Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove today wrote to Governor Chris Christie strongly urging that he veto S-1650/A-2463, which would revise requirements for emergency medical services delivery in New Jersey.
In their letter, the 9th District Legislative Delegation outlined their deep concerns regarding the legislation, specifically its negative impact on volunteer emergency service personnel and the costs involved in implementing the bill’s provisions.
The Delegation’s letter to the Governor reads as follows:
March 26, 2013
Hon. Chris Christie, Governor
State of New Jersey
State House, P.O. Box 001
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001
Dear Governor Christie:
For the second consecutive Legislative Session, our Delegation is respectfully requesting that you veto S-1650/A-2463 which would implement sweeping changes regarding the regulation of emergency medical services that encompasses basic and advanced life support services, and governs the qualifications, training and operations of paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and emergency medical responders.
In representing the interests of a large segment of our constituency, which includes senior community residents, each member of our Delegation opposed and voted against S-1650/A-2463 when it was presented on the floor of our respective House for final approval. Over the past several years, our Delegation has had the benefit of receiving invaluable input from persons with expertise in EMS services on the provisions of this legislation. From our constructive and informative conversations with volunteer EMS personnel and the leaders of senior communities who rely greatly on the services provided by these professionals, our Delegation strongly believes this legislation will place onerous burdens on rural and suburban communities throughout the state that rely on volunteer emergency service organizations.
As we originally conveyed to you in our January 5, 2012 letter regarding the preceding version of this legislation, which passed in the previous Legislative Session, there is serious concern that the creation of new layers of bureaucratic requirements would thin the ranks of dedicated volunteers by making it more difficult to retain, recruit and train personnel. As a consequence, property taxes will skyrocket from the costs in order for the state to implement this legislation’s myriad of provisions, coupled with the expenditures of municipalities — who presently rely on these volunteer services — would also incur when being left with no other option but to pay for such services.
Setting aside for a moment theses costs involved and the myriad of regulations, it is important to stress that this legislation is being pushed by those interests who didn’t consider, or simply chose to ignore, that other areas of the state, including Ocean County, have volunteer EMS personnel who are well trained, extremely effective, and have the enduring respect of the communities they ably serve. As you will recall, on October 23 of last year, our Delegation forwarded to you copies of petitions signed by more than 600 persons, primarily residents of Berkeley Township, in opposition to companion bills S-1650 and A-2463, affording you the opportunity to understand these residents’ serious objections to this legislation. A copy of our letter is enclosed for your ready reference
Again, our Delegation is respectfully requesting you veto S-1650/A-2463 in the best interest of our state. Thank you, in advance, for your attention to this communication. As always, we look forward to working jointly with you in service to our mutual constituents of the 9th Legislative District.
CHRISTOPHER J. CONNORS
Senator – 9th District
BRIAN E. RUMPF
Assemblyman – 9th District
DIANNE C. GOVE
Assemblywoman – 9th District