New Jersey's 1st Legislative District

Senator Michael Testa

Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Restoring Funding to School-Based Counseling Programs that Murphy Proposed Cutting Not Difficult

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Following reports that Governor Phil Murphy has seen the light after being shamed for slashing critically important counseling programs for kids, Senator Michael Testa (R-1) said finding a way to restore funding for the School-Based Youth Services Program is not difficult.

Following reports that Gov. Phil Murphy has seen the light after being shamed for slashing critically important counseling programs for kids, Sen. Michael Testa said finding a way to restore funding for the School-Based Youth Services Program is not difficult. (©iStock)

“We have children who need help coping with the stresses of lockdowns, uncertainty with school, and the many other challenges that have resulted from COVID-19,” said Testa, a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee. “That’s why it was so utterly shocking that Governor Murphy would propose slashing budget funding for critically important mental health support programs for kids exactly when they need extra help. Thankfully, the governor’s mistake is not something that should be difficult to fix.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Murphy Hiding Behind COVID-19 to Hoard Money for Next Year’s Election Budget & Baby Bonds

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Says It’s the Governor’s Obvious & Unspoken Game Plan

Senator Michael Testa (R-1), a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on Governor Murphy’s unspoken, but obvious, reelection budget strategy:

Sen. Michael Testa issued the following statement on Gov. Murphy’s unspoken, but obvious, reelection budget strategy. (Pixabay)

“While Governor Murphy claims he needs to borrow billions of dollars to prevent layoffs and fund property tax relief programs, consider the following things in this year’s budget that the borrowing will really support:

  • Increasing the surplus by $1 billion, which is money that will be left in the bank and spent next year;
  • Increasing prefunding of future pensions by $1 billion, which is money that will be put in a bank and spent decades from now; and
  • Offsetting intentionally overstated revenue losses by $2 billion, which will provide him an extra $2 billion to spend when revenues come in better than projected – as they will;

“Let’s be perfectly clear: not one dime of the billions Murphy will borrow has anything to do with addressing COVID-19 related needs. It has to do with squirreling away money for next year’s budget so he can play Santa Claus as he runs for reelection.

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

Senate Republicans Propose Balanced Budget Without Murphy’s Billions in Borrowing & Tax Increases

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Evidence Mounting State Revenues Performing Better than Administration Will Admit

The four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee offered a path to a balanced State Budget for 2021 that does not rely on the billions of dollars of borrowing and tax increases proposed by Governor Phil Murphy.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee offered a path to a balanced State Budget for 2021 that does not rely on the billions of dollars of borrowing and tax increases proposed by Gov. Phil Murphy. (SenateNJ.com)

The Republican plan was proposed in a letter (click here for PDF) to the majority Senate Democrats from 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).

“The Murphy Administration has done everything possible to avoid being transparent with legislators and the public about the true state of the State’s finances,” said Oroho. “Despite the doomsday picture that’s being painted to engender support for the governor’s plan to tax and borrow billions, we have mounting evidence that State revenues are performing much better than the administration will admit. Based on the improving trends reported by nonpartisan budget analysts, we have put forward a fiscally responsible plan to balance the State budget without the harmful and expensive gimmicks proposed by the governor.”

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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 Michael Testa

Testa, Simonsen & McClellan to Provide Constituents with Computer Access for Unemployment Claims

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LD1 Team Says It’s Unacceptable that Labor Department Still Hasn’t Opened In-Person Unemployment Offices

With too many South Jerseyans still out of work, Senator Michael Testa and Assemblymen Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan (all R-1) announced they will provide computer access in their district office for constituents to file and claim unemployment benefits.

Testa, Simonsen & McClellan announced they will provide computer access in their district office for constituents to file and claim unemployment benefits. (Pixabay)

“We still have constituents who have been unemployed since March as a result of Governor Phil Murphy’s overly restrictive executive orders,” said Testa. “Many of those who remain out of work are struggling financially and don’t have the computer, phone, or Internet access that’s needed to manage an unemployment claim remotely with the Department of Labor. In the absence of in-person support from the Murphy administration, our legislative office will step in to provide our constituents with the computer access they need to claim their unemployment benefits.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: “Baby Bond” Recipients Will Be Close to Middle-Age When Murphy’s Billions in Budget Borrowing Finally Paid Off

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Says Any Benefit Is Sure to Be Offset by Higher Taxes to Repay $4 Billion of New Debt Proposed by Murphy to Fund Spending

Senator Michael Testa (R-1) highlighted the lunacy of Governor Phil Murphy’s plan to borrow $4 billion to pay for unnecessary new spending in his proposed FY 2021 spending plan, including a “baby bonds” program that would give newborns $1,000 to save for expenses later in life.

Sen. Michael Testa highlighted the lunacy of Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to borrow $4 billion to pay for unnecessary new spending, including a “baby bonds” program that would give newborns $1,000 to save for expenses later in life. (Pixabay)

“In what world do you take a cash advance from your credit card to put money in your savings account?” asked Testa, a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee. “You would think a former Goldman Sachs guy like Governor Murphy would have better financial sense than that. Whatever benefit ‘baby bonds’ recipients get from the plan will be more than offset by the extra taxes they’ll pay over their lifetimes to repay billions of new debt. It’s lunacy.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa & McClellan Bill Designating Historic Cape May Home as NJ’s Harriet Tubman Museum Awaits Governor’s Signature

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The historic Howell House on Lafayette Street in Cape May would be recognized as the Harriet Tubman Museum in New Jersey under legislation approved today by the Senate and on its way to Governor Murphy’s desk for consideration.

The historic Howell House on Lafayette Street in Cape May would be recognized as the Harriet Tubman Museum in New Jersey under legislation sponsored by Senator Testa that is on its way to Governor Murphy’s desk for consideration. (SenateNJ.com)

Senator Michael Testa and Assemblyman Antwan McClellan sponsor the bill, A-3201/S-2585, to honor Tubman, a legendary abolitionist and advocate for women’s voting rights. The bill cleared the Assembly in June.

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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 Michael Testa

LD1: South Jersey is Deprived – Make MVCs a Closer Drive

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South Jersey Residents Forced to Drive Hours to Access Basic MVC Services

Senator Michael Testa Jr. and Assemblymen Antwan McClellan and Erik K. Simonsen (all R-1) are calling for the Murphy administration to expand New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) services in Cumberland, Atlantic, and Cape May counties.

Testa, McClellan & Simonsen are calling for the Murphy administration to expand New Jersey MVC services in Cumberland, Atlantic, and Cape May counties. (SenateNJ.com)

“I have received call after call from constituents complaining they have to drive hours to take road tests, transfer titles, and return plates,” said Testa. “The nearest road test facility is in Salem County, a 90-minute drive from Cape May County. As always, South Jersey residents continue to get the short end of the stick under the Murphy administration. I am calling for the governor to restore all MVC services locally for Cumberland, Atlantic, and Cape May county residents.”

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