New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Clears Bipartisan Bill Supporting Health Care Professionals Fighting to Save Coronavirus Patients

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Sponsored by Senators Kean, Sweeney, Smith and O’Scanlon

Bipartisan legislation protecting health care professionals treating patients during the COVID-19 state of emergency from civil and criminal malpractice claims was approved today during the Senate’s first remote session.
Sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Bob Smith and Senator Declan O’Scanlon, the bill (S-2333) would grant protections from claims alleging injury or death against a health care worker providing medical services in support of the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Sen. Kean and Sen. O’Scanlon sponsor legislation to strengthen the pool of medical personnel available to treat coronavirus patients in the state. The bipartisan bill was advanced by the Senate Monday. (©iStock)

“Our healthcare facilities and the dedicated doctors and nurses who provide critical care to patients have stepped up to respond to this emergent public health crisis, often without the resources they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Kean (R-21). “Many of the challenges they face, including shortages of life-saving ventilators, are not the result of negligence but of a massive surge in need and limited national supply. When our region has been hit as hard by the coronavirus as anywhere in the world, we must recognize that our healthcare facilities, doctors, and nurses are doing the best they can with what they have. They deserve the assurance that they will not be punished for trying to save lives under these unbelievably difficult circumstances.”

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Senator Gerald Cardinale
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Advances Cardinale/Beach/Kean Bill Clarifying Remote Education Policies During Emergency School Closures

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Legislation Requires Virtual or Remote Instruction Days to Count Towards 180-Day School Requirement During Certain Emergencies

The New Jersey Senate has approved bipartisan legislation (S-2337) sponsored by Senator Gerry Cardinale (R-39), Senator Jim Beach (D-6) and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) that explicitly authorizes school districts to continue educating students remotely in emergency situations that require school facilities to be closed for more than three days.

The N.J. Senate has approved legislation by Sen. Gerry Cardinale, Sen. Jim Beach and Sen. Tom Kean allowing school districts to educate students remotely during certain emergency situations. (Pixabay)

“In a time of extended crisis, such as the current pandemic, it’s important that school districts have the flexibility to continue educating students when classrooms cannot be used,” said Senator Cardinale. “This legislation makes clear that school districts, students, and taxpayers will not be punished with a loss of State school aid for emergent situations like COVID-19 when remote instruction must be used in place of classroom education.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco
Senator Tom Kean

Sweeney-Kean Bills Would Provide Help for Small Businesses Contending with Economic Turmoil

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The Senate today approved two bills authored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean that would provide tax credits and deferrals to small businesses confronted with economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The Senate today approved two bills that would provide tax credits and deferrals to small businesses confronted with economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus crisis. (©iStock)

One bill, S-2347, would establish the Business Related Tax Deferral Assistance Program, and the other measure, S-2348, would create a tax credit program at the state level modeled on the federal Employee Retention Credits in the CARES Act. The legislation is cosponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein and Senator Anthony Bucco. Both measures would target New Jersey’s small businesses with financial assistance that will help them and their employees withstand the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Senator Tom Kean

Governor Signs Kean Bill to Expedite Coronavirus Testing

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Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean that will help more people get tested for the coronavirus was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s bill significantly increasing available facilities for coronavirus testing was signed into law. (©iStock)

“Our state is working very hard to process COVID-19 tests, but bottlenecks at the facilities where healthcare workers are collecting samples has resulted in long lines and frustration,” said Kean (R-21). “It’s just not a good idea to have people who are may be infected with the virus waiting in lines for hours with dozens or hundreds of other people. This new law signed today will make the process simpler, faster, and more convenient.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco
Senator Tom Kean

Kean/Bucco Bill to Aid Employers Impacted by COVID-19 Outbreak Signed by Governor

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Anthony M. Bucco that would authorize the Economic Development Authority to issue emergency grants for businesses suffering from the COVID-19 crisis was signed into law today by the Governor.

The Governor signed legislation sponsored by Senator Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Anthony M. Bucco that will provide assistance to businesses suffering from the COVID-19 breakout. (SenateNJ.com)

The bill (A-3845/S-32284) was one of a large package of coronavirus relief measures fast-tracked through the Legislature and approved by the Senate during the session on Thursday.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Clears Bill Package to Combat the COVID-19 Crisis

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In a major bipartisan effort, the Senate overwhelmingly cleared 27 bills today that will help the state address the COVID-19 crisis now, and in the months ahead.

In a major bipartisan effort, the Senate overwhelmingly cleared 27 bills that will help the state address the COVID-19 crisis now, and in the months ahead. (SenateNJ.com)

“This is an international health care crisis that will have consequences that extend to many other aspects of our lives in New Jersey. The immediate threat is to the health and safety of residents in communities throughout the state, but it also threatens to have an impact on everything from education, medical care, public services, jobs, the economy and the finances of individuals and families. This is a time when government is needed more than ever,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “We won’t be able to solve it overnight and we can’t prevent all the negative effects from happening, but there are actions we can take to contain the spread of the virus, to care for those who become infected and to help those who are impacted. These bills will help.”

“Our society is facing an unprecedented challenge from COVID-19 that requires a coordinated response by all levels and branches of government,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Morris/Somerset/Union). “Republicans and Democrats in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature are working together to advance legislation that is critical to the well-being of the Garden State. The critical measures we advanced today will help governments and schools to continue serving people and support the many needs of families and employers during this difficult time. As more concerns are identified, we will continue to address them together.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Senate Revises Proceedings to Protect Public Health

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Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following joint statement today announcing revisions to the Senate’s scheduled proceedings in response to the coronavirus pandemic:

Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued a joint statement announcing revisions to the Senate’s scheduled proceedings in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (SenateNJ.com)

“This is a rapidly-expanding public health crisis unlike any we have experienced that presents unique challenges for public health professionals, the medical community, government leaders, local communities and the public. We must work together to protect the health and safety of the people of New Jersey, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to minimize the impact and the consequences of the pandemic.

“There are policy actions we can take in the Legislature but it is our responsibility to move forward on these initiatives in ways that protect the public, legislators and staff. We have work to do, but we must safeguard the workplace as we do it.

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Senator Tom Kean

Meeting the COVID-19 Challenge: Caution, Compassion, Cooperation

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement regarding COVID-19:

Sen. Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement regarding COVID-19. (CDC)

The announcement of more COVID-19 cases in New Jersey, including one in my own legislative district, has reminded many New Jerseyans of the uncertainties we face as a result of this emergent public health emergency. It also a good time to remind ourselves that New Jersey has the heart, the talent and the spirit to rise above the confusion and concerns, just as we did post-Superstorm Sandy.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Resolution to Bring Global Business Investment to the State Clears Senate

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Measure Calls on Senate to Lead Efforts to Recruit Global Corporations

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s resolution seeking direct investment in the State by global corporations was approved by the Senate.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean will encourage global investment in New Jersey’s economy under his legislation advanced today by the Senate. (Pixabay)

“Business investment can revitalize communities, boost local tax revenue, strengthen real estate markets, and provide jobs and careers for New Jersey workers,” said Kean (R-21). “Everybody wins when employers from around the globe open facilities in in our state. International-based companies benefit from our highly educated, skilled and diverse workforce. It will be easier for employers to find the talent they need to fill vital jobs.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Bill Supporting Veterans Seeking College Education Passes Senate

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s legislation to help veterans further their education while serving their country has passed the State Senate.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s legislation to help veterans further their education while serving their country has passed the State Senate. (©iStock)

“Going to school while serving is a difficult undertaking in itself, let alone trying to manage the traditional college semester timeline around deployment dates and other military obligations,” said Kean (R-21). “New Jersey should do everything in its power to be more accommodating to the brave men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms. Offering military members the flexibility to register late for classes and refunding tuition when courses conflict with deployments is a sensible way to ease the burden of earning college credits.”

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