Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) has introduced legislation that establishes a new category of school aid for military-connected children. This aid would go to school districts that educate children of active or retired military members housed at Department of Defense facilities.
“Recent comments by school districts in our region notwithstanding, this primarily is a funding issue for school districts that educate military-connected children,” said Beck. “This legislation ensures that adequate funding follows these children and supports the operation of the school district that educates them. This bill does not leave the children of our military servicemen and women as a political football.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) joined Senator Joseph Vitale, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto today at a Statehouse event to recognize a law that took effect this month allowing New Jersey adoptees to obtain their original birth records and medical history. The original bill amending the Vital Statistics Act, which was sponsored by Senators Allen, Vitale, Weinberg, was signed into law in May 2014.
The legislators were joined by New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett, New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education (NJ CARE), NJ adoptees, and other advocates.
“I’m glad to celebrate that New Jersey’s adoptees finally have the ability to learn their personal histories, something that many of us take for granted,” said Senator Allen. “I first started working to change our state’s adoption records laws nearly 20 years ago. It’s been an extremely long fight, but it’s one that we believed was worth the effort. I’d like to thank everyone who worked with us to get us to today.”
Expiration dates for vehicle registrations will be staggered based on an individual’s date of birth rather than all expiring at the end of the month
Legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) to shorten lines at Motor Vehicle Commission offices was advanced by the Senate Transportation Committee.
“These lines can get outrageously long, especially at the end of the month,” Senator Cardinale said. “It doesn’t make sense to have everyone’s registration expire at the same time. By staggering expiration dates, we can cut down on congestion and increase efficiency at MVC offices.”
Beck & Kean Commend Signing of Bill Inspired by Gabby Giffords to Increase Domestic Violence Protections
Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) commended Governor Chris Christie for signing into law a bill inspired by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to expand domestic violence protections.
S-2483, sponsored by Beck, restricts access to firearms by certain persons subject to restraining orders or convicted of domestic violence offenses and provides a clear and supervised process for the immediate surrender of firearms.
“The enactment of this landmark legislation will prevent domestic abusers from committing acts of gun violence,” Senator Beck said. “We are thankful for the support and great inspiration provided by Gabby Giffords to enact these reforms that will protect our most vulnerable residents from harm. We’ve succeeded in closing a dangerous loophole and delivering on our promise to safeguard families from domestic abusers with access to firearms.”
“The inspiration provided by Congresswoman Giffords encouraged us to act, and the invaluable support of Americans for Responsible Solutions helped us to find a solution to protect the victims of domestic violence,” said Kean. “I want to thank Governor Christie and Majority Leader Weinberg for their partnership and leadership to enact these sensible reforms. We ended up with a practical solution that undoubtedly will save lives.”
Legislation introduced last year by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) in response to the death of Antwan Timbers Jr., a Burlington City High School student killed while walking on Route 130 near the school last year, was advanced by the Senate Transportation Committee.
“I’m very pleased that we are getting the ball rolling on these measures, but this is just the first step,” Senator Allen said. “Tragedies like Antwan’s death can be prevented if we can implement some common-sense safety precautions to keep pedestrians safe.”
The Senate Environment Committee has advanced a resolution sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman calling on the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to update the Statewide Water Supply Plan.
“Failing to update the Statewide Water Supply Plan puts the public health, safety, and welfare of our residents at risk,” Senator Bateman said. “We cannot use a plan that is more than 20 years old to solve the current drought crisis, let alone develop a coordinated strategy to avoid future water shortages. It is critical that the legislature take action to urge the NJ DEP to release this report, before we have a true emergency on our hands.”
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex) condemned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for refusing to provide desperately needed flood control aid to Manville.
In the face of clear evidence proving the need for flood mitigation in Manville, the Army Corps of Engineers determined that flood control projects in the Manville area were not economically justifiable, in part due to declining property values.
“I am appalled that the Army Corps would use such a flawed and discriminatory methodology for authorizing flood mitigation projects. I cannot imagine a more heartless or senseless reason for denying the people of Manville the assistance they desperately need to protect their homes, businesses and their families from the clear and present danger of living in these flood zones. You cannot put a dollar value on people’s lives.
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) designed to help small businesses grow and lower costs for taxpayers is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie.
“We have many small businesses that are more than capable of undertaking public projects here in New Jersey, but they aren’t afforded the same opportunities as larger businesses when regulations prevent them from even entering the bidding process,” Senator Pennacchio said. “With this law, we can start to cut away some of that red tape and create new chances for these local companies to grow and create new jobs in areas of need.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) will introduce legislation urging Congress to pass their resolution admonishing the U.N. Security Council for voting to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“The U.N. Security Council’s condemnation of Israeli settlements and the Obama administration’s refusal to speak out against this resolution is a horrific betrayal,” Senator Pennacchio said. “While I am confident that President Elect Trump will right this wrong, we must act now to demonstrate our support for Israel, especially as the nation struggles to defend itself against unprovoked attacks on the West Bank.”
Both houses of the New Jersey Legislature on Monday passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) designating February 3 of each year as “Senator Joseph Palaia Day.” SJR-87 pays tribute to “Senator Joe” Palaia, a beloved Monmouth County legislator and elementary school principal who passed away on August 20, 2016 at the age of 89.
“Senator Joe was a beloved educator and a true statesman, and his name is synonymous with public service in our community,” Senator Beck. “I knew when I was elected to serve Monmouth County that I had big shoes to fill. Joe always put the needs of the people of New Jersey first. He was an exceptionally kind and dedicated school principal who became a champion for children across our state.”