New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony Bucco

Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Kip Bateman

Advanced: Bucco/Bateman Bill Mandating Ethics Training for Local Government Officials

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The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee adopted legislation sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Christopher “Kip” Bateman to combat and prevent egregious violations of public trust and the illegal spending of taxpayer dollars by requiring all local officials to complete a training program on the Local Government Ethics Law.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Anthony Bucco and Sen. Kip Bateman mandates ethics training for local government officials. (©iStock)

“The people of New Jersey are fed up with corrupt officials who squander their hard-earned taxpayer dollars for political wheeling-and-dealing, greed, or personal gain,” Senator Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) said. “Each year, we entrust municipal and county officers with $15 billion taxpayer dollars. Requiring these public servants to complete uniform, comprehensive ethics training will protect this investment and improve the integrity of all levels of local government.”

Under S-84, all elected officials must, within six months of their first term, complete training concerning the requirements of the “Local Government Ethics Law” and any applicable municipal or county code of ethics. The training program must be completed by any part-time or full-time municipal or county officer, compensated or not; including those who were appointed before the enactment of this bill. Local officers must complete the ethics training within the designated time period or face escalating fines of up to $5,000.

Widely publicized investigations into kickback schemes and exploitation of New Jersey’s public funds have exposed the critical need for legislative action. Recent examples of nefarious violations of the law include:

“This legislation will ensure all local officials understand key standards of ethical conduct, such as conflicts of interest and financial disclosure practices,” Senator Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Somerset) said. “Providing training on such issues will prevent public servants from committing these shameful violations – acts that ultimately fracture the very communities they were chosen to represent.”

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