New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Bill Boosting Policy Leverage of Students in High Education Clears Committee

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College students will have more influence on higher education policy under legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and advanced today by the Senate Higher Education Committee.

A higher education student advisory committee would be established by legislation sponsored by Senator Kean and approved by the Senate Higher Education Committee. (SenateNJ.com)

Kean’s bill (S-1236) would establish the New Jersey Higher Education Advisory Commission to help determine direction and priorities of higher education in the state.

“The commission will allow college students to share valuable insight into the challenges and concerns they face in the rapidly changing world,” said Kean (R-21), a member of the higher ed committee. “Giving voice to the young people who are working tirelessly to earn their degrees, control expensive college debt, and prepare for their futures will help myself and my colleagues in the Legislature better understand the evolving collegiate landscape. By shining the light on some of the most critical needs, the task force will help influence public support and maximize opportunities and efficiencies within the system.”

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Tom Kean

In Memory of Timothy Piazza: Bateman/Kean Measure to Combat Hazing Passes Senate

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Senator Kip Bateman and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s legislation to increase penalties for hazing has passed the New Jersey Senate.

Senator Kip Bateman and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s legislation to increase penalties for hazing has passed the New Jersey Senate. (The Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation)

Timothy Piazza of Readington, a 19-year-old Penn State University student, died in February 2017 during a fraternity hazing ritual.

“Hazing is a despicable crime disguised as a game against one’s peers, often resulting in physical or mental trauma, or worse,” said Bateman. “No student deserves to go through the ritual humiliation that Timothy Piazza experienced on the night that he died. With the enactment of this bill, hazing will no longer be tolerated in New Jersey’s high schools and colleges.”

“More than half of all students are hazed at some point during their college career,” said Kean. “We won’t allow this culture of humiliation and violence to continue in New Jersey. Our legislation sends a clear message: if you engage in hazing, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Introduces Bill to Allow Seniors to Opt-Out of Jury Duty During COVID-19 Crisis

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Legislation Temporarily Lowers Opt-Out Age from 75 to 65

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has introduced legislation that would allow seniors to opt-out of jury duty during the COVID-19 crisis.

Sen. Tom Kean has introduced legislation that would allow seniors to opt-out of jury duty during the COVID-19 crisis. (Pixabay)

“We know that risk rises with age for those who contract COVID-19, so it’s important that we amend our jury duty service requirements to protect New Jersey’s seniors during the current public health emergency,” said Kean (R-21). “By temporarily lowering the opt-out age for jury duty from 75 to 65, we will prevent elderly New Jerseyans from being forced into situations that might put their health or even their lives at risk.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Republican Senators Urge Sweeney to Issue Preservation Letters to Health Department

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Following troubling accusations of dysfunction and potential misconduct within the Department of Health, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21), Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40), Senator Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), and Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) wrote to Senate President Steve Sweeney today (click here for PDF) urging for preservation letters to be issued to the Department and appropriate parties who may be in possession of evidence in matters that may be reviewed by the bipartisan Senate Review and Recovery Committee.

Following troubling accusations of dysfunction and potential misconduct within the Department of Health, Senators Kean, Corrado, Oroho, Pennacchio, and O’Scanlon urged Senate President Sweeney to issue preservation letters to the Department and appropriate parties who may be in possession of evidence in matters that may be reviewed by the bipartisan Senate Review and Recovery Committee. (SenateNJ.com)

The full text of the letter is below:

June 2, 2020

Dear Senate President Sweeney,

As you are aware, the Senate Republican caucus has called on the Senate to form a select committee to conduct a comprehensive review of the State’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, several areas of concern have emerged and highlighted the need for legislative oversight, including the unconscionable number of deaths that have occurred at New Jersey’s long-term care facilities. We thank you again for sharing our concerns and announcing jointly with our caucus on May 22, 2020 your commitment to the formation of the bipartisan Senate Review and Recovery Committee.

We write you today in light of troubling accusations of dysfunction and potential misconduct within the Department of Health, as identified by whistleblowers within the department. Among other assertions, published reports have pointed to the possible misuse of federal funds and suggested that Assistant Commissioner Christopher Neuwirth was terminated in an attempt to hide misconduct within the Administration. Additional accusations were raised in correspondence from the whistleblowers to you and Leader Kean, leading to serious new questions about the Administration’s handling of the crisis, particularly as it pertains to long-term care facilities.

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Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Tom Kean

Kean and Corrado Applaud Go-Ahead for In-Person Graduations

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Both Call for Ceremonies to be Held in June

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Kristin Corrado commended the announcement that New Jersey schools can hold in-person graduations this summer.

Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Kristin Corrado commended the announcement that New Jersey schools can hold in-person graduations this summer. (©iStock)

“The Class of 2020 has rightfully earned their degrees and are more than deserving of a proper celebration with their classmates,” said Kean (R-21). “In the face of adversity, our graduates will experience the unforgettable moment of walking across the graduation stage and receiving their diploma. While I am pleased the governor has listened to the pleas of senior classes throughout our state, I ask that graduation ceremonies be held during the traditional timeline in June.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Senate Will Establish ‘Review & Recovery’ Committee to Investigate COVID Related Crises

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The Senate will establish a special committee to investigate a range of issues related to the coronavirus crisis, working to identify immediate and long-term remedies to the social, governmental and financial problems caused by the pandemic, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. announced today.

The New Jersey Senate will establish a special bipartisan committee to investigate a range of issues related to the coronavirus crisis, working to identify immediate and long-term remedies to the social, governmental and financial problems caused by the pandemic. (SenateNJ.com)

The bipartisan “Review and Recovery Committee” will investigate the surge of COVID-19 fatalities in the state’s long term care facilities and prisons, the breakdown of the unemployment system, the multi-year fiscal challenges to state and local government, and other consequences of the biggest public health crisis in a century.

Senate Republicans called for the formation of this committee to improve transparency and accountability and provide important oversight of the administration’s response to COVID-19,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean. “It’s clear that mistakes were made and important lessons can be learned to improve the State’s response as we move forward. It’s our sincere hope that this bipartisan review will save lives and help New Jersey to recover with strength and resiliency.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Calls for Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremonies to be Held Outdoors

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean is calling on Governor Phil Murphy to allow New Jersey’s high schools to host in-person outdoor graduation ceremonies.

Sen. Republican Leader Tom Kean is calling on Gov. Murphy to allow New Jersey’s high schools to host in-person outdoor graduation ceremonies. (Pixabay)

“The Class of 2020 has worked hard throughout more than a dozen years of schooling, and they deserve the opportunity to be recognized and celebrate their achievements,” said Kean (R-21). “Holding ceremonies outside with social distancing policies in place will ensure seniors are not deprived of this important memory. I am calling for school districts and health officials to work together to ensure New Jersey’s graduates can commemorate their accomplishments as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Senate Approves Kean/Singleton Legislation to Support Charitable Giving

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Measure Creates Tax Deduction for Contributions to NJ Charities During COVID-19 Pandemic

The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Troy Singleton that would give a boost to charitable organizations that are hard at work serving communities across New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Troy Singleton that would give a boost to charitable organizations that are hard at work serving communities across New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Pixabay)

“We have watched as local non-profits stepped up to feed their communities and provide every kind of support imaginable to New Jersey families impacted by this unprecedented public health and economic crisis,” said Senator Kean (R-Union/Somerset/Morris). “Those dedicated organizations that serve so many New Jerseyans have not been immune from the financial hardships of this emergency. We’ve seen time and again that non-profits often face the greatest challenges raising the funds they need to operate when the need of vulnerable communities is greatest. It’s imperative that we support their efforts by boosting donations in a way that is extremely cost efficient.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean/Singleton Legislation to Support Charitable Giving Advances

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Measure Creates Tax Deduction for Contributions to NJ Charities During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee has advanced legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Troy Singleton that would give a boost to charitable organizations that are hard at work serving communities across New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Senate Budget Committee advanced a bill by Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Troy Singleton to give a boost to charitable organizations that are serving communities across New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic. (SenateNJ.com)

“We have watched as local non-profits stepped up to feed their communities and provide every kind of support imaginable to New Jersey families impacted by this unprecedented public health and economic crisis,” said Senator Kean (R-Union/Somerset/Morris). “Those dedicated organizations that serve so many New Jerseyans have not been immune from the financial hardships of this emergency. We’ve seen time and again that non-profits often face the greatest challenges raising the funds they need to operate when the need of vulnerable communities is greatest. It’s imperative that we support their efforts by boosting donations in a way that is extremely cost efficient.”

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Senator Bob Singer
Senator Chris Brown
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Republicans: Reopening Parks a Reasonable Step, Many Businesses Ready to Reopen Too

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The Senate Republican leadership team said Governor Phil Murphy’s announcement that State and county parks and golf courses will be allowed to reopen is a reasonable step and that many businesses are also ready to resume operations once restrictions are lifted:

The Senate Republican leadership team said Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement that State and county parks and golf courses will be allowed to reopen is a reasonable step and that many businesses are also ready to resume operations once restrictions are lifted. (SenateNJ.com)

“Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed with awe and pride an amazing transformation in the attitudes and practices of individual New Jerseyans as they adopted necessary social distancing and personal protective measures that just months ago would have been unthinkable.

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