New Jersey's 1st Legislative District

Senator Michael Testa

Senator Michael Testa

Testa Bill Package Seeks to Restore Integrity, Fairness to NJ State Spending

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Measures Target Massive Christmas Tree Payments that Escape Appropriate Scrutiny

Christmas came early for a small group of hand-picked recipients who shared in hundreds of millions of dollars of pork in Governor Murphy’s State budget passed in June. Now, with the holiday season fast approaching, Senator Michael Testa has introduced a legislative package to counteract the politically motivated gift-giving and restore integrity and balance to the distribution of taxpayer money.

Christmas came early for some hand-picked recipients who shared in hundreds of millions of dollars of pork in Gov. Murphy’s State budget. Now, with the holiday season fast approaching, Sen. Michael Testa has introduced a legislative package to counteract the politically motivated gift-giving and restore integrity and balance to the distribution of taxpayer money. (Pixabay)

“Enigmatic Christmas tree items have long been a feature of government budgets in the State, but as the cost of this Governor’s budgets have skyrocketed in recent years, so too has the list of pork projects receiving payments,” said Testa (R-1). “Santa Murphy has established a new standard in gifting, handing out multi-million-dollar packages to friends, mostly in North Jersey, like candy canes. Taxpayers, and those without direct connections to the front office in Trenton, have had to settle for stockings full of coal.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa to Murphy: Stop Coddling Criminals to Cut Down on Crime and Auto Thefts

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Senator Michael Testa today joined concerned local and county officials for the Cape May County and Municipal Roundtable Work Session on Preventing Disorderly and Criminal Gatherings.

Sen. Michael Testa joined concerned local and county officials for a roundtable meeting about skyrocketing crime across the state and the late summer mayhem in Wildwood that resulted in two deaths and countless motor vehicle crashes and property damage. (Flickr)

The meeting was in response to skyrocketing crime across the state and the late summer mayhem that shattered the carefree Saturday night atmosphere in Wildwood on September 24, resulting in two deaths and countless motor vehicle crashes and property damage.

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Could One Word in Liberals’ New Gun Restrictions Ban Baseball Bats & Make Scissors, Knitting Needles Illegal?

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In their headlong sprint to try to ban lawfully owned guns all over New Jersey, it seems that liberal lawmakers have authored a bill that could ban a wide range of common household items, tools, sports equipment, and possibly even Grandma’s knitting needles, Senator Michael Testa said.

In their headlong sprint to try to ban lawfully owned guns all over New Jersey, it seems that liberal lawmakers have authored a bill that could ban a wide range of common household items, tools, sports equipment, and possibly even Grandma’s knitting needles, Sen. Michael Testa said. (Pixabay)

“Once again, the Democratic Majority is showing its ignorance of the law, the Constitution, and common sense in the pursuit of applause from the anti-gun crowd through a proposal that will do absolutely nothing to stop crimes committed with illegal guns,” said Testa (R-1). “Maybe the proponents of this bill should read the law before they pass a poorly written bill that would turn everyone into criminals regardless of whether they even own a gun.”

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

Republican Budget Members Call Out Treasurer for Lack of Transparency on State’s Health Insurance Plans

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee criticized the State Treasurer today for not responding to nine pages of budget questions, and requests for data, about the State’s health insurance plans for public employees submitted seven months ago.

Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called out the State Treasurer for not responding to nine pages of budget questions about the State’s health insurance plans for public employees submitted seven months ago. (©iStock)

Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho, Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, Senator Sam Thompson, and Senator Michael Testa again requested that Treasurer Muoio finally admit her lack of transparency and failure to ever provide responsive answers to routine budget questions and requests for data that are answered every year (except this one) as part of the budget process.

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

Republican Budget Members Call for Subpoena Power to Compel Treasury Docs & Testimony on Health Benefit Rate Increases

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee have called for the committee to be given the authority to issue subpoenas to compel the Treasurer to provide documents and testimony under oath related to massive increases in State health benefit premiums.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee have called for the committee to be given the authority to issue subpoenas to compel the Treasurer to provide documents and testimony under oath related to massive increases in State health benefit premiums. (©iStock.com)

The request was made in a letter sent by Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho, Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, Senator Sam Thompson, and Senator Michael Testa to Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo.

The Republican senators said subpoenas were necessary since the Murphy administration has refused to answer important questions or provide documents that could help the Legislature, impacted employees and retirees, and the public to understand the recent 22% rate increase.

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Democrats Flip-Flopping on Insurance for Gun Owners in New Effort to Impede 2nd Amendment Rights

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Just two years after the Murphy administration blocked insurance companies from offering coverage to firearm owners to dissuade gun ownership in New Jersey, Democrats are now planning to implement stringent insurance requirements and excessive penalties in a new effort to impede the 2nd Amendment, Senator Michael Testa said.

Sen. Michael Testa said Democrats have gone from one extreme to another on insurance for gun owners in a new effort to impede the 2nd Amendment rights of New Jerseyans. (SenateNJ.com)

“First, the Murphy administration banned firearm self-defense policies from being offered under the false belief that having insurance would encourage the improper use of firearms,” said Testa (R-1). “Now, Democrats are trying to mandate insurance coverage that they’ve blocked from being available as a condition for New Jerseyans to exercise their constitutional right to concealed carry. This flip-flopping makes clear that Governor Murphy and legislative Democrats only care about insurance as a weapon they can use to impede the 2nd Amendment rights of New Jerseyans.”

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

Republican Budget Members Call on Treasurer to Reveal Information Critical to Health Care Premium Increases

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Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio to come clean with long-overdue responses to the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) requests for data related to the steep increases in the cost of health care benefits.

Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio to come clean with long-overdue responses to OLS requests for data related to the steep increases in the cost of health care benefits. (SenateNJ.com)

The Treasurer has indicated her Department has not withheld information. OLS has no record of receiving a response.

In their letter (click here for PDF), the Republican Senators wrote: “Unless we are mistaken in our understanding that your department failed to answer the attached questions posed by OLS during the budget process, or unless you have simply been unaware of that reality, your position is disingenuous at best. All parties involved deserve the level of transparency that you’ve indicated has already occurred.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Lashes Out at Murphy for Irresponsible Management of Public Healthcare Benefits Costs

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Senator Michael Testa today blasted the Murphy Administration for hiding warning signs that the cost of the state’s health insurance plans for public employees could soon skyrocket.

Sen. Michael Testa today blasted the Murphy Administration for hiding warning signs that the cost of the state’s health insurance plans for public employees could soon skyrocket. (Pixabay)

Press reports this week indicate the Administration knew as early as this February that as medical claims increased significantly in 2021, the result was that a massive escalation of premium costs this year would be required of both covered employees and the governments which employ them.

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Blasts Murphy Administration Over Decision to End Popular Student Mental Health Program

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Senator Michael Testa criticized Governor Phil Murphy’s “reckless and tone-deaf” decision to end a popular youth services program next June that has operated in 90 school districts across New Jersey since 1988.

Sen. Michael Testa criticized Gov. Phil Murphy’s ‘reckless and tone-deaf’ decision to end a popular student mental health program. (Pixabay)

Last Friday, the Murphy Administration announced it was going to phase out the School-Based Youth Services Program and replace it with the Governor’s handcrafted “New Jersey Statewide Student Support Services” (NJ4S) network. The announcement has been widely criticized by educators in South Jersey.

“I have heard from outraged educators in my district who do not understand why the Governor would seek to dump the current program or why this new model is better,” said Testa (R-Vineland). “Moreover, they are calling my office to get more information which shows the Administration was not engaging them on the new program at all.”

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

Republican Budget Committee Members Call for Required Oversight of Pandemic Relief & Debt Funds

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee called on Democrats to hold required oversight hearings to review proposed uses of federal pandemic relief funds and a state fund intended to pay down and prevent new debt.

Senate Republicans called on Democrats to hold required oversight hearings to review proposed uses of federal pandemic relief funds and a state fund intended to pay down and prevent new debt. (©iStock)

The request was made in a letter from Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho (R-24), Republican Budget Office Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1) to Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-22), Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz (D-29), and Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D-36).

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