Committee Advances Connors, Rumpf & Gove Veterans’ Initiative: The New Jersey Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act
Legislation introduced by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove to update, modernize and bring in line with existing federal law the benefits and protections afforded to military servicemembers and their dependents was advanced by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The 9th District Delegation’s initiative, S-210, entitled the “New Jersey Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act,” would replace the New Jersey Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1979 to expand the definition of those who are protected under state law by reconciling differences between State and federal law.
During today’s Senate Education Committee meeting, New Jersey school superintendents called for the passage of legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. or Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to extend the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) in high performing school districts to every seven years.
“I would like to thank superintendents for calling attention to this common-sense legislation,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “The less time educators have to spend on unnecessary bureaucracy, the more that they can devote to improve education for our students. That is what is most important.”
Following a multi-year dispute over who should pay to fix a Warren County courtroom that a judge has declared unconstitutional, Senator Michael Doherty (R- Hunterdon, Warren, Somerset) has introduced legislation (S-1901) to clarify the authority of county governing bodies to determine county court facility expenditures and the suitability of courtrooms.
“Warren County completed upgrades to the county courthouse at the request of court officials who reviewed and signed off on plans prior to construction,” said Doherty. “Warren County taxpayers, already on the hook for the $6 million renovation, shouldn’t have to pay a penny more because court officials changed their minds about what they wanted after construction was completed.”
The New Jersey Senate Law & Public Safety Committee has advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to protect volunteer first aid, ambulance or rescue companies from certain civil damages.
“The last concern emergency responders should have hanging over their heads while working to help an injured victim is that their squad could be sued for an unfortunate outcome that’s outside of their control,” said Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset). “This bill makes certain that volunteer emergency squads serving our communities are protected from civil liability while rendering good-faith life support services.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-7) appeared on NJTV News with host Mike Schneider to talk about the advance of the Jessica Lunsford Act to protect children from convicted sex offenders.
Allen, who has been leading the effort in the New Jersey Legislature to pass the bill since 2005, said that the legislation finally appears likely to receive full legislative approval.
Senator Jennifer Beck issued the following statement concerning the advancement of the Jessica Lunsford Act, which is named after the Florida girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a convicted sex offender:
“This bill would be a huge step forward for our criminal justice system. Crimes against children are among the most reprehensible acts imaginable and they deserve to be dealt with swiftly and harshly. Those who would endanger a child need know that we will not tolerate such actions and they will be met with a punishment that fits their heinous crime. Victims’ families deserve the peace of mind of knowing that these criminals are being punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Jessica Lunsford Act, which is cosponsored by 9th District representatives Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove, was passed by the State General Assembly.
The Act, which is named after the Florida girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a convicted sex offender, requires mandatory terms of imprisonment for persons convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a child under the age of 13, for a specific term of years fixed by the sentencing court, between 25 years and life imprisonment, of which 25 years or more must be served before parole eligibility.
The passage of A-892 coincided with action taken by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee which favorably released S-215, which is the Senate version of the Jessica Lunsford Act.
Panel Advances Allen, Kean, Oroho Sponsored “Lunsford Act” to Increase Minimum Sentences for Child Predators
The primary sponsors of the “Jessica Lunsford Act,” Senators Diane Allen, Tom Kean Jr., and Steve Oroho, released the following about its passage by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee:
“These protections to guard against repeat sexual offenders are long overdue in New Jersey,” said Allen (R- Burlington), who started this initiative in 2005. “Keeping child predators behind bars where they belong will send a message that those types of monstrous crimes will be punished as severely as possible and help to eliminate an opportunity for a repeat offender to strike again.”
Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) today praised Pascack Hills High School officials for the advance preparation that saved the life of a student athlete on Wednesday evening.
According to a report by CBS 2, a 15-year-old student who collapsed during track practice was revived after a former student performed CPR and school staff utilized a defibrillator that was on the premises. Senator Singer introduced “Janet’s Law” in 2008 requiring public and private schools to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on school grounds with trained operators at sports events. The legislation was signed into law by Governor Christie in September 2012 and goes into full effect next September.
“This story could have been one of a devastating tragedy if not for the preparation and quick action of those at Pascack Hills High School,” Singer said. “The school officials there deserve a mountain of praise.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to raise awareness of accommodation rights for people with disabilities was advanced to the full Senate by the Community & Urban Affairs Committee.
“We need to raise awareness among homeowner associations and landlords that disabled residents can make home modifications in order to assure they are able to safely move about,” Bucco said. “People with disabilities should have a clear, direct path to challenge any form of potential violations of their accommodation rights.”