New Jersey's 1st Legislative District

Senator Michael Testa

Senator Michael Testa

Senate Democrats Block Republican Efforts to Help Small Businesses & Non-Profits

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Pair of Motions Blocked During Senate Session Today

The Senate Democratic Majority continued to block attempts by Senate Republicans to increase financial support for struggling business and nonprofits by tabling a pair of motions during today’s session of the New Jersey Senate.

The Senate Democratic Majority continued to block attempts by Senate Republicans to increase financial support for struggling business and nonprofits. (Wikipedia)

Both motions were made by Senator Michael Testa (R-1) on behalf of the entire Senate Republican caucus.

“There is a compelling need to help all of the small businesses and nonprofits across New Jersey that are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Testa. “It makes absolutely no sense for Senate Democrats to block our efforts to provide additional financial support to Main Street shops, local restaurants, and the working families they employ while the State sits on a multi-billion budget surplus that’s growing by the day. We’ve urged our Democrat colleagues to join with us to advance these efforts in a bipartisan fashion, but they continue to put partisanship ahead of the people we should be working together to serve.”

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District 1

Testa/Simonsen/McClellan Urge Governor to Give Vaccine Distribution a Shot in the Arm

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Senator Michael Testa, Assemblyman Erik Simonsen, and Assemblyman Antwan McClellan today called on Governor Murphy to use his political influence and his business contacts to help New Jersey get enough doses to meet the demand for the COVID-19 vaccination.

LD1 Team calls on Governor Phil Murphy to use additional resources to increase COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (DoD via Flickr)

“The state’s residents have done everything they have been asked to do during this pandemic,” said Testa. “They were led to believe that vaccination is the key to bringing an end to this long COVID nightmare. Now they are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to schedule an appointment and hearing that there is not enough supply. People are frustrated and worried. They don’t want to fall through the cracks. There is a genuine fear of missing out, of being one of those who don’t get inoculated.”

During Friday’s COVID briefing, Murphy announced that more than 500,000 vaccine have been administered in New Jersey, but at least two South Jersey hospital systems are no longer accepting appointments and have begun cancelling scheduled visits due to insufficient vaccine supplies.

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District 1

Testa, Simonsen & McClellan Demand Changes Amid Rising COVID Deaths in Nursing Homes

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With the COVID death toll at long-term care facilities across the state spiraling out of control, the Legislative District 1 team of Senator Michael Testa, Assemblyman Erik Simonsen, and Assemblyman Antwan McClellan released a joint statement calling for leadership changes at the Department of Health:

Sen. Michael Testa, Asm. Erik Simonsen, and Asm. Antwan McClellan called for changes within the Department of Health as COVID deaths in long-term care facilities continue to escalate. (Pixabay)

“We can’t go on like this. The death rate inside facilities exploded in December, and with active outbreaks at more than 400 homes, this month could be an even bigger disaster. The Administration has been unable to protect residents, and the recent revelation that of the virus deaths in New Jersey, at least 7,644 are traced directly to senior facilities is evidence of continuing failures.

“There has been no accountability for the blunders that have cost the lives of residents and staff members in convalescent homes. New Jersey’s failure is a national disgrace, and rightfully so, the public has lost confidence in the department’s capabilities. The time has come for a new strategy and a changing of the guards. Continue Reading…

Senator Michael Testa

Testa Faults Derella for Dangerous Situation at Cumberland County Jail

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Federal Investigators Troubled by Constitutional Violations that Put Lives at Risk

The Cumberland County Jail, under the leadership of Democrat county commission director Joe Derella, has failed to take necessary precautions to prevent inmate suicides and provide adequate mental health care, a federal civil rights investigation has found.

Sen. Michael Testa blamed the Cumberland County director for continuing problems at the jail after news that federal investigators had identified unconstitutional treatment of inmates. (Flickr)

The development is just the latest black eye for the elected official responsible for the facility, which has been plagued by recent controversies surrounding a large COVID outbreak at the jail, and the refusal to cooperate with federal immigration laws.

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District 1

Testa and Simonsen Introduce Bill Requiring Schools to Educate Students on Harmful Effects of Marijuana Use

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In anticipation of an adult-use recreational marijuana market in New Jersey, Senator Michael Testa and Assemblyman Erik Simonsen introduced a bill to educate students in grades 3 through 12 on the risks of cannabis and marijuana use.

In anticipation of an adult-use recreational marijuana market in New Jersey, Sen. Michael Testa and Asm. Erik Simonsen introduced a bill to educate students on the risks of marijuana use. (Pixabay)

The bill (S3360/A5168) specifies schools must include age-appropriate instruction on the use of cannabis and marijuana products in their substance abuse education.

“As soon as the Legislature gets its act together, marijuana will be legal for adult use,” said Testa (R-Cape May). “That will send a dangerous message to school kids of all ages – that cannabis is safe and accepted. It is vital that our schools include instructions about the risks of marijuana use, and its deleterious effects on brain development in young people. This education should be similar to the dangers of alcohol consumption and abuse.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa

O’Scanlon & Testa Blast Governor’s Veto of Bill to Save Struggling Restaurant Industry

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Senator Michael Testa blasted Governor Murphy’s absolute veto of legislation that would have helped restaurants, bars, and breweries to survive the economic harm caused by nearly a year of indoor dining restrictions due to COVID-19.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Sen. Michael Testa blasted Gov. Murphy’s veto of legislation to save the struggling restaurant industry. (Pixabay)

“The governor’s veto is kicking the restaurant industry while they’re down,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “He should have come to the Legislature during the three months the bill was under consideration if he had concerns. Instead, he said nothing and waited until months after it passed the Legislature unanimously to issue a veto. If the Governor had supported the other forms of relief we had suggested over the last few months, including more aid for restaurants and small businesses through the EDA, this bill might not even be needed. Unfortunately, he hasn’t listened at all and more ‘out of business’ signs will be the result.”

O’Scanlon and Testa are sponsors of the bipartisan legislation, S-3128/A-4525, which would have allowed restaurants, bars, distilleries, and breweries to expand food and beverage service to outdoor spaces they own or lease, including patios, decks, yards, walkways, parking lots, and sidewalks.

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Grand Jury Investigating Veterans Home Deaths Deserves Full Story

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Encourages Prosecutors to Present All Evidence, Including Role of Governor’s Office in Devising Policies to Punish Veterans Home Staff for Using PPE

Senator Michael Testa said he was glad to hear that the Attorney General’s Office has convened a grand jury to investigate more than 200 deaths of residents and staff in State-run veterans home due to COVID-19, and encouraged prosecutors to present all evidence including the role of the Governor’s Office in formulating and enforcing policies restricting the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by nurses and caregivers that led to mass outbreaks within the facilities.

Sen. Michael Testa encouraged State prosecutors to present all evidence to a grand jury investigating hundreds of veterans home deaths, including the role of the Governor’s Office in devising policies to punish veterans home staff for attempting to use PPE that could have saved lives. (SenateNJ.com)

“We know the Governor’s Office was directly involved in decisions to punish veterans home workers for attempting to wear PPE that could have saved lives,” said Testa (R-1). “Quite simply, there’s blood on the Murphy Administration’s hands. The grand jury deserves to hear the full story of the management failures within those veterans homes and at the highest levels of the Murphy Administration that led to more than 200 deaths of residents and staff.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Statement on Death of Dr. Joseph J. Riley

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Senator Michael Testa released the following statement on the passing of Dr. Joseph Riley, the Cumberland Country Democrat Chairman and former county freeholder:

Sen. Michael Testa expressed sadness for the passing of Cumberland County Democrat Chairman Dr. Joseph J. Riley. (SenateNJ.com)

“I am saddened by the loss of Dr. Riley, and my thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Judith, and their loving family, including daughter Celeste Riley, the County Clerk, and his son Joseph P. Riley.

“As a County Republican Chairman, I am particularly aware of the challenges and duties Dr. Riley faced in his dual role as an elected official and political chair. He performed his responsibilities with the calm demeanor befitting of a physician. His presence will be missed in Cumberland County.” Continue Reading…

Senator Michael Testa

Testa Shares VFW’s Frustration with Administration’s Handling of COVID in Veterans Homes

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Renews Call for Senate Investigation with Subpoena Powers

Senator Michael Testa today joined Brian Wiener, the state commander of the New Jersey VFW in calling for an investigation into the tragic mishandling of the COVID-19 virus inside the state’s veterans homes.

Sen. Michael Testa joined the state commander of the New Jersey VFW in calling for an investigation into the tragic mishandling of the COVID-19 virus inside the state’s veterans homes. (SenateNJ.com)

“Costly mistakes were made, lives were lost unnecessarily, and like the situation that claimed the lives of more than 7,100 vulnerable seniors in our nursing homes, this has been swept under the rug by the Murphy administration,” said Testa (R-1). “Those who served our nation proudly in the military and defended our freedoms across the globe deserve better from their government leaders in the twilight of their lives.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Faults Democrat Legislature for Making Mess of Marijuana Bill

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Voters Endorsed Legalization; Greed and Competing Agendas Assure Problematic Future

Senator Michael Testa released the following statement after casting a “no” vote on legislation (S-21) to legalize the personal use of cannabis by adults:

Sen. Michael Testa faulted the Legislature for the confused, problematic measure passed today to legalize the personal use of marijuana by adults. (Pixabay)

“The Legislature should be ashamed of itself. By a 2-to-1 margin, New Jersey voters approved a referendum to legalize marijuana and this should have been an easy lift, but the Senate, Assembly and special interests have confounded something we all knew was inevitable for the past three years.

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