Senators Jennifer Beck (R-11), Michael Doherty (R-23) and Joe Kyrillos (R-13) sent letters today inviting Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to join their effort to achieve vacation and sick leave reform.
Their invitation follows the publication of a story by NJ Spotlight today putting the total accumulated liability of towns, counties, and school districts for unused sick and vacation time at nearly $1.9 billion.
In the letter, the senators note that New Jersey residents pay the highest property taxes in the nation, and highlight the bipartisan effort to enact the two-percent cap in 2010.
“When few people thought it was possible, Republicans and Democrats in both houses of the Legislature came together to pass the property tax cap,” said Doherty. “That was a good demonstration of what’s possible, but much more remains to be done. Ending the sick and vacation leave payout abuses that contribute to our state’s property tax crisis should be low-hanging fruit that we can accomplish together if given the opportunity.”
Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos condemned the repeated efforts by Legislative Democrats to block Senate and Assembly Republican attempts to move bills limiting local sick leave payouts to protect property taxpayers.
An effort by Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz to move legislation (A-653) addressing six-figure sick leave payouts that some local government employees receive when they retire was blocked by Assembly Democrats during the March 16, 2017 Assembly voting session.
Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos also attempted to force a vote on their sick leave reform bills during the most recent Senate session on March 13. Senate Democrats blocked each of those efforts.
“It doesn’t make any sense to repeatedly block attempts to achieve sick leave reform, when both Democrats and Republicans sponsor legislation to do just that,” Senator Beck (R-Monmouth) said. “I am disappointed to see the majority party pass up another opportunity to provide property tax relief to our residents, by eliminating this billion-dollar expense hanging over their heads.”
Senate Democrats Block Three Attempts by Kyrillos, Doherty & Beck to Move Bills Limiting Local Sick Leave Payouts to Protect Property Taxpayers
Measures Would Stop Six-Figure Payouts for Unused Sick Time to Retiring Local Government Employees
Three separate efforts by Senate Republicans to protect property taxpayers by moving bills they sponsor addressing the absurd six-figure sick leave payouts that some local government employees receive when they retire were blocked by Senate Democrats during today’s session of the New Jersey Senate.
Motions were made by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) on S-194, Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) on S-572, and Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) on S-2140 to bring the bills to the floor of the Senate for consideration. Senate Democrats blocked each of those efforts.
Following today’s public hearing, Senators Joe Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck (both R-Monmouth) urged state officials and agencies to reject an unnecessary power line project that has been fiercely opposed by residents of Monmouth County.
“These unsightly power lines would cut through some of Monmouth County’s most significant historic districts and most beautiful natural landscapes,” Senator Kyrillos said. “This project is no more welcome now than it was when it was first proposed 25 years ago. Residents have made it clear both in written correspondence, as well as at public meetings, that they do not want these power lines. We believe that the state should take these objections seriously and reject this project.”
Legislation Sets Safety Standards, Consumer Protections for Transportation Network Companies
Legislation (S-2179) sponsored by Senator Paul Sarlo and Senator Joseph Kyrillos that will establish statewide standards for the burgeoning ride-sharing business, or transportation network companies, such as Uber, Lyft and Gett in order to provide safety standards and consumer protections was approved by the Senate today with a vote of 29-5.
TNCs are companies that use a digital network to connect drivers and riders.
“We worked with Uber and Lyft and law enforcement officials to create a statewide standard for ensuring the safety and protection of passengers, while maintaining the flexibility that has helped these ridesharing services to become so popular,” said Kyrillos. “Our efforts today will ensure continued economic opportunities for drivers and safe affordable rides for people across the state.”
Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement in response to the Assembly vote on comprehensive ridesharing legislation in New Jersey.
“Transportation network companies such as Lyft and Uber have the potential to transform communities and provide people a path towards greater economic independence,” Senator Kyrillos said. “Neighbors help neighbors find rides where they need to go and a provide safe, affordable new transportation option, particularly in underserved communities. And all of this this creates needed flexible earning opportunities for local residents to make ends meet, feed their families, pay for school, and get around the city and state with confidence.”
Democrats Stop Planned Vote on Bill Reducing Cost to Taxpayers for Public Employee Healthcare Benefits
Measure Mandates Efficiencies to Cut Cost of Government by Eliminating Expensive Redundancies
A planned vote on legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37) and Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) to enact efficiencies protecting taxpayers from the exploding cost of public employee healthcare benefits was blocked today by the majority Senate Democrats. The bill was removed at the last minute from the agenda of today’s session of the New Jersey Senate.
The bill, S-979, would prohibit multiple coverage by public employees with more than one job, eliminates cross-coverage by spouses who are both public employees, and caps payouts for school employees who waive coverage.
“The rapidly rising cost of public employee healthcare benefits is strangling government budgets and hurting struggling taxpayers,” said Kean. “We cannot afford to ignore critical efficiencies that would lower the cost of government, especially when we can do so without impacting the healthcare that public employees receive. I am disappointed that Democrats wouldn’t allow a vote on this critical taxpayer protection to occur today.”
Senator Joe Kyrillos and Senator Jennifer Beck (both R-Monmouth) have introduced a trio of Senate resolutions seeking to prevent the construction of a controversial high-voltage transmission line through Monmouth County by JCP&L.
The “Monmouth County Reliability Project” would drive a 230-kV transmission line on 140-foot-tall monopole towers on a nearly 10-mile path from Aberdeen to Red Bank, cutting through Hazlet, Holmdel, Middletown and across the Navesink River with sight exposure to Fair Haven and Rumson.
“This project is no more welcome today than it was 25 or more years ago when JCP&L shelved it due to the blistering public opposition and other available options,” said Kyrillos. “Once again, we are calling on other federal and state regulatory agencies and officials to work with us to address the significant local concerns that have been raised by residents and to develop a reasonable alternative.”
Measure Doubles Funding to Protect Jersey Shore & Boost Tourism Economy
Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) to double the resources available to the New Jersey Shore Protection Fund has been approved by both the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.
The committees held a special joint hearing on August 18th in Toms River to consider the legislation to increase support for the fund, which helps pay for projects that protect the Jersey Shore from storms and the important shore tourism industry.
“Boosting the Shore Protection Fund will help us to strengthen our state’s $40 billion tourism economy and the half-million New Jersey jobs that depend on it,” said Kyrillos. “It will provide the resources we need to maintain beaches that rival any on the East Coast, and make returning to the Jersey Shore an easy choice for families planning their next vacation.”
Governor Signs Kyrillos NJEIT Bill to Fund $60 Million of Improvements at Bayshore and Middletown Sewerage Authorities
Measure Finances $411 Million of Environmental Infrastructure Projects Statewide
Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) to finance up to $411 million for environmental infrastructure projects statewide has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. Nearly $60 million would fund local projects in Middletown and Union Beach.
The measures, S-2292 and S-2293, fund 80 eligible projects through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, including those in the “Storm Sandy and State Fiscal Year 2017 Clean Water Project Priority List” and the “Storm Sandy and State Fiscal Year 2017 Drinking Water Project Priority List,” as well as six clean water and two drinking water environmental infrastructure projects.
“We’re ensuring that New Jersey’s wastewater, stormwater and drinking water systems are modernized and safe,” said Kyrillos. “Many of the local authorities that will receive funding through this legislation and the NJEIT would not otherwise have the resources to complete these critical projects.”