Quorum Call
News from the District

From the office of Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney
July 2022 Newsletter
A MESSAGE FROM THE ASSEMBLYMAN

Dear Friends, 

Thank you for viewing my July 2022 Newsletter. Enclosed you will find some pertinent updates from the past month in my office and Trenton, as well as what is on the horizon for the upcoming month.

There are updates on what is being discussed in my committees in this edition of Quorum Call as well as policy updates on bills I have sponsored that have been approved in the General Assembly and Senate, plus new legislative initiatives I am introducing. My statement on the FY2022-2023 State Budget is also included in this month's edition.

At the June 16, 2022 voting session of the General Assembly, three of my sponsored bills were adopted:

  • My bill A184, which requires utility companies seeking to increase rates in a service area to hold public hearings in every county in that area prior to raising rates, unanimously passed the Assembly.
  • I was also honored to have another of my bills, A831, pass the Assembly without opposition. This bill establishes reciprocity for out-of-state EMT certifications.
  • In addition, I was pleased to work as a primary sponsor with Assembly members Sumter, Benson, and Reynolds Jackson on bill A3823, an election bill which requires an enhanced review of death records two months prior to the election, permits remote training for certain election workers, and exempts election worker pay from taxation. Our bill was passed in the Assembly unanimously, and later passed the Senate on June 29, 2022 at their voting session. The bill now sits on the Governor's desk and is ready to be signed into law!

Should you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will never stop working for you and all of my constituents across my district and New Jersey. I wish you all a wonderful month of July!


All the best,
 
Kevin J. Rooney
Assemblyman

BUDGET STATEMENT
Statement on the New Jersey State Budget
for Fiscal Year 2022-2023
Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, 40th Legislative District
Published Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Today, in Trenton, I proudly voted NO to the bloated $50.6 billion State Budget that increases the total state budget by $4.2 billion despite the state having a $6.3 billion tax revenue surplus.

Legislators were given less than 48 hours to review a nearly 300 page document including thousands of line items on a myriad of programs.

Despite the increase in tax revenue and added nearly $2 billion in federal funding, this budget still creates a $250 million spending deficit, cuts $20 million from the Senior Freeze property tax program, and puts a grand total of $0.00 in the Rainy Day Fund. It also includes $638 million in “pork” spending — which earmark projects in different legislative districts that have nothing to do with the overall operation of the State of New Jersey.

This budget also includes temporary fixes (such as a one week sales tax holiday for school supply purchases) and the Governor’s ANCHOR “property tax relief” program — which falls far short of the $4+ billion requested in property tax relief by Republicans — but fails to include long term, sustainable funding solutions to improve the business and residential tax burden in this state.

While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle attempted to justify this flawed financial spending package, I and nearly our entire Republican caucus in the Assembly stood up to the misdirection and pomp and circumstance. Unfortunately, the Assembly Democrats had the votes in their caucus to pass this spending plan and the State Budget was ratified.*

Since Governor Murphy took office five short years ago, the State Budget has increased by 46% — from $34.7 billion to $50.6 billion — and increases the State Budget by over $9 million from last year.

The spending craze in this state needs to stop and I will continue to be a fierce advocate for fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability in our government here in the Garden State.

*Note: The FY2023 State Budget was signed into law by Governor Philip D. Murphy on Thursday, June 30, 2022, the day after this statement was released.
The General Assembly voting board from the final passage of the FY2022-2023 budget
GOVERNMENT IN ACTION
Left: Assemblyman Rooney motions his bill for a vote during a voting session
Above: Assemblyman Rooney tracks the General Assembly Voting Board after casting his vote on a bill.
ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY HARD AT WORK IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE

Assemblyman Rooney has been working diligently in the New Jersey General Assembly, actively evaluating legislation in both the Assembly Appropriations and Consumer Affairs committees, of which he is a member.

Here are the highlights of this month's committee meetings:

  • The Consumer Affairs Committee debated and discussed bills regarding online cancellation options for subscriptions and gym memberships, a verified online marketplace registry to help prevent the resale of stolen goods, prohibiting cell phone companies from selling customer location data, revising state requirements for contractors, and establishing prohibited practices for creditors.
  • The Appropriations Committee heard extensive testimony and discussions on election laws, voting ballot distribution, utility trust funds, disability payments to veterans, healthcare coverage for mental health, behavioral health treatment, adjustments to the Controlling Interest Transfer Tax, charges for copying medical records, education stabilization aid, placement of ballot dropboxes, mosquito control, election costs, compensation for affected farmland owners, DEP funding, paramedics and EMT staffing, law enforcement officer licensing, Medicaid rates for cancer screenings, school district threat assessment teams, sales tax incentives, and the Governor's gun bill package.
  • Assemblyman Rooney also testified in front of the Telecommunications & Utilities Committee about his primary sponsored bill A184, which requires public utility providers to hold public hearings in every county of a service area before raising rates. The bill was unanimously passed and was posted for a vote of the full General Assembly on June 16, 2022 and passed without opposition!

Assemblyman Rooney has sponsored and co-sponsored multiple bills making their way through different committees on a wide array of topics. Some notable pieces of legislation introduced by Assemblyman Rooney this month include:

  • A4290, which requires school districts to maintain a supply of nasal rescue spray and oxygen for seizure emergencies, and provides for training of designees to administer these tools when the school nurse is not physically present
  • A4357, which permits the inclusion of volunteer firefighters and other emergency responders within municipal eligible employee groups for the purposes of the small employer health benefits plan statutes
  • A4407, which requires emergency revival kits for smoke inhalation to be kept on all paramedic units (also known as cyanide toxicity kits)
  • A4408, which requires any cannabis products to be stored in a locked storage container

These bills will work through the committee process upon the Legislature's return from its budget recess.
Above: Assemblyman Rooney testifying on his bill A184 at the ATU Committee.
Left: Assemblyman Rooney questioning an expert in a Consumer Affairs meeting.
CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF 2022!
Assemblyman Rooney would like to congratulate all of the members of the graduating Class of 2022 from high schools around the 40th Legislative District! Senator Corrado, Assemblyman Rooney, and Assemblyman DePhillips are sending congratulatory letters to each graduate from the following public high schools in the legislative district: Cedar Grove H.S., Northern Highlands Regional H.S. (including Allendale and Ho-Ho-Kus), Passaic Valley H.S. (including Little Falls, Totowa, and Woodland Park), Pequannock Twp. H.S., Pompton Lakes H.S. (including Riverdale), Ramapo/Indian Hills H.S. (including Franklin Lakes and Wyckoff), Ridgewood H.S., Waldwick H.S. (including Midland Park), Wayne Hills H.S., and Wayne Valley H.S.

The Legislative District 40 Team wishes all of our graduates the best of luck in their future endeavors!
EVENTS AROUND THE DISTRICT
The Vista 1 Year Anniversary Open House

Wednesday, June 22 -- Assemblyman Rooney had the pleasure of touring The Vista, a Christian Health facility, in Wyckoff at its 1 Year Anniversary Open House celebration, along with numerous mayors, police leaders, and members of Christian Health's administration and The Vista staff. This incredible facility offers luxurious living for active adults ages 55+, with on-site facilities including an indoor pool, gym, personal training, and indoor and outdoor dining ranging from bistro to fine dining.

Pictured above (from left to right): Wyckoff Mayor Rudy Boonstra, Hawthorne Mayor John Lane, Christian Health President and CEO Douglas A. Struyk, Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, and North Haledon Mayor Randy George.

Pictured below (from left to right): Wyckoff Township Administrator Matt Cavallo, Fire Chief Joe VanderPlaat, Police Chief Dave Murphy, Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, Police Lieutenant Joe Soto, and Police Lieutenant Kevin Kasak.
Charity "Tank Pull" Fundraiser

Sunday, June 12 -- Assemblyman Rooney joined the Senator Corrado LD40 Team at the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Charities "Tank Pull" event in Clifton, Passaic County. The LD40 Team included Senator Kristin Corrado, Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips, Totowa Councilwoman Debbie Andriani & husband Frank Andriani, Assemblyman Rooney's Chief of Staff Matthew Conlon, former Paterson Police Chief Troy Oswald, Wayne PAL President Donnie DeDio, Kevin & Judy O'Connor, Wayne residents Jake Higuera and Shannon DiCristina. The Team was out in full force to pull the tank and raise funds for worthy causes for veterans. This year, the event fell on Women's Veterans Remembrance Day in New Jersey. Assemblyman Rooney thanks all women veterans for their service of our country!
Lorrimer Nature Sanctuary Open House

Wednesday, June 8 -- Assemblyman Rooney attended an Open House at the New Jersey Audubon Society's Lorrimer Nature Sanctuary in Franklin Lakes, Bergen County. Attendees were informed about programs being offered by the sanctuary as well as plans for future expansion of the facility to allow for increased public use. Assemblyman Rooney also had the pleasure of meeting the new director, Alexa Fantacone, who will bring energy and expertise to her role leading the operations at the facility. Assemblyman Rooney fully supports these efforts to further develop the Lorrimer Nature Sanctuary to enhance their offerings and benefit the community at large!
A rendering of the future instructional room at the expanded Lorrimer Sanctuary
NJ Fallen Firefighter Memorial

Saturday, June 4 -- Assemblyman Rooney attended the 5th annual New Jersey Fallen Firefighters & Fire Museum Memorial Service at the NJ Fire Museum in Allentown, NJ. The service was well attended and featured a number of representatives from numerous fire departments across the state, honoring their fallen brothers who perished in the line of duty. Assemblyman Rooney was also joined by his colleague, Assemblyman Rob Clifton (District 12), who represents Allentown in the General Assembly. 

Assemblyman Rooney had the honor of presenting a Joint Proclamation from the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly to New Jersey Fire Museum President David Horsnall. As a member of the New Jersey Statewide Fire Safety Commission, Assemblyman Rooney presented the proclamation on behalf of his fellow legislative representatives: Senator Samuel Thompson (District 12, who represents Allentown in the Senate), Senator Linda Greenstein (District 14), and Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (District 17).

Assemblyman Rooney is proud to support all of the brave men and women serving on Fire Departments across our state, as well as the dedicated volunteers at the NJ Fire Museum!
Color guard presenting flags at the event
L to R: Assemblyman Rooney, President Horsnall, and Assemblyman Clifton
OBSERVANCES
Independence Day ~ July 4, 2022

Independence Day -- known colloquially as Fourth of July -- is a holiday commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which was ratified by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The Congress declared that the Thirteen Colonies were no longer subject to the rule of Great Britain's monarch.
COMMUNITY MILESTONES
Happy 100th Birthday, Franklin Lakes!

Assemblyman Rooney attended the June 21, 2022 Franklin Lakes Borough Council meeting to present a joint legislative proclamation honoring the 100th anniversary of Franklin Lakes' creation as a municipality. Pictured left to right are: Councilman Dennis Bonagura, Councilman Thomas Lambrix, Councilman Charles Kahwaty, Council President Ann Swist, Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, Mayor Frank Bivona (holding proclamation), Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips, Councilman Joseph Cadicina, and Councilwoman Gail Kelly.
HEROES BEYOND THE BADGE
Wyckoff Police Officers Awarded For Bravery
In Line Of Duty

A number of Wyckoff Police Officers were presented with awards by Chief David Murphy, including Letters of Merit, Life Saving Medals, and Honorable Service Medals for actions taken on various calls throughout the past year. Those brave officers receiving awards include:

  • Honorable Service Medal for removing a burned victim in close proximity to a garage fire: Sergeant Kyle Ferreira and Officer Michael Flim
  • Honorable Service Medal for actions during Hurricane Ida: Officers Michael Teegan, Michael Scalise, and Joseph Benanti
  • Life Saving Award for a CPR save assisting Midland Park: Officers Terrance Murphy, Robert Schlossberg, and Kevin Oldewurtel

Assemblyman Rooney congratulates these brave officers and thanks them for going above and beyond the call of duty to keep our district residents safe!
CONSUMER TIP OF THE MONTH
Reduce Financial Junk Mail!

You can reduce or eliminate pre-approved applications for credit cards, home equity loans, and insurance products by calling 1-888-567-8688 or registering online (optoutprescreen.com). Credit bureaus that market credit information will then take your name off their mailing lists. However, companies that maintain existing business relationships can still send mail.
ROONEY'S RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney is a former champion of the Food Network show "Chopped!" and a passionate chef. He is happy to share his recipe for the month with our readers.

Perfect Quick Summer Lasagna

Ingredients (Makes four servings):
  • 1 cup ricotta   
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 lasagna noodles, broken into thirds, cooked and drained
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced, you can use eggplant (lightly sautéed if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves

Instructions
  1. Combine ricotta parmesan and 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium high and add tomatoes. Cook until slightly broken down, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
  3. Add zucchini to skillet (with a little more oil if needed). Season with salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes until tender. Transfer to another bowl.
  4. Spread a few tomatoes over four plates. Top with one noodle, a spoonful of ricotta mixture, zucchini, and more tomatoes. Repeat layering twice, ending with noodle and tomatoes. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top.
  5. Garnish with basil and serve.


ROONEY ON THE RADIO

Are you listening? Tune in every 3rd Tuesday of the month to "The Frank Truatt Morning Show" on WTBQ 1110 AM & 93.5 FM and WGHT 1500 at 8:10AM for Assemblyman Rooney's monthly in-studio appearance, where we always discuss issues facing New Jersey residents, updates from the Legislature, and happenings in the communities in our area!

WTBQ 1110 AM & 93.5 FM and WGHT 1500
#1 Community Radio Station
#1 North Jersey ~ NYC ~ Orange County
#1 Morning Drive Time Show
EMPLOYMENT

Assemblyman Rooney and his staff have received several inqueries about unemployment. Below are some helpful resources: