfall, the largest per capita deficit in the nation.
“The common-sense budget that Governor Christie signed today is a fiscally responsible, honest and forthright budget that will begin to return New Jersey to prosperity. The governor’s blue print for fiscal sanity will be a model for many states dealing with budget shortfalls. We only need to look to our neighbor, New York to see Democrat leaders embracing the same spending restraint that is the lynchpin of Governor Christie’s plan.”
Three Players Born in NJ
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union) wished the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team the best of luck today as they prepare to participate in the 2010 World Cup. Three players on the team were born in New Jersey.
“This is an exciting time for soccer fans across the world as the 2010 World Cup gets underway, ” Kean stated. “It happens only once every four years and it brings about great national pride as well as a universal bond of friendly competition.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement regarding the death of Trooper Marc Castellano in the line of duty:
“My thoughts go out to the family of Trooper Castellano. Trooper Castellano’s passing is a loss to the New Jersey State Police. The State Police are on the front lines protecting this state every day in an increasingly dangerous world. On behalf of the Senate Republican Office I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Trooper Castellano and the entire law enforcement community.