Allen/Beck Legislation Providing Support Services to Victims of Child Sex Trafficking Clears Committee
Legislation sponsored by Senators Diane Allen (R- Burlington/Camden) and Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth/Mercer) that changes the way state law treats minors charged with prostitution has cleared the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. Persons under the age of 18 who are charged with prostitution will be given treatment and child protective services by the state. The bill also establishes an affirmative criminal defense in these proceedings based on status as a minor.
“The law needs to recognize that children cannot consent to engaging in commercial sex acts or prostitution; that these children are victims of predators rather than criminals in their own right,” said Allen. “This legislation treats these children as the victims they truly are and, like any other abused or neglected minor in need of protection, provides the services necessary to help them cope and move on to live productive lives.”
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande have introduced a resolution calling on Congress to reconsider the planned closure of the Eatontown Postal Distribution Center. The Eatontown closure was announced as part of an overall service standards change allowing the Postal Service to reduce operating costs by $20 billion by 2015.
“The Eatontown Distribution Center serves an essential function here in Monmouth County,” explained Beck (R – Monmouth/Mercer). “The loss of services provided by the Eatontown facility will have a detrimental effect on local businesses, organizations and families throughout the region.”
Senator Michael Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders’ support of his Fair School Funding Plan.
“The elected officials in Atlantic County, who represent the interests of their constituents, have passed a resolution supporting a fair school funding formula that treats all children across the state equally. The Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders has acknowledged the language in the state constitution is clear: state aid must be distributed equally.
Courtesy Must Be Suspended for Duration of Judicial Emergency
Senator Kevin O’Toole (Essex, Bergen, Passaic) sent a letter to Senate President Stephen Sweeney today calling for a suspension in Senatorial Courtesy for the Essex County Senate delegation until the judicial emergency in the county has ended. The letter is attached.
The judicial emergency arose when the Essex County Assignment Judge, Patricia Costello, suspended many civil proceedings, including divorces, because of the number of vacancies on the bench. Currently, there are 14 judicial vacancies in Essex County, 25 percent of the judges in the vicinage.
Outraged at news that Lower Township will pay out nearly $1 million in terminal leave payments to its employees for unused sick and vacation time, Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth/Middlesex), sponsor of legislation to end sick leave payments for public employees, called for terminal leave reform to be completed before the end of the current legislative session.
“Lower Township’s taxpayers are being forced to pay for a needless, wasteful, and unjustifiable benefit that is enjoyed in virtually no other work environment,” said Kyrillos. “While we can negotiate and compromise over the details of a final bill to fix this problem, there should be no debate about the fundamental idea that any future sick leave earned by an employee should not carry cash value. Abandoning the idea that sick leave is for when an employee is sick rather than deferred compensation would be a slap in the face to taxpayers.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth/Middlesex) creating a property assessment demonstration program aimed at eliminating errors in local tax rate calculations due to assessment appeals has cleared the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
“Current practices and timelines for property valuation and appeals are out of sync between county and local government, resulting frequently in errors when calculating tax rates,” said Kyrillos. “This trial program will, hopefully, demonstrate the administrative efficiencies and cost savings to local government of coordinating assessments between the county tax board and local assessors, and of completing the appeals process prior to the calculation of tax rates. The goal is to provide more predictability in local budgets and thus, avoid year surprises for taxpayers, all through sharing of services and regionalization at the county level.”
As many people in New Jersey struggle with the brutal killing of 2-year old Tierra Morgan-Glover, Senator Robert Singer (R-30) was interviewed by Fox 5 News about his legislation that would reinstate the death penalty in New Jersey for those who commit the most heinous crimes, including killing a child.
As Singer recently noted, his legislation would apply to the person who killed Tierra.
The following editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. was published in The Record on December 8, 2011:
The end of every two-year legislative session is known as “Lame Duck” — the time between Election Day and the start of the new legislative year, representing our last chance to pass bills pending before the Senate and Assembly.
While these sessions are always marked by a flurry of action, quite frequently that action is on legislation of little or no substance. Lame Duck proceedings are too often like a drawn-out episode of Seinfeld, the show about nothing.
Child Killers Should Face the Ultimate Punishment
Senator Robert Singer issued the following statement regarding the tragic murder of 2 year old Tierra Morgan-Glover. The Senator has introduced legislation that would reinstate the death penalty in New Jersey for those who murder a child, kill a police officer in the line of duty or commit a terrorist attack that results in fatalities.
“I do not support the death penalty out of a need for revenge or due to malice in my heart. Neither do the many individuals I have met who have suffered from heinous crimes, ” Singer stated. “I support the death penalty because sometimes it is the only way to achieve justice for the victims and families affected by horrible crimes.”
Assembly Passes Connors, Rumpf & Gove Measure to Assist Veteran-Owned Businesses in Securing State Contracts
The State Assembly today approved legislation (A-3308/S-2314) sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove developed to provide assistance to veteran-owned businesses in the process of securing state contracts. The action taken by the Assembly today was to concur with the Governor’s amendments to the legislation which were proposed in February.
The 9th District Delegation’s legislation, entitled the “Veteran-Owned Business Assistance Act,” states that the Department of Treasury shall encourage veteran-owned businesses to participate in State procurement and contracting.