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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: Marijuana Legalization Is “Deal with the Devil”

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Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) is voting “no” on legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey, saying the proposal represents “a deal with the devil” that will sacrifice children and communities for short-term political gain.

Sen. Michael Doherty is voting ‘no’ on legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey, saying the proposal represents ‘a deal with the devil’ that will sacrifice children and communities for short-term political gain. (Pixabay)

Doherty made his comments as the Senate Judiciary Committee began consideration of S-2703, which would legalize the recreational use of cannabis by adults.

“This legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use is a deal with the devil,” said Doherty, a member of the Judiciary Committee. “It’s a gateway drug that will destroy thousands of lives, starting with our kids. Nobody is talking about the real, measurable impact that can be seen today in places like Colorado where car accident rates have risen and youth marijuana use has skyrocketed since legalization.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Bill Requiring Witnesses to Immediately Notify Child Protection Agency of Child Sexual Abuse Signed Into Law

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Senator Kip Bateman’s (R-16) legislation requiring witnesses of child sexual abuse to immediately report it to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency has been signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.

Sen. Kip Bateman’s legislation requiring witnesses of child sexual abuse to immediately report it to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency has been signed into law on March 18, 2019. (WikiMedia)

Bateman originally introduced the bill in 2011 in the wake of the Penn State football scandal. Recent attention was brought to the legislation when multiple videos were made public of top New Jersey teacher union officials discussing their efforts and willingness to conceal teacher sexual misconduct.

“Anyone who witnesses child sex abuse has to speak up immediately. Silence is not an option,” Bateman said. “Mandating immediate reporting will help survivors get justice as soon as possible, and help ensure the perpetrators quickly face the full wrath of the law. ”

Bateman’s bipartisan bill, S-641, requires that sexual abuse against a child be directly reported to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency. It also makes failing to report an act of sexual abuse a crime of the fourth degree.

“From the Penn State football scandal to the undercover videos exposing officials conspiring to sweep sexual assault claims under the rug, it’s a sad reality that sometimes people don’t do the right thing, even when a child’s life is in jeopardy,” Bateman added. “This law will save children from perpetual abuse, hopefully giving them a chance to heal and have a successful life.”

Senator Tom Kean

Now Law: Kean Bill Creates Driverless Car Task Force

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Legislation Will Invigorate NJ’s Innovation Economy

Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to establish an autonomous vehicle task force has been signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Tom Kean to establish an autonomous vehicle task force has been signed into law on March 18, 2019. (WikiMedia)

“Driverless cars will be part of America’s transportation system future,” Kean (R-21) said. “Autonomous vehicle innovations are sparking a new career field with endless possibilities for our workforce. Establishing a multifaceted task force to study and recommend the best policies for driverless cars will lead to new jobs and high consumer safety standards, so that we can prevent injuries and save lives.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Advanced: Pennacchio/Bucco Bill Dedicating Morris Plains Rail Station in Honor of Local Mayor & Freeholder

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Legislation ceremoniously renames station: “Frank J. Druetzler Station – Morris Plains, New Jersey”

Legislation sponsored by Senators Joe Pennacchio and Anthony Bucco to pay tribute to former Morris Plains Mayor and Morris County Freeholder Frank Druetzler for his 38 years of laudable public service, by ceremoniously renaming a local rail station in his honor, has passed the Senate Transportation Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Anthony Bucco to ceremoniously designate the Morris Plains rail station as the “Frank J. Druetzler Station – Morris Plains, New Jersey” passed the Senate Transportation Committee. (SenateNJ.com)

“I have had the pleasure of working with Frank for more than 20 years,” Pennacchio said. “Frank is a pillar of the community, and his numerous accomplishments in Morris Plains are a testament to his hard work. He always put people before politics. Renaming the train station in Frank’s honor is a fitting way to pay tribute to his legacy.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bill to Modernize and Standardize Bidding Procedures for Public Works Projects Passes Senate

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) to update and streamline the electronic bidding process for public works projects of significant value passed the New Jersey Senate.

The “Electronic Bidding Construction Act” applies to entities subject to the “Public School Contracts Law,” the “State College Contracts Law,” and the “Local Public Contracts Law.”

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sen. Steven Oroho to update and streamline the electronic bidding process for public works projects of significant value passed the State Senate. (SenateNJ.com)

“Our state contracting agencies must better utilize 21st century technology to increase competitiveness, enhance accountability, and lower risk,” Oroho said. “Electronic procurement has proven to cut time and costs. Updating our e-procurement process will help our local boards of education streamline the bidding process and save the taxpayers of New Jersey money.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bill Renaming State Park to Honor NJ Veterans Passes Legislature

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Senator Steven Oroho’s bipartisan legislation, S-542, to pay tribute to veterans by renaming Sussex County’s High Point State Park to “High Point State Park and New Jersey Veterans Memorial” has passed the full Senate and is now headed to the governor for final approval. The Garden State is home to more than 400,000 veterans.

Sen. Steven Oroho’s bipartisan legislation to pay tribute to veterans by renaming Sussex County’s High Point State Park to “High Point State Park and New Jersey Veterans Memorial” has passed the Senate. (©iStock)

“Renaming High Point State Park to honor New Jersey’s veterans is an appropriate memorial,” Oroho said. “High Point Park in Sussex County was made possible by Colonel Anthony R. and Susie Dryden Kuser, who generously donated the 10,500 acres that encompasses New Jersey’s tallest point. These generous patriots also sponsored the 220-foot war memorial that towers over that land. My hope is that the park’s new name will serve as a reminder to all park-goers of the valiant sacrifices our military members make at home and abroad to preserve our nation’s freedom.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Senate Gives Charlie’s Law Final Legislative Approval

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Bill Named in Memory of NJ Man Who Passed Away After Battle with Addiction

The New Jersey Senate voted to give final legislative approval to Senator Robert Singer’s (R-30) bill that would require pharmacists to instruct their patients on how to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired drugs and needles.

Charlie’s Law, S-3240, would also ensure pharmacists’ patients can access drug deactivation products.

The State Senate voted to give final legislative approval to Sen. Robert Singer’s bill that would require pharmacists to instruct their patients on how to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired drugs and needles. (Wikimedia)

Charlie’s Law is named in memory of Charlie Van Tassel, a beloved son and brother who battled addiction for many years before his passing at the age of 33. Charlie’s family remembers him as a successful athlete and family prankster who loved music and dancing.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean’s Resolution Honoring Doulas Passes Senate

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The State Senate has passed Senator Republican Leader Tom Kean’s (R-21) legislation establishing “Doula Appreciation Week,” in recognition of the support and dedication these professionals provide for mothers and babies in New Jersey.

The State Senate has passed Sen. Tom Kean’s legislation establishing “Doula Appreciation Week,” in recognition of the support and dedication these professionals provide for mothers and babies. (©iStock)

“Doulas provide comfort and care to new moms and babies before, during, and after birth,” Kean said. “Studies show that working with a doula can prevent many labor complications, resulting in healthier and happier outcomes for both mother and child. These invaluable professionals are true lifesavers, whose compassion and expertise are leading to smoother progressions from pregnancy to parenthood.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill to Expand Genetic Testing & Improve Patient Care Passes Senate

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SJR-115 Creates Pharmacogenomics Commission to Examine Benefits of Increasing Drug-Gene Testing in NJ

The New Jersey State Senate has passed legislation sponsored Senator Joe Pennacchio that would create a commission to explore how expanding pharmacogenomics, also known as “drug-gene testing,” could lead to better care and health outcomes for patients in New Jersey.

Pharmacogenomics is the study of how a person’s genetic makeup influences the effectiveness or toxicity of medications.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s bill would create a commission to explore how expanding Pharmacogenomics, or drug-gene testing, could lead to better care and health outcomes for NJ patients. (Wikimedia Commons)

“Genetic testing is already a common standard of care in cancer treatment, as genetic mutations play a role in 5 to 10 percent of all cancers.  In fact, certain treatments can be tailored to match a specific mutation found in a patient’s tumor,” Senator Pennacchio (R-26) explained. “Medical professionals can also use genetic testing to treat and identify a wide variety of conditions – and prevent potentially dangerous adverse reactions or side effects to certain prescriptions.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Votes Against Spending $3 Million to Bloat Bureaucracy

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Senator Speaks Out Against Wasting Taxpayer Money on Creating a Redundant Agency

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) today voted against spending $3 million dollars on legislation that would create a redundant agency that New Jersey taxpayers don’t need.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio today voted against spending $3 million dollars on legislation that would create a redundant agency that New Jersey taxpayers don’t need. (Pixabay)

S-3585, which was up for a vote during today’s State Senate Voting Session, would establish the “Office of Homelessness Prevention,” with the purpose of managing coordination between multiple government agencies and nonprofits – that already should work with each other on a regular basis.

The legislation includes a $3 million appropriation specifically for the new agency created under S-3585.

“Forcing taxpayers to fork over $3 million to create a new bureaucracy to oversee the overseers is lunacy,” Senator Pennacchio said. “Everyone agrees that homelessness is a problem in New Jersey, but we already have agencies that are working to address this crisis. If they aren’t doing their jobs, then we need to figure out why and work to increase oversight and accountability within our existing support structures.”

“This is just another sign that Governor Murphy and his Democratic co-conspirators have no idea how to handle money. More government is never the answer,” Pennacchio added. “The numerous State agencies aimed at combating homelessness already should be working with each other. While I laud the sponsor’s intent to help the homeless, the execution and the price tag outweighs the potential benefit. We would be better off taking that $3 million and writing checks to the homeless directly.”

Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony 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

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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