New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio/O’Scanlon Call on Legislature to Immediately Enact Sales Tax Moratorium on Natural Gas, Electricity for Homes

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Say State Unfairly Profits from High Cost of Home Heating

With the cost of heating homes with natural gas up by as much as 25 percent, Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Declan O’Scanlon have introduced legislation to prevent state revenue from benefiting at the expense of struggling families.

With the cost of heating homes with natural gas up by as much as 25 percent, Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Declan O’Scanlon have introduced legislation to prevent state revenue from benefiting at the expense of struggling families. (©iStock)

The Senators introduced legislation (S-3354) this week that would create a winter moratorium on sales tax on natural gas and electricity for residential customers.

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

Republican Budget Members Call Out Treasurer for Lack of Transparency on State’s Health Insurance Plans

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee criticized the State Treasurer today for not responding to nine pages of budget questions, and requests for data, about the State’s health insurance plans for public employees submitted seven months ago.

Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called out the State Treasurer for not responding to nine pages of budget questions about the State’s health insurance plans for public employees submitted seven months ago. (©iStock)

Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho, Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, Senator Sam Thompson, and Senator Michael Testa again requested that Treasurer Muoio finally admit her lack of transparency and failure to ever provide responsive answers to routine budget questions and requests for data that are answered every year (except this one) as part of the budget process.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Calls for Investigation of Blatant Waste of Money, Vital Learning Time

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon called for an investigation into the New Jersey Department of Education’s handling of the “Start Strong” testing which they announced to school districts in June with no follow up information until one month later. Districts had until the end of September to administer the new testing.

Sen. O’Scanlon called for an investigation into the NJ Department of Education’s handling of the “Start Strong” testing which they announced to school districts in June with no follow up information until one month later. (©iStock)

“This assessment is basically more evidence of the Murphy administration’s out-of-touch mismanagement at the cost of taxpayer money and students’ instruction time. The announcement completely blindsided districts, especially those who didn’t even have their 10-month employees on board,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “We need an investigation into how much this has cost, and to get answers that the administration clearly doesn’t want to provide otherwise.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: Murphy Administration Not Complying with Russian Divestiture Law

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More than eight months since Governor Murphy signed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Paul Sarlo and Declan O’Scanlon requiring the State Treasury to divest certain Russian holdings, the State appears to have done little in way of following the law’s requirements.

Sen. O’Scanlon is calling on the State Investment Council to require Treasury officials to explain the lack of compliance with the law at their meeting on October 26 and to direct Treasury officials to ramp up its divestment activities. (Pixabay)

“It’s unconscionable that as Russia continues its illegal war in Ukraine, the Treasury Department appears to have no sense of urgency to comply with a law requiring them to cut economic ties with the invading country,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “The people of New Jersey deserve answers. Governor Murphy signed this bill into law back in March and yet no meaningful action has been taken since. Adding insult to injury, we have no idea what is causing the delay because there has been a lack of transparency from the Treasury.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Bill Would Utilize Special Auditor to Prevent Abuse of Public Funds by State Universities

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Rutgers Football Players Spent a Half Million Dollars on Food Delivery without Scrutiny

As “The State University of New Jersey,” Rutgers benefits from a significant annual infusion of public money.

Following a series of reports of questionable spending, Senator Declan O’Scanlon has introduced legislation to combat the abuse of public funds at Rutgers and other public colleges and university in the state.

Following a series of reports of questionable spending, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon has introduced legislation to combat the abuse of public funds at Rutgers and other public colleges and university in the state. (Pixabay)

O’Scanlon’s bill, S-3243, would direct the Secretary of Higher Education to appoint a special auditor to investigate reports of public money being misused.

The legislation follows a bombshell report that lavish spending by the Rutgers Football program included more than $450,000 in DoorDash deliveries in a little more than one year. Some athletes ordered food for pets and flowers, and one placed orders in two different states on the same day.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Urges Murphy to Drop Plan to Replace School-Based Youth Services Program

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon urged Governor Phil Murphy to drop his plan to replace the popular School Based Youth Services Program.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon urged Gov. Phil Murphy to drop his plan to replace the popular School Based Youth Services Program. (SenateNJ.com)

“We fought to save this important program two years ago when the Murphy administration first threatened it, and we’ll fight again today because we know it works,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “The infrastructure for this program is in place and it’s working well and efficiently. We cannot say the same about most things government does. If the administration wants to remake these local programs, let’s see a comprehensive plan that incorporates what already works and builds upon it. Let’s not do the typical ‘ready, fire, aim’ strategy that we’ve seen too often.”

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

Republican Budget Members Call for Subpoena Power to Compel Treasury Docs & Testimony on Health Benefit Rate Increases

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee have called for the committee to be given the authority to issue subpoenas to compel the Treasurer to provide documents and testimony under oath related to massive increases in State health benefit premiums.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee have called for the committee to be given the authority to issue subpoenas to compel the Treasurer to provide documents and testimony under oath related to massive increases in State health benefit premiums. (©iStock.com)

The request was made in a letter sent by Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho, Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, Senator Sam Thompson, and Senator Michael Testa to Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo.

The Republican senators said subpoenas were necessary since the Murphy administration has refused to answer important questions or provide documents that could help the Legislature, impacted employees and retirees, and the public to understand the recent 22% rate increase.

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

Republican Budget Members Call on Treasurer to Reveal Information Critical to Health Care Premium Increases

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Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio to come clean with long-overdue responses to the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) requests for data related to the steep increases in the cost of health care benefits.

Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio to come clean with long-overdue responses to OLS requests for data related to the steep increases in the cost of health care benefits. (SenateNJ.com)

The Treasurer has indicated her Department has not withheld information. OLS has no record of receiving a response.

In their letter (click here for PDF), the Republican Senators wrote: “Unless we are mistaken in our understanding that your department failed to answer the attached questions posed by OLS during the budget process, or unless you have simply been unaware of that reality, your position is disingenuous at best. All parties involved deserve the level of transparency that you’ve indicated has already occurred.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho/O’Scanlon Renew Call for Immediate Action on Public Workers Health Coverage Crisis

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Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho and Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon today urged Senate Majority leaders to convene a special committee to address skyrocketing public health care premiums.

Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho and Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon today urged Senate Majority leaders to convene a special committee to address skyrocketing public health care premiums. (©iStock.com)

The full text of the letter (click here for PDF) is below:

October 13, 2022

Honorable Nicholas P. Scutari
Senate President

Honorable M. Teresa Ruiz
Senate Majority Leader

Honorable Paul A. Sarlo
Chair, Senate Budget Committee

Dear Senators Scutari, Ruiz and Sarlo:

We are writing to respectfully request that if you will not convene a special committee to review and address skyrocketing public health care premium increases — as Republican Senators have unanimously supported — that the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee be charged with a similar mission on an immediate basis.

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

Republican Budget Committee Members Call for Required Oversight of Pandemic Relief & Debt Funds

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on Democrats to hold required oversight hearings to review proposed uses of federal pandemic relief funds and a state fund intended to pay down and prevent new debt.

Senate Republicans called on Democrats to hold required oversight hearings to review proposed uses of federal pandemic relief funds and a state fund intended to pay down and prevent new debt. (©iStock)

The request was made in a letter from Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho (R-24), Republican Budget Office Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1) to Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-22), Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz (D-29), and Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D-36).

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