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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) designed to reduce the burden on property taxpayers and improve roads, bridges, and rail safety was signed today by Governor Chris Christie.
“With this legislation in place, we can now move forward on crucial transportation projects that are in need of attention without putting the burden on local property taxpayers,” Senator Oroho said. “The funding of our TTF is so important because a sound, well-maintained transportation infrastructure is key to our state’s economic vitality, it brings needed jobs and will continue to ensure the safety of the traveling public.”
Beck Calls on Senate to Pass “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” to Protect Victims from Contractor Fraud
Makes 6th Request for Bill to Be Considered Following New Report by APP Highlighting Gaps in Sandy Consumer Protections
Following an Asbury Park Press report highlighting the severe difficulties some victims of Superstorm Sandy have faced when dealing with home contractors, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) renewed her call for the New Jersey Senate to pass S-532, the “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act.” Since the bill was introduced, Beck has made five written requests to legislative leaders, and more by email and in person, for the bill to advance.
Beck, the sponsor of the legislation, has prepared new letters to Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo requesting that a hearing be scheduled for S-532.
The “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” would allow the Department of Community Affairs to bar contractors who commit fraud from working in New Jersey and strip them of their licenses. It also would allow the Attorney General to sue on behalf of homeowners for negligence, when they currently can only act in criminal cases. Additionally, in instances where a homeowner was approved for a grant by the State and has made commitments based on that approval, S-532 requires the State to fund the grant even if they later realize the approval was issued in error.
“We’ve heard too many stories of predatory contractors walking away from unfinished Sandy recovery projects after getting paid, and of the State doing little to address complaints or prevent others from becoming new victims,” said Beck. “Sadly, the stories detailed by the Asbury Park Press mirror dozens of others that I’ve heard at the many public and private meetings I’ve held to provide assistance to Sandy victims. The ‘Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act’ was written based on my work with Sandy victims to prevent further harm, and to hold recovery contractors accountable for their work. I’m hopeful that we can continue working on a bipartisan basis in the New Jersey Senate to move these important protections forward.”
Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf, and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have formally requested committee consideration of their legislation that would require the court to consider the results of a domestic violence assessment before dissolving a final restraining order when the defendant has two or more restraining orders against him.
The 9th District delegation’s legislation, S-257/A-1149, would establish a “domestic violence assessment” as an assessment performed by a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or licensed professional counselor with the goal of determining the likelihood that the offender will commit future acts of violence, abuse, or other unacceptable behavior that could pose a threat to the victim, the victim’s family, the victim’s property, or other person identified as being at risk. The defendant would be responsible for the cost of the assessment, which would be considered confidential.
The delegation made the follow remarks on having their legislation posted for a public hearing:
“Despite the considerable efforts of law enforcement and social programs staffed by dedicated personnel, the sad reality is, as statistics clearly show, domestic violence is still pervasive in our society.
Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos condemned the repeated efforts by Legislative Democrats to block Senate and Assembly Republican attempts to move bills limiting local sick leave payouts to protect property taxpayers.
An effort by Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz to move legislation (A-653) addressing six-figure sick leave payouts that some local government employees receive when they retire was blocked by Assembly Democrats during the March 16, 2017 Assembly voting session.
Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos also attempted to force a vote on their sick leave reform bills during the most recent Senate session on March 13. Senate Democrats blocked each of those efforts.
“It doesn’t make any sense to repeatedly block attempts to achieve sick leave reform, when both Democrats and Republicans sponsor legislation to do just that,” Senator Beck (R-Monmouth) said. “I am disappointed to see the majority party pass up another opportunity to provide property tax relief to our residents, by eliminating this billion-dollar expense hanging over their heads.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) designed to reduce the burden on property taxpayers and improve roads, bridges and rail safety is headed to the Governor’s desk after it received final legislative passage.
“We have critical transportation projects throughout the state, including many in my legislative district, that need attention now,” Senator Oroho said. “This funding bill can get many of these projects moving forward without burdening local property taxpayers.”
Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space Senator Steve Oroho (both R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to extend opportunities to earn varsity letters to high school students that participate in competitive activities other than athletics is headed to the Governor’s desk after it was passed by the New Jersey General Assembly.
“Extracurricular activities are an integral part of education,” said Space (R—Sussex, Warren, Morris). “The benefits of competing with schoolmates against peers from other schools – on the playing field or in the auditorium – cannot be overstated. A varsity letter is a source of pride earned through tireless effort, fierce determination and unwavering commitment. By opening the opportunity for a letter to more students, schools are strengthened and student outcomes are enhanced.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) was today recognized by the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for her efforts to expand domestic violence protections under State law. Beck was a prime sponsor of a law inspired by Gabby Giffords to prevent domestic abusers from committing acts of gun violence.
“Enacting this landmark bill was an incredibly important effort, and a proud moment in my career,” Senator Beck said. “As a former Rape Crisis Advocate and a proponent of women’s rights I was happy to sponsor this legislation. I am hopeful that this law will significantly enhance protections for victims of domestic violence.”
Following recent reports that New Jersey’s drought is still in effect despite a winter full of precipitation and foul weather, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman again called for the state’s residents and leaders to do whatever they can to help conserve water.
“Most of the state just spent the last week digging out of a big snowstorm, and the rest was no stranger to wet storms this winter, but it still doesn’t look like this drought is going anywhere anytime soon,” Senator Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon) said. “We all need to make an effort to conserve water and implement a statewide plan to address this drought.”
Joined by Over 30 Parents, Superintendents, and School Officials United in Renewed Call for Fair Share of State School Aid and School Funding Reform
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) continued the fight for a fair share of state school aid for massively underfunded school districts at today’s public budget hearing held by the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee in Newark.
Beck was joined by Freehold Borough Superintendent Dr. Rocco Tomazic, Freehold Borough Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer, Freehold Borough Education Foundation President Jean Holtz, as well as Red Bank Borough Superintendent Dr. Jared Rumage, Red Bank Board of Education President Dr. Fred Stone, and numerous parents from those districts.
“We have over 100 underfunded school districts that have seen significant enrollment growth without a corresponding state school aid increase, leading to substantial educational challenges.” Beck said “At the same time, approximately 200 school districts that are more than 10 percent above the funding standard continue to receive more state aid despite enrollment loss. This school funding disparity is a critical issue that the Legislature must address to protect both students and property taxpayers.”
Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset) to fund upgrades and improvements at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities.
The law, S-2897, appropriates the remaining $34.3 million from the “Building Our Future Bond Act,” voter-approved legislation sponsored by Senator Kean to fund capital improvement projects at public institutions of higher education statewide.
“More and more high school grads are choosing to pursue a career in STEM-related fields, such as nursing or engineering. They shouldn’t have to travel out of state to study at a school with a state-of-the art research facility or lab,” Senator Kean said. “This appropriation will help our top-notch colleges and universities evolve to meet the needs of incoming students.”