New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

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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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Family Statement on Passing of Deborah Bye Kean

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(Bedminster, NJ) Mrs. Deborah (Debby) Bye Kean, beloved wife of former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean, passed away on the evening of April 23, 2020. She would have turned 77 years of age on May 15. Mrs. Kean died peacefully at home.

Mrs. Deborah (Debby) Bye Kean, beloved wife of former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean, passed away on the evening of April 23, 2020. Click here for full size image. (Photo courtesy of Kean family)

Debby Kean was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1943, the only child of the late Elizabeth Griffenberg Bye and Robert Bye, a corporate executive. Mrs. Kean was a graduate of the Tower Hill School in Wilmington and of Bennett College in Millbrook, New York. She married Thomas H. Kean on June 3, 1967.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Tom Kean

Kean & O’Scanlon Bill Supporting Health Care Professionals in the Coronavirus Fight Becomes Law

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Bipartisan Measure Advanced in Both Houses Monday

Legislation protecting health care professionals treating patients during the COVID-19 state of emergency from civil and criminal malpractice claims was signed by Governor Phil Murphy today.

Sen. Kean and Sen. O’Scanlon’s legislation shielding healthcare workers from malpractice claims and paving the way for more trained first-responders to assist with the coronavirus crisis was signed today by the Governor. (SenateNJ.com)

Sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Declan O’Scanlon, the law (S-2333) grants 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. Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Bob Smith also sponsored.

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