New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Says Murphy Should Consider All Opportunities to Reduce Health Benefit Costs

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Urges Administration to Support “Platinum-to-Gold” Reforms

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said Governor Phil Murphy can build upon the modest healthcare savings he announced today by supporting “platinum-to-gold” reforms proposed by the Legislature.

Sen. Tom Kean urged Gov. Phil Murphy to support significant cost savings on public employee healthcare through “platinum-to-gold” reforms proposed by the Legislature. (©iStock)

“We are encouraged by the modest savings on health benefits announced by Governor Murphy today and encourage him to look at opportunities for even larger savings, like a shift from platinum-to-gold that has bipartisan support in the Legislature,” said Kean.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: More Must Be Done to Help NJ Transit & Other Agencies Recruit Qualified Employees

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that a decision allowing NJ Transit to hire train and bus operators who live out of state is a good start, but more must be done to ensure that every State agency has the opportunity to hire qualified employees, regardless of where they live.

Sen. Tom Kean said that a decision allowing NJ Transit to hire train and bus operators who live out of state is a good start, but more must be done to ensure that every State agency has the opportunity to hire qualified employees, regardless of where they live. (SenateNJ.com)

His remarks follow a decision by the NJ Department of Labor Residency Review Committee to approve a broad exemption that will allow NJ Transit to hire “mission essential” workers who live out of state.

Sen. Kean has long-sponsored legislation (S-508) that would eliminate in-state residency requirements for public employees.

Kean noted that he has repeatedly called for the passage of his bill, in light of the catastrophic staffing shortages that continue to put thousands of NJ Transit customers in harm’s way.

“Allowing NJ Transit to hire out-of-state employees is a good first step, but the reality is that without a full repeal of the in-state residency requirement, many agencies will continue to struggle to hire enough qualified employees for critical positions.

“I have no doubt that NJ Transit will be able to better serve commuters by casting a wider net to recruit candidates from neighboring states. Every agency, every department, and every school district in our state should be able to do the same thing.

“Let’s have the courage to make big, bold changes that we all know are in the public’s best interest. A full repeal of state residency requirements is the right thing to do. I urge legislative leaders to post my repeal legislation for a vote as soon as possible.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Legislation to Improve Transparency at NJ Transit, Independent State Agencies & Authorities

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Says Important Public Oversight Hindered by Murphy Administration Secrecy

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean will introduce legislation to improve transparency at independent agencies and authorities of the State, including New Jersey Transit, the Turnpike Authority, the Motor Vehicle Commission, the Schools Construction Corporation, and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Sen. Tom Kean will introduce legislation to improve transparency at independent State agencies, including NJ Transit, to reverse the Murphy Administration’s attempt to limit information and hinder public oversight. (SenateNJ.com)

“Despite a crisis of mismanagement at New Jersey Transit that calls for greater scrutiny of its operations, the Murphy Administration has stemmed the flow of critical information to make it more difficult for the public and the media to act as watchdogs,” said Kean. “This new level of secrecy is designed to hinder oversight, which is contrary to the Governor’s promise to increase transparency. A legislative solution is called for that forces the shadow governments at New Jersey’s expansive independent agencies and authorities into the light.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Crumbling Hudson Rail Tunnels a Tragedy Waiting to Happen

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said the crumbling trans-Hudson rail tunnels are a tragedy waiting to happen after a piece of metal pierced the roof of a New Jersey Transit train this weekend.

Sen. Tom Kean said the crumbling trans-Hudson rail tunnels are a tragedy waiting to happen after a piece of metal pierced the roof of a NJ Transit train this weekend. (SenateNJ.com)

“It was pure luck that this didn’t happen during rush hour when commuters would have been standing where the damage occurred,” said Kean. “Looking at the pictures, it’s clear that somebody could have been killed. The poor state of the Hudson tunnels and our rail infrastructure in general is a tragedy waiting to happen.”

As a member of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, Kean has pushed New Jersey Transit to address maintenance and staffing issues that impact the safety and reliability of the region’s rail service.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Calls for Compromise on Minimum Wage & Fiscal Reforms

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that bipartisan compromise is possible on a number of important initiatives, including raising the minimum wage and enacting fiscal reforms to lower the cost of government.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said bipartisan compromise is possible on raising the minimum wage and enacting fiscal reforms to lower the cost of government. (Pixabay)

“It would make a lot of sense to pair a minimum wage increase with proposals from the Legislature’s Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup to significantly reduce pension and health benefit costs going forward,” said Kean. “If the Governor is willing to join concerned Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature in getting the State’s fiscal house in order, I believe we can accomplish a lot of good things together for New Jerseyans.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on the Passing of Former State Senator Henry McNamara

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on the passing of former State Senator Henry McNamara.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on the passing of former State Senator Henry McNamara. (SenateNJ.com)

“We lost a man who for over 20 years steadfastly served the people of New Jersey with integrity and honor in the Legislature. Senator McNamara embodied the ideals of conviction and cooperation. As an environmental champion, he was always willing to reach across the aisle to advance important legislation. My deepest condolences go out to his family. May they find peace and comfort in the rich legacy he has left behind.“

Senator Tom Kean

Now Law: Kean Bill Ensuring Public Employees Can Volunteer as Emergency Responders During Retirement

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Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) that will ensure public employees can continue to volunteer as EMTs or firefighters after the retire from public service.

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Sen. Tom Kean’s bill to ensure public employees can continue to volunteer as emergency first responders after the retire from public service. (Flickr)

“This legislation is personal for me,” Senator Kean said. “I was a volunteer firefighter and EMT for many years. I saw the passion and dedication my fellow volunteers had for serving their community. If they are able and willing, there is no reason why we shouldn’t encourage these first responders to continue protecting their neighbors after they retire.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Now Law: Kean Effort to Help NJ College Students Graduate on Time

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Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to help New Jersey college students graduate on time, by directing college campuses to encourage students to enroll in 30 credits per year.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed Sen. Tom Kean’s bill to help NJ college students graduate on time, by directing college campuses to encourage students to enroll in 30 credits per year. (Pixabay)

“We want our college students to have the motivation to shoot for the moon from the moment they first arrive on campus,” Senator Kean (R-21) said. “Studies show that students who enroll in 15 credits, instead of taking the bare minimum, are more likely to graduate on time. This law will encourage them to take that leap. We are blessed with some of the best and brightest young people in the country and we will continue to do everything we can to support them as they pursue a college degree or career.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on NJ Transit Hearing

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on today’s NJ Transit Legislative hearing and Gov. Murphy’s announcement regarding lifting residency requirements for “mission critical” NJ transit employees.

Senator Tom Kean comments on the Aug. 16, 2018 NJ Transit hearing and Gov. Murphy’s announcement regarding lifting residency requirements for NJ transit employees. (SenateNJ.com)

“I appreciate the fact that NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett, the DOT Commissioner, and others were willing to come and testify before us today. It was refreshing to hear these officials acknowledge the pain and suffering our commuters are going through,” Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) said.

“We know now, from multiple summers of hell, that one person taking an unplanned vacation day can shut down an entire train line. The staffing issues at NJ transit are extremely problematic. Individual choices are impacting thousands of lives.

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Senator Tom Kean

SIGNED: Kean Bill Allowing Out-of-State Licenses to Be Used in NJ

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Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to allow out-of-state workers who have suffered through a catastrophic event or natural disaster to use their professional licenses in New Jersey.

Governor Phil Murphy has signed Sen. Tom Kean’s bill to allow out-of-state workers to use their professional licenses in New Jersey. The law will help workers who have suffered through a natural disaster or catastrophic event and relocate to NJ. (SenateNJ.com)

“We need to do more to attract highly-trained professionals to New Jersey. Forcing someone to reapply for a license they already have is an unnecessary barrier to employment, particularly for innovative entrepreneurs and people who are self-employed. That’s exactly the kind of worker we want to move here. Let’s not drive them away,” Senator Kean (R-21) said. “Allowing these folks to use an out-of-state license in New Jersey is a commonsense way to grow our economy, and it’s something that many other states already do. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this legislation for years to come.”

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