Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) to allow disabled persons to keep their retired service animals passed the New Jersey Senate by a vote of 38-0.
“People spend years forging a relationship with their service animals. They shouldn’t be separated simply because the animal has to retire from its service duties,” Senator Bucco said. “This legislation will keep them together without putting the person’s access to housing in jeopardy.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Allen (R-Burlington) to protect New Jersey’s military bases – particularly Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst – by improving relations between the military and local governments was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
“New Jersey’s military bases provide our residents with tens of thousands of great jobs,” Senator Allen said. “This legislation will improve coordination of land use planning between the military and local governments, helping limit civilian encroachment on military installations.”
Targeting Police & Emergency Services Personnel Would Be Hate Crime Under Kyrillos/Sarlo Legislation
Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Protect First Responders
Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) and Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36) have introduced bipartisan legislation that would make it a hate crime to target a person due to their status as a law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel.
The proposed legislation follows a string of deadly attacks where law enforcement officers have been targeted for violence.
“This legislation is a bipartisan statement that targeting police officers who serve our communities is not acceptable,” said Kyrillos. “Our police officers and first responders need to know that we’ll back them up when they put on their uniforms to go to work.”
Governor Christie has signed the “Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act,” legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-40) to prevent suicide on college campuses. The law, S-557, would provide students with greater access to professionals and services designed to aid college students in crisis.
“Although we cannot erase the pain of losing a child to suicide, we can prevent the future loss of life by providing college students who are struggling right now with access to lifesaving support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Senator O’Toole said. “That is why we worked for years to pass the Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act. I am truly grateful to the Holleran family for their invaluable input and to Governor Christie for recognizing the critical need for this legislation.”
The Asbury Park Press published an editorial calling for the Legislature to adopt Senator Jennifer Beck’s legislation that would take away pensions from corrupt public officials.
Senate Democrats on the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee blocked an effort by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to phase out the estate tax, increase exemptions for retirement income, increase the EITC, create an income tax exemption for veterans, and create a deduction for gas taxes paid.
During the committee’s consideration of A-12/S-2411, Beck offered a committee substitute including those tax cuts, but without the $1.2 billion gas tax increase of the original legislation.
“New Jersey residents are outraged at the proposal to increase the gas tax by 23 cents per gallon,” said Beck. “They were outraged in June when this proposal was first brought up, and they’re outraged that we’re back here on a Friday in late July trying again. Leaders in Trenton should listen to what the people of New Jersey are saying.”
Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) said that he will not be able to support a 23 cent per gallon gas tax increase if the proposal is posted for a full Senate vote.
“Most reasonable people accept that there is a cost associated with the upkeep, maintenance and expansion of our critical transportation infrastructure,” said Bateman. “What doesn’t seem reasonable, however, is to say that traffic across the state will suddenly grind to a halt if we don’t raise the gas tax by more than 150 percent. There’s a lot of rhetoric and hyperbole, but little real discussion about why the proposed tax increase is necessary.”
Senator Jennifer Beck was joined by Asbury Park Councilwoman Yvonne Clayton announcing that Renaissance Village, a 64 unit affordable housing project, would receive $7,870,000 from the third round of Community Development Block Grant funding. Additionally, the Boston Way Village complex, a 104 unit affordable housing project, will receive $12,348,745.
These are Sandy-related federal funds passed through the State of New Jersey under the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing. This funding will allow these projects to move forward, an important step in the larger Springwood Avenue Redevelopment Area, of which both developments are within.
“Without these funds, needed projects like this one would not be able to move forward,” said Beck. “I worked closely with the Administration, DCA and the Councilwoman Yvonne Clayton to make sure a portion of these federal dollars came to Monmouth County as we continue to rebuild post-Sandy. I believe this project will spark further redevelopment in the greater Springwood Avenue area by providing housing and mixed-use space that does not currently exist along the Springwood Avenue corridor.”
Beck Partners with Affordable Housing Alliance & Joseph Alpert Group to Save 99 Affordable Housing Units in Neptune Twp.
Senator Jennifer Beck, Neptune Committeeman Randy Bishop and the Affordable Housing Alliance announced that Winding Ridge Apartments has qualified for Low Income Housing Tax Credits through the Housing and Mortgage Financing Authority of New Jersey.
These tax credits will allow the seniors and families who currently live in Winding Ridge’s 99 affordable units to avoid eviction.
“This public-private partnership through Donna Blaze of the Affordable Housing Alliance and The Joseph Alpert Group literally saved 99 seniors and families from losing their homes. I am happy to have played a role in securing the tax credits necessary so that residents who have lived in Winding Ridge for over 15 years will be able to stay there. I applaud the hard work of the Affordable Housing alliance, in conjunction with The Joseph Alpert Group, to ensure that affordable housing options for Neptune residents will exist far into the future” said Senator Beck.
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) reiterated his opposition to increasing New Jersey’s gas tax, calling the proposal a “loser” for New Jersey.
“I say the gas tax plan is a ‘loser’ because we would lose so much should it be enacted,” said Doherty. “We’d lose the incentive to study our highest-in-the-nation road construction costs. We’d lose business at gas stations and throughout communities along our borders with Pennsylvania and New York. Most important, overtaxed New Jersey drivers would lose more of their hard-earned income to fund projects that have nothing to do with roads.”