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.
Concerned that New Jersey residents already receive the lowest rate of return of any state on tax dollars sent to Washington, Senators Tom Kean (R-21), Steven Oroho (R-24) and Joe Kyrillos (R-13) questioned the equity of a new plan by President Obama to levy a new tax on investment income that would be borne disproportionately by New Jersey residents.
To help fund his multi-trillion dollar healthcare proposal, the President’s new plan, released on February 22, calls for the addition of a 2.9% Medicare tax on certain income, including that derived from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rent. This new tax would apply to individuals earning more than $200,000 and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly.
Kean’s Resolution to be Voted on in Key Committee as AZ Withdraws Bid to Host Biggest Game
The possibility that New Jersey will play host to Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014 gained traction over the weekend. On Friday, Arizona announced that they would no longer be applying to host the Super Bowl that year, leaving New Jersey, South Florida and Tampa as the remaining three finalists.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean commented today on an initiative by Governor Christie that would adjust unemployment insurance fund benefits to ensure the stability of the fund. A constitutional amendment, sponsored by Senators Kean and Sweeney, banning future raids on the unemployment fund will be voted on by the voters in November.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean announced today that Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-40) will be appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee to replace Senator Bill Baroni. Senator O’Toole will replace Senator Baroni beginning with the March 1, 2010 meeting.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean made the following statement today after it was announced that Senator Bill Baroni has been appointed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement praising the Judiciary Committee’s approval of Andrew Eristoff’s nomination as New Jersey treasurer. The nomination now goes to the full Senate:
“Acting Treasurer Eristoff demonstrated astonishingly deep knowledge of state finances though he has been on the job for only a few weeks,” Senator Kean said. “He answered question after question from senators with graciousness and candor.