Senate Republicans Joe Pennacchio and Anthony Bucco have introduced a bill to prevent a person who has been investigated for child abuse or sexual misconduct from working at a New Jersey public or charter school.
“We cannot afford to take chances when it comes to protecting children from the lifelong scars of abuse,” Senator Pennacchio said. “Why should we prioritize a person who has been accused of such a heinous crime over the safety of innocent children? It is an unconscionable miscarriage of justice that this state is more concerned with protecting a job candidate’s reputation than keeping child predators out of our schools. This legislation is long overdue.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) issued the following statement in response to recent reports that the United States Air Force will station 24 of its new KC-46A refueling tankers at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst:
“This is great news not just for the Joint Base, but for all of New Jersey,” Senator Allen said. “The base is going to be an outstanding home for these new jets since it already has the infrastructure and facilities needed thanks to its existing contingent of older tanker aircraft.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would expand housing opportunities for veterans was approved by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.
The 9th District delegation’s legislation, S-260, would reserve a portion of the tenant-based rental assistance vouchers under the State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) for grants to veterans. The legislation passed the Senate unanimously in May of last year.
Following statements made by Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) said that he is hopeful New Jersey will have an ally in Washington who will demand Cuba return cop-killer Joanne Chesimard.
Rex Tillerson on Wednesday told the Foreign Relations Committee that as President-Elect Trump’s secretary of state, he would demand that Cuba extradite Chesimard.
“I have said it before – President Obama should have never opened relations with Cuba without first demanding the extradition of convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard,” Senator Pennacchio said. “I applaud President-Elect Trump for nominating a secretary of state who has the courage and the capacity to right this wrong.
Legislation prime-sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors and co-sponsored by Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that will streamline the permitting approval process for aquaculture projects were recently signed into law.
The first legislative measure, A-793, requires New Jersey’s Secretary of Agriculture and the Commissioner of Environmental Protection (DEP) to seek to establish with the United States Army Corps of Engineers a joint application process for aquaculture projects that require both State and federal permits, licenses, or approvals for aquaculture projects in the State.
The second measure, A-794, requires the Department of Agriculture and DEP to adopt coordinated permit application and review program for aquaculture projects.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to improve storm preparedness and mitigate the damage done by severe events, like Superstorm Sandy, was advanced by the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee.
“Sandy was something that, sadly, we weren’t prepared for, and people in our shore communities are still trying to get things back to normal more than four years later,” Senator Singer said. “However, we’ve spent that time learning from our mistakes and finding ways to ensure we aren’t caught off guard by another superstorm. This bill has the potential to protect vulnerable communities from the kind of damage we saw in the aftermath of Sandy.”
The Senate Education Committee has passed legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Diane Allen to extend opportunities to earn varsity letters to high school students who participate in competitive activities other than athletics.
“A varsity letter has become a universal symbol for school pride and student achievement,” Senator Bateman said. “Students who win science, debate or music competitions demonstrate just as much school spirit as those who score a game-winning goal. We need to show these kids that their victories are just as worthy of our praise and admiration.”
School nurses would be permitted to administer an opioid antidote to a student or staff member who overdoses under legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and today advanced by the Senate Education Committee.
S-2635 would also require high schools, and permit any other schools, to maintain a supply of naloxone hydrochloride. The bill provides immunity from liability for a school nurse or trained employee who acts in good faith to administer an opioid antidote to a student or staff member.
“School nurses are battling the opioid epidemic right alongside our police and first responders, the only difference is they don’t have access to the only drug that can stop an overdose within seconds,” Senator Bateman said. “We can save lives by having Narcan on school grounds, or we can lose them waiting for an ambulance to arrive. It is time to arm the people we entrust to care for our children with the same lifesaving tool used by first responders in every county in this state.”
Senate Panel Approves Addiego’s “Task Force on Safety in School Transportation”
Senator Dawn Addiego’s bill to establish the “Task Force on Safety in School Transportation” has cleared the Senate Education Committee. Addiego first introduced the bill after a 6-year-old child from her district, Edmond Bock, was struck and killed by a school bus in Waterford.
“More than 23 million children ride a school bus year-round every year,” Senator Addiego (R-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic) said. “Each and every one of these kids has a right to be transported to school safely, and their parents should expect no less than the highest level of protection from those who are charged with this responsibility.”
Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-Ocean) said that he hopes the Governor’s desire to address New Jersey’s crisis of drug abuse as expressed in the State of the State address proves to be successful.
“Ocean County is ground zero for opioid abuse in New Jersey, and we’ve been fighting this battle against heroin and the diversion of prescription medications for years,” said Holzapfel. “We agree with the Governor that we need to do more to treat those suffering from addiction, but we also need to enhance our efforts to stop dangerous narcotics from ever becoming available for abuse.”