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Senate Republicans Urge Sweeney to Form Investigative Committee to Probe Nursing Home Deaths, Murphy’s COVID-19 Response

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Democrats in NY Senate Looking to Subpoena Cuomo Administration in Investigation of Policies Mirrored by Murphy Administration that Contributed to Thousands of Nursing Home Deaths

The fifteen members of the Senate Republican caucus again called for Senate President Sweeney (click here for PDF of letter) to form a bipartisan investigative committee with subpoena power to examine the failures that led to thousands of nursing home deaths, along with other aspects of the Murphy Administration’s flawed COVID-19 response.

The 15 members of the Senate Republican caucus again called for Senate President Sweeney to form a bipartisan investigative committee with subpoena power to examine the failures that led to thousands of nursing home deaths, along with other aspects of the Murphy Administration’s flawed COVID-19 response. (SenateNJ.com)

Senate Republicans have been calling for such a committee to be formed since May. While the Senate President initially indicated that such a committee would be created, no action has been taken by the Senate Democratic Majority beyond a single press release eight months ago.

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District 1

Testa/Simonsen/McClellan Urge Governor to Give Vaccine Distribution a Shot in the Arm

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Senator Michael Testa, Assemblyman Erik Simonsen, and Assemblyman Antwan McClellan today called on Governor Murphy to use his political influence and his business contacts to help New Jersey get enough doses to meet the demand for the COVID-19 vaccination.

LD1 Team calls on Governor Phil Murphy to use additional resources to increase COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (DoD via Flickr)

“The state’s residents have done everything they have been asked to do during this pandemic,” said Testa. “They were led to believe that vaccination is the key to bringing an end to this long COVID nightmare. Now they are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to schedule an appointment and hearing that there is not enough supply. People are frustrated and worried. They don’t want to fall through the cracks. There is a genuine fear of missing out, of being one of those who don’t get inoculated.”

During Friday’s COVID briefing, Murphy announced that more than 500,000 vaccine have been administered in New Jersey, but at least two South Jersey hospital systems are no longer accepting appointments and have begun cancelling scheduled visits due to insufficient vaccine supplies.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco: Murphy Should Suspend 10 PM Closing Time for Bars & Restaurants for Super Bowl, Upcoming Holidays

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco called on Governor Phil Murphy to suspend the 10 p.m. closing time for indoor bars and restaurants during the Super Bowl to prevent them from having to close before the end of the game, and suggested he do the same for important upcoming holidays, including Valentine’s Day.

Sen. Tony Bucco called on Gov. Phil Murphy to suspend the 10 p.m. closing time for indoor bars and restaurants during the Super Bowl and important upcoming holidays, including Valentine’s Day. (Pixabay)

“Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most important days of the year for bars and restaurants and all of their workers,” said Bucco (R-25). “Under current restrictions, indoor establishments could be put in the difficult position of having to kick out their customers before the Super Bowl is over to comply with the governor’s executive orders. Governor Murphy should do the right thing and give them a reprieve from the arbitrary 10 p.m. closing time for this important event.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Editorial: Achieving 70% Covid Vaccination by June

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Goals are endpoints. Missions are plans/strategies to achieve goals. Our “goal,” and it’s one we should shoot for, is to get 70% of the adult New Jersey population vaccinated by the end of June. We need to understand the mission we’ll need to accomplish to achieve our goal.

In this editorial, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon discusses what’s needed to achieve 70% vaccination of the New Jersey population by the end of June. (DoD via Flickr)

As county governments/health departments/hospitals/health care clinics/pharmacy/retail outlets scramble to hire staff and work out vaccination program logistics…securing sites, arranging utilities, training administrative/processing/health care staff…throughout the state, no one has properly outlined the mission. Just how many doses of the vaccine does New Jersey have to deliver each week, and how does that number translate to the County level, in order to achieve our goal?

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: Data Demonstrates Governor Can & Should Increase Indoor Dining Capacity to 50% and End Curfew

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today renewed his call for Governor Phil Murphy to remove the 10 p.m. indoor dining curfew.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon renewed his call for Gov. Phil Murphy to remove the 10 p.m. indoor dining curfew. (Pixabay)

“Our restaurants have been suffering massive economic hits since March with seemingly no end in sight to 25% capacity restrictions and the 10 p.m. indoor dining curfew. But time and again the industry has proven that they are not the nexus for new COVID-19 outbreaks,” said O’Scanlon. “Restaurants as a whole have followed the rules and restrictions laid out for them, they’ve endeavored to make their establishments as safe as possible to protect their patrons and staff. They deserve an increase in capacity to 50% (at 25% now) and the removal of the curfew evidenced by the lack of outbreaks traced back to restaurants.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio to Murphy: Bring Our Guard Members Home Now

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Says the Troops Should Not be Used as Pawns in Washington’s Political Games

Senator Joe Pennacchio called on Governor Murphy to bring the New Jersey National Guard home from Washington, D.C. after reports that military personnel deployed in the capital to provide security for the inauguration of President Joe Biden had been relegated to sleeping on the floors of parking garages.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio called on Governor Murphy to bring the New Jersey National Guard home from Washington after reports that troops deployed in the capital had been relegated to sleeping on the floors of parking garages. (©iStock)

“Our New Jersey troops have done their job and served the state and the nation proudly after one of the darker incidents in our history. Now, it’s time to bring them home – immediately,” Pennacchio said. “These men and women left their homes, jobs and families to ensure the peaceful transition of government, only to be utilized as pawns by political ideologues.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho/Smith Bill to Provide Relief to Businesses that Fortified Buildings Against COVID-19 Advances

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In an effort to provide relief to businesses that made structural improvements to reduce the spread of COVID-19, legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho and Senator Bob Smith would establish a gross income tax credit for certain improvements made on nonresidential buildings during the tax years of 2020, 2021 and 2022. The bill was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today.

Sen. Steve Oroho sponsors bipartisan legislation to provide gross income tax credits for the owners of nonresidential buildings who invest in projects to combat the spread of COVID-19. (Pixabay)

“Owners are not likely to commit to these beneficial projects without some encouragement,” said Senator Oroho (R-Morris/Sussex/Warren). “The temporary credits in this bill will make it more appealing to do the right thing to keep people safe during the pandemic.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Weinberg, Kean, Diegnan, Benson Laud Port Authority for Advancing Plan for New Bus Terminal

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NJ legislators who served on Bi-State PA Bus Terminal Workgroup endorse decision to build on current site convenient to major subway lines

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, and Senate and Assembly Transportation Committee Chairs Patrick Diegnan and Dan Benson today backed the decision to move forward with plans to build a new, enlarged Port Authority Bus Terminal on the current site adjacent to major subway lines.

New Jersey legislators who served on the Bi-State PA Bus Terminal Workgroup backed the decision to move forward with plans to build a new, enlarged bus terminal on the current site adjacent to major subway lines. (Flickr)

“I’m glad our bipartisan efforts on both sides of the Hudson have resulted in this plan to ‘build in place’ the new Port Authority Bus Terminal,” said Senator Kean (R-Union). “This has long been our preferred option as it maintains a one-seat ride for New Jersey commuters while preserving convenient access to local subway and bus lines. The new facility will ensure that the Port Authority has the extra capacity it needs to meet growing demand while vastly improving the customer experience.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Bill Easing Tax Burden on Small Business Advances

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The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco to ensure that PPP loans that are forgiven by the Federal Government are exempt from New Jersey’s gross income tax.

The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Anthony Bucco to ensure that PPP loans that are forgiven by the Federal Government are exempt from New Jersey’s gross income tax. (©iStock)

“As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted small businesses in New Jersey. I can name dozens of family restaurants, small retail stores, and other establishments that have either closed their doors forever or are struggling everyday to stay open,” said Bucco (R-25). “During this incredibly difficult time, small business owners should not have to worry about additional taxes. My legislation will eliminate the State tax and keep the State from profiting off the backs of businesses that continue to struggle during the pandemic.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Panel Approves Bucco Bill Assisting Drivers Facing MVC Document Expiration Deadlines

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New Jersey drivers will have more time to renew Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) documents during the pandemic under legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco and approved today by the Senate Transportation Committee.

New Jersey drivers will have more time to renew MVC documents during the pandemic under legislation sponsored by Sen. Anthony Bucco and approved today by the Transportation Committee. (Wikimedia)

Under the bill, S-3330, during a state of emergency declared by the governor, a customer who is required to schedule an appointment to renew a document would have the expiration date extended automatically to the date of the appointment, allowing the driver to remain on the road.

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony M. Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Steven Oroho

District 24

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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