New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso: Voters Should Be Allowed to Cast Ballots in Voting Booth If They Haven’t Voted by Mail

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today called for Governor Murphy to allow residents to vote in person at polls if they provide their sealed, mail-in ballot to poll workers to demonstrate they haven’t already voted by mail.

Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso want Governor Murphy to allow residents to vote in person at polls if they provide their sealed, mail-in ballot to poll workers as proof they haven’t already voted by mail. (SenateNJ.com)

“Voting and election integrity is critical to our democracy.  Another fully vote-by-mail election when safety protocols should allow us to proceed with in-person voting is not only absurd and unacceptable, but highly concerning as well,” said O’Scanlon. “The administration claims that residents can still vote in person should they wish, but they must vote by provisional ballot since there is no way to ensure that a resident has not already submitted their mail-in ballot. That is rendered false should a voter present their sealed, mail-in ballot at the polls on election day. Those individuals should be able to vote in-person on machine as in any other election.

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

Senate Republican Budget Members Call for Open, Informed & Transparent Hearing Process on Murphy’s Revised FY21 Spending Plan

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Call for Governor to Immediately Release Detailed Budget Proposal for Legislators and Public to Review

The four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee said a total lack of transparency from the Murphy Administration and a superficial budget hearing process announced by the Senate Majority will provide neither legislators nor the public the opportunity to vet Governor Phil Murphy’s revised FY 2021 State Budget proposal.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee said a total lack of transparency from the Murphy Administration and a superficial budget hearing process announced by the Senate Majority will provide neither legislators nor the public the opportunity to vet Gov. Phil Murphy’s revised FY 2021 State Budget proposal. (Pixabay)

The members, Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1), issued the following joint statement:

“We were willing to give Governor Murphy the benefit of the doubt when he said that extending the State’s fiscal year was necessary to respond to the financial challenges of COVID-19. Unfortunately, it does not look like he has made good use of this extra time.

“Despite the extra three months the governor was given, no detailed budget has been produced or made available for the public or legislators to review. That’s leading to a rushed and superficial budget hearing process that will have no actual budget to examine or provide any opportunity for direct public input or testimony.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso Say Time for 25 Percent Indoor Passed

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today welcomed the news that our vital restaurant industry can resume indoor dining but criticized Governor Murphy’s delaying the decision and overly restrictive 25 percent capacity mandate.

Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso said the Governor’s decision to limit restaurants to 25 percent capacity when they reopen for indoor dining is unnecessary and will make it impossible for many establishments to turn a profit. (Pixabay)

“As the Governor and his brain trust fiddled, the restaurant industry has burned. Finally, the Governor has succumbed to the inescapable reality that every other state has already recognized – indoor dining can be done safely and will provide precious jobs, and a substantial, vital economic boost,” said O’Scanlon. “New Jersey is months behind surrounding states in reopening which has needlessly devastated this critical industry, destroyed thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of jobs, yet analysis of numerous health metrics, including the rate of transmission, cases and deaths shows there was zero discernable health benefit. This delay was tragic.”

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

Senate Republican Budget Members: Murphy’s New Spending Plan Shows No Fiscal Restraint, Ignores Opportunities to Help Taxpayers & Get People Back to Work

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The four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee said Governor Phil Murphy’s revised budget plan for FY 2021 is little changed from the pre-COVID budget he proposed in February, except for the addition of billions in borrowing.

The four Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee said Governor Phil Murphy’s revised budget plan for 2021 is little changed from the pre-COVID budget he proposed in February, except for the addition of billions in borrowing. (Pixabay)

They said he continues to oversell the fiscal impact of the coronavirus on the State’s finances, while ignoring opportunities to help taxpayers and get people back to work.

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

Senate Republican Budget Members Support Calls for Public Hearings on Murphy’s Spending Plan

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The four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee expressed their support for calls by nearly two dozen interest groups for public hearings to be held on the revised budget plan for FY 2021 that Governor Phil Murphy is set to release next week.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee expressed their support for calls by nearly two dozen interest groups for public hearings to be held on the revised budget plan for FY 2021 that Gov. Phil Murphy is set to release next week. (SenateNJ.com)

The members, Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1), issued the following joint statement:

“The shortened time frame afforded to us by this year’s adjusted budget calendar shouldn’t be an excuse for the Legislature to forego a public hearing process on tens of billions of spending that Governor Murphy will propose for the upcoming fiscal year.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: NJ’s Draconian Restrictions Are Proven Unnecessary, Economically Devastating

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today criticized the Murphy administration’s continued blockade of New Jersey’s reopening and cited numerous metrics from surrounding states’ successful reopening.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon criticized the Murphy administration’s continued blockade of New Jersey’s reopening and cited numerous metrics from surrounding states’ successful reopening. (Click here for PDF)

“That the Governor, with a straight face, can cite a debunked study of an incident that happened over 8,000 miles away involving a restaurant in China with a wheezy, inadequate ventilation system that doesn’t conform to standards used in this country…to justify continuing to kill businesses here in New Jersey is outrageous and demoralizing for anyone trying to hold out hope that there’s any real, scientific focus on our safety and the health of our economy,” said O’Scanlon. “That the Governor, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, continues to suggest that we have to continue to destroy thousands of businesses and jobs and livelihoods is simply unconscionable.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon and DiMaso Stress Special Ed Exclusion from Virtual Learning

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today criticized the administration’s failure to highlight the needs of the special education community during an announcement allowing fully virtual instruction for the 2020-2021 school year.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Aswm. Serena DiMaso criticized the administration’s failure to highlight the needs of the special education community during an announcement allowing fully virtual instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. (Pixabay)

“We learned a very clear and very difficult lesson this spring: all-virtual learning is simply not appropriate for special education,” said Senator Declan O’Scanlon. “It is imperative that we see definitive exemptions and action plans to ensure that special needs students are not forced into fully remote learning for yet another school year. We will be paying very close attention to make sure that their needs are clearly addressed in the guidance and regulations which have yet to be released.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon & DiMaso: Supreme Court Made Wrong Choice

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Says Legislature must do its best in face of adversity

Following a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court approving the Murphy administration’s $10 billion borrowing plan Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) issued a statement:

Following a ruling by the Supreme Court approving the Murphy administration’s $10 billion borrowing plan Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Aswm. Serena DiMaso issued a statement. (Pixabay)

“I feel strongly that the Supreme Court ruled the wrong way,” said O’Scanlon. “The checks and balances, and forced-tough-choices, that our founding fathers enumerated in our constitution were not put there to be brushed aside when the going gets tough. Indeed, they were put in place to force us to do the hard work when it is hardest. The mission of government–to be responsible, fair, and live within its means–doesn’t go away in the face of adversity. On the contrary, that mission becomes even more critical during such times.”

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

As State Tax Collections Improve, Republican Budget Members Call on Treasurer to Update Financial Disclosures

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Gov. Murphy Continues to Claim $10 Billion Revenue Loss, Which Is Misleading and Exaggerated

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee wrote a letter (click here for PDF) to New Jersey Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio urging the State to file new disclosure statements with financial markets to correct grossly pessimistic revenue forecasts. They said an estimated $10 billion revenue loss that Governor Murphy continues to reference is “misleading and exaggerated.”

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee urged N.J. Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio to file new disclosure statements with financial markets to correct grossly pessimistic revenue forecasts, saying an estimated $10 billion revenue loss that Gov. Murphy continues to reference is “misleading and exaggerated.” (©iStock)

The members, Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1), noted that actual sales tax collections for June were down just 4.6% compared to the same period last year, while the Murphy Administration had estimated a 30% loss. Similarly, they said non-partisan revenue forecasters believe both the Gross Income Tax and Corporate Business Tax have meaningfully exceeded May projections.

They warned: “If an ordinary citizen were to knowingly exaggerate their financial condition and need for money in an effort to secure federal loans and grants, they would risk charges of fraud and prosecution.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Warns of Impending Fiscal Disaster If Governor Gets His Way

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Borrowing Plan Would Cost Taxpayers $40 Billion Over 35 Years

Senator Declan O’Scanlon again sounded the alarm warning of the dire fiscal consequences of the Governor’s plan to borrow $10 billion to fill shortfalls in the State budget.

Senator O’Scanlon said borrowing $10 billion will produce a bill for taxpayers of more than $40 billion over the next 35 years, and if the State’s credit rating is downgraded, which is likely, the cost could be tens of billions more. (Pixabay)

“This devastating scheme is fiscally indefensible and unconstitutional. There’s a legal opinion that says we cannot borrow without voter approval to fill a hole in our budget,” said O’Scanlon. “In the most unaffordable state in the nation, it is unfathomable the Governor and Democrats would propose a ‘solution’ of this magnitude.

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