New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Introduces Framework for Health, Liberty & Prosperity in COVID-19 Impacted New Jersey

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, in conjunction with Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, has created a plan to help move New Jersey into the next phase of public health and economic recovery.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon has created a plan to help move New Jersey into the next phase of public health and economic recovery. (Pixabay)

“Our social distancing and public precautions have proven effective in flattening the curve and reversing the trends of COVID-19,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “As we approach the road to recovery, it’s time to think about the next steps we must take as a state to best bolster our economy and public health. Let’s pivot from shutdown mode and responsibly unleash the creativity of our local leaders in business and government.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Mike Doherty

O’Scanlon, Doherty & Sweeney Will Act to Allow Reassignment of Public Workers During Crises

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Senator Michael Doherty, and Senate President Steve Sweeney issued the following joint statement today saying they will introduce legislation (S-2477) to allow for the temporary reassignment of state and local employees outside of their civil service classifications for up to 30 days during public emergencies:

Sens. O’Scanlon, Doherty, and Sen. Pres. Sweeney issued the following joint statement saying they will introduce legislation to allow for the temporary reassignment of state and local employees outside of their civil service classifications during public emergencies. (SenateNJ.com)

“We recognize the impact the COVID crisis is having on the state’s ability to respond in a timely way to the emergent needs of the public and want to do what we can to improve the effectiveness of services, especially unemployment benefits. We will introduce legislation that will allow for the temporary transfer of state workers during public emergencies to where they are needed most. This will enable the strategic redeployment of human resources to respond to critical needs in times of crises.

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District 13

O’Scanlon, DiMaso, Scharfenberger Call for Safe Opening of Small Shops as Mother’s Day Approaches

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Monmouth) called on the administration to allow for a limited reopening of small gift shops and jewelry stores in advance of Mother’s Day.

O’Scanlon, DiMaso and Scharfenberger are calling for the limited reopening of small retail shops and jewelry stores that depend on Mother’s Day business to survive. (©iStock)

“Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend and many small local shops rely heavily on these holidays for their business. The Administration needs to strongly consider reopening small gift shops with social distancing protocols similar to food stores; 50 percent capacity, masks, and social distancing. Or even allow them to consider a curbside gift pickup option. In addition, jewelry stores should be allowed to open with a 50 percent capacity limitation.

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District 13

O’Scanlon, DiMaso & Scharfenberger: Food Delivery Services Destroying Future

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Killing Restaurants They Depend On

Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Monmouth) today called upon food delivery services to voluntarily cap their fees at 17.5 percent.

They are prepared to introduce legislation requiring it, but O’Scanlon, DiMaso & Scharfenberger are asking food delivery services to voluntarily cap their fees at 17.5 percent. (SenateNJ.com)

“Right now fees running as high as 30 percent are crushing our restaurants who essentially have no choice but to pay. Delivery services are playing a critical role in allowing residents to order and support from local restaurants during the shutdown. We understand that they are providing this valuable service and appreciate all of the workers.

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District 13

O’Scanlon, DiMaso & Scharfenberger Commend Park and Golf Course Opening

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (all R-Monmouth) today issued a statement following news that the Governor would be reopening parks and golf courses May 2nd:

O’Scanlon, DiMaso & Scharfenberger issued a statement following news that the Governor would be reopening parks and golf courses May 2nd. (NJ Division of Parks & Forestry)

“While I firmly believe there was no scientific justification to close these facilities in the first place, I want to praise the administration for hearing the calls to reopen now,” O’Scanlon said. “While there will absolutely be some people who don’t adhere to safe practices, the overwhelming majority will. The benefits—physical and mental—of permitting, in fact encouraging, people to get out, get fresh air and exercise will be invaluable.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso Request Bill Waiving Interest Payments for Municipalities

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Monmouth) today requested legislation which would require counties and school boards to waive interest on delayed tax payments from municipalities due to the Governor’s executive order allowing extension of the property tax grace period to June 1.

Legislation being introduced by Sen. O’Scanlon and Asw. DiMaso would spare municipalities from interest charges on late payments to counties and school districts resulting from COVID-related property tax deadline delays. (©iStock)

“Our municipalities were given the ability by the Governor to extend their property tax payment grace period for residents until June 1. However, shortly after property taxes are due to municipalities, the municipalities are required to send the portion of the payments due to counties and school districts. If they don’t send the payment they will accrue interest, which is not an incentive for our towns to give residents a longer grace period. We need to make sure that municipalities are not on the hook for this extra money.

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Senator Bob Singer
Senator Chris Brown
Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa

Shore Senators Call for Detailed Plan to Reopen Jersey Shore

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Senators representing communities from Sandy Hook to Cape May sent the following letter to Governor Phil Murphy yesterday asking for a detailed plan to reopen the Jersey Shore.

Senators representing communities from Sandy Hook to Cape May sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy asking for a detailed plan to reopen the Jersey Shore. (Bing Maps)

Click here to view a PDF of the letter from Sen. Robert Singer, Sen. Chris Brown, Sen. Michael Testa, and Sen. Declan O’Scanlon.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Decries Toll Hikes Advanced without Transparency

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The New Jersey Turnpike is set to increase tolls by 36 percent, and drivers can expect to pay 27 percent more on the Garden State Parkway.

Senator Declan O’Scanlon said proposed toll hikes should not be approved until the state lockdown is lifted and the public has the chance to weigh-in at public hearings. (SenateNJ.com)

The toll hikes are moving forward despite the lack of required public hearings due to the coronavirus crisis, and Senator Declan O’Scanlon called the maneuver “an outrageous slap in the face to the spirit of public hearing laws.

“Whether one supports or opposes the toll hikes, there is no honorable person who can claim that the spirit of our public hearing laws is being followed. The Governor has the entire state locked down. Residents can’t even take a stroll in a park to clear their heads and get some fresh air,” said Senator O’Scanlon (R-13). “Still, these costly increases are being leveled on commuters without any real transparency or legitimate opportunity for public examination. In our society, we have rules so these kinds of actions can never be conducted in the dark, outside of public scrutiny.

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District 13

O’Scanlon, DiMaso, & Scharfenberger: Small Business Contractors & Laborers Should Be Given a Choice to Operate As Soon As Possible

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (Monmouth – R’s) call on Governor Murphy to afford small business contractors and construction workers the ability to continue operating if they so choose, while adhering to CDC, N.J. Department of Health, and Social Distancing Guidelines.

Sen. O’Scanlon, Asw. DiMaso and Asm. Scharfenberger are urging the Governor to allow small contractors and construction workers to go back to work on jobs that are conducive to adequate coronavirus precautions.  (©iStock)

“Look, the majority of residents understand the health risks facing New Jersey as well as the entire country and certain measures are necessary to ensure their overall safety – we are not debating that,” said O’Scanlon. “But we have to safeguard against crushing our local guys under these constraints. The Governor’s executive order to limit construction – as well intended as it may be – could have serious implications for our workers who are relying on these jobs to put food on their tables. If they feel they can get a job done without increased risk, the State should be letting them. Instead of an executive order with a list of exemptions, maybe there should have been a set of operating protocols handed down which would have gone a long way to clear-up the confusion happening now.”

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

GOP Members of Senate Budget Committee Call on Governor to Reset Budget Priorities to Meet Emergent Needs

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Billions in Spending Increases Proposed Before Crisis Remain Unchanged While Emergency Programs to Keep People Employed Run Dry Within Minutes

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on Governor Phil Murphy to announce which of the billions of dollars in new programs and spending and school aid increases he proposed in February will be scaled back to better fund emergency programs that are critical to helping small businesses survive and hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans to stay employed.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on Gov. Murphy to reset his budget priorities to better meet the State’s emergent needs due to COVID-19. (Pixabay)

They noted that the Governor’s budget, which was proposed before the economy was shut down, has become unrealistic because, as the Governor himself has said, “revenues have fallen off a cliff,” while the State has new obligations to help businesses and people impacted by COVID-19. As a result, schools, municipalities, and those promised increased State support in February must be leveled with by the Administration that some of the increases originally promised prior to the crisis are now impossible, giving them the opportunity to plan accordingly.

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