New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Republicans Propose Special Committee to Investigate Massive Increase in Public Employee Health Benefit Costs

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Proposed Premium Hikes Up to 24% Will Squeeze Local Budgets, Drive Property Taxes Higher

Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) and Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) have introduced legislation to form a special legislative committee with subpoena power to investigate massive proposed premium increases for the health plans that cover state government, local government, and school employees.

Sen. Steven Oroho and Sen. Declan O’Scanlon have introduced legislation to form a special legislative committee with subpoena power to investigate massive proposed premium increases for the health plans that cover state government, local government, and school employees. (©iStock)

“The proposed premium increases will impact hundreds of thousands of state and local government workers, teachers, and retirees who will see their health care costs soar if the proposal is adopted,” said Oroho, the Senate Republican Leader. “These higher premiums will also have a huge impact on school districts and local governments that pay a large portion of the total premiums for their employees. Any higher costs they pay will translate directly into higher property taxes for our families. We must investigate the failures that led to these catastrophic premium increases to develop an effective plan going forward.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Steve Oroho

Republican Leadership Calls for Investigation of Murphy Administration’s Failure to Control Health Care Costs for Public Employees, Retirees & Taxpayers

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Notification of 24% Premium Increase Follows News that Governor’s Office Squashed Attempts to Recover Tens of Millions for Failed Cost-Saving Program from Horizon

Republican leadership in the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly called for the formation of a special legislative committee to investigate massive health care premium increases that will be paid by active and retired public employees and taxpayers.

Republican leadership in the N.J. Legislature called for the formation of a special legislative committee to investigate massive health care premium increases that will be paid by active and retired public employees and taxpayers. (©iStock.com)

“Governor Murphy has completely failed to control health care premiums paid by the state, local governments, and active and retired public employees,” said Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho (R-Sussex). “The 24% premium increase proposed for most active employees will take thousands more out of their paychecks annually and lead to huge costs for local governments that will translate into higher property tax bills for struggling families. We must investigate the failures that led to these catastrophic premium increases to develop an effective plan going forward.”

Premiums for active employees covered by the State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP) are set to increase by 24%, while those for school employees and teachers covered by the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) are set to rise by 15.6%

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Responds to NJ Comptroller’s Report on Unlawful Sick Leave Payouts in 57 Municipalities

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Calls for education and consequences for those who fail to comply

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) released an investigative report on July 7 revealing that 57 of the 60 municipalities it surveyed were not following state laws limiting sick leave payments. Senator Declan O’Scanlon sent a letter to Comptroller Kevin Walsh in February 2021 requesting that his office conduct a broader investigation after it uncovered that the law was being flagrantly flaunted in at least one municipality. O’Scanlon praised the Comptroller for his taking up the cause and for the meticulous report.

An OSC investigative report revealed that 95 percent of the municipalities it surveyed were not following state laws limiting sick leave payments. Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, who sent a letter to Comptroller Walsh imploring him to conduct an investigation, commended the OSC for its report. (Pixabay)

“I’m glad we had a hand in initiating this broader study. The most recent report by the Comptroller clearly shows that 95 percent of the municipalities that were surveyed were not following New Jersey’s laws limiting sick and vacation leave payments,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “Although I am thankful that a detailed review took place, these results are stunning and clearly demonstrate that limiting payouts by law isn’t enough—we also need to be diligent in educating local officials and enforcing the law to protect property taxpayers by making sure municipalities comply. Reforms don’t work unless they are enacted. Leaving precious property tax savings on the table is a slap in the face to taxpayers. And these costs are potentially significant in many municipalities.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Bill Strengthens Protections for Victims of Workplace Abuse

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Expands Ban on NDAs in Employment Contracts to Include Non-Disparagement Clauses

More than three years after legislation was signed into law banning the use of non-disclosure agreements in employment contracts that silenced abuse victims, Senator Declan O’Scanlon has introduced a bill closing a recently exposed loophole that can still be used to mute sexual assault and harassment victims and shield predators.

More than three years after a law was signed banning the silencing of abuse victims with non-disclosure agreements in employment contracts, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon has introduced a bill closing a recently exposed loophole that can still be used to mute assault and harassment victims and shield predators. (SenateNJ.com)

O’Scanlon’s bipartisan measure, S-2930, expands prohibitions established by S-121 in 2019. Also sponsored by Senator Andrew Zwicker, it bars provisions in contracts that waive certain rights or remedies and emphasizes that the current law on non-disclosures also bars certain non-disparagement provisions in employment contracts.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Highlights Delayed & Failed Tax Relief in Democrats’ Budget

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon highlighted the delayed and failed tax relief in the FY 2023 State Budget that Governor Phil Murphy will sign today, including a payroll tax increase that takes effect tomorrow, ANCHOR rebates that won’t be delivered until 2023, and child tax credits that won’t help parents until 2024, and tax bracket creep that remains unaddressed.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon highlighted the delayed and failed tax relief in the FY 2023 State Budget, including a payroll tax increase that takes effect on July 1, ANCHOR rebates that won’t be delivered until 2023, and child care tax credits that won’t provide relief until 2024, and tax bracket creep that remains unaddressed. (©iStock)

“The delayed and failed tax relief efforts in the Democrats’ budget when the state is ridiculously flush with funds will go down as one of the biggest missed opportunities in New Jersey history,” said O’Scanlon (R-13), the Republican Budget Officer. “Sadly, Democrats opted for huge increases in pork spending and the establishment of massive slush funds that will do nothing to help New Jersey families suffering today from high gas prices, soaring inflation, and property taxes.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senate Clears O’Scanlon Measure Safeguarding NJ Drivers From Out-of-State Automated Traffic Fines

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The Senate today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Declan O’Scanlon that would protect New Jersey drivers cited for traffic violations captured by cameras in other states from predatory fines.

The Senate advanced legislation sponsored by Sen. Declan O’Scanlon that would protect New Jersey drivers cited for traffic violations captured by cameras in other states from predatory fines. (SenateNJ.com)

“In a rare moment of unity, Democrats and Republicans in the New Jersey Legislature years ago resisted the siren song of easy cash, followed the facts, and wisely banned the use of automated enforcement (speed and red-light cameras) within our borders. About half of all states have wisely rejected these systems. But that hasn’t stopped these corrupt companies from reaching into our wallets from out of state. This bill will shut that door tight and protect our drivers from this government-sanctioned-theft” said O’Scanlon (R-13).

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Steve Oroho

Democrats Vote Against $8 Billion of Tax Relief Proposed by Republicans to Help Families & Small Businesses

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O’Scanlon’s Amendment Tabled by Democratic Majority in Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee

Democrats in the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee voted against $8 billion of tax relief proposed by Senate Republicans to help New Jersey families and small businesses struggling with high gas prices, inflation, and property taxes.

Democrats in the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee voted against $8 billion of tax relief proposed by Senate Republicans to help New Jersey families and small businesses struggling with high gas prices, inflation, and property taxes. (Pixabay)

“Democrats have offered shockingly little tax relief in their budget proposal despite the Murphy administration having $9 billion in tax overcollections and another $3 billion in federal pandemic relief funds sitting in the bank,” said O’Scanlon (R-13), the Senate Republican Budget Officer. “We gave them an easy opportunity to support the $8 billion of tax relief that Senate Republicans proposed, but they refused yet again to help struggling families across New Jersey. Their resistance to giving money back to taxpayers immediately as we proposed is absolutely mystifying.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco
Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa

Senate Republicans Call for Action to End Tax Bracket Creep After Treasury Estimates $543 Million Income Tax Increase Next Year

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Republican senators called for action on their plans to save New Jersey taxpayers from suffering state income tax increases next year due to inflation after the Treasury Department estimated the cost of “tax bracket creep” at $543 million in FY 2023.

Republican senators called for action on their plans to save New Jersey taxpayers from suffering state income tax increases due to inflation after the Treasury Department estimated the cost of ‘tax bracket creep’ at $543 million in FY 2023. (Pixabay)

“I’ve been pushing Democrats and the Murphy administration to work with us to index New Jersey’s income tax brackets for inflation, just like the federal government and dozens of other states,” said Senator Anthony M. Bucco (R-25). “We now know that failure to act will cost New Jersey families more than half-a-billion dollars in income tax increases next year. On top of record-high gas prices and rising costs for groceries, it’s yet another expense that people can’t afford.”

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

Senate Republican Budget Committee Members Say Treasurer Muoio Intentionally Misled Legislature to Hide Explosion of State Debt

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Senators Repeat Calls for Treasurer to Appear Before & Be Held Accountable by Budget Committee

Saying it’s clear that New Jersey Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio intentionally misled legislators on behalf of the Murphy administration to hide the state’s rapidly increasing debt, the Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee repeated their calls for the Treasurer to be held accountable by the committee in a letter today (click here for PDF) to Senate Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-36).

Saying it’s clear that New Jersey Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio intentionally misled legislators to hide the state’s rapidly increasing debt, the Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee repeated their calls for the Treasurer to be held accountable by the committee. (Pixabay)

The Republican senators also said the Treasurer should be called to respond to serious allegations raised today by Bloomberg that the Murphy administration deliberately looked the other way as a state vendor took tens of millions of dollars from the state despite failing to meet its contractual obligations to help lower health care costs.

“At the same time that Treasurer Muoio was telling legislators that New Jersey’s debt had decreased to a seven-year low, her department was preparing to release the long-overdue state audit showing that debt actually climbed by $44 billion in a single year,” said Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho (R-24), a member of the Budget Committee. “It’s clear the Treasurer knew her prepared testimony to our Budget Committee was grossly inaccurate. She must be called to appear before our committee to be held accountable for misleading the Legislature in what appears to be an intentional way and to address allegations of serious fiscal mismanagement by the Murphy administration.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Republicans Will Seek Vote on $1,000 “Give It Back” Rebates at Tomorrow’s Session

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Democrats Improperly Blocked a Similar Effort on June 1 to Prevent Their Members from Being on Record

Senate Republicans will make a motion during tomorrow’s Senate session to have the full chamber vote on legislation that would provide $1,000 “Give It Back” rebates to four million New Jersey families.

Senate Republicans will make a motion during tomorrow’s Senate session to have the full chamber vote on legislation that would provide $1,000 ‘Give It Back’ rebates to four million New Jersey families. (www.GiveItBack.us)

“It’s been more than three months since Senate Republicans introduced our plan to provide millions of New Jersey families with immediate $1,000 ‘Give It Back’ rebates,” said Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho (R-24). “During that time, our proposal has languished in the Democrat-run Legislature while gas prices continue hitting new records, soaring inflation is driving up the cost of groceries, and tax overcollections by our Treasury Department have ballooned to nearly $9 billion. Since Democrats refuse to act on their own, we will make a motion at tomorrow’s session to have the full Senate consider our proposal to provide $1,000 of direct relief to struggling New Jersey families.”

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