New Jersey's 1st Legislative District

Senator Michael Testa

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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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Urges NJDOE to Improve Guidance for Special Education Students During Pandemic

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Says Corners Being Cut on IEPs, Special Needs Students Risk Falling Behind

Senator Michael Testa urged the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) to improve guidance for students with special needs and disabilities to ensure they are not left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Michael Testa urged the NJDOE to improve guidance for students with special needs and disabilities to ensure they are not left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Pixabay)

“Sadly, I’ve heard heart-breaking stories about children with IEPs who are having an extremely difficult time with remote learning,” said Testa (R-1). “Many have been cut off from the various support services they rely upon when in school that maximize their potential as students. Our local children desperately needed these critical education services. This is a policy failure on the part of the NJDOE that must be fixed quickly.”

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

Republican Budget Committee Members to Propose Dedicating $600 Million Horizon Payment to Improving Health Care in NJ

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The four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee will move an amendment tomorrow to legislation restructuring Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey to require a proposed $600 million payment from the insurer to be deposited into a new nonprofit entity that is dedicated to rate stabilization and improving the quality and efficiency of health care in New Jersey.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee will propose an amendment to legislation restructuring Horizon BCBSNJ to require a proposed $600 million payment from the insurer to be deposited into a new nonprofit entity that is dedicated to rate stabilization and improving the quality and efficiency of health care in New Jersey. (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) — said they are concerned that premiums paid by Horizon’s policyholders and ratepayers will be consumed by the State’s General Fund to pay for spending unrelated to healthcare.

“In an ideal world, the excess premiums paid to Horizon by policyholders, small businesses, local governments, and taxpayers would be returned to customers in the form of lower future premiums,” the Republican senators said in a joint statement. “It’s clear, however, that’s not what this rushed legislation envisions. If the sponsors are going to require a massive payment to the State, we believe the proceeds should be dedicated by law to improving health care in New Jersey in a way that benefits and supports the needs of the communities that paid the premiums in the first place.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa/Sweeney Bill Would Allow Mobile Barbershops

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Would Allow Shops-on-Wheels to Bring Services to Their Customers

Barbershops and hair salons would be able to take their scissors on the road under legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Testa and Senate President Steve Sweeney and advanced today by the Senate Commerce Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Michael Testa and Senate President Steve Sweeney would allow mobile barbershops and hair salons in the state. (Pixabay)

“Mobile service will open doors to new opportunities for hard-working professionals with ambitions to grow their business and serve more customers,” said Testa (R-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic). “The pandemic has taught us that residents, schools and businesses must be adaptable.

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Urges Governor Murphy to Allow In-Person Support Group Meetings to Continue

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In recent days, Governor Murphy has imposed new COVID-19 restrictions, including revised indoor and outdoor capacity limits. In response, Senator Michael Testa urged the governor to ensure that alcohol and narcotics support group meetings be allowed to continue in person—regardless of any limitations on gatherings.

Senator Michael Testa urged Governor Murphy to ensure that alcohol and narcotics support group meetings be allowed to continue in person—regardless of new COVID-19 restrictions. (Pixabay)

“There are thousands of people in New Jersey who struggle with addiction each day,” said Testa (R-1). “Many of these individuals are in recovery, and currently rely on a 12-step support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. It is vital that these support groups be allowed to continue to hold in-person meetings. The type of help an individual receives in these groups cannot be duplicated in a video conferencing session.”

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

Senate Republicans Repeat Call for Passage of Substantial Aid Package for Small Businesses & Nonprofits as State Budget Surplus Grows

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Sales Tax Revenues Continue to Outpace Murphy Administration’s Dire Revenue Projections

As sales tax collections continue to outpace the Murphy Administration’s dire revenue estimates for FY 2021 and the State budget surplus grows, the Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee repeated their calls for action on a substantial aid package to support small businesses and nonprofits struggling with the impact of COVID-19.

As sales tax collections continue to outpace the Murphy Administration’s dire revenue estimates for FY 2021 and the State budget surplus grows, the Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee repeated their calls for action on a substantial aid package to support small businesses and nonprofits struggling with the impact of COVID-19. (©iStock)

“While more and more of our small businesses are closing shop with little help from the State, Governor Murphy only seems willing to look out for his own political interests,” said Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13). “He’s building a massive surplus with borrowed and taxed funds that’s not helping anyone but himself. We’re hoping our Democrat colleagues in the Legislature will do the right thing and join us in passing a substantial aid package to help small businesses and nonprofits survive.”

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Michael Testa

O’Scanlon & Testa Urge Governor, Legislative Leaders to Call Special Session to Approve Business Aid Package

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) and Senator Michael Testa (R-1) sent a letter (click here for PDF) today to Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin urging for a special session of the Legislature to be convened to adopt an emergency aid package for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Sen. Michael Testa sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin urging a special legislative session to adopt an emergency aid package for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. (Pixabay)

The senators, both members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, sponsor S-3210, which appropriates $300 million of the CARES Act relief funds received by the State to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to provide financial support, such as loans or grants, to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations for the costs associated with business operation interruptions caused by any State-required closures due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their letter follows this weekend’s call by Republican legislative leaders for a special session to consider the measure.

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Votes No on Marijuana Bill in Budget Committee

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Says Tax Structure Ensures Survival of Black Market for Pot

Senator Michael Testa today voted against the Senate bill to legalize marijuana for personal use.

The bill, S-21, passed the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today and is scheduled to be considered by the full Senate during Monday’s session.

Senator Testa voted against legislation to legalize marijuana for personal use, citing the excessive taxation provided for by the bill, and the complicated layers of regulations it would create. (Pixabay)

“The people of New Jersey voted for and support legalization, but they didn’t vote for this bill,” said Testa (R-1). “This bill has been pushed and pulled in so many directions by special interests and legislators who want nothing more than to get their hands on a tax windfall. I had to vote ‘No’ and I am disappointed that Trenton couldn’t do the right thing and pass a bill that has not be corrupted by greed.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Urges Health Committee to Act on Legislation to Prevent New Restrictions on Elective Surgeries

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Senator Michael Testa urged the Senate Health Committee to take action on legislation that would prevent Governor Phil Murphy from ordering new restrictions on elective surgeries and invasive procedures during the current public health emergency.

Sen. Michael Testa urged action on legislation preventing Gov. Phil Murphy from ordering new restrictions on elective surgeries and invasive procedures due to COVID-19. (Pixabay)

“We can’t have a repeat of this spring when Governor Murphy prohibited New Jerseyans from receiving many important medical and dental procedures and surgeries for two months,” said Testa (R-1). “Many providers still haven’t caught up on the backlog that resulted from that unnecessary delay, and some patients continue to suffer in pain while their conditions deteriorate. We have a bill that’s ready to be heard in the Senate Health Committee that would prevent this from happening again. It’s imperative that the Legislature act before it’s too late.

Testa joined with Senator Vin Gopal (D-11) to introduce bipartisan legislation in May that explicitly authorizes health care practitioners to perform elective surgeries and invasive procedure during the COVID-19 crisis, notwithstanding any executive orders or administrative rules to the contrary.

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