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The Senate Transportation Committee has advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) that would provide municipalities with a share of the motor vehicle fines collected through tickets issued by the State Police within their borders.
Currently, all motor vehicle fines, penalties and forfeiture moneys generated through those tickets issued by troopers are paid to the State Treasurer.
“When a local police officer issues a traffic ticket, the municipality collects half of the fine revenues to offset the cost of enforcement and running the local court where the ticket may be contested,” said Doherty. “An identical ticket issued by a state trooper may end up in the same courtroom, but the town doesn’t currently get a share of the fine to help cover expenses, putting the burden on property taxpayers. This legislation addresses that inequity.””
Following a report from a national environmental organization that drinking water in as many as 138 New Jersey municipalities may contain unsafe levels of the chemical compound chromium-6, Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex, Bergen, Morris Passaic) is asking Senate Environment and Energy Committee Chair Robert Smith to schedule public hearings on water safety.
“Reports on water safety, such as the one that is making headlines today, have the potential to cause widespread panic and confusion among our residents. It is yet to be determined at what level hexavalent chromium in our drinking water poses a significant health risk to our population, but I certainly don’t want to sit on the sidelines and wait until that is determined,” Sen. O’Toole said. “That is why I have requested Chairman Smith to convene a special hearing with all stakeholders and experts on this matter.”
In Wake of NJ & NYC Bombings, Singer Bill Would Require Law Enforcement to Develop Security Plans for Large Crowd Events
In the wake of terror attacks in Elizabeth and Seaside Park, Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) will introduce legislation requiring local law enforcement to work with state agencies to develop security plans to preserve public safety during events that attract large crowds.
“In 2003, my daughter Sarri was injured and 16 were killed when a terrorist with a bomb attacked the bus she was riding in Jerusalem, so I understand the lasting impact terrorism can have on innocent people and their families,” Senator Singer said. “Last weekend’s bombing in Seaside Park was a stark reminder that unless we enact proper security protocols here in New Jersey, we may be putting lives at risk. This bill will ensure that procedures are in place to keep residents and spectators safe at large events.”
Proposed 24% Gas Rate Increase Would Be Reduced to 7.4%
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin (all R-10) praised news of a settlement that is set to be approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) slashing a 24 percent natural gas rate increase that had been proposed by New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) to fund infrastructure improvements.
Under the terms of the settlement, the increase that will be voted on by the BPU on Friday would amount to an extra $7 on the average customer’s gas bill, representing a 7.4 percent increase.
“We fought against the massive 24 percent rate hike NJNG had proposed, and we succeeded in reducing the increase to a reasonable amount that will be more affordable to residents,” said Holzapfel. “While nobody likes their bills going up, an extra $7 a month is much more palatable than the $22 monthly increase NJNG had initially proposed.”
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) issued the following statement on the official dedication and ribbon-cutting of the new Phillipsburg High School:
“I’ve long highlighted how New Jersey’s rural and suburban districts are overlooked when it comes to state support for our schools, but 15 years of persistence by local officials to push this project forward has finally paid off,” said Doherty. “Congratulations to the Phillipsburg Board of Education, Superintendent George Chando, and all of the many local officials and families that fought to make the new Phillipsburg High School a reality.”
Following reports that a Camden residence once home to Martin Luther King Jr. is at risk of demolition, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has joined the effort to preserve this important piece of our state and nation’s history.
Kean will introduce a legislative resolution urging the property located at 753 Walnut Street to be added to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.
“Martin Luther King Jr. helped lead the civil rights movement, demonstrating how non-violent resistance could be used to challenge racial inequality,” said Kean. “It’s been suggested that Dr. King’s experiences while living in Camden led to his later involvement in the fight to end racial discrimination, segregation and poverty.”
Senator Jennifer Beck, along with representatives from Congressman Christopher Smith’s office, Freeholder Lillian Burry, Colts Neck Committeeman Michael Fitzgerald and Tinton Falls Board of Education President Peter Karavites met with Captain Jay Steingold of Naval Weapons Station Earle to be briefed on the Department of Defense’s proposal to allow civilians to utilize housing located on Naval Weapons Station Earle.
All officials in attendance voiced their strong opposition to Captain Steingold and Department of Defense officials to the plan and have received commitment from the Navy chain-of-command for a subsequent, follow-up meeting on the proposal.
“I am opposed, in the strongest possible terms, to the Navy’s plan allowing civilians to utilize Naval Weapons Earle housing. The current proposal involving members of the general public to be granted access to an active military weapons installation is a dangerous one, and I will fight tirelessly against it. The events of this past weekend only heighten the need for increased security at our military sites and I don’t believe that allowing non-military personnel on the base is a workable policy to ensure our area’s safety” said Senator Beck.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean congratulated law enforcement on the quick capture of the suspect in the weekend bombings in New Jersey and New York City, and recognized the citizens who alerted authorities of suspicious devices that proved to be unexploded bombs.
“The speed with which many law enforcement agencies coordinated to identify and capture the suspect behind this weekend’s bombings is impressive and a testament to their professionalism and improved ability to work together,” said Kean. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the New Jersey State Police, NYPD, FBI and local law enforcement around Elizabeth, Linden and Seaside Park. I also want to wish the victims of the bombings and the two police officers injured in the suspect’s capture a full and speedy recovery.”
Collecting Donations of Food & Needed Items at Her District Office
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) has announced a “Pet Food Drive” at her district office in Cinnaminson to collect donations of food and other items needed by the Burlington County Animal Shelter.
“As an animal lover and supporter of the Burlington County Animal Shelter, I know how difficult it can be to feed and care for the many animals that are in the facility waiting for their forever homes,” said Allen. “I’m glad to offer my office as a collection point for the many dog and cat lovers in the area who want to donate to support the shelter.”
On Saturday, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) will serve as the Grand Marshal for the parade of horses at the Open Space Pace and Festival of Horses, an all-day event to promote and preserve New Jersey’s open space and horse racing industry in Freehold.
“It’s truly an honor to serve as Grand Marshal for this year’s parade of horses,” Senator Beck said. “For five years, this event has been an outstanding celebration of New Jersey’s proud horse racing tradition and shined a light on the importance of preserving our open space.”