Lawmakers Will Require State Board of Education’s Core Curriculum Content Standards Include Separate Content Area for Civics
Students in New Jersey schools will have a more thorough understanding of government and how it works, assures a bill by Senator Dawn Marie Addiego, Assemblyman Scott Rudder, and Assemblyman Pat Delany.
The legislation directs the State Department of Education to create a separate core curriculum content area for the study of Civics.
“Our goal is to provide every student with the foundation that is needed to exercise responsible citizenship,” said Senator Addiego. “A well-educated electorate is the single best protection for our American way of life. And this change of emphasis can be done without any additional expense for the taxpayers.”
Ocean County, Municipalities Support Connors, Rumpf & Gove Measure to Create Nuclear Facility Decommissioning Council
The Ocean County Freeholder Board, as well as the governing bodies of Lacey and Ocean (Waretown), have adopted resolutions supporting legislation (S-866/A-296) introduced by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would establish an 11-member New Jersey Coordinating Council on the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Generating Facilities. The Barnegat Township Committee has announced it will consider a Resolution at its next meeting scheduled in early April.
Under the legislation, the Decommissioning Council would be charged with coordinating and reviewing the development and implementation of plans prepared by public utilities and governmental agencies for the decommissioning of electric generating nuclear facilities in order to assure that the plans and plan implementation comport with applicable federal and state laws and policies.
School Dating Violence Prevention Act Passes Unanimously
Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco announced that six pieces of legislation that he sponsored passed the Senate this week.
The bills include:
S-2114 is a measure that directs the Department of Education to develop a school district dating violence policy and requires school districts to provide dating violence education in the health curriculum.
“This common sense legislation will help prevent dating situations in schools from becoming unsafe and help educate young people on constructive ways to resolve conflicts in personal relationships,” Bucco began.
Despite spending levels that meet or exceed virtually every state in the country, and that saw a significant increase in spending levels from 2000 to 2008, our ‘at risk’ children are now moving further from proficiency. – Judge Peter Doyne
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union), in response to a special master’s findings in the latest school funding lawsuit pending before the Supreme Court, said that Judge Doyne’s report affirms the need for outcomes-based education reforms in New Jersey:
“Judge Doyne’s report proves that money is not the problem for chronically failing school districts in New Jersey.”
Public School Funding Is the Sole Responsibility of the Legislature
Senator Michael Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the special master’s decision in the latest school funding case:
“Governor Christie got it exactly right in his budget address when he stated that ‘we must end the myth that more money equals better achievement. It is a failed legal theory, and we can no longer waste our children’s time or the public’s money waiting for it to finally work.’
Laws Contain Antiquated, Demeaning Language Towards Women
A bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg and Jennifer Beck which would repeal certain obsolete, antiquated statutes containing demeaning language to women was approved by the Senate by a vote of 37-0.
The bill, S-2665, would repeal a number of statues on the books which either do not accurately reflect the status of women in the 21st Century, or contain language which would be considered sexist or demeaning under today’s standards.
State Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth/Middlesex) responded to reports that Jersey City will issue bonds to pay for $9 million in supplemental compensation payments this year by calling for an immediate vote to end unused sick leave payouts for public employees:
“Today, we saw the clearest example yet of how the Majority’s refusal to enact meaningful sick leave reform is costing the taxpayers of New Jersey. That Jersey City is forced to pay $9 million in unused leave benefits in a single year rather than controlling taxes and improving services is bad enough. That they must issue bonds and incur interest on that liability is outrageous- akin to a family taking out a loan to pay for their groceries.
At an afternoon news conference following the Senate’s adjournment for Spring Recess, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) and Deputy Minority Leader Diane Allen (R- Burlington/Camden) were joined by a united Republican caucus in calling on the Majority to set a date certain for completion of the property tax relief toolkit.
“For a year now, we’ve been told by the Majority that, to quote the Senate President, ‘The toolkit has to happen’,” said Senator Kean. “However, blatant partisan posturing against the Governor has caused them to break the promise they made last year to the taxpayers. Their inaction is forcing service reductions, police and fire layoffs, and tax increases that our communities cannot afford and the taxpayers should not be forced to bear. It is time for the Democrats to stop with their small minded politics and set a date certain to complete the toolkit and provide taxpayers the relief they deserve.”
Legislation sponsored by Senators Diane Allen (R- Burlington/Camden) and James Beach (D- Camden) prohibiting healthcare providers from billing rape victims for forensic evidence collection services has been approved by the Senate.
“Sending a bill to victims of sexual assault for their own rape kits is nothing short of cruel,” said Allen. “In no other crime would it even be contemplated that victims receive an invoice for the collection of evidence needed to prosecute the offenders. Victims who receive a bill are needlessly forced to relive their attack all over again by the very people to whom they turned for help. This legislation will prevent this inhumane practice in New Jersey.”
Senate Approves Kean/Beck Resolution Urging Congress to Establish Post-Deployment Assistance Program at Ft. Monmouth
The New Jersey Senate has approved a resolution sponsored by Senators Sean Kean (R- Monmouth) and Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth/Mercer) that urges the federal government to establish a post-deployment assistance facility at Ft. Monmouth.
“The Congress and the Department of Defense have a unique opportunity to create some good out of the closing of Fort Monmouth for both our veterans returning from service and our community at large,” said Senator Kean. “The U.S. Military Preparatory School or one of the nearby buildings are an ideal location to establish a facility that serves a critical need- post-deployment support for service men and women returning from combat. It is our hope that this resolution grabs the attention of policymakers in Washington and opens a serious dialogue about the proposal.”