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New Jersey Assembly to Join Senate In Investigating Sexual Assault and Misconduct in the Murphy Administration

Phill Murphy -Sara Medina del Castillo

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  The General Assembly Leadership announced today that members of the Assembly will join the Senate to investigate how sexual assault and misconduct allegations against Albert J. Alvarez were handled prior to, and after his hiring as a high-level state employee, and oversee an analysis of the criminal justice system’s approach to addressing accusations of sexual harassment, assault and abuse.

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More Calls For an Investigation of Murphy Administration’s Hiring Practices After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Republican women legislators sent a letter today to Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin calling for a bipartisan legislative investigation into the hiring practices of Governor Philip D. Murphy.The letter follows revelations that the administration hired one individual clearly prohibited by state law from public employment and another who was under criminal investigation for sexual misconduct.

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Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Suspends Enforcement of how breweries can serve alcohol on site

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  We’ll drink to that , the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) announced today that it will suspend enforcement of the “Special Ruling” issued on September 21, 2018 regarding limited brewery licenses. The suspension will provide ABC with the opportunity to engage in further conversations with stakeholders, including craft breweries and other alcoholic beverage license holders, about the impact of the Special Ruling. In addition, ABC will work with state legislators to determine whether new legislation is needed to update the 2012 law that gave rise to the Special Ruling.

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After a $1.5 billion Tax Increase No Suprise NJ Ranked 50th in Tax Foundation’s 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index

Phil Murphy

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that $1.5 billion in tax increases imposed by New Jersey Democrats this year have cemented the Garden State’s last-place ranking in the Tax Foundation’s newly released 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index.

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Democrat Bill to Increase Airline Ticket Prices in New Jersey

newark-airport-picture

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said a pair of tax bills advanced by the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee today will hurt New Jersey families, employers, and tourism efforts.
The first bill, S-2892, would increase taxes on jet fuel by eliminating certain aviation fuel tax exemptions.

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean: Murphy’s “Free” Community College Pilot Program to Cost NJ Taxpayers $20 Million

Tom Kean - High Quality

Kean States the Obvious “Free” Community College is not “Free ” at all 

August 3,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Westfield NJ, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that a pilot program announced by the Murphy Administration that would shift the cost of tuition and fees for some community college students to New Jersey taxpayers is misguided and unaffordable.

“Free community college sounds great, but nothing is really free,” said Kean. “The Governor’s plan simply shifts $20 million of tuition costs for a handful of students to New Jersey taxpayers who are already overburdened. It’s a huge and unnecessary expense that the State cannot afford to assume.”

Kean warned that the $20 million cost of the Pilot program could become an annual expense of $200 million to $400 million if the program is fully implemented statewide.

“The Governor just told taxpayers that New Jersey is in such dire financial straits that he had to raise taxes by nearly $1.5 billion,” said Kean. “The truth is that the higher taxes Governor Murphy implemented this year on families and businesses were only necessary to fund new spending on unnecessary programs like ‘free’ community college. He hasn’t told us yet which taxes he’ll propose raising next to pay for the full cost of this scheme.”
To support the State’s FY 2019 budget plan, which included funding for the pilot program, the Governor and legislative Democrats raised both personal income and corporate business taxes. They also implemented a new Internet sales tax and taxes on sharing services, including Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb.

Kean noted that the Governor’s misguided tuition plan fails to address the underlying problem of escalating costs at our community colleges that have driven tuition to levels that are unaffordable for many students.
“Our community colleges should be an affordable option for every student who chooses to continue their education,” said Kean. “Unfortunately, the Governor’s tuition scheme merely papers over the problems that have led to tuition growth without fixing them. That virtually ensures that the cost to taxpayers for ‘free’ community college will grow well beyond the already expensive estimates.”

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean : Murphy’s Diversion of NJ Transit Capital Funds is the Height of Hypocrisy

Ridgewood-Trainstation1_theridgewoodblog

July 18,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement, in light of today’s news that the Murphy Administration has authorized New Jersey Transit to divert $511 million in capital funds to pay for operational costs.

“Governor Murphy swore to commuters that he would fix New Jersey Transit, without relying on financially-unsustainable practices. Today he broke that promise. His decision to use capital funds to cover up his complete inability to manage money is misguided.”

“Governor Murphy is using the very same practices that he campaigned against, by diverting money from the Clean Energy Fund, the Turnpike Authority and now, New Jersey Transit’s capital funds to plug holes in his budget.
New Jersey Transit’s capital budget should be used to make essential investments and expand services that benefit our commuters, such as one-seat rides. As someone who represents thousands of commuters, I am deeply disappointed to see Governor Murphy make the same mistakes that got us into this mess in the first place. I will continue to be a vocal advocate for ensuring people have a safe, easy and affordable way to get to work.”

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Files OPRA Complaint as Murphy Admin Withholds Public Financial Records

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June 15,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, 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.

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.”

The OPRA request, submitted on April 25, 2018, reads as follows:

“Please provide all documents (other than email) maintained in electronic format (i.e. Word, Excel, PDF, or Powerpoint) shared by anyone in the Treasurer’s Central Office or Office of Public Finance with any of the four following rating agencies: Moody’s, Kroll, S&P, or Fitch. Only documents shared on or after January 15, 2018 through and including April 25, 2018 presenting information with respect to, or seeking information about, the State’s finances, FY 2019 proposed budget, or bonds issued or to be issued by the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation are requested.”

The records requested by Senate Republicans were produced for credit rating agencies this spring by the Treasury Department. Since the documents were provided to the rating agencies with the intent of influencing the purchase of bonds, they are required by federal law to be truthful and free of misleading statements.

“We believe these documents provide the best shot of getting an honest view of the Murphy Administration’s fiscal outlook for the State,” said Kean. “They must be free of the sort of hyperbole and spin that was employed by Treasury officials who sought to sell the Governor’s tax increase plans at our budget hearings. That’s why it’s so important that we obtain access to financial documents where we know the Murphy Administration has a legal obligation to tell the truth.”

Given the upcoming budget deadline, Kean urged the Governor Records Council to expedite a hearing on his Denial of Access Complaint.

“It should raise alarms that the Governor is fighting so hard to prevent the release of detailed and accurate fiscal information while simultaneously seeking to raise billions in sales, income, and business taxes,” Kean concluded. “It’s absolutely imperative that our complaint be adjudicated immediately to ensure that lawmakers have the opportunity to review documents that may help us to fight Governor Murphy’s plan to make New Jersey even more expensive.”

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

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April 17, 2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

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

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.

“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.”

The Tax Foundation measures Tax Freedom Day as the point into the year that taxpayers must work to cover the cost of all of the taxes they pay.

Residents of several states with low tax burdens celebrated Tax Freedom Day in the first week of April, a month before New Jersey residents will get to celebrate, and 30 states have celebrated Tax Freedom Day by today, April 17th.
Only New Yorkers will have to work further into 2018 than New Jerseyans to pay their tax bills for the year.

Kean said the $1.7 billion in tax increases proposed by Governor Murphy would put New Jersey in a race for last place with the Empire State.

“The higher income taxes, increased sales taxes, and new taxes on sharing services like Uber and Lyft that Governor Murphy’s wants to implement would place New Jerseyans at serious risk of having the absolute worst tax burden in the nation,” added Kean. “We’re going to fight these tax increases. Unlike Governor Murphy, we want New Jerseyans to spend less time working to support big government and more time working to the benefit of their own families.

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New Jersey Republican Leadership Stands Together On 2018 Priorities

Phill Murphy -Sara Medina del Castillo

February 11,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood

Trenton NJ,  NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick and GOP Chair of Chairs Jose Arango released the following statement regarding their shared commitment to protect New Jersey families from the dangerous agendas of Democrats at all levels of government and to promote the Republican ideas that will make our state more affordable and prosperous:

“NJ Republicans stand together ready to offer a responsible alternative to Bob Menendez, Nancy Pelosi and Phil Murphy’s liberal agenda of promised tax hikes, cumbersome government regulations, and misplaced priorities,” said NJGOP Chairman Steinhardt. “We’re ready to fight for all New Jerseyans, with a collective voice, in all 21 counties, and all 565 municipalities. Now is the time for action.”

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean reiterated his sentiment that Republicans are the party of common sense and solutions, “The people of New Jersey are facing a growing affordability crisis and raising taxes for new government spending is a recipe to exacerbate our state’s biggest problem. Republicans stand united behind our solutions and ideas to transform the Garden State into a place where affordability and opportunity abound.”

“Republicans may be in the minority, but we will stand up for the people of this state in a civil and serious manner,” said Bramnick. “We pledge to work collectively as a party to pass reforms that are so desperately needed to reduce New Jersey’s property taxes and make this state more competitive.”

GOP Chair of Chairs, Jose Arango vigorously vowed to create the necessary contrast to give Republicans momentum in their fight to win elections this year, “The four of us all stand together in agreement that the Phil Murphy, Nancy Pelosi, Bob Menendez plan to raise taxes and make New Jersey a sanctuary state is unacceptable and we will be proactively fighting it every step of the way. We’re working together to build a coalition that will reject Bob Menendez and stop the Nancy Pelosi takeover of New Jersey in November.”

Theresa Winegar, Executive Director of the NJGOP added, “All four leaders are entering 2018 unified and energized. The NJGOP has a dedicated team of 42 State Committee members, 21 County Chairs, 15 Senators, 26 Assembly members and countless municipal leaders, community activists and volunteers dedicated to making New Jersey more affordable; and ready for the 2018 election cycle.”

Now lets see if they actually follow through .