Connors, Rumpf & Gove Bill Authorizing Towns to Offer Free Beach Badges to Military Personnel Advances in Committee
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would allow municipalities to provide free or reduced fee beach badges to active military and New Jersey National Guard personnel, as well as their spouses and children over the age of 12, was released today by the newly formed Senate Military and Veterans Affairs’ Committee.
The 9th District Lawmaker’s legislation (S-114) seeks to amend current law, which only authorized municipalities to provide free or reduced-price beach badges to persons 65 or older and certain disabled individuals. Existing law also provides that children under the age of 12 cannot be charged for beach badges.
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) recently appeared on Hometown on WMBC-TV with host Matt Fitzpatrick to discuss a variety of New Jersey issues, including the state budget, property taxes and healthcare.
Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, announced today that he was appointed to the governor’s “Red Tape Review Group.” The group was created by Executive Order 3 on Governor Christie’s first day in office.
“I am honored that Senator Kean chose me to represent our caucus on Governor Christie’s Red Tape Review Group,” Oroho stated. “It is obvious that reforming our regulatory process needs to be our top priorities.”
Legislation Would Make Permanent Executive Order Signed by Governor Christie
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) expressed his optimism today that his Transparency in Government Act would soon become law. The bill is posted for a vote this Monday in the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and historic Preservation Committee, in which Senator Pennacchio plans on testifying.
“I am very grateful that one of Chris Christie’s first official acts as Governor was to issue an executive order bringing greater openness and accountability to state spending, ” Pennacchio stated. “It is now time to codify this executive order and make it an official law.”
New Legislation Will Implement Seven SCI Recommendations
Senator Christopher (Kip) Bateman, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will introduce legislation Monday which would codify seven recommendations made by the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) to restrict the type and amount of compensation provided to local public employees. The recommendations were outlined in a report entitled, “The Beat Goes on… Waste and Abuse in Local Government Employee Compensation and Benefits,” released December 1, 2009.
“This bill is quite simply property tax control legislation,” Bateman stated. “Common sense makes obvious that public employee payroll abuses must raise property taxes.”
Senator Steve Oroho, a Republican on the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, applauded Governor Chris Christie for widely distributing the disclosure statement that will be included in coming state bond offerings. The governor put the disclosure statement in a news release that was distributed to reporters, editors and others.
“In the past, these disclosure statements usually were seen only by investors and financial reporters interested in future bond offerings,” Senator Oroho said. “By releasing this statement to the general press and the public, Governor Christie is keeping his promise of greater openness and candor in state government.”
Americans for Prosperity has given their coveted “A” rating to Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic).
The rating, based on a score card for the 2008-2009 Legislative Session, recognizes Senator Pennacchio for his efforts on behalf of New Jersey taxpayers.
Connors, Rumpf & Gove Call on Turnpike Authority to Purchase Little Egg Harbor Property for Park-N-Ride
Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove (all R-Ocean/Burl./Atl.) have formally requested that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority purchase property in Little Egg Harbor to build a park-n-ride for commuting motorists.
The property the 9th District Delegation is calling on the Turnpike Authority to acquire is located in proximity to Garden State Parkway Exit 58 off of Route 539. This same property was recently sought as a site for a solid waste transfer station, but it was announced this week that the application to build the proposed facility has been withdrawn.
Package of Bills Will Include Medical Malpractice Reforms
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-12) announced today that she is drafting legislation that will help prevent a critical shortage of physicians in New Jersey. A two-year study by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals concluded that the state will have an unprecedented shortfall in the number of doctors over the next decade, in part because of the state’s medical malpractice insurance laws.
“It is vital that we act now to ensure that every New Jerseyan will have access to care,” Beck said. “We need policies that will ensure we train and retain enough doctors to prevent the quality of care from deteriorating in our state.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco and Senator Kevin O’Toole issued the following comments regarding the announcement by Senate President Steve Sweeney that pension and benefits reform would be a top priority.
“My colleagues and I are all-too-aware that the pensions and benefits systems are unsustainable at the current time,” Kean stated “This effort will build on the bipartisan cooperation on pension reform that was successful in the last legislative session. It is vital that we complete the process of identifying and implementing necessary reforms to ensure that rank and file employees’ retirement funds are safeguarded.”