New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Republican Senators Urge Sweeney to Issue Preservation Letters to Health Department

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Following troubling accusations of dysfunction and potential misconduct within the Department of Health, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21), Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40), Senator Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), and Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) wrote to Senate President Steve Sweeney today (click here for PDF) urging for preservation letters to be issued to the Department and appropriate parties who may be in possession of evidence in matters that may be reviewed by the bipartisan Senate Review and Recovery Committee.

Following troubling accusations of dysfunction and potential misconduct within the Department of Health, Senators Kean, Corrado, Oroho, Pennacchio, and O’Scanlon urged Senate President Sweeney to issue preservation letters to the Department and appropriate parties who may be in possession of evidence in matters that may be reviewed by the bipartisan Senate Review and Recovery Committee. (SenateNJ.com)

The full text of the letter is below:

June 2, 2020

Dear Senate President Sweeney,

As you are aware, the Senate Republican caucus has called on the Senate to form a select committee to conduct a comprehensive review of the State’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, several areas of concern have emerged and highlighted the need for legislative oversight, including the unconscionable number of deaths that have occurred at New Jersey’s long-term care facilities. We thank you again for sharing our concerns and announcing jointly with our caucus on May 22, 2020 your commitment to the formation of the bipartisan Senate Review and Recovery Committee.

We write you today in light of troubling accusations of dysfunction and potential misconduct within the Department of Health, as identified by whistleblowers within the department. Among other assertions, published reports have pointed to the possible misuse of federal funds and suggested that Assistant Commissioner Christopher Neuwirth was terminated in an attempt to hide misconduct within the Administration. Additional accusations were raised in correspondence from the whistleblowers to you and Leader Kean, leading to serious new questions about the Administration’s handling of the crisis, particularly as it pertains to long-term care facilities.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa

O’Scanlon, Testa Introduce Plan to Rescue Floundering Employers

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Seek to Appropriate $100M of Federal CARES Funding to NJEDA for Small Business Grants and Loans

To provide crucial aid to businesses suffering after three months of strangling  COVID restrictions, Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Senator Michael Testa will introduce an act to appropriate $100 million of federal grant money to the state’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) to support small business programs.

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Senator Michael Testa are seeking financial assistance for struggling New Jersey businesses from federal COVID funds distributed to the state. (SenateNJ.com)

“The state received the money from Washington six weeks ago, but Murphy is inexplicably sitting on it while our economy tanks and companies falter,” said O’Scanlon. “The business community is being crushed by the pandemic, and many companies are on the brink of failure. They need help, and committing a portion of the more than $2 billion in COVID relief funds to help rescue struggling employers will save thousands of jobs and help fuel a robust recovery for the state’s economy. Dedicating this federal money to small and mid-size companies is an investment in a stronger New Jersey.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso Say DOH is Department in ‘Meltdown’

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) expressed their distress and concern over a letter sent to Senate leadership alleging serious and dangerous mismanagement of the pandemic response by the Department of Health and Murphy administration leadership.

An anonymous letter, as reported by a major New Jersey newspaper, is indicative of a New Jersey Department of Health ‘in meltdown,’ said Senator Declan O’Scanlon. (SenateNJ.com)

“This is the single most concerning leak/letter from sitting public employees that I’ve ever seen,” said O’Scanlon. “This is a department in meltdown. At a time in our history when our health department is singularly the most essential department to be functioning properly and competently, this is devastating.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso: Slow Drip of Guidance, Slow Death for Restaurants

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Monmouth) today criticized the Governor’s announcement that restaurants would open on June 15, 10 days later than most neighboring states in the region.

Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso said Governor Murphy’s announcement that restaurants won’t be able to open for outdoor dining until June 15 is frustrating for a desperate industry that has advocated for opening 10 days earlier. (Pixabay)

“This is another sad example of the Murphy Administration needlessly micromanaging and seriously damaging a key component of our economy,” said O’Scanlon. “It is devastating for these business owners. I hear from them every day. Grown men in tears. It is totally unnecessary. There is no scientific basis for New Jersey to be this far behind other states reopening safely.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Steve Oroho

Republican Senators Urge Sweeney to Ensure Protections for Disabled Residents, Provide Committee with Subpoena Power

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Senator Steven Oroho wrote to Senate President Steve Sweeney today (click here for PDF) urging that a recently announced Senate committee review new concerns regarding the State’s COVID-19 response to group homes and other facilities that care for residents with disabilities. They also reiterated their call for the new Senate Review and Recovery Committee to be given subpoena power to compel the appearance of witnesses.

Senators Pennacchio, Corrado, O’Scanlon, and Oroho urged Senate President Steve Sweeney to allow a recently announced Senate committee to review new concerns regarding group homes and other facilities that care for residents with disabilities, and to give the committee subpoena power to compel the appearance of witnesses. (SenateNJ.com)

The full text of the letter is below:

May 29, 2020

Dear Senate President Sweeney,

Two weeks ago, our Senate Republican caucus wrote to you calling for the formation of a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Murphy administration’s response to COVID-19, including the orders that contributed to the loss of life in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities.

We are thankful that you listened to our requests and announced jointly with Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean the formation of a bipartisan Senate Review and Recovery Committee for this purpose. This is a positive step that will allow New Jersey to learn from its mistakes and improve our State’s response as we look to reopen safely.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: NJ Department of Health’s Management of EMS Stinks of Failure and Corruption

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Over the past year, Senator Declan O’Scanlon has tried to work with a reluctant Department of Health (DOH) in fixing major flaws in the New Jersey EMS system.

Senator O’Scanlon said the firing of the department of health’s assistant commissioner is indicative of deeper problems within the department. (Flickr)

Today, after the department’s head of Public Health Infrastructure, Laboratories & Health Preparedness was dismissed, O’Scanlon is raising a red flag over the department’s management of the entire program.

“Yesterday it became grossly apparent how bad things are over at DOH when assistant commissioner Chris Neuwirth was fired from his position,” he said.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso: “Restaurants Don’t Have Weeks to Wait”

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) stood by restaurant owners from across the state and the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association (NJRHA) at a press conference this morning calling for immediate action by the Governor to reopen New Jersey’s restaurant industry.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Asw. Serena DiMaso stood by restaurant owners from across the state and the NJ Restaurant and Hospitality Association calling for immediate action by the Gov. to reopen NJ’s restaurant industry. (Pixabay)

“We fully support our restaurant owners today in their call for immediate reopening actions. The Governor has said that we are weeks off from seeing restaurants reopen in some capacity. The problem is that our restaurant owners do not have weeks to wait anymore. There are 350,000 New Jersey restaurant workers on unemployment right now. Every week that we wait is another week that keeps these workers unemployed.”

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District 13

O’Scanlon, DiMaso, Scharfenberger Demand June 15 Graduation Ceremonies

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Monmouth) today called for Governor Murphy to permit graduation ceremonies as of June 15th and remove the restrictive guidance issued.

O’Scanlon, DiMaso, Scharfenberger called for Gov. Murphy to permit graduation ceremonies as of June 15 and remove the restrictive guidance issued. (©iStock)

“We were thrilled to see what appeared to be acquiescence to our request for outdoor graduation ceremonies, only to find out that the Governor has effectively cancelled them with his micro-management.” said O’Scanlon. “As long as they adhere to social distance, they should be permitted from June 15th.”

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District 13

O’Scanlon, DiMaso & Scharfenberger Call Toll Hike Vote “Unconscionable”

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Monmouth) today condemned New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s vote to approve a toll hike along the Turnpike and Parkway.

O’Scanlon, DiMaso & Scharfenberger condemned the NJ Turnpike Authority’s vote to approve a toll hike along the Turnpike and Parkway. (SenateNJ.com)

“It is completely astounding that the Turnpike Authority believed they should move forward with this toll hike process. We are in the midst of a pandemic. Loved ones have been lost. People have been confined to their homes for more than two months. Hundreds of thousands are currently worrying about whether their businesses will be able to reopen in time for their livelihood to be saved.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho, O’Scanlon & Corrado Applaud Establishment of Special Senate Committee to Review & Improve State’s Response to COVID-19

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Senator Steven Oroho, Senator Declan O’Scanlon, and Senator Kristin Corrado applauded the formation of a bipartisan Senate Review & Recovery Committee to review and improve upon the State’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Senators Oroho, O’Scanlon & Corrado applauded the formation of a bipartisan Senate Review & Recovery Committee to review and improve upon the State’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. (SenateNJ.com)

“We applaud this bipartisan effort to learn from the mistakes that were made at the outset of the coronavirus crisis to improve our State’s response going forward,” said Oroho (R-24). “I’m especially concerned about our ability to ensure that our long-term care facilities, where half of New Jersey’s COVID-19 deaths occurred, have the capability to better protect vulnerable residents. By examining how this tragedy occurred and recommending solutions, we hope to save lives and prevent it from happening again.”

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