Senator Kean Calls for Timely Up or Down Vote on Nominee
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean responded to today’s announcement by Governor Christie that he has nominated Anne Patterson to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court:
“I fully support the nomination of Anne Patterson to the New Jersey Supreme Court. She is an extraordinary person who is eminently qualified to serve on our state’s highest court.
Reopening Negotiations Will Save Tax Dollars, Programs & Jobs
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following comments regarding the results of yesterday’s school board elections:
“The electorate has clearly spoken by defeating 54 percent of school budgets across the state. Union locals should rethink their positions and reopen negotiations in those districts where the budgets failed.
Residents of 12 NJ Counties Affected by March Storm Benefit from Tax Filing Extension
As residents rush to complete and file their taxes by tonight’s midnight deadline, Senator Tom Kean (R-21) has issued a reminder that many New Jerseyans have received an automatic extension to May 11 to file their state and federal income taxes returns. The extension is the result of the declaration of Presidential Disaster Relief Areas for twelve New Jersey counties that suffered from severe storms, flooding, mudslides and landslides last month.
“Many areas of New Jersey were hit hard by the severe storms that swept through our state in March,” said Kean. “Twelve counties were declared federal disaster areas, which has resulted in the extension of the deadline for filing state and federal taxes to May 11 for the residents of those counties.”
Without question, today is a tremendously sad day for me… and the people of New Jersey. We lost an incredible public servant who, whether in the public sector or in the private sector always chose the high road. Bob Franks was my mentor, my colleague, and most importantly… my friend.
Tom Kean Encourages New Jersey Residents to Be Counted and Help Their Communities
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) encouraged New Jersey residents who have not yet completed and returned their census forms to do so in recognition of National Census Day. The 2010 United States Census is designed to take a snapshot of the country’s population as of April 1, 2010, which has been designated National Census Day.
“The results of the 2010 United States Census will help the federal government to make better decisions on how to allocate more than $400 billion of funding that is distributed annually to serve the public,” said Kean. “The census helps all levels of government to better plan and prioritize important projects, like building roads, hospitals and senior centers.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean appeared on Comcast Local Edition on March 11, 2010 to discuss current efforts to create jobs and address New Jersey’s high rate of unemployment, and to talk about ways that we can make the state a competitive destination for new and relocating businesses.
He noted the joint efforts of the Legislature and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, through the newly established Red Tape Review Commission, to identify burdensome and unnecessary state regulations that could quickly be eliminated.
Senator Kean also discussed the importance of lowering New Jersey’s highest in the nation tax burden to make us competitive with other states, and efforts to consolidate the state’s fragmented business support programs to make them easier to locate, navigate, and take advatage of.
Find Common Ground to Prevent Teacher Layoffs or Instructional Cuts
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco issued the following statements encouraging school boards and employees’ unions to enter into talks to dodge mass layoffs:
“In several New Jersey communities, teachers and parents are coming together to find a balanced approach to protect the quality of classroom education for our children,” Kean stated. “With shared sacrifice, we can find the innovative solutions to keep teachers in the classroom with the tools they need to provide a quality education.”
Several pieces of bipartisan legislation that reform the pensions and benefits of public employees were signed into law on Monday, March 22, by Governor Chris Christie. S-2 makes various pension system changes, S-3 requires contributions toward health care benefits by public employees and S-4 makes changes concerning payments to public employees for unused sick leave and sick leave injury in State service.
Sponsors and supporters of the bills included Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Senator Tom Kean, Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, Senator Barbara Buono, Senator Kevin J. O’Toole, Senator Michael J. Doherty, and Senator Paul Sarlo.
Calls for Binding Arbitration to Settle Contract Dispute
New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) issued the following statement in response to ABC Disney’s decision to pull the WABC-TV (Channel 7) signal from Cablevision in the hours leading up to the Oscars in connection with its contract negotiations relating to the retransmission by Cablevision of the WABC-TV signal:
Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean today said the ability of the state to keep its promise of a secure retirement for career public employees would be jeopardized without a constitutional guarantee that future lawmakers and Governors could not shirk their annual pension obligations.
The Senate leaders jointly proposed a constitutional amendment (SCR-1) that would require the state to annually meet its obligation for each pension plan it operates. But they noted that even if the state had made its full payments over the past decade, the system would still be nearly 30 percent underfunded – highlighting the need for the reforms the Senate unanimously passed last week to secure the pension system’s foundation.