New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Expresses Opposition to Nuclear Subsidy Bill

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement today to express his opposition to legislation, S-877, under consideration today by the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee:

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon expressed opposition to a nuclear subsidy bill as currently drafted, saying he hoped to work with those concerned on a better solution. (Flickr)

“While I could not attend today’s important hearing due to the flu, I felt it my duty to do the research and make a statement on this significant and impactful legislation.

“I oppose S-877 for numerous reasons. First, let me say that I accept the fact that some subsidy to the nuclear industry to keep it viable may be justifiable. Unfortunately, this legislation is not the way to do that.

“On the nuclear subsidy, the amount proposed has seemed to be a foregone conclusion from the first time we heard about the bill, with very little backing to justify it.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & Thomson Launch Effort to Safeguard Police & Fire Pensions, Protect Property Taxpayers

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblyman Ned Thomson have launched a joint effort to safeguard the pensions of police officers and firefighters, and to increase protections for property taxpayers.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Asm. Ned Thomson would safeguard the pensions of police officers and firefighters and increase protections for property taxpayers. (SenateNJ.com)

Their new legislative effort, S-1964/A-3414, would improve upon a plan to transfer management of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) to a newly empowered PFRS Board of Trustees.

O’Scanlon and Thomson expressed concern that a different version of the PFRS transfer plan, S-5, could result in increased costs to property taxpayers and a reduction of pension payouts to retirees.

“I have absolutely no problem with police and fire unions taking more control of their pension system investments. But if you let pension fund members set their own benefits or contribution rates without strict safeguards, you invite the very missteps that led to the underfunding of these systems in the first place,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “The potential consequences would be dire both for police and fire retirees who depend on their pension checks, and for property taxpayers who fund over 70% of the system. Assemblyman Thomson and I have proposed reasonable protections that can help the PFRS transfer to succeed financially over the long term.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Dawn Addiego
Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho

Republicans on Senate Budget Committee Blast Murphy Tax Evasion Scheme

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Say Governor Should Focus on Real Solutions to Lower the Cost of Government and Taxes – Not Gimmicks

Senate Republicans serving on the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee blasted a tax evasion scheme proposed by Governor Phil Murphy that fails to address the underlying problem of expensive government that drives high property taxes in New Jersey.

Senate Republicans on the Budget Committee blasted a tax evasion scheme proposed by Gov. Murphy that fails to address the underlying problem of expensive government in New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)

“Governor Murphy’s plan to mask property tax payments as charitable contributions is a thinly veiled tax evasion scheme,” said Bucco (R-25), the Senate Republican Budget Officer. “Anyone who thinks the IRS won’t tear this plan apart is kidding themselves. New Jersey taxpayers need real solutions that won’t put them on the wrong side of the law.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Introduces PFRS Management Bill with Property Taxpayer Protections

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) has introduced legislation that would provide police and firemen greater control of their pension system, while safeguarding property taxpayers from losses.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon’s legislation would provide police and firemen greater control of their pension system, while safeguarding property taxpayers from losses. (SenateNJ.com)

“I understand the desire of PFRS members to assume greater control over their pension fund, but it shouldn’t be unchecked control that leaves property taxpayers on the hook for bad decisions they may make,” said O’Scanlon, a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee. “Our new legislation addresses the concerns of counties and municipalities that they wouldn’t have an equal say in important pension fund decisions, despite their taxpayers being liable for losses. We’re also ensuring that any benefit enhancements approved by the new PFRS board are sustainable over the long term, another protection for property taxpayers.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Introduces Interest Arbitration Legislation to Reinstate Expired Cap

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Interest Arbitration Cap Saved Property Taxpayers Almost $600 million in Direct Costs and Billions Overall from 2011 to 2017

Senator Declan O’Scanlon has introduced legislation that would reinstate one of the key tools that allowed New Jersey’s two-percent property tax cap to successfully contain the growth of tax bills from 2011 to 2017.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon has introduced interest arbitration legislation to reinstate caps that saved property taxpayers almost $600 million from 2011 to 2017. (SenateNJ.com)

The interest arbitration cap limits to two-percent annually the salary increases that can be awarded when disputed police and fire contracts enter the process of binding arbitration.

“One of the biggest mistakes made by the Legislature in recent memory was allowing the arbitration cap to expire at the end of 2017,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “If we don’t act quickly to reinstate the arbitration cap we’ll quickly see arbitration awards that exceed the 2% tax cap and the beginning of the evisceration of that essential property tax control. As the noose tightens, we’ll see labor costs skyrocket over time and eat up local budgets at the expense of other important programs and services. That would likely lead to the failure of New Jersey’s two-percent property tax cap. Let me be clear, any legislator who doesn’t back this bill is standing for higher property taxes. One cannot legitimately say he or she backs property tax caps without embracing this bill.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso Oppose Oil Drilling Off NJ Coast

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Call for Fair Exemption Considerations for New Jersey

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) issued the following statement today regarding proposed offshore oil drilling:

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Asw. Serena DiMaso expressed opposition to oil drilling off the New Jersey coast. (Flickr)

“We strongly oppose the efforts of U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to expand drilling off the Jersey Shore. Five years after Superstorm Sandy our coastal communities have made strides towards recovery; we cannot put all of our efforts in jeopardy for a potentially very small amount of oil. New Jersey’s tourism industry supports 10% of our economy. Any oil spill in the Atlantic Ocean could cause devastation to our coastal communities.

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