New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean: NJ Taxpayers Deserve Answers & Action on Health Savings, Reforms

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following response to today’s announcement from the State Treasurer’s office:

Sen. Tom Kean said that Treasurer Muoio and Gov. Murphy owe taxpayers an explanation on how the health savings announced could have been factored into the budget to avoid tax increases. Kean also called for immediate action on comprehensive public employee benefit reform. (SenateNJ.com)

“Treasurer Muoio and Governor Murphy owe New Jersey taxpayers an explanation as to how or if these healthcare savings could have been factored into the State budget, which increased State spending by 5.4 percent.  If these initiatives had been enacted, maybe these new, onerous tax increases could have been avoided.

“While I’m happy to see some action, these reforms are not nearly enough. We need comprehensive public employee benefit reform in order to deliver real relief to property taxpayers across New Jersey.

“Senate Republicans have solutions on the table and our reforms are an order of magnitude greater. In fact, enacting the reforms we proposed could save more than a billion dollars for the State, and perhaps double that for local municipalities.

“We stand ready and willing to work with the administration and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this done as soon as possible. The people of New Jersey deserve no less than an immediate response to this crisis.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Tom Kean

PSA: New State Ombudsman for People With Disabilities Meets Critical NJ Need

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A vulnerable population that has been left behind in recent years now has a new lifeline in New Jersey, thanks to the appointment of Paul Aronsohn, the new Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families.

People with disabilities, and their families, now have a lifeline in New Jersey in the form of NJ’s new Ombudsman, Paul Aronsohn, who serves as a resource for those in need of support. He can be reached at 609-649-1734 or paul.aronsohn@treas.nj.gov.  (SenateNJ.com)

Aronsohn’s appointment, as established by recently-enacted legislation, is essential to ensuring people with disabilities can access the services they need without delay, filling a critical statewide need.

“It is hard to imagine the pain of watching a loved one go without the resources they need to live a happy and healthy life. For years, far too many New Jersey families were deprived of the support and services they need. When a conflict with a state agency arose, there were very few people who could help them find an efficient and expedient resolution. Now we have a solution to that problem,” Senator Joe Pennacchio, who recently met with the newly appointed Ombudsman, said.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: No Winners in Democrats’ Tax Fight, Only Losers

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said there were no winners in a fight over tax increases between Governor Phil Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney, saying taxpayers are the big losers under a compromise tax plan approved by Democrats yesterday.

Sen. Tom Kean said there were no winners in a fight over tax increases between Democrats, saying taxpayers are the big losers under a compromise tax plan they approved yesterday. (Pixabay)

“All of the headlines today focused on whether the Senate President or the Governor won their budget battle over whose massive tax increases to implement,” said Kean. “The truth is that there are no winners in this fight, only losers. And the biggest losers of all are New Jersey taxpayers who will pay $1.5 billion more this year as a result of the Democrats’ tax compromise.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Bob Singer
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Republicans Call for Structural Budget Reforms

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Senate Republicans sent a letter today to Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin calling for structural budget reforms.

Senate Republicans sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Coughlin calling for structural budget reforms. (SenateNJ.com)

Click here for a PDF of the letter.

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Senator Bob Singer
Senator Tom Kean

Passed: Kean/Singer Bill Provides Families a Second Chance After a Natural Disaster

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The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean and Senator Robert Singer that would provide a streamlined reciprocity process for out-of-state professional and occupational licensing for individuals displaced from a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Maria.

Senator Kean and Senator Singer would provide a streamline reciprocity process for out-of-state professional and occupational licensing for individuals displaced by Hurricane Maria. (SenateNJ)

“After the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, our families saw the horrors of trying to rebuild or relocate their lives,” Kean (R-21) stated. “Now, months after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, New Jersey has opened its arms to families from places like Puerto Rico who are in search of a new life. By streamlining the reciprocity process for skilled workers, from the hardworking electrician to a compassionate doctor, we can help people to continue their careers for which they trained for in New Jersey.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Introduces Resolution Disapproving Murphy’s $100 Million Back-Pay Giveaway

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Will Urge Senate on Thursday to Exercise Its Constitutional Authority to Withhold Appropriation for Retroactive Raises

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has introduced a resolution urging the Legislature to reject $100 million of retroactive back payments that Governor Phil Murphy is attempting to give to public employee union members.

Sen. Tom Kean will urge the Legislature to reject $100 million of retroactive back payments that Gov. Phil Murphy is attempting to give to public employee union members. (Pixabay)

“Governor Murphy’s plan to give $100 million of retroactive raises to public workers is obscene given his repeated statements that New Jersey is in such poor fiscal shape that we have no choice but to raise taxes by billions,” said Kean. “Thankfully the Governor has no ability to fund this giveaway to his union friends without legislative approval. As we debate the FY19 State budget tomorrow, I will urge the Legislature to exercise its constitutional authority to deny an appropriation for these unaffordable back payments.”

Kean’s resolution, SCR-127, disapproves of Governor Murphy’s proposal to award retroactive raises to approximately 32,000 Executive Branch employees in an amount totaling more than $100 million.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Files OPRA Complaint as Murphy Admin Withholds Public Financial Records

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Says Secrecy Preventing Proper Review of Murphy’s Massive Budget & Tax Increase Plans

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said the administration of Governor Phil Murphy has failed to comply with the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA) by improperly withholding readily available public financial documents that were requested more than 45 days ago from the Treasury Department.

Sen. Tom Kean filed a Government Records Council complaint seeking access to State financial documents that the Murphy Administration is withholding from legislators engaged in the budget review process. (SenateNJ.com)

The charge was made today in a complaint filed by Kean with the Government Records Council (GRC), the State entity responsible for adjudicating complaints related to the denial of access to public agency records. Kean said Treasury officials have granted themselves multiple extensions to delay responding to the OPRA request with information that he believes is critical to informing legislators engaged in budget and tax deliberations.

Click here to download the complaint. (Note: the PDF file will not display in browsers, it must be downloaded and opened in Adobe Acrobat Reader)

“Senate Republicans submitted an OPRA request to the Treasury Department in April to obtain documents detailing New Jersey’s finances that have already been provided to Wall Street,” said Kean. “We’re concerned that the Murphy Administration’s repeated failure to provide any responsive documents is a deliberate effort to force legislators to vote on nearly $2 billion of tax increases proposed by the Governor without the disclosure of relevant budget information. With our June 30th deadline for adopting a new State budget rapidly approaching, we were left with no choice but to file a complaint today to obtain access to the public records that will allow us to perform our constitutionally mandated duties.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Senate Approves Kean’s Legislation to Study High Rates of NJ Students Leaving for Out-of-State Colleges

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New Jersey Exports More College-Bound Students than Any Other State

The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to study why so many New Jersey high school graduates choose to attend college in other states.

The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation by Sen. Tom Kean to study why so many New Jersey high school graduates choose to attend college in other states. (Pixabay)

“No other state sends more of its high school graduates to out-of-state colleges than New Jersey,” said Kean, a member of the Senate Higher Education committee. “Once they leave, many never return to New Jersey to help build our workforce, support their families, or contribute to our communities. This brain drain really hurts New Jersey, and it’s something we must understand better if we are to counter it successfully.”

An analysis by the Washington Post of data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows New Jersey’s export of 31,510 graduates in 2008 was the most in the nation.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Sports Betting

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Decision Upholds N.J. Law, Paves the Way for Legalized Wagering on Sporting Events

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean applauded the United States Supreme Court for striking down a federal law that had prohibited most states, including New Jersey, from moving forward with efforts to offer legalized sports betting.

Sen. Tom Kean applauded the U.S. Supreme Court for striking down a federal law that had prohibited New Jersey from moving forward with efforts to offer legalized sports betting.(©iStock)

“The Supreme Court’s decision is recognition that the federal government shouldn’t be in the business of helping one state to maintain a monopoly on sports wagering,” said Kean. “Now that the federal prohibition on sports wagering has been struck down, New Jersey businesses will have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Legislation to Study High Rates of NJ Students Leaving for Out-of-State Colleges Approved by Higher Ed Committee

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New Jersey Exports More College-Bound Students than Any Other State

Legislation by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to study why so many New Jersey high school graduates choose to attend college in other states has been approved by the Senate Higher Education Committee.

Sen. Tom Kean’s legislation to study why so many N.J. high school graduates choose to attend college in other states has passed the Senate Higher Education Committee. (©iStock)

“No other state sends more of its high school graduates to out-of-state colleges than New Jersey,” said Kean, a member of the Higher Education committee. “Once they leave, many never return to New Jersey to help build our workforce, support their families, or contribute to our communities. This brain drain really hurts New Jersey, and it’s something we must understand better if we are to counter it successfully.”

An analysis by the Washington Post of data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows New Jersey’s export of 31,510 graduates in 2008 was the most in the nation.

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