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MEDIA ADVISORY (5/26): Beck to Advance Key Elements of Her Transportation Trust Fund Proposal at Press Conference Tomorrow
7-Year Plan, No Gas Tax Increase
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) and members from New Jersey’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity will hold a press conference in Room 103 of the New Jersey State House tomorrow, Thursday, May 26th, at 11 a.m. to discuss two key elements of her $1.6 billion Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) proposal that will allow its renewal for seven years without increasing the state’s gas tax.
WHO: Senator Jennifer Beck, Americans for Prosperity – NJ
WHAT: Press conference to advance key elements of her TTF proposal without raising the gas tax
WHEN: Thursday, May 26 at 11 a.m.
WHERE: New Jersey State House, Room 103 (across from Senate chambers)
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean reiterated his call for votes on Port Authority reform legislation during tomorrow’s voting sessions in the Senate and General Assembly, saying that the Democratic sponsors of conditionally vetoed legislation have agreed that we should move forward to adopt the governor’s recommendations.
“There’s bipartisan consensus that the Legislature should adopt my approach to Port Authority reform that’s represented in the governor’s conditional veto recommendations,” said Kean. “I urge Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Prieto to schedule the final legislative votes for tomorrow that are needed to enact these long-awaited Port Authority reforms.”
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora announced a new effort to combat the Institute of Advanced Study’s plans to construct housing on top of Maxwell Field, a National Historic Landmark and the site of George Washington’s 1777 victory against the British.
On Thursday, Senator Bateman and Assemblyman Gusciora will transmit a letter to the Institute renewing their request to discuss solutions to preserve Princeton Battlegrounds and enable IAS to build housing elsewhere. IAS has repeatedly rejected the legislators’ request for a meeting, prompting Bateman and Gusciora to go public with this week’s submission.
“The refusal to even grant a meeting proves that the Institute is determined to bury their head in the sand and continue to deny the irreparable impact this construction will have on the Princeton Battlegrounds and its irreplaceable historic resources,” Senator Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex) said. “Assemblyman Gusciora and I are ready and willing to discuss reasonable alternatives, but we will not stand in the shadows and allow the Institute to move blindly forward with these destructive plans. To do so would be a disservice to the residents, historians and activists who are fighting day and night to protect this hallowed ground.”
New bill would protect the New Jersey Business Action Center from being terminated under a new Governor’s administration
Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Morris, Warren) introduced legislation that makes the New Jersey Business Action Center a permanent component of the Department of State.
“The Business Action Center has played an important role in the progress we have made in transforming New Jersey into a more business-friendly state,” said Senator Oroho. “It makes sense to permanently establish it so private industry know they have a predictable, ready resource in government to go to for assistance.”
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora are urging the Institute of Advanced Study to halt plans to destroy Maxwell’s Field. IAS has refused to grant a meeting with the legislators to discuss alternative housing construction plans.
Earlier this month, we wrote to Dr. Charles Simonyi, chairman of the Institute for Advanced Study’s Board of Trustees, and requested a meeting to discuss alternatives to the Institute’s destructive plan to build 15 faculty housing units on the historic, 22-acre Maxwell’s Field tract. On this site, Gen. George Washington personally led a counterattack that won the 1777 Battle of Princeton and helped turn the tide of the American Revolution. Our goal in seeking this meeting was simple: get reasonable people together to find a solution to the current controversy that benefits the state, the battlefield and the IAS.
In response, we received a letter from IAS Director Robbert Dijkgraaf, who rejected our offer to meet, reciting the same tired excuses the Institute has been utilizing for the past four years. It is an unfortunate tendency of the Dijkgraaf Administration that they consistently reject offers to sit down with those of us seeking to save them from themselves.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Senate and Assembly voting sessions newly scheduled for Thursday, May 26th present the perfect opportunity for the New Jersey Legislature to give final legislative approval to long-delayed Port Authority reforms.
Kean is the sponsor of S-355 which provides governance, transparency, and accountability reforms at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“I truly believe that Republicans and Democrats have been working toward the same goals with Port Authority reform,” said Kean. “We all want to make the Port Authority more accountable and transparent and eliminate opportunities for abuse. I hope that Senators Gordon and Weinberg will join me by helping to push this important effort over the finish line this week.”
All public bodies under the Open Public Meetings Act would be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and to display the United States flag at the beginning of meetings under legislation prime-sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors.
The legislation, S-308, was approved by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee on May 23. Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have requested to join as cosponsors on the Assembly companion version, A-777, which has been referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.
“Under current law, public bodies are not required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or to display the U.S. flag,” said Senator Connors. “While the overwhelming majority of public bodies do both voluntarily, I have joined with Senator Jeff Van Drew in a bipartisan legislative effort, to statutorily require that these patriotic acts be carried out as part of the public hearing process.”
Public school teachers, bus drivers and camp counselors would be subject a Child Abuse Record Information check under a bill sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Steven Oroho. Currently, these employees and job candidates only undergo a criminal background check, which unlike a CARI check, does not show substantiated claims of child abuse. The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Education Committee.
“How many teachers, camp counselors, bus drivers and school employees are child abusers? Under current New Jersey law, we simply do not know,” Senator Bucco (R-Morris) said. “What we do know is that child abusers are falling through the cracks in the system and putting innocent children at risk. Ensuring all current and potential employees have a clean CARI record can end this pervasive threat to our children’s health and welfare.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Governor Chris Christie’s action today on pending legislation reaffirms that the approach taken in S-355 represents the only path forward on Port Authority reform legislation:
“The governors of New York and New Jersey, both parties in both houses of the New York Legislature and Republicans in the New Jersey Legislature are on board with my Port Authority reform legislation,” said Kean. “It’s time for New Jersey Senate Democrats to get with the program and stop delaying the adoption and implementation of these critical reforms that represent the only workable path forward.”
The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee passed a bill sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon) that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
“Thanks to this act, we’ve had a chance to preserve countless structures, districts and other properties with historical significance so future generations can enjoy and learn from them,” Senator Bateman said. “The 50th anniversary of the act gives us a chance to celebrate its success, as well as refocus our efforts to continue our fight to protect more of our historically important places.”