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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho, O’Scanlon & Corrado Applaud Establishment of Special Senate Committee to Review & Improve State’s Response to COVID-19

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Senator Steven Oroho, Senator Declan O’Scanlon, and Senator Kristin Corrado applauded the formation of a bipartisan Senate Review & Recovery Committee to review and improve upon the State’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Senators Oroho, O’Scanlon & Corrado applauded the formation of a bipartisan Senate Review & Recovery Committee to review and improve upon the State’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. (SenateNJ.com)

“We applaud this bipartisan effort to learn from the mistakes that were made at the outset of the coronavirus crisis to improve our State’s response going forward,” said Oroho (R-24). “I’m especially concerned about our ability to ensure that our long-term care facilities, where half of New Jersey’s COVID-19 deaths occurred, have the capability to better protect vulnerable residents. By examining how this tragedy occurred and recommending solutions, we hope to save lives and prevent it from happening again.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senate Accepts Pennacchio Call for Special Committee to Investigate NJ’s Response to COVID-19 Crisis

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State Senator Joe Pennacchio today thanked Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. for allowing the formation of a special committee to investigate the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Senator Pennacchio, who has been calling for a Senate committee to investigate the state’s pandemic response, thanked Senate President Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Kean for their leadership after they announced the formation of a special panel. (SenateNJ.com)

Pennacchio released the following statement:

“I echoed the same concerns and desires articulated by the Senate President and Republican Leader Kean in today’s announcement. The focus of our committee must be a factual review of what has happened to date, what should not have happened, and how we can make it better going into the future.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho: Lake Residents and Businesses Would be Spared Pain Under NJDEP’s New Algal Bloom Index

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Revised Standards Will Allow Lakes to Safely Remain Open Longer

Senator Steve Oroho voiced encouragement with New Jersey DEP’s introduction of a new strategy for algal blooms and an easy-to-understand index for water quality.

Senator Steve Oroho voiced encouragement with New Jersey DEP’s introduction of a new strategy for algal blooms and an easy-to-understand index for water quality. (SenateNJ.com)

“Under the new guidelines, Lake Hopatcong and other important waters would have remained open last summer,” said Oroho (R-24). “We welcome better communications, more realistic safety evaluations, and consistent continuation of popular recreational activities that attract visitors to the shorelines.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Senate Will Establish ‘Review & Recovery’ Committee to Investigate COVID Related Crises

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The Senate will establish a special committee to investigate a range of issues related to the coronavirus crisis, working to identify immediate and long-term remedies to the social, governmental and financial problems caused by the pandemic, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. announced today.

The New Jersey Senate will establish a special bipartisan committee to investigate a range of issues related to the coronavirus crisis, working to identify immediate and long-term remedies to the social, governmental and financial problems caused by the pandemic. (SenateNJ.com)

The bipartisan “Review and Recovery Committee” will investigate the surge of COVID-19 fatalities in the state’s long term care facilities and prisons, the breakdown of the unemployment system, the multi-year fiscal challenges to state and local government, and other consequences of the biggest public health crisis in a century.

Senate Republicans called for the formation of this committee to improve transparency and accountability and provide important oversight of the administration’s response to COVID-19,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean. “It’s clear that mistakes were made and important lessons can be learned to improve the State’s response as we move forward. It’s our sincere hope that this bipartisan review will save lives and help New Jersey to recover with strength and resiliency.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Shore lawmakers urge Murphy to reopen state

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Sen. Robert Singer and Assemblymen Sean Kean and Edward Thomson issued a joint statement urging Gov. Phil Murphy to reopen businesses.

Sen. Robert Singer and Assemblymen Sean Kean and Edward Thomson issued a joint statement urging Gov. Phil Murphy to reopen businesses. (Wikimedia Commons)

“We need to start reopening more businesses and services in New Jersey. The number of deaths, new cases, and hospitalizations from Covid-19 are thankfully decreasing. However, many people and businesses are financially at a breaking point. We are hearing heartbreaking stories from families and businesses who cannot pay rent, are waiting for unemployment or are facing other dire financial circumstances.

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: Murphy Continues to Trample the Constitution by Outlawing Religious Services

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Senator Michael Doherty said Governor Phil Murphy should lift restrictions on religious services that led to a New Jersey church being cited for violations of his executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.

Sen. Mike Doherty said Gov. Phil Murphy is trampling the Constitution and should lift restrictions on religious services that led to a New Jersey church being cited for violations of his executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. (National Archives)

“Governor Murphy keeps saying he’s guided by science in his decision making, but why is 10 the magic number for the amount of people who can gather safely in churches, temples, mosques, or synagogues?” Doherty (R-23) asked. “If so-called ‘essential retail’ stores can operate safely at half of their stated capacity, why can’t houses of worship be trusted to operate with similar precautions? Governor Murphy needs to stop eviscerating the Constitution and allow houses of worship to operate like other essential services.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Early On, CDC Warned NJ and NY Not to Introduce COVID Patients into Nursing Homes

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12,000 Long-Term Care Patients Died in Two States

Senator Joe Pennacchio, appalled and frustrated by the loss of life in New Jersey and New York, had a message for Governors Murphy and Cuomo.

Senator Pennacchio said it was obvious early on that senior facilities were at high-risk concerns for COVID-19 outbreaks, yet the Murphy Administration ignored the warning signs and vulnerable senior citizens lost their lives. (Pixabay)

“You own this, governors. The death and illness, the lack of protective equipment, ineffective leadership and non-existent state intervention – it all rests at your feet,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “If you are going to point fingers, point at yourselves first.”

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Senator Michael Testa
Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty & Testa Bill Would Limit Gov. Murphy’s Executive Authority

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Senator Michael Doherty and Senator Michael Testa have introduced legislation to place limits on Governor Phil Murphy’s executive orders and those of future governors.

Sen. Michael Doherty and Sen. Michael Testa have introduced legislation to place limits on Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders and those of future governors. (SenateNJ.com)

“Last I checked, the State of New Jersey had three branches of government, not one,” said Doherty (R-23). “The governor’s preference to lead via executive order rather than through collaboration with elected legislators has proven to be dangerous and deadly. Our proposal to place limits on executive authority will ensure that the administration is transparent about the continued need for any executive orders that it believes should be extended.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

State Went Out of Its Way to Protect Inspectors While Denying Nursing Home Patients, Staff

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Pennacchio: Misguided Health Policy Allowed 6,000 to Die

A published report stating that as the coronavirus gained a foothold, the health commissioner was reluctant to send state inspectors into nursing homes because they didn’t have sufficiently protective masks prompted outrage from Senator Joe Pennacchio.

The Administration left the residents and staff of nursing homes to fend for themselves as the coronavirus spread through facilities, Senator Pennacchio said, and the results were tragic. (Flickr)

“There are no words to explain it, no way to justify it,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The department essentially washed its hands of the problem, protecting its own experts at the expense of nursing home residents and workers who were left to their own devises to contend with the deadly outbreak. The laissez faire approach turned some facilities into ‘death homes’ for fragile senior citizens.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Steve Oroho

Republican Senators to Sweeney: Senate Can’t Allow Administration to Cover Up Its Nursing Home Failures

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, Senator Steven Oroho, Senator Declan O’Scanlon, and Senator Kristin Corrado sent a letter (click here for PDF) to Senate President Steve Sweeney calling for a Senate Select Committee with subpoena power to be convened to investigate the massive loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities.

Senators Pennacchio, Oroho, O’Scanlon, and Corrado called on Senate President Steve Sweeney to convene a Senate Select Committee with subpoena power to investigate the massive loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities. (CC0 Public Domain)

The full text of the letter is below:

May 20, 2020

Dear Senate President Sweeney,

Last week, our Senate Republican caucus wrote to you calling for the formation of a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Murphy administration’s response to COVID-19, including the orders that all but guaranteed the loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities.

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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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