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With great sorrow, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman announced the passing of his father, Raymond H. Bateman, this morning.
Raymond Bateman was born in Somerville on October 29, 1927. He served for two decades in the New Jersey Legislature, including stints as Assistant Majority Leader and Majority Leader in the General Assembly, and as Assistant Majority Leader, Majority Leader and President of the Senate.
“My father embodied everything that a public servant should be,” said Sen. Bateman. “He was always interested in helping others, and he instilled in me the belief that public service matters. He set an extremely high standard for all of us who follow.”
“He also was dedicated to his family, and we always came first. His loss will be immense, but we couldn’t be prouder of the life he lived and happier about the time we had with him. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s statement on the passing of former Senate President Raymond Bateman this morning:
“When it came to public service, Senator Ray Bateman was a giant. He was one of the people that I admired most growing up in a family that followed a similar path. He’s someone that many of us who serve now try to emulate.
“I would like to offer my deepest condolences to his family, and to his son, my friend Senator Kip Bateman, with whom I have the honor to serve.”
The Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove which would grant priority in registering for courses at a public institution of higher education to military service members and veterans living in the state.
Connors, Rumpf and Gove have joined with the 1st Legislative District in this bipartisan veterans’ legislative initiative (S-1672 and A-2950) entitled the “Combat to College Act.” The 9th District delegation issued the following statement following the Senate passage of the veterans’ legislative initiative.
“Veterans’ deserve every opportunity to pursue their higher education goals. Higher education policies should be in place to provide special accommodations for veterans’ due to the significant demands associated with military service, including long-term deployments.
“Under the ‘Combat to College Act,’ priority registration would apply to both current military service members serving on active duty and to veterans who were honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service.
“Certainly, we recognize that there are higher education institutions in New Jersey that voluntarily establish extensive services to assist veteran students. Consistent with those efforts, we believe that State law should require priority registration benefits for veterans.”
Members of the 9th District delegation serve on both the Senate and Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. Assemblywoman Gove serves on the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
The delegation proudly sponsored the VeTeach law, enacted in 2012, that established a pilot teacher preparation program at Stockton University for veterans who served in the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, voted in committee against legislation (S-2411) that would result in a $1.3 billion gas tax increase.
“You can’t raise taxes to cut taxes. This will be devastating to our economy and back breaking to our residents. It will drive up the cost of virtually everything in our state.
“It’s undeniable that the gas tax is a regressive tax that hits low- and middle-income families the hardest. Those who already struggle with our state’s high tax burden can ill-afford to pay even more. Paying hundreds more at the pump isn’t even an option for many of the state’s nearly 7 million drivers, especially when we also have some of the highest tolls in the nation.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that the approval of legislation increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15/hour would almost surely lead to job losses for those who are unskilled or lack prior experience, especially when those positions can be replaced by technological alternatives.
The legislation, A-15/S-15, would increase the minimum wage from the current rate of $8.38/hour to $10.10/hour on January 1, 2017, followed by annual increases reaching $15/hour on January 1, 2021.
“It’s undeniable that increasing the minimum wage by nearly 80% will result in substantial job losses for people already struggling,” said Kean. “Taking away opportunities to get a foothold in the workforce will harm the same young and inexperienced people that the sponsors of this legislation are trying to help.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to extend tuition benefits to members of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces was approved by the New Jersey Senate.
“This legislation will assist reservists in furthering their education without the burden of paying for tuition,” Senator Allen said. “Reservists deserve the same benefits we offer to other members of the armed forces.”
A bipartisan resolution sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to promote education and awareness about childhood cancer was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
The Da Silva family. (Patricia Da Silva)
The resolution was inspired by Nicholas DaSilva, a Hardyston resident who was diagnosed with a form of cancer called Burkitt’s lymphoma when he was just 5 years old. In the two years since his cancer has gone into remission, he has worked to help other children with the disease. Along with the other members of his family, Nicholas has raised money to help other kids through donations to the Valerie Fund and Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
Senate Passes Allen Bill to Provide Benefits to All Children of Fallen State Troopers, Public Safety Workers
All surviving children of deceased New Jersey State Troopers, police, firefighters and public safety officers would receive equal access to death benefits under a bill sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington.) S-2061 was today advanced by the New Jersey Senate.
“Many surviving children of New Jersey State Troopers and public safety workers are receiving a fraction of the death benefits that other children receive,” Senator Allen said. “It is morally wrong to allow this unfair practice to continue. This bill ensures all children coping with this life changing loss receive equal access to these benefits, regardless of their parent’s marital status at the time of death.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland) to address concerns regarding the restraint of students with disabilities has passed the New Jersey Senate.
The legislation, S-1163, provides that physical restraint is only used in an emergency in which the student places themselves or others in immediate physical danger. The legislation also places especially stringent restrictions on the use of the “prone restraint” technique, which involves forcing a child’s head down while his or her arms and legs are pinned behind them. Doing so can compress the diaphragm to the point where it could smother, or severely injure a person.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) will be the prime sponsor of a school funding reform proposal announced by Governor Chris Christie to give all children an equitable share of state school aid and provide real property tax relief to the overwhelming majority of taxpayers.
“Senator Doherty has led a years-long effort in the Legislature to adopt a fairer school funding formula that treats all students equally and taxpayers fairly,” said Kean. “Considering the great similarities between his ‘Fair School Funding’ plan and the Governor’s proposed ‘Fairness Formula,’ there couldn’t be a better person than Senator Doherty to take the lead on this new legislation.”
Kean will join Doherty as a co-prime sponsor.