New Jersey's 1st Legislative District

Senator Michael Testa

Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Michael Testa

Pennacchio/Testa Bill Opening Access to Government Records Related to the Pandemic Advances

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Bipartisan Measure Removes Limits on the Emergency Health Powers Act that Obscure Transparency

Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Michael Testa that would remove limits on access to public and government records under the Emergency Health Powers Act was approved today by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Pennacchio and Senator Testa that would remove limits on access to public and government records under the Emergency Health Powers Act was advanced. (SenateNJ.com)

“The limitations in the Act help obscure government transparency during crises like the current coronavirus pandemic,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The Act was never intended to conceal data and decisions impacting public health and fiscal stability from public and legislative scrutiny.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Murphy’s Vote-by-Mail Plan Will Cause Unnecessary Election Chaos in November

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Says People Should Be Allowed to Vote However They Feel Safe, Including in Person

Senator Michael Testa said Governor Phil Murphy’s plan to have voters cast their ballots almost exclusively by mail in the upcoming general election will cause unnecessary chaos in November.

Sen. Michael Testa said Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to have voters cast their ballots almost exclusively by mail in the upcoming general election will cause unnecessary chaos in November. (SenateNJ.com)

“Governor Murphy’s plan to have everyone vote by mail will create unnecessary confusion in the upcoming general election when ballots will be cast for offices ranging from President of the United States to town council,” said Testa (R-1). “If our experience with the July vote-by-mail primary is any guide, New Jersey isn’t ready to pull off an election of such consequence by mail in a way that will ensure that every voter’s ballot is properly counted.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Governor Signs Testa/Simonsen Bill Supporting Fall Sports Athletes

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New Law Extends Deadlines for Sports Physicals into the Season

With the scholastic fall sports season rapidly approaching, legislation sponsored by Senator Michael Testa and Assemblyman Erik Simonsen to allow additional time for high school and middle school athletes to pass sports physicals was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.

With the scholastic fall sports season rapidly approaching, legislation sponsored by Senator Testa and Assemblyman Simonsen to allow additional time for high school and middle school athletes to pass sports physicals was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy. (Pixabay)

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Calls for Renewed Emphasis on Preventing Power Outages from Storms

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Senator Michael Testa today said the massive power outages resulting from Tropical Storm Isaias prove there is much work remaining to make New Jersey’s power grid more robust.

The power outages resulting from Tropical Storm Isaias prove there is much work remaining to make New Jersey’s power grid more robust, Senator Testa said. (Pixabay)

“Every time a storm hits, the results are the same. Trees come down, wires come down, people go without power for days,” said Testa. “Trees growing too close to electrical lines is a recipe for trouble in storms, and as long as there’s resistance when the utility companies plan to cut back vegetation that jeopardizes power delivery to residents, we’re going to continue to suffer massive outages like the ones this week.

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Bill to Bring Broadband Service to Rural Communities Advances

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Requires EDA to Provide Loans to Entice Telecom Providers to Expand High-Speed Networks

Residents in rural areas of the state frustrated by slow internet service could see relief under legislation sponsored by Senator Michael Testa and advanced today by the Senate.

The bill (S-1458) requires the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to offer loans to broadband telecom companies to expand coverage areas and bring state-of-the-art technology to currently underserved communities.

Rural areas of South Jersey could have access to broadband telecommunication services under Senator Testa’s bill, approved today by the Senate.

“Not long ago, high speed internet was a luxury, but today it is an absolute necessity, especially for small businesses and students who rely on computers for access to research, and livestreaming lessons,” said Testa (R-1). “For many local students enrolled at Rowan’s Cumberland campus, the internet at their homes is so unreliable they have no choice but to travel to school facilities to use broadband service. That is unacceptable in this day and age.”

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

As State Tax Collections Improve, Republican Budget Members Call on Treasurer to Update Financial Disclosures

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Gov. Murphy Continues to Claim $10 Billion Revenue Loss, Which Is Misleading and Exaggerated

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee wrote a letter (click here for PDF) to New Jersey Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio urging the State to file new disclosure statements with financial markets to correct grossly pessimistic revenue forecasts. They said an estimated $10 billion revenue loss that Governor Murphy continues to reference is “misleading and exaggerated.”

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee urged N.J. Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio to file new disclosure statements with financial markets to correct grossly pessimistic revenue forecasts, saying an estimated $10 billion revenue loss that Gov. Murphy continues to reference is “misleading and exaggerated.” (©iStock)

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), noted that actual sales tax collections for June were down just 4.6% compared to the same period last year, while the Murphy Administration had estimated a 30% loss. Similarly, they said non-partisan revenue forecasters believe both the Gross Income Tax and Corporate Business Tax have meaningfully exceeded May projections.

They warned: “If an ordinary citizen were to knowingly exaggerate their financial condition and need for money in an effort to secure federal loans and grants, they would risk charges of fraud and prosecution.”

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District 1

LD1 Team: Murphy Ignores State’s Public Health Experts, Prioritizes Politics Over Science

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Senator Michael Testa, Assemblyman Erik Simonsen, and Assemblyman Antwan McClellan slammed Governor Phil Murphy for excluding public health experts who work within his administration and for the State from discussions and decisions regarding New Jersey’s reopening procedures.

Testa, Simonsen & McClellan slammed Gov. Murphy for excluding public health experts who work within his administration from discussions and decisions regarding reopening procedures. (©iStock)

“It’s shocking that Gov. Murphy has left his administration’s public health experts – who should be advising him – in the dark, only for them to discover new policy actions when they tune into the governor’s press conferences,” said Testa (R-1). “Murphy’s unilateral reign, which is tanking New Jersey businesses and livelihoods, is not grounded in science or data. His decisions are solely dependent on which way certain political winds are blowing, or whatever Governor Cuomo opts to do first. For the health and well-being of New Jersey families, I urge the governor to consult with his own advisors prior to making major policy decisions.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Murphy is Picking Winners Again, and Ignoring Plight of Small Employers in Most of the State

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Calls on Governor to Utilize More CARES Act Money and Expand Eligible Municipalities for New Commercial Rental Assistance Program

Senator Michael Testa today challenged the Governor to do better after a press event Thursday announcing Murphy’s program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Testa critized the Governor’s COVID relief program for small business for excluding mom-and-pop companies located in most of the state’s municipalities, and called allocating more CARES Act funds to help prevent employers from going out of business. (WikiMedia)

“As usual, this over-hyped announcement was polished up with a fancy title and livestreamed on the Governor’s YouTube channel. Despite the Wall Street-style branding, the new program fails more small businesses than it helps,” said Testa (R-1). “Murphy can do better. Before the first application arrives, he should expand the program so it can help desperate mom-and-pop businesses in every corner of the state.

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Senator Michael Testa

LD1 Team Bill Designating Cape May’s Howell House as New Jersey’s Harriet Tubman Museum Advances

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One of the oldest houses in Cape May will be recognized as the Harriet Tubman Museum in New Jersey under bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Michael Testa and cleared by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Testa and Assemblymen McClellan and Simonsen that would designate the historic Howell House in Cape May as the Harriet Tubman Museum in New Jersey is advancing in the Legislature. (SenateNJ.com)

The bill, S-2585, establishes the Howell House on Cape May’s Lafayette Street to honor Tubman, a legendary abolitionist and advocate for women’s voting rights.

“This is a fitting tribute to an incredibly tireless and unwavering woman who played significant roles in two historic societal advancements that changed American society forever,” said Testa, who sponsors the bill with Senators Ronald L. Rice and Shirley K. Turner.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Republican Senators: Senate Must Act Now to Investigate Deadly Pandemic Mistakes

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Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, joined by Republican Senators Joe Pennacchio, Anthony M. Bucco, Steve Oroho, Kristin Corrado and Michael Testa, issued the following statement in response to coverage in The Star-Ledger questioning why the Legislature has failed to act on important hearings to investigate the State’s pandemic preparedness.

Senator Tom Kean and Senate Republicans today called for a Senate Select Committee to immediately begin investigating the Administration’s response to COVID-19. (SenateNJ.com)

“The hearings we called for more than two months ago aren’t happening, and we’re all angry and frustrated. Mistakes were made that cost thousands of people their lives in nursing homes, and we recognize the crucial need to understand what led to the mistakes. Delays and foot-dragging are costing us time we cannot afford to lose.

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