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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Time to End Murphy’s Perpetual Emergency & Power Grab

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Says Legislature Should “Stop Hiding Meekly in the Shadows”

Senator Michael Testa said it’s time for the New Jersey Legislature to stop hiding meekly in the shadows and put an end to Governor Phil Murphy’s perpetual emergency and power grab.

Senator Testa said it’s time for the New Jersey Legislature to stop hiding meekly in the shadows and put an end to Governor Phil Murphy’s perpetual emergency and power grab. (SenateNJ.com)

“For the seventh time since March, Governor Murphy has extended the Public Health Emergency that he has used to justify overbearing executive orders that have caused unimaginable disruption to the lives and livelihoods of our friends and neighbors,” said Testa (R-1). “New Jerseyans did exactly what the governor asked back in March. They stayed home and many lost their jobs as employers ordered closed by the governor have shuttered forever. It has to end.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: NJ Legislature Should be Embarrassed by Massachusetts Investigation into Deaths in Senior Facilities

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Says the Loss of Life at Veterans’ and Nursing Homes Demands Inquiry

The coronavirus pandemic began hitting New Jersey and Massachusetts at close to the same time, and it wasn’t long before both states were seeing a disturbing loss of life in veterans’ homes and nursing homes.

Senator Pennacchio said Massachusetts nursing home investigation demonstrates need for the Senate to convene a Legislative panel in New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)

A half year later, Massachusetts has completed an inquiry into the problems that led to tragedy, and a grand jury has indicted several top officials from a particularly hard-hit veterans facilities.

“Massachusetts took the bull by the horns,” said Senator Joe Pennacchio, who has been calling for a Senate Select Committee to investigate the state’s handling of COVID in long-term care facilities since May. “I take no pleasure in hearing that anybody has been criminally indicted, but I am trying to get at the truth and I can’t understand why our Legislature is sitting on its hands.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Bipartisan Bill Enlists New Jersey Manufacturers in Fight Against COVID

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Oroho & Greenstein Measure Establishes Stockpile of Personal Protective Equipment Produced In-State

The onset of the COVID pandemic exposed a severe shortage of masks, gloves, gowns, and other personal protective equipment in the state and across the nation. Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho and Senator Linda Greenstein would prevent scarcities in the future and at the same time bolster the New Jersey manufacturing industry.

Bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Oroho would ensure New Jersey has an adequate stockpile of personal protective equipment and strengthen the manufacturing sector in the state. (Pixabay)

The bill (S-2991) requires the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management to establish a process to evaluate and approve personal protective equipment (PPE) for use during public health emergencies. It also requires the state to develop a stockpile of equipment.

“The virus strained the resources of the health care system and there wasn’t enough ready access to equipment needed to help prevent the spread of the virus. That can’t happen again,” said Oroho (R-24). “With this bill, we can help ensure a sufficient supply of protective gloves, masks, and gowns to defend against a viral outbreak and protect medical workers and patients, and we can put New Jersey factories to work making the gear.”

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District 10

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano Blast Irresponsible Trenton Budget

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The 10th District Legislators – Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano – today chastised Governor Murphy and the Trenton Democrats after a budget weighed down with spending and tax increases was approved without Republican support

The 10th District Legislators said the majority in Trenton has used the pandemic as an excuse to spend more, tax more and ignore the needs of New Jersey taxpayers. (Wikimedia Commons)

“The partisan budget passed yesterday is irresponsible, indefensible and blatantly unfair to New Jersey taxpayers who will be left holding the bag for decades to come,” the legislators said. “With so many expensive Christmas Tree items dedicating millions of dollars to favored projects, the holidays came early to many Democrat-controlled towns, but for the suburban taxpayers who shoulder the burden of New Jersey spending with their wallets, it was just another load of coal in their stockings. It’s a clear message from Murphy and his friends in the Legislature that they don’t care how bad they hurt hard-working New Jerseyans, even in the middle of a health emergency.”

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: State Budget Fails Taxpayers Miserably

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Delegation Cites Small Victories Such as Restoration of Senior Freeze and Homestead Rebate Among Host of Middle-Class Tax Increases Imposed by Democrats

Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove offered the following update to constituents following the passage of the FY2021 State Budget, which the 9th District delegation opposed and voted against:

Connors, Rumpf & Gove offered an update to constituents following the passage of the FY2021 State Budget, which the 9th District delegation opposed and voted against. (Pixabay)

“Taxpayers in this state are growing increasingly apprehensive about the economic uncertainty created by the response to COVID-19. Yet with so much on the line for families and retirees, Trenton failed to pass a State Budget that addresses taxpayers’ immediate concerns about tax relief and jumpstarting the state’s economy.

“Ramrodded through by the Majority Party Leadership and expected to be signed quickly by the Governor, the State Budget has more than $200 million in pork barrel spending that could, otherwise, be used for property tax relief. The budget relies on increasing taxes on employers and health insurance policies that, undoubtedly, will be passed down to consumers who will take yet another hit in terms of the already high cost of living in New Jersey.

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Bill Heralds New Opportunity for Barbershops, Hair Salons

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Measure Would Allow Shops-on-Wheels to Bring Services to Customers

Legislation introduced by Senator Michael Testa would allow barber shop and hair salons to provide services in mobile facilities.

Under Testa’s bill, licensees of the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling will have the option of conducting business on the road.

Legislation introduced by Sen. Michael Testa would allow barber shop and hair salons to provide services in mobile facilities. (Pixabay)

“Given the popularity of food trucks and the renewed emphasis on convenience during the pandemic, barber shops and hair salons-on-wheels makes sense,” said Testa (R-1). “Provided they meet specific qualifications, my bill would offer any cosmetology or hairstyling service the freedom of a mobile shop.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso: Prominent Restaurants on Precipice

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Open 66 Percent Dining Before too Late

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) emphasized their previous call for an immediate increase for indoor dining capacity to 66 percent following yet another desperate message from a prominent restaurant owner who indicated they might close very soon without a substantial indoor dining increase.

Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso said restaurants are hurting and if Murphy doesn’t immediately increase the indoor dining capacity to a minimum of 66 percent, the results could be devastating to the entire industry. (Pixabay)

“It was absolutely stunning to me when I got this message from this restaurateur. This is a prominent restaurateur, his family and restaurant are beloved throughout Monmouth County. This is the last restaurant I’d expect to hear this from. If this individual is this close to the precipice we are in danger of losing them all,” said O’Scanlon. “This is a direct text and if this individual does pull the trigger it will be a shock to Monmouth County and to the State industry.”

    “Sorry to bother you I know you’re a busy man but I was wondering if there has been any word on Murphy raising the indoor dining percentage from 25% to your proposed 66% because if that doesn’t happen sooner than later I’m going to have to throw the towel in  it’s just not enough to keep the doors open  and I would like to give my staff ample notice. I mean looks like we may have this week on our side but that’s probably it. Unfortunately I cannot put outdoor heaters under our canopy due to the obvious fire hazard and after September 30 the road closure which allowed us to put tables out in the street ends… lmk thanks”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco on Budget: ‘That’s Not the New Jersey I Want’

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Calls for a Better and More Affordable Future for Our Families and Seniors

Senator Anthony M. Bucco delivered the following statement on the Senate floor prior to today’s vote on the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget:

Senator Bucco dissected the FY 2021 budget in a floor speech prior to voting no on the spending plan full of new taxes and costly borrowing. (SenateNJ.com)

Like most people running for elected office, Governor Murphy ran on a platform promising to raise your taxes…and boy has he delivered.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Michael Testa

Senate Passes Pennacchio & Testa Bill Bolstering Access to Government Records

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The Bipartisan Measure Addresses Limits in the Emergency Health and Powers Act that Interfere with Transparency 

Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Michael Testa that would lift restrictions on access to public and government records during declared emergencies was approved today by the Senate.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Pennacchio and Senator Testa that would lift restrictions on access to public and government records during declared emergencies was approved today by the Senate. (SenateNJ.com)

During the current pandemic, the Murphy Administration has repeatedly relied on sections of the Health Powers Act, enacted in 2005, to deny Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests for information about preparations and decisions relating to the virus outbreak.

“The Act was never intended to keep the public in the dark in times of crisis,” said Pennacchio (R-26), “but today it is being used to conceal data and information on decisions impacting public health and fiscal stability from public and legislative scrutiny.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean’s Floor Remarks in Opposition to FY 2021 State Budget

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean delivered the following remarks during today’s Senate session in opposition to the FY 2021 State Budget:

I rise today in opposition to the budget as presented today. Sadly, this budget is a wasted opportunity to restructure our State’s finances in a way that will responsibly and safely rebuild our economy, an economy truly ravaged over the past several months by the ongoing pandemic.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean speaking in opposition to the FY 2021 State Budget at the New Jersey State House on September 24, 2020. (SenateNJ.com)

As you know, the Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee offered a number of suggestions that would have put us back on a thoughtful, reasonable fiscal course, including spending the CARES Act money earlier and more fully. There are billions still not spent months after it could have helped families and businesses across the state.

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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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