The New Jersey Senate unanimously voted to approve legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Senator Joe Kyrillos to establish a task force to identify the issues and benefits of school district regionalization.
“In a state where there are more school districts than municipalities, regionalization has enormous potential to bolster educational programs and reduce New Jersey’s nation-high property tax burden,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “Exploring solutions to create efficient, sustainable school systems will help us understand how we can best serve the growing needs of our students and communities.”
The New Jersey Senate unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen) that aims to prevent suicides on college campuses by providing students with greater access to mental health professionals.
“It’s great that we were able to come together as a senate to support our students, especially the ones that might be dealing with internal struggles,” O’Toole said. “We need to reach these young men and women and tell them they are not alone. This legislation will ensure our college students will always have someone to lean on in their darkest hours.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to efficiently bolster security at community colleges, public and nonpublic schools passed the New Jersey Senate 38-0. The bill would create a new class of special law enforcement officers, comprised of retired-in-good-standing, former full-time New Jersey law enforcement officers younger than 65-years-old.
“Now more than ever, it is imperative that we expand school security to protect New Jersey schools from unforeseen threats to public safety,” Senator Bucco said. “Law enforcement officials agree – placing uniformed, properly trained officers in our schools deters criminals from threatening the lives of students and teachers. My legislation offers real solutions for protecting our schools and communities without overburdening taxpayers.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) to prevent recidivism of released drug offenders by allowing these individuals to access job training and workforce education was advanced by the New Jersey Senate.
“This commonsense measure will allow more individuals to forge a path to a brighter future by eliminating the unnecessary exclusions established under current law,” Senator Singer said. “Improving access to job training will help those who have served their time secure meaningful employment and transition off government assistance, easing the financial burden on the state.”
Measure Would Provide A-List Entertainers Incentives to Schedule Shows in the Garden State
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to help improve Atlantic City’s economy through tax incentives for A-list performers has been approved by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.
The Senator noted that New Jersey venues compete for talent that can choose to schedule shows in states with lower income tax rates or no income taxes at all, including Nevada, Florida, Texas and Tennessee.
“Top bands that can sell out shows and earn tax-free income in Las Vegas or Miami have little incentive to play in Atlantic City or subject themselves to New Jersey’s high tax rates,” said Kean. “We should not forget that we generate no tax revenue from empty venues when performers skip New Jersey.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Jim Holzapfel were honored for their work protecting the state’s animals and pets by the New Jersey chapter of The Humane Society of the United States.
They were each presented the 2015 Humane Legislator of the Year Award at the Humane Society’s 5th Annual New Jersey Humane Lobby Day.
“I’ve always believed that how we treat animals, both individually and as a state, is a reflection of our values,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “We can be compassionate, generous and humane not just through our personal actions, but also through the laws with statewide impact that we help to advance.”
“We’ve worked to put New Jersey at the head of a nationwide effort to put puppy and kitten mills and their inhumane practices out of business,” said Holzapfel (R-Ocean). “We’re focusing on new legislation that would keep convicted animal abusers from repeating their crimes and ensure safe living conditions for all of the pets in our care.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean responded to news that NJ Transit and its rail unions have averted a possible strike next week that would have caused chaos for commuters:
“NJ Transit provides more than 300,000 rides on its rail service every weekday, taking commuters to both work and school.
“A rail strike would have caused gridlock throughout New Jersey, hurt our economy and made the difficult lives of those thousands of commuters even harder.
Allen & Bucco to Introduce Bill in Memory of State Trooper Sean Cullen, Prevent Emergency Worker Deaths
Bill would rename “Move Over Law” in memory of New Jersey State Police Trooper Sean Cullen who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a motor vehicle crash on March 7 in West Deptford, NJ.
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) and Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) announced plans to introduce legislation renaming “The New Jersey Move Over Law” in memory of New Jersey State Police Trooper Sean Cullen, a Cinnaminson High School graduate, who was killed on March 7 while responding to a motor vehicle crash in West Deptford.
“Trooper Cullen’s death is a stark reminder of the tremendous risk he and all emergency responders face as they work to protect their communities from harm,” Senator Allen said. “Law enforcement officers are especially vulnerable working in or around busy streets, intersections and highways, such as southbound 295, where Sean tragically lost his life. It is imperative that motorists be made aware of their presences.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) issued the following statement after providing the only “no” vote in the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee on legislation allowing a State takeover of Atlantic City, S-1711:
“There are many reasons why I could not support this legislation, but there are two fundamental problems with the bill. Firstly, the State takeovers of Jersey City, Newark, Paterson, and Camden public schools have not yielded successful results or outcomes. I remain unconvinced that this legislation is needed to overhaul Atlantic City’s government. As Atlantic City Mayor Guardian alluded to today, the State already has broad powers to champion meaningful reforms for the city.
In an effort to help victims of domestic violence, Senator Diane Allen’s legislation that would add cyber-harassment to New Jersey’s domestic violence statutes was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“We need to provide greater protections to victims and make sure they aren’t subjected to even more abuse,” Allen said. “Cyber-harassment is a new form of domestic violence, subjecting victims to immense emotional pain and fear. This bill would extend New Jersey’s already strong domestic violence laws to ensure people aren’t victimized online or via social media, where they can be more easily and frequently targeted.”