New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Calls for Compromise on Minimum Wage & Fiscal Reforms

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that bipartisan compromise is possible on a number of important initiatives, including raising the minimum wage and enacting fiscal reforms to lower the cost of government.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said bipartisan compromise is possible on raising the minimum wage and enacting fiscal reforms to lower the cost of government. (Pixabay)

“It would make a lot of sense to pair a minimum wage increase with proposals from the Legislature’s Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup to significantly reduce pension and health benefit costs going forward,” said Kean. “If the Governor is willing to join concerned Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature in getting the State’s fiscal house in order, I believe we can accomplish a lot of good things together for New Jerseyans.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on the Passing of Former State Senator Henry McNamara

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on the passing of former State Senator Henry McNamara.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on the passing of former State Senator Henry McNamara. (SenateNJ.com)

“We lost a man who for over 20 years steadfastly served the people of New Jersey with integrity and honor in the Legislature. Senator McNamara embodied the ideals of conviction and cooperation. As an environmental champion, he was always willing to reach across the aisle to advance important legislation. My deepest condolences go out to his family. May they find peace and comfort in the rich legacy he has left behind.“

Senator Tom Kean

Now Law: Kean Bill Ensuring Public Employees Can Volunteer as Emergency Responders During Retirement

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Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) that will ensure public employees can continue to volunteer as EMTs or firefighters after the retire from public service.

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Sen. Tom Kean’s bill to ensure public employees can continue to volunteer as emergency first responders after the retire from public service. (Flickr)

“This legislation is personal for me,” Senator Kean said. “I was a volunteer firefighter and EMT for many years. I saw the passion and dedication my fellow volunteers had for serving their community. If they are able and willing, there is no reason why we shouldn’t encourage these first responders to continue protecting their neighbors after they retire.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Now Law: Kean Effort to Help NJ College Students Graduate on Time

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Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to help New Jersey college students graduate on time, by directing college campuses to encourage students to enroll in 30 credits per year.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed Sen. Tom Kean’s bill to help NJ college students graduate on time, by directing college campuses to encourage students to enroll in 30 credits per year. (Pixabay)

“We want our college students to have the motivation to shoot for the moon from the moment they first arrive on campus,” Senator Kean (R-21) said. “Studies show that students who enroll in 15 credits, instead of taking the bare minimum, are more likely to graduate on time. This law will encourage them to take that leap. We are blessed with some of the best and brightest young people in the country and we will continue to do everything we can to support them as they pursue a college degree or career.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on NJ Transit Hearing

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on today’s NJ Transit Legislative hearing and Gov. Murphy’s announcement regarding lifting residency requirements for “mission critical” NJ transit employees.

Senator Tom Kean comments on the Aug. 16, 2018 NJ Transit hearing and Gov. Murphy’s announcement regarding lifting residency requirements for NJ transit employees. (SenateNJ.com)

“I appreciate the fact that NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett, the DOT Commissioner, and others were willing to come and testify before us today. It was refreshing to hear these officials acknowledge the pain and suffering our commuters are going through,” Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) said.

“We know now, from multiple summers of hell, that one person taking an unplanned vacation day can shut down an entire train line. The staffing issues at NJ transit are extremely problematic. Individual choices are impacting thousands of lives.

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Senator Tom Kean

SIGNED: Kean Bill Allowing Out-of-State Licenses to Be Used in NJ

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Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to allow out-of-state workers who have suffered through a catastrophic event or natural disaster to use their professional licenses in New Jersey.

Governor Phil Murphy has signed Sen. Tom Kean’s bill to allow out-of-state workers to use their professional licenses in New Jersey. The law will help workers who have suffered through a natural disaster or catastrophic event and relocate to NJ. (SenateNJ.com)

“We need to do more to attract highly-trained professionals to New Jersey. Forcing someone to reapply for a license they already have is an unnecessary barrier to employment, particularly for innovative entrepreneurs and people who are self-employed. That’s exactly the kind of worker we want to move here. Let’s not drive them away,” Senator Kean (R-21) said. “Allowing these folks to use an out-of-state license in New Jersey is a commonsense way to grow our economy, and it’s something that many other states already do. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this legislation for years to come.”

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Senator Tom Kean

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

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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.

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Senator Tom Kean

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

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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

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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.”

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Senator Tom Kean

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

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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.

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