New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

  • Senator Declan O’Scanlon took the oath of office on January 9, 2018 to become the new senator of the 13th Legislative District. (Facebook)

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Warns of Dangerous Arbitrary Speed Limit Bill

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today warned his fellow legislators to apply science when considering a piece of legislation which would have legislators set the speed limit at 25 mph along certain stretches of Route 130 in Burlington at all times of the day and night, not just school hours.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon warns his fellow legislators to apply science when considering A-3576, legislation that would set the speed limit at 25 mph along certain stretches of Route 130 in Burlington at all times of the day and night, not just during school hours. (SenateNJ.com)

The legislation, also known as “Antwan’s Law,” (A-3576) is scheduled for a final legislative vote on Monday, Dec. 17 in the New Jersey General Assembly.

“The bill sponsors and community advocates most certainly have good intentions here. But we have science that is used to set speed limits. Allowing legislators to randomly set speed limits is not the scientific way to do it,” Senator O’Scanlon said. “You don’t alter the speed limit by randomly changing signs on the side of the road. In fact, that could make things more hazardous if those speed limits aren’t backed up by data.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: Over-Brining NJ Roads is a Large-Scale Waste of Taxpayer Funds

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) released the following statement addressing numerous recent incidents of unwarranted brining of State roadways.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon releases a statement addressing the numerous recent incidents of unwarranted brining of State roadways. (Pixabay)

“The lack of government response and preparedness for the first winter storm of the season was clearly a failure,” Senator O’Scanlon said. “Although it was somewhat ameliorated by the moving target forecast, there’s no question we should have been better-prepared, and more on top of the treacherous situation as it evolved.

“However, the answer for that failure is NOT to waste obscene amounts of taxpayer money by over-brining roads, every time the temperature dips below 40 degrees.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Warns that Democrats’ Redistricting Constitutional Amendment Would Prevent Voters from Holding the Legislative Majority Accountable

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon said a proposed amendment to the New Jersey Constitution being advanced by Democrats is designed to deny voters the opportunity to hold the majority party accountable in state legislative elections.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon said a proposed amendment to the N.J. Constitution being advanced by Democrats is designed to deny voters the opportunity to hold the majority party accountable in state legislative elections. (SenateNJ.com)

“While Democrats have succeeded in having their desired maps adopted during the last two redistricting cycles, there at least has been the opportunity for Republicans to make the case for creating truly competitive legislative districts that would provide voters the opportunity to hold the majority party accountable,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “The proposed constitutional amendment, however, would permanently tip the scales in favor of Democrats by changing the metrics used to draw legislative districts in a way that is virtually guaranteed to result in continued Democratic control of the Legislature, regardless of how people actually vote in legislative elections. Their proposal short-circuits the election process by preordaining the result before a single ballot is cast. It makes a mockery of democracy in New Jersey.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Applauds Governor’s Approval of Hemp Industry Pilot Program

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) applauded Governor Phil Murphy’s signing of legislation that establishes a pilot program to study the cultivation of industrial hemp, licensing growers and distributors.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon applauded Gov. Murphy’s signing of legislation that establishes a pilot program to study the cultivation of industrial hemp.  (Pixabay)

“It’s time for New Jersey to put its finger on the pulse of the hemp industry,” O’Scanlon, an original sponsor of the legislation, said. “This pilot program is a win for local farmers who need a diversity of opportunities to compete in the global agriculture market. Hemp is growing in value as a cash crop, and I am sure the New Jersey economy, and our farmers will benefit from this pilot program. We are the Garden State.”

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District 13

O’Scanlon & DiMaso Introduce Victim Compensation Awareness Bill

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, both R-Monmouth, have introduced legislation designed to increase awareness about the state victims compensation fund. Their legislation was introduced in response to an investigation by NJ.com late this summer highlighting issues with the fund.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso have introduced legislation to increase awareness about the state victims compensation fund, following an NJ.com investigation highlighting issues with the fund. (Pixabay)

“What happens to the families left behind is devastating. They are truly victims as well. The money the state has from federal grants and matching funds is clearly being underutilized,” O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) stated. “Many of these families are totally unaware of the services and compensation that they may be eligible for.”

The new bill would require  all hospitals and satellite emergency departments in New Jersey to display signs detailing information about the compensation and services the Victims of Crime Compensation Office can provide.

“Reading the NJ.com article was heartbreaking,” DiMaso (R-Monmouth) said. “Our residents send so much money to the federal government with little return. No parent should have to bury their child. Sending back over $380,000 of unspent federal victim assistance grant funding when it is so clear there are families struggling is something we need to correct.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Continues to Lead Municipal Justice Reform Efforts

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As part of his aggressive push to reform the municipal justice system, Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) introduced legislation today that would require municipalities to be more transparent in reporting penalties imposed at the local level.

As part of his aggressive push to reform the municipal justice system, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon has introduced legislation that would require municipalities to be more transparent in reporting penalties imposed at the local level. (©iStock)

“You can’t improve what you can’t measure,” said O’Scanlon. “When towns use the justice system as a means of raising revenue, they erode the public’s trust in government. Our local police and courts should not be used as ATM’s by misguided municipal officials. I’ve been vocal about my attempts to reform our municipal court system. This is another step of many that the Legislature must undertake to address the critical issues here.”

Two weeks ago, O’Scanlon introduced a package of three bills aimed at reforming several of the problems highlighted in a municipal court report issued by the State Supreme Court this summer. This bill is another piece of the package.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Releases Justice Reform Bill Package

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“This is only the beginning.” – Senator O’Scanlon

Senator Declan O’Scanlon has introduced three bills aimed at keeping financial incentives out of municipal courts. The bills (S-3059, S-3060, SR-108) were introduced in the wake of direct recommendations from July’s Supreme Court Subcommittee on Municipal Court Fines, Operations, and Revenue.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon has introduced three bills aimed at keeping financial incentives out of municipal courts. (©iStock)

“The courts should be upholding justice, not in the business of raising revenue,” O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) said. “The purpose of my legislation is to take financial incentives out of the equation. Our judges and police officers should welcome these reforms, as enforcers of justice we will be taking the pressure off them to be the tax collectors the status quo incentivizes.”

O’Scanlon has been vocal about the need for municipal court reform, and his support of Chief Justice Rabner’s efforts to take this on.

“Too many of our towns have come to rely on fines to fund their budgets,” O’Scanlon added. “Police officers and municipal judges consistently feel pressure to write more tickets and give out more fines. Municipal judges wind up being chosen based on how many fines they’re likely to give out.

“Profit is the mortal enemy of justice. This is a completely unacceptable practice that must be stopped.”

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District 13

O’Scanlon & DiMaso Warn Voters to Be Vigilant

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Say New Voting Laws May Lead to Confusion

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) issued the following statement today regarding recent changes to voting laws:

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Asw. Serena DiMaso warned voters to be vigilant this year following changes to New Jersey election law that will result in vote-by-mail ballots being sent automatically to some voters. (©iStock)

“Any resident who requested a vote-by-mail ballot in 2016, or later, must be vigilant this year before voting. The Governor and legislature have instituted a new policy wherein vote-by-mail ballots will be sent automatically to anyone who had previously requested them in 2016.

“Voters should check their mail and if a vote-by-mail ballot is delivered to their home, residents should use that to vote in this years’ election.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

New O’Scanlon Bill Would Up Penalties for Animal Abuse

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In light of recent reports of violent animal abuse in Monmouth and Ocean County, Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) announced plans to introduce legislation establishing aggravated animal abuse as a new criminal offense, thereby increasing penalties for the cruel treatment of animals.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon announces plans to introduce legislation establishing aggravated animal abuse as a new criminal offense. (©iStock)

“Only a cruel coward would have the audacity to abuse or kill an innocent dog. I was appalled to read what happened to the dogs in Ocean County. No living creature should suffer through such catastrophic levels of abuse,” Senator O’Scanlon said. “For many of us our pets are family. Regardless, these are living creatures. We have to do everything we can to stop malicious people from endangering them. It is high time that the punishment for animal cruelty fits the crime. The cases we have seen throughout New Jersey prove that a stronger deterrent is necessary to keep our pets out of harm’s way.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Sacco, Scutari & O’Scanlon Introduce Camera Enforcement Inoculation Act

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Senators Nick Sacco, Nick Scutari and Declan O’Scanlon joined together to introduce S-2893, which they have titled the “Camera Enforcement Inoculation Act.”

“We now have overwhelming proof that red light and speed cameras don’t improve safety,” Senator O’Scanlon said. “Every competent, independent, rigorous study done to date has shown that there is a net decrease in safety when these systems are employed. There is absolutely no reason why New Jersey should be complicit in these corrupt, highway robbery schemes.”

Senators Nick Sacco, Nick Scutari and Declan O’Scanlon joined together to introduce S-2893, which they have titled the “Camera Enforcement Inoculation Act.” (SenateNJ.com)

“These cameras are almost invariably placed where they’ll generate the most money, frequently at intersections with shortened yellow lights or roads with speed limits set to guarantee huge numbers of tickets. Profit-motivated enforcement is invariably corrupting. These tickets are an annoyance to those that can afford them. The people most impacted by these systems are the poor and working middle class. The impact can be devastating to those living paycheck to paycheck. New Jersey shouldn’t facilitate such theft from our citizens” O’Scanlon said.

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