New Jersey's 1st Legislative District

Senator Michael Testa

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

Republican Budget Members to Gov: Why are You Sitting on ARP Money?

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The Administration Has Spent Almost None of Billions in Federal Funds Intended to Help Residents

On the three-month anniversary of the State receiving $6.2 billion in COVID relief funding from the federal government, the four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee today called on the Murphy Administration to stop the foot-dragging and put the money to work helping residents, as it was intended.

The Murphy Administration is sitting on more than $6 billion in American Rescue Plan money and the four Republicans on the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee want the money put to work helping NJ residents and employers. (Pixabay)

In a letter to the Governor and the Senate Democrat co-chairs of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee (JBOC), 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) criticized the Administration for only spending $316,000 or .005% of the money since it was received in May.

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Senator Michael Testa

Senator Testa Dismayed by Murphy’s Calamitous Tax Increase on Employers

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Republicans Have Been Calling for American Relief Plan Funds to Prevent the Tax Hike

Senator Michael Testa (R-1) released the following statement blasting the Murphy Administration for the job-killing payroll tax increase:

Sen. Michael Testa said Gov. Murphy’s massive payroll tax on New Jersey employers will cost jobs in a state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. (Pixabay)

“Late Friday, Governor Murphy increased the employer payroll tax by $252 million despite New Jersey having one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation at 7.3 percent.  My Republican colleagues and I had been advocating for the use of available federal funds to prevent any tax increase on employers as they recover from COVID closures.  The Governor refused to listen.

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Prisoner Freed by Gov. Murphy Accused of Murder Just 2 Days After Release

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While Jamming Nursing Homes with Sick COVID Patients, Murphy Administration Was Emptying Jails to Protect Prisoners

Senator Michael Testa said murder charges filed against a former inmate freed by Governor Phil Murphy demonstrate the insanity of the administration’s early release of thousands of dangerous inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Michael Testa said murder charges filed against a former inmate freed by Gov. Phil Murphy demonstrate the insanity of the administration’s early release of thousands of dangerous inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Pixabay)

“A member of the public is now dead as a direct result of the Murphy administration’s dangerous early release policy,” said Testa (R-1). “According to the charges filed by prosecutors, it took just two days for a released inmate to commit murder after his sentence was cut short and he was set free. We warned Governor Murphy that he was putting the public at risk, but he disagreed, with tragic results.”

NJ.com reported today on criminal charges filed against Jerry D. Crawford for a murder he is alleged to have committed just two days after his release from South Woods State Prison. The victim’s body was found less than a half-mile from the prison.

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District 1

LD1 Lawmakers Challenge Murphy’s School Mask Mandate

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Children Should Not be Required to Mask Up for Return to Classrooms

After the Governor announced masks will once again be mandatory when schools resume in September, Senator Michael Testa and Assemblymen Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan asserted that decision should be up to the parents.

Senator Michael Testa and Assemblymen Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan insist parents should decide is their children should wear masks when they go back to school. (Pixabay)

“The last thing we need is Trenton to swoop in and order our children to mask up for the first day of school,” the legislators said in a joint statement. “Children have been used as pawns in this game before, and we know the damage masks have done to their psyche and their educational and personal development.

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Senator Testa Highlights Local Charity Fashion Show that Benefits Disabled Children

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Applauds Organizations Efforts in Inclusion and Acceptance

In efforts to support local community organizations, State Senator Michael Testa Jr. (R-1) attended the “I Love Me and My Disability Fashion Show” hosted by the ‘From We Can’t to We Can’ at the Landis Theater in Vineland, NJ.

“It was an absolute honor to attend the I Love Me and My Disability Fashion Show. Our local kids and young adults are cherished members of our community – and no one can deny their joy, energy, and excitement walking down the fashion runway” Senator Testa Stated.

State Senator Michael Testa Jr. attended the “I Love Me and My Disability Fashion Show” hosted by the ‘From We Can’t to We Can’ at the Landis Theater in Vineland, NJ. (June 2020)

More than 10 percent of New Jerseyans (of all ages) report a disability, according to a nationwide report from 2017. In New Jersey, out of the “six types of disabilities identified in the ACS, the highest prevalence rate was for ‘Ambulatory Disability,’ 5.7 percent.”

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Senator Michael Testa
Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson, Testa Endorse Responsible Spending Priorities for Federal COVID Funds as Murphy Administration Ponders Options

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Senator Sam Thompson and Senator Michael Testa, both Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee, provided written testimony for the Murphy Administration’s virtual American Rescue Plan Hearings scheduled for this afternoon and tomorrow morning.

Senator Sam Thompson and Senator Michael Testa, both Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee, provided written testimony for the Murphy Administration’s virtual American Rescue Plan hearings. (Pixabay)

The Senators’ comments, submitted online prior to the Tuesday hearing, are presented below:

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: New Jersey Must Do More to Prevent Overdose Deaths

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Calls for Murphy to Sign Bill Ensuring Opioid Settlement Money Will be Used Solely for Addiction Prevention and Treatment

A year-and-a-half decline in life expectancy in the United States, reported by The Associated Press today, should be a wake-up call for New Jersey, where deaths from drug overdose have reached disturbing levels, Senator Michael Testa said.

Overdose deaths are up, life expectancy is down, and Sen. Michael Testa is calling on Gov. Murphy to sign legislation bolstering addiction prevention and treatment programs. (Pixabay)

An increase in fatal drug overdoses combined with COVID to drop life expectancy to 77.3 years, the lowest level in two decades, as more than 3.3 million Americans died last year. The data was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Murphy Still Refuses to Rule Out Vaccine Passports as DOH Launches New App

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Senator Michael Testa warned New Jerseyans need to remain vigilant to ensure that a new app launched by the Murphy administration isn’t converted into a vaccine passport that can be used to exclude or segregate people based on vaccination status.

Sen. Michael Testa warned New Jerseyans need to remain vigilant to ensure that a new app launched by the Murphy administration isn’t converted into a vaccine passport. (SenateNJ.com)

“Governor Murphy hasn’t been transparent with New Jerseyans during the pandemic and he’s refused to rule out the use of vaccine passports,” said Testa (R-1). “We need to be vigilant to ensure this app doesn’t suddenly morph into a vaccine passport that people are forced to display everywhere they go.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa: Avalon Beach & Boardwalk Closure a Direct Result of Lawlessness Enabled by Gov. Murphy

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Rowdy Teens Know Governor’s “Social Justice” Reforms Put Them Above the Law

Senator Michael Testa said nighttime beach and boardwalk closures in Avalon are the direct result of so-called “social justice” reforms enacted by Governor Phil Murphy that allow kids to break the law without any fear of consequences.

Sen. Michael Testa said nighttime beach and boardwalk closures in Avalon are the direct result of so-called ‘social justice’ reforms enacted by Gov. Phil Murphy that allow kids to break the law without any fear of consequences. (Flickr)

“Governor Murphy’s quest for social justice makes police the criminals if they dare to stop, detain, or question rowdy teenagers who are destroying property, openly using drugs and alcohol, and disrupting our communities,” said Testa (R-1). “It’s not just Avalon where this is happening. All across New Jersey, Governor Murphy has stripped police of their power to enforce the law and protect the public while clear violations are being committed before their eyes. Kids know they’re above the law and they’re taking advantage of it.”

In response to his small town’s growing problem with large gatherings of out-of-control teens, Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi was forced to sign an order indefinitely closing the town’s beaches and boardwalk in the overnight hours.

Avalon Police had warned that directives issued by the Murphy administration’s attorney general and a new law that strictly limits how police interact with minors was impeding their ability to manage the hordes of teens and young adults or hold them accountable for violations of the law.

“To see where this is going, one only needs to look at San Francisco where surging crime has followed their neutering of the police, ” added Testa. “Governor Murphy has said he wants New Jersey to be the California of the East Coast. This rising tide of lawlessness we’re now witnessing represents the fulfillment of Governor Murphy’s progressive vision for New Jersey.”

Senator Michael Testa

Testa/Sweeney Bill to Allow Mobile Barbershops Earns Final Legislative Approval

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Shops-on-Wheels Could Bring Services to Customers’ Homes, Offices

Barbershops and hair salons could soon take their scissors on the road under legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Testa and Senate President Steve Sweeney that received final legislative approval from the Senate today and now awaits the Governor’s consideration.

Legislation that would allow mobile barbershops and hair salons to operate in the state, sponsored by Sen. Mike Testa and Senate President Steve Sweeney, that received final legislative approval from the Senate. (Pixabay)

“Barbershops on wheels will open the doors to new opportunities for hard-working professionals with ambitions to grow their business and conveniently serve more customers,” said Testa (R-1). “This bill reflects one of the lessons we all learned from the pandemic: residents, schools and businesses must be adaptable. Given the popularity of food trucks and the renewed emphasis on convenience and safety, barber shops and hair salons shouldn’t be restricted to costly brick-and-mortar locations.”

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