New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

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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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Calls for 2% State Spending Cap

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Decries Murphy’s Massive Spending Hikes as Irresponsible

In the wake of massive spending hikes proposed by Governor Phil Murphy in the upcoming 2019 State Budget, Republicans in the New Jersey Senate are calling for the passage of a constitutional amendment to limit state spending increases to two percent annually.

Sen. Tom Kean said that Senate Republicans are calling for the passage of a constitutional amendment to cap state spending increases at two percent annually. (SenateNJ.com)

Governor Murphy initially proposed an eight-percent hike in state spending and $1.7 billion in new taxes with his budget address, but his costly proposals seem to keep coming.

“Our ship is taking on water and we need to plug the hole,” Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said. “We spent the last few years making some progress, but now Governor Murphy is wrenching the hull wide open. Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature proved that we could work together by instituting our successful two-percent cap on municipal spending, and now it’s time we do it again to cap state spending.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Editorial: Murphy Must Address Affordability Crisis That’s Driving New Jersey Losses

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The following editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean on improving New Jersey’s affordability was published by the Star-Ledger on May 2, 2018:

A recent opinion piece by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott encouraged overtaxed New Jerseyans to consider relocating to the Lone Star State.

Abbott was likely emboldened by Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget plan to raise state spending by nearly $3 billion, funded with billions in income, business and sales tax increases on New Jerseyans.

He apparently understands, unlike our governor, that New Jerseyans already shoulder one of the greatest tax burdens in the nation.

He’s probably seen how many of our families, retirees and businesses of all sizes have been worn down by rising costs and convinced to leave New Jersey for other states with lower and more predictable tax bills. Likely sensing Murphy’s overreach, Abbott took the opportunity to highlight the tax benefits of moving to Texas.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: While Today is Tax Day, New Jerseyans Won’t Celebrate Tax Freedom Day Until May 3rd

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Warns Murphy’s Billions in New Taxes Will Push Tax Freedom Day for New Jerseyans Even Later

On Tax Day 2018, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean warned that New Jersey residents will have to work longer to pay their tax bills if billions in tax increases proposed by Governor Phil Murphy are enacted.

Sen. Tom Kean warned that Tax Freedom Day for New Jerseyans will move further into the year if billions in tax increases proposed by Gov. Phil Murphy are enacted. (SenateNJ.com)

“Although today is Tax Day, the day that income taxes must be filed, New Jerseyans actually will have to work through May 3rd to pay their combined federal, state, and local property tax bills for the year,” said Kean. “If Murphy’s billions in tax increases are enacted, New Jersey workers will have to work even further into the year just to pay their taxes.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Exploring Legal Action to Stop Murphy Administration’s Unconstitutional $3.2 Billion Tobacco Bond Refinancing

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Says One-Shot Revenue Scheme Wastes Money

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean sent a letter to Acting Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio today to advise that he is exploring legal action to prevent the pending closing of a $3.2 billion sale of Tobacco Settlement Bonds.

Sen. Tom Kean said he is exploring legal action to prevent the pending closing of a $3.2 billion sale of Tobacco Settlement Bonds by the Murphy Administration. (Pixabay)

In the letter, Kean said the transaction effectively extends the final payment date of tobacco bonds more than 40 years beyond their initial issuance in 2003 and 2004 — well beyond what is permitted under the New Jersey Constitution which requires principle and interest on all bonds to be paid within 35 years.

“The Murphy Administration is blatantly ignoring provisions in the New Jersey Constitution that are meant to protect taxpayers from irresponsible debt schemes like this tobacco bond refinancing,” said Kean. “The issuance of this debt will cost New Jersey taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in exchange for a one-shot $250 million budget grab. We are calling for the immediate cancellation of the refinancing, and are exploring our legal options to prevent the closing.”

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