New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Introduces Bill Targeting Those Who Commit Crimes of Domestic Violence During a State of Emergency

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon introduced legislation today that would give prosecutors a new tool to charge individuals suspected of domestic violence during a declared state of emergency.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon has introduced legislation that would give prosecutors a new tool to charge individuals suspected of domestic violence during a declared state of emergency. (©iStock)

“Unfortunately, with everyone being asked to stay home, we can anticipate an increase in domestic violence situations. There is a special place in hell for anyone who would cause harm to another while being asked to hunker down for the greater good,” said O’Scanlon. “This bill provides that an act of domestic violence or child endangerment committed by a person during a state of emergency may, at the discretion of the prosecutor, be charged one degree higher than the underlying offense.”

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District 13

O’Scanlon, DiMaso, & Scharfenberger: We Are Here to Serve You During Coronavirus Pandemic

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LD-13 Offices in Holmdel and Middletown Remain Open to Answer Officials/Constituent Questions and Concerns

Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger issued the following statement in response to growing concerns about COVID-19:

O’Scanlon, DiMaso, and Scharfenberger issued the following statement in response to growing concerns about COVID-19. (CDC)

“The health of the Monmouth County community is our priority during this tumultuous time, particularly for those who are most vulnerable to contracting the disease or having adverse outcomes once sick. It is imperative to keep the public up-to-date with the best information available on how to prevent, identify, and remedy COVID-19. Our district office is prepared to serve as a resource center for our community and to help answer questions and address emergent needs.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Praises $1B Sweeney/NJEA Healthcare Reform

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Need To Dig Into Details But Initial Impression Positive

Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today praised a deal announced by Senate President Sweeney and the NJEA to overhaul health benefits, cutting costs by an estimated $1B.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon praised a deal announced by Sen. Pres. Sweeney and the NJEA to overhaul health benefits, cutting costs by an estimated $1B. (©iStock.com)

“Ultimately, the devil is in the details but this looks like a major, long sought after victory for Sweeney, NJEA members, and–most of all–taxpayers.” said O’Scanlon.

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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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