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New Jersey Senate Republicans

District 24

Oroho, Wirths & Space Blast Spendthrift Budget Filled with Spending, Tax Increases and Borrowing

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Calling it a “costly day for every New Jersey resident,” Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Parker Space today decried the Fiscal Year 2021 budget signed today by Governor Murphy.

Calling it a ‘costly day for every New Jersey resident,’ Senator Oroho and Assemblymen Wirths and Space today decried the Fiscal Year 2021 budget signed today by Governor Murphy. (Wikimedia Commons)

The $32.7 billion budget, covering the last nine months in Fiscal Year 2021, combined with the three-month stopgap budget approved in the summer, increases total spending for the year to $40 billion.

“This will be the most expensive year ever, and it didn’t have to be that way,” said Oroho (R-24), the Senate Republican Budget Officer. “The budget includes $4.5 billion in borrowing that will burden New Jersey taxpayers for decades into the future. That massive debt increase avoided constitutional scrutiny by state voters, and will be used not for basic services but to create a fake ‘surplus’ for the administration to spend at will.

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Senator Kristin Corrado

Corrado Demands Answers for 6,500+ VBM Ballots With Wrong Postage Date

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Senator Kristin Corrado wrote to New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way demanding a full explanation of the circumstances surrounding 6,535 mail-in-ballots that were incorrectly postmarked for the wrong day.

Sen. Kristin Corrado wrote to the NJ Secretary of State demanding a full explanation of the circumstances surrounding 6,535 mail-in-ballots that were incorrectly postmarked for the wrong day. (SenateNJ.com)

“The recent unveiling of yet another vote-by-mail issue gives me pause,” said Corrado (R-40). “More than 6,500 ballots were incorrectly postmarked during New Jersey’s primary election, which nobody can seem to explain. Whether it’s a result of human error or blatant malfeasance, the integrity of our upcoming general election is at stake through concerning situations like this.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: 10 Questions for Gov. Murphy at Budget Bill Signing Today

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Senator Michael Testa (R-1), a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, offered ten questions that should be asked of Governor Phil Murphy at his budget bill signing press conference today:

Sen. Michael Testa offered ten questions that should be asked of Gov. Phil Murphy at his budget bill signing press conference. (Pixabay)

  1. Is he proud of the historic lack of transparency with this budget?
  2. Is he proud that borrowed funds are going to be left unused and parked in a surplus to prop up his election-year budget next summer?
  3. Is he proud that the income tax and corporate business tax are retroactive to January 1, but the rebate is only a hazy promise for a future budget that isn’t funded at all this year?
  4. Is he proud that this budget during a fiscal crisis includes funding for parochial golf courses and recreation projects and a host of items that have nothing to do with State government operations or COVID-19 response?
  5. Does he think all the pork and the enormous surplus in this budget undermine his credibility when he asks for federal funding?
  6. What changed from the spring when the Governor claimed there was a $20-30 billion budget hole, to August when the Governor argued there was a $10 billion hole, to today when the Governor is signing a budget that claims a $4.5 billion budget hole that will be filled with borrowing?
  7. Are the 25% increase in the gas tax, 30% toll increases, and the payroll tax — all enacted after the start of this year — progressive or regressive?
  8. Is he concerned that his tax increase on corporations is poorly timed and inadvisable in light of the OLS forecast of a $900 million business tax increase that will be triggered as of July 1, 2021 to replenish the insolvent Unemployment Insurance Fund?
  9. Does he think it is fair that State employees are getting 4% salary increases in this budget while more than 1 million New Jerseyans are on unemployment and businesses continue to shut down due to the unnecessary restrictions imposed by his executive orders?
  10. How do the budget cuts to school funding in Toms River, Brick, and more than 100 school districts square with his claims that school funding is “flat-funded” and a letter he repeatedly touts from economists arguing budget cuts were incredibly inappropriate during a crisis like this?  Are the increases of up to 14% for other school districts sustainable?
District 10

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano to Governor: ‘Enough is Enough with the Emergency Orders’

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The 10th District Legislators, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano today responded to Governor Murphy’s announcement to extend the state’s Public Health Emergency for the seventh time since March. The lawmakers continue to cite their bill that would limit the Governor’s executive powers, saying this legislation is needed now more than ever.

Senator Holzapfel and Assemblymen McGuckin and Catalano called for legislative action on their bill to limit the duration of the Governor’s executive orders after Murphy’s announcement extending the state’s Public Health Emergency for the seventh time since March. (SenateNJ.com)

The lawmakers released the following statement calling on the Legislature to move S-2482 and A-4147, which would require the Governor’s executive orders to expire in 15 days unless extended by the Legislature.

“Since March, it has been one order after another with no end in sight. Even though we have successfully flattened the curve, the Governor insists it’s not enough. Small businesses are continuing to suffer under his restrictions.  Our delegation and our residents are fed up and the legislature must put a stop to this abuse of power,” the legislators said.

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Senator Kristin Corrado

Corrado Bill Exempting Combat Zone Pay from New Jersey Income Tax is Now Law

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U.S. Soldiers Serving in War Zones Earn an Additional $225 Per Week in Military Pay

Service members deployed to dangerous war zones overseas are no longer subject to State Income Tax for combat zone pay under a new law sponsored by Senator Kristin Corrado and signed today by Governor Murphy.

Service members deployed to dangerous war zones overseas are no longer subject to State Income Tax for combat pay under a new law sponsored by Senator Kristin Corrado and signed today by Governor Murphy. (Facebook)

“The military men and women who put their lives on the line to fight for our freedoms in war zones are under-paid heroes,” said Corrado (R-40). “The military provides a combat zone stipend of $225 per week, and this new law allows our soldiers to hold onto more of it, exempting the bonus from state income tax. As a nation, we ask more than enough from our U.S. military members. Taxing their combat pay is unnecessary and insensitive, and that flawed practice ends today.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Governor Signs Testa Bill Shielding Military Combat Zone Pay from NJ Income Tax

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The State Has Been Taking a Portion of Soldiers’ $225 Weekly Combat Zone Stipends

U.S. military men and women serving in high-danger regions around the globe will no longer be subject to State Income Tax for combat zone pay under a new law signed by the Governor today and sponsored by Senator Michael Testa.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Testa and signed today by Governor Murphy eliminates New Jersey income tax on combat zone pay earned by soldiers in war-torn locations. (Flickr)

“Previous versions of this important bill have languished in the Legislature for 10 years. When I was sworn into the Senate in January, I made this one of my priorities and began advocating for its passing and enactment on behalf of American servicemen and women,” said Testa (R-1). “I am proud that working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, we are finally reversing the insensitive policy, and I thank the Governor for his support.”

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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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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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