New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Responds to Monmouth County Coronavirus Cases

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon responded to a pair of presumptive cases of novel coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, reported in Monmouth County today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains an informational website on COVID-19 with additional advice for healthcare professionals, families, and businesses. (CDC)

“We have been told for several weeks that the coronavirus would likely spread to most communities and, unfortunately, it appears to now have reached Monmouth County,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “Today’s announcement should not serve as a cause for panic, rather it should reinforce our diligence in adhering to the hygiene recommendations from public health officials to help slow and limit the spread of coronavirus within our community.”

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District 13

LD 13 Legislators Oppose School Funding Cuts

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Monmouth) today criticized Governor Murphy’s proposed school funding cuts, highlighting the exclusion of previously agreed upon special education increases.

Sen. O’Scanlon, Asw. DiMaso and Asm. Scharfenberger said Gov. Murphy’s proposed school funding cuts will do harm to educational quality and overburdened taxpayers. (Pixabay)

Those districts receiving cuts would lose approximately $158 million in aid under the proposed numbers.

Bill S-2, passed in 2018, phases in state aid adjustments to account for student population changes, and other factors, accumulated over a number of years. While some districts gain, others lose. District 13 legislators successfully argued for changes to the legislation to ameliorate the reductions. Their efforts have continued as S-2 has been implemented. They were critical proponents of an agreement with legislative leadership to phase in an additional $200 million in extraordinary special education aid which would help many districts cope with formula aid cuts. The Governor’s proposal excludes funding for that key agreement.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: Minimum Wage Increase Has Created Budget Challenge. What to Watch For In Proposed Budget

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Direct Support Professionals Asking for $16.5 Million to Cover Minimum Wage Increase

When the Democrats in Trenton passed legislation in 2019 to increase the state minimum wage incrementally until it reaches $15 per hour in 2024, Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Republicans in both houses warned of the consequences for New Jersey taxpayers, those providing essential services and those that depend on those services.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon said the Governor’s budget proposal tomorrow must include funds to pay for the impact of Murphy’s policy increasing minimum wage. (SenateNJ.com)

Two months after the implementation of the second annual increase raising the state hourly minimum from $10 to $11, O’Scanlon’s cautions are being proven.

“There isn’t any level of government or a single taxpayer that will be spared from paying in one way or another for higher wage costs fueled by the Democrats’ minimum wage increase,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “I raised this issue early on in the debate and it was ignored. The Governor stunningly ignored the increases in costs inflicted on government-dependent entities, on which our most vulnerable depend, in last year’s budget. Now we see the next dead canary in the coal mine with this notice from DSP services.

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District 13

Monmouth Lawmakers Take Skeptical Look at JCP&L Request for Rate Increases

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger are calling on the state Board of Public Utilities to thoroughly evaluate a request from Jersey Central Power & Light to increase electric rates.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, Asw. Serena DiMaso and Asm. Gerry Scharfenberger urged thorough scrutiny by the Board of Public Utilities following a request from Jersey Central Power & Light for a $186 million increase of electric rates. (SenateNJ.com)

“We call on the BPU and the state rate counsel to thoroughly vet this request. Our first reaction to any call to raise costs on ratepayers must be skepticism. Has every effort been made to lower and control costs?” asked O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “We acknowledge that investments in infrastructure upgrades that we’ve called for take resources, but cost savings must be exhausted before any approval of rate increases takes place.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Bill Protecting Senior Freeze Reimbursements for Seniors Approved by Panel

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon’s legislation to allow seniors to downsize their homes without jeopardizing property tax reimbursements was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

The bill (S-566) would allow an eligible homeowner to receive reimbursement immediately following a move to a new home, rather than waiting almost two full years as required under current law.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon’s measure would allow homeowners eligible for the Senior Freeze program to qualify for reimbursement following a move to a new home, rather than waiting almost two full years as required under current law. (©iStock)

“The Senior Freeze provides needed property tax relief for older homeowners, including many who are struggling to make ends meet on fixed incomes,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “While the majority of senior citizens live in one- or two-person households, only a small percentage of them reap the savings provided by selling their family home and downsizing.

“This measure will ensure if an eligible homeowner does move to a smaller, more affordable home, it will not jeopardize their reimbursement,” O’Scanlon explained.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Bill Allowing Electronic Authorization for Medical Cannabis for Patients Passes Senate

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon’s legislation to expand access to authorized medical cannabis through telemedicine has passed the New Jersey Senate.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon’s legislation to expand access to authorized medical cannabis through telemedicine has passed the Senate. (Flickr)

“Those who rely on medical cannabis to treat their conditions will benefit from more convenient and less expensive digital doctors’ appointments,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “Utilizing available technology is a practical approach that will improve the health and wellness of eligible New Jersey residents.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Bill Protecting Seniors from Scammers Advances

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon’s legislation to protect vulnerable senior citizens and people with disabilities from theft scams passed the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

The Senate Law & Public Safety Committee advanced Sen. Declan O’Scanlon’s bill that would make fiscal victimization of senior citizens or people with disabilities a crime, protecting vulnerable populations from theft scams. (SenateNJ.com)

“Seniors have always been prime targets for criminals who prey on their trusting nature and easy demeanor,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “As technology has developed, it has become easier to find victims and raid their life savings. This can be devastating for people living on fixed incomes.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: Murphy Energy Plan Too Much Too Soon

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon expressed major concern regarding the new Energy Master Plan (EMP) released today by Governor Phil Murphy.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon expressed major concern regarding today’s release of Gov. Phil Murphy’s new Energy Master Plan, citing significant increased costs for New Jersey residents. (SenateNJ.com)

“I am a firm believer in the age old adage that one needs to learn to walk before running,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “The EMP, with the best of intentions for New Jersey residents, fails to consider this wisdom. The EMP fails to consider the impacts on the ratepayer. It is simply too much too soon.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: ‘EMS System Needs Life Support’

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Following news that MONOC will cease operations on April 1, Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) advocated for swift passage of his bill, S-617, which would provide much needed flexibility to the Advanced Life Support System (ALS) in the state.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon called for swift passage of his bill that would provide needed flexibility to the State’s Advanced Life Support System after news the MONOC would cease operations on April 1. (Flickr)

“If we want to ensure that when you call 911 you get the best care possible all the time, we need to commit to giving the ALS system the life support it clearly needs,” O’Scanlon said. “Our current system is flawed and too rigid. You wind up with superfluous paramedics at a more basic call leading to others not having the flexibility to leave for a higher trauma event. People can die because paramedics are stretched too thin.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Statement on Failure of Vaccine Bill

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) issued the following statement today after legislation to repeal the religious exemption for mandatory vaccines stalled in the Senate:

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon called the failure of the vaccine bill to pass today ‘a case of Democracy working as it should’ and applauded the opposition for their successful efforts. (SenateNJ.com)

“The failure of the vaccine bill to pass today is a case of Democracy working as it should. There was enough opposition to this version of the bill to block it.  I applaud the opponents for their tremendous, ultimately successful effort.

“The question now is what happens next. We should all hope that the issue of resurgent, vaccine-preventable diseases will simply go away, as has been predicted by the folks who opposed the bill. God willing that’s the case. But our experience to date suggests that’s not likely. Continue Reading…


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