New Jersey's 12th Legislative District

Senator Samuel Thompson

Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

Statements from Senate Republican Budget Members on Democrats’ $10 Billion Borrowing Scheme

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee issued the following statements in response to a private, partisan agreement between Governor Phil Murphy and Democrat legislative leaders to borrow $10 billion to fund State spending next year.

Statements from Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee in response to a private, partisan agreement between Gov. Phil Murphy and Democrat legislative leaders to borrow $10 billion to fund State spending next year. (Pixabay)

Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24): “My predecessor, Senator Bob Littell, called a debt issuance one-quarter this size in 1997 ‘wacko.’ Today, taxpayers are still paying off that debt. This debt issuance is ‘wacko’ on steroids. It’s billions of debt for operating expenses with tens of billions of interest more, and won’t be paid off for decades. It’s unbelievably irresponsible. I appreciate the magnitude of the fiscal crisis we are in, but we haven’t even exhausted other fiscal management practices. This borrowing scheme is reckless behavior that will only exacerbate our problems long term.”

Senator Michael Testa (R-1): “The Governor and Democrats agreeing to issue $10 billion of debt for operating expenses isn’t just unconstitutional, it’s insane. Taxpayers will be paying for this madness for the next 35 years.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Republicans Pan Murphy’s Watered Down Furlough Bill

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Entire Caucus to Vote “NO” on Murphy’s Conditional Veto of S-2350/A-4132

The four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee panned Governor Phil Murphy’s recommended changes to legislation approved by the Legislature with broad bipartisan support in mid-May that would have allowed the State to more easily and quickly furlough non-essential public employees while they were unable to work with the federal government picking up all of the tab of unemployment benefits.

Senate Republicans panned Gov. Murphy’s furlough plan as ‘too little, too late,’ saying his delayed action has left hundreds of millions of federal dollars on the table, and will leave State government offices understaffed just as they begin to reopen facing a backlog in citizen needs. (Pixabay)

The members, Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1), issued the following joint statement prior to today’s Senate session when the entire Senate Republican caucus will vote “NO” on accepting the the governor’s recommendations in his conditional veto of S-2350/A-4132:

“Like many aspects of Governor Murphy’s response to the coronavirus crisis, his delayed action on furloughs is too little, too late. By failing to enact the original legislation when it passed the Legislature in May with overwhelming bipartisan support, he left hundreds of millions of federal dollars on the table. Even worse, the cost of furloughing workers going forward will be paid almost 100% by New Jersey taxpayers, when the cost of the original bill would have been picked up entirely by the federal government. To say the governor’s inaction represents a missed opportunity would be an understatement.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Republican Budget Members to Vote Against $7.7 Billion Budget Extension Bill

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The four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee will vote against a massive $7.7 billion spending bill (S-20) to extend the FY 2020 State Budget after the Murphy Administration refused to consider responsible options to achieve savings.

The four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee will vote against a massive $7.7 billion spending bill to extend the FY 2020 State Budget after the Murphy Administration refused to consider responsible options to achieve savings. (Pixabay)

The members, Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1), issued the following joint statement:

“Since the beginning of the public health emergency, Senate Republicans have sought to work collaboratively with Governor Murphy and our colleagues in the Legislature to address the many challenges facing New Jersey, including a State Budget shortfall resulting from significant tax revenue losses. We have offered thoughtful solutions to save money and increase revenues without raising taxes or resorting to unconstitutional borrowing.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Republican Budget Members: Murphy’s CWA Deal Is 3 Months Late, $100 Million Short

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30,000+ State Employees Would Still Get 4 Percent Salary Increases

Senator Republican Budget Committee Members Steven Oroho, Sam Thompson, Declan O’Scanlon, and Michael Testa, said if a preliminary agreement announced by Governor Phil Murphy with the Communications Workers of America would continue giving out average 4 percent salary increases, then it falls far short of the savings that could be generated if the state’s public employee unions had been asked to agree to a simple wage freeze.

Senator Republican Budget Committee Members Steven Oroho, Sam Thompson, Declan O’Scanlon, and Michael Testa, said if a preliminary agreement announced by Governor Phil Murphy with the Communications Workers of America appears to fall far short of the savings that could be generated if the state’s public employee unions had been asked to agree to a simple wage freeze. (Pixabay)

State employees generally receive an approximately 4 percent salary increase annually on the anniversary date of their hire, known as a “step increase.” Additionally, they receive a 2 percent salary increase (called a cost of living adjustment, or COLA) once a year. Combined, the step increase and COLA result in typical salary increases of approximately 6 percent for most unionized State employees.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

Lawmakers’ Manufacturing Caucus Hears Top Business Leaders Discuss Impact of Coronavirus on Industry

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Republican Senators Oroho, Bucco, Testa and Thompson vow to support the manufacturing community

The state’s bipartisan legislative manufacturing caucus held a virtual round table discussion today on the impact of the coronavirus on business, and challenges manufacturers face as the economy opens up.

Senators Oroho, Bucco, Testa and Thompson and colleagues on the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus listened to top leaders from the industry discussing the impact of NJ’s response to the coronavirus on business during a virtual round table meeting. (SenateNJ.com)

Republican Senators Steve Oroho, Anthony M. Bucco, Michael Testa and Sam Thompson were among the Legislators hearing almost a dozen top-level manufacturing leaders addressing the status of the vitally important sector and the its fiscal outlook.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

Republican Budget Senators:  Governor’s Budget Solution Due May 22 Must Include Restraint of Budget Excesses and Creative Solutions Or It Will Be Dismissed

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The following was released today by Senator Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), Senator Michael Testa (R-1), and Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), the Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee:

In advance of the Governor’s May 22 budget report, the Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee issued a joint position statement. (Pixabay)

The State’s budget has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Revenue losses through the end of FY 2021 will be severe and there is a need for additional relief for impacted people and businesses. There is broad and bipartisan recognition of this reality in the Legislature and among the public.

For the past two months, the Governor has provided no public accounting or explanation of the budgetary impacts of COVID-19. Despite holding daily press briefings attended by various cabinet officials, the Treasurer has not been invited to a single briefing to explain budget impacts for the public or, more importantly, to answer reporters’ questions about what steps, if any, are being taken to address these impacts.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

GOP Members of Senate Budget Committee Call on Governor to Reset Budget Priorities to Meet Emergent Needs

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Billions in Spending Increases Proposed Before Crisis Remain Unchanged While Emergency Programs to Keep People Employed Run Dry Within Minutes

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on Governor Phil Murphy to announce which of the billions of dollars in new programs and spending and school aid increases he proposed in February will be scaled back to better fund emergency programs that are critical to helping small businesses survive and hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans to stay employed.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on Gov. Murphy to reset his budget priorities to better meet the State’s emergent needs due to COVID-19. (Pixabay)

They noted that the Governor’s budget, which was proposed before the economy was shut down, has become unrealistic because, as the Governor himself has said, “revenues have fallen off a cliff,” while the State has new obligations to help businesses and people impacted by COVID-19. As a result, schools, municipalities, and those promised increased State support in February must be leveled with by the Administration that some of the increases originally promised prior to the crisis are now impossible, giving them the opportunity to plan accordingly.

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Senator Sam Thompson

Vitale-Thompson Bill Would Expand Governor Ability to Freeze Rent Increases

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The Senate approved legislation today that would expand the Governor’s authority to freeze rent hikes in times of emergency. The bill, S-2341, sponsored by Senator Samuel Thompson and Senator Joseph Vitale would give the Governor the ability to put a complete freeze on rent increases for commercial tenants with fewer than 20 employees, as well as residential tenants, regardless of any inflation that may have occurred during the period of the notice.

Sen. Sam Thompson’s bill to allow the Governor to freeze rent hikes for small businesses hit hard by the coronavirus crisis passed the Senate today. (©iStock)

Current law allows the Governor to freeze only residential rent increases, not commercial, with a “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency” (NRPE) and landlords are still able to take inflation into account. This bill will amend the NRPE statute and enhance the Governor’s powers in states of emergency.

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Senator Sam Thompson

Sweeney, Ruiz, Thompson to Form Education Taskforce to Address Challenges to Schools, Students & Families Brought to Light by Coronavirus

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Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senate Education Chair Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Sam Thompson announced the formation of a special taskforce today to help address the upheaval to education in New Jersey caused by the coronavirus crisis.

A special taskforce is being formed to help address the upheaval to education in New Jersey caused by the coronavirus crisis, Sen. Thompson announced. (Pixabay)

The panel of educators and public officials will help provide guidance and insight to meet the wide array of immediate and future challenges confronting teachers, school officials, students and parents forced to contend with the ongoing health crisis. The taskforce will be led by Senator Ruiz and Senator Thompson.

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Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson Bill Exposes the Source of Nuisance Phone Calls

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Spoofing Tactics Used by Telemarketers Would be Banned

Legislation introduced by Senator Sam Thompson would hang up the phone on telemarketers hiding their identities by spoofing the name or phone number displaying on caller ID.

Sen. Sam Thompson has introduced legislation cracking down on telemarketers that barrage consumers with calls from spoofed phone numbers. (SenateNJ.com)

“Spoof calls are increasing. The phone rings and you have no idea who is on the other end of the line,” said Thompson (R-12). “Marketers shouldn’t be able to hide their names or locations. This bill will remove the anonymity and people will know exactly who is on the line before they decide to answer the call or ignore it.”

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