New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean: NJ Transit, State Leaders Must Address Engineer Shortage ASAP to Keep Commuters Safe

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

In light of recent reports, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) is urging NJ Transit and State leaders to work together to immediately address the engineer shortage at the troubled agency.

Sen. Tom Kean is urging NJ Transit and State leaders to work together to immediately address ongoing problems at the troubled agency, including a catastrophic engineer shortage. (SenateNJ.com)

“More than a year ago, I spoke out publicly at our Legislative Oversight hearings on the need for NJ Transit, public sector unions, and State government leaders to work together to develop solutions to the catastrophic staffing shortages that continue to put thousands of commuters in harm’s way,” Senator Kean said. “It is no surprise that customers are facing a ‘summer of hell part two.’ We’ve known about staffing shortages for quite a while. What is surprising, is that next to nothing has been done to address this crisis.

“This is not a problem that NJ Transit can solve alone – clearly, there are additional steps previous administrations could have taken, and Governor Murphy must be much more aggressive on this front as well. Additionally, my Legislative colleagues and I have proposed a number solutions, such as allowing out-of-state residents to apply for State jobs. Being a rail engineer requires a very specific skill set. We need to expand the pool of potential hires immediately and the best way to do that is to pass legislation I sponsor that would allow us to consider out-of-state applicants.

“Despite what has been recently said in the public arena, New Jersey Republicans have been very vocal advocates for NJ Transit commuters. My colleagues and I have repeatedly advocated for projects such as the Gateway Tunnel, securing one-seat rides, and Port Authority Reform. To say that we have been silent on this issue is just not factual.

Continue Reading…

Senator Tom Kean

Statement from Sen. Kean on Recommendations of Economic and Fiscal Policy Group

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement in response to the recommendations issued by the Economic and Fiscal Policy Group:

Sen. Tom Kean said he’s confident legislators can work together in a bipartisan fashion to accomplish many of the reforms proposed by the Economic and Fiscal Policy Group. (Pixabay)

“I’m glad that the bipartisan Economic and Fiscal Policy Group has recognized the serious long-term fiscal challenges that Senate Republicans have fought for years to resolve for New Jersey taxpayers.

“The members of our caucus have long championed legislative initiatives that are similar to many of the group’s recommendations, including my proposals to create a new tax deduction for charitable contributions to the non-profits that serve our communities and to look at the efficiencies of county and local governments.

“I’m confident that we can work together in a bipartisan fashion on many of these reforms for the betterment of the people of New Jersey.”

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on Passing of Sen. Bill Schluter

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on the death of former Senator Bill Schluter, who passed away this morning at the age of 90.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said Sen. Bill Schluter was everything a public servant should be. Sen. Schluter passed away on Aug. 6, 2018, at the age of 90. (SenateNJ.com)

“Senator Schluter was everything a true public servant should be. He held his Legislative colleagues to a very high ethical standard – a bar he never failed to meet. He was a courageous leader in the fight for good government reform. There is no question that we are a better off as a state because of his advocacy. My heart goes out to Bill’s family and friends, and all those who are mourning this tremendous loss.”

Continue Reading…

Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Murphy’s “Free” Community College Pilot Program to Cost NJ Taxpayers $20 Million

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

Says Misguided Scheme Fails to Address Underlying Problems That Are Driving Tuition Bills Higher

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that a pilot program announced by the Murphy Administration that would shift the cost of tuition and fees for some community college students to New Jersey taxpayers is misguided and unaffordable.

Sen. Tom Kean said a ‘free’ community college pilot program announced by Gov. Phil Murphy will cost New Jersey taxpayers $20 million. (Flickr)

“Free community college sounds great, but nothing is really free,” said Kean. “The Governor’s plan simply shifts $20 million of tuition costs for a handful of students to New Jersey taxpayers who are already overburdened. It’s a huge and unnecessary expense that the State cannot afford to assume.”

Kean warned that the $20 million cost of the pilot program could become an annual expense of $200 million to $400 million if the program is fully implemented statewide.

Continue Reading…

Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Murphy’s Diversion of NJ Transit Capital Funds is the Height of Hypocrisy

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement, in light of today’s news that the Murphy Administration has authorized New Jersey Transit to divert $511 million in capital funds to pay for operational costs.

Sen. Tom Kean said he was deeply disappointed to see Gov. Murphy divert NJ Transit capital funds, calling it the height of hypocrisy. (SenateNJ.com)

“Governor Murphy swore to commuters that he would fix New Jersey Transit, without relying on financially-unsustainable practices. Today he broke that promise. His decision to use capital funds to cover up his complete inability to manage money is misguided.

“Governor Murphy is using the very same practices that he campaigned against, by diverting money from the Clean Energy Fund, the Turnpike Authority and now, New Jersey Transit’s capital funds to plug holes in his budget.

“New Jersey Transit’s capital budget should be used to make essential investments and expand services that benefit our commuters, such as one-seat rides. As someone who represents thousands of commuters, I am deeply disappointed to see Governor Murphy make the same mistakes that got us into this mess in the first place. I will continue to be a vocal advocate for ensuring people have a safe, easy and affordable way to get to work.”

Continue Reading…

Senator Tom Kean

Weinberg, Kean: Port Authority Bus Terminal Expansion on Track with Bi-State Support

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-Union) today expressed optimism about the progress made on plans for the expansion of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and on the support for the project expressed by New York officials and community leaders.

Sen. Loretta Weinberg and Sen. Tom Kean expressed optimism about the progress made on plans for the expansion of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. (Flickr)

“While no decision will be made until the final Environmental Impact Study of various options is completed, it is clear that New York and New Jersey officials are on the same page in our support for the ‘build in place’ plan that would add two floors to the existing Port Authority Bus Terminal,” said Senator Weinberg.

“Expanding the existing Port Authority Bus Terminal would preserve a one-seat bus ride for New Jersey commuters while providing increased capacity to support rapidly growing demand,” said Senator Kean. “Now that there seems to be a general consensus that this is the right approach to pursue, we should not waste time in proceeding after so many delays.”

Continue Reading…

Senator Tom Kean

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

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

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.”

Continue Reading…

Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Tom Kean

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

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

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.

Continue Reading…

Senator Tom Kean

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

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

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.”

Continue Reading…

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

Senate Republicans Call for Structural Budget Reforms

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

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.

Continue Reading…

District 21 Guide

Tom Kean, Jr.

Tom's Bio & Public Service

Constituent Services

Tom Can Help You!

Contact Tom

Tom Wants to Hear from You!

District 21

About the Legislative District

Email Updates

Sign Up for Tom's Newsletter

Facebook

Follow Tom's Page

Internships

Students - Get Involved

Legislative Activity

Committees, Bills & Votes

Twitter

Tweet @tomkean

- Proudly Serving Parts of Morris, Somerset and Union Counties -