Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos condemned the repeated efforts by Legislative Democrats to block Senate and Assembly Republican attempts to move bills limiting local sick leave payouts to protect property taxpayers.
An effort by Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz to move legislation (A-653) addressing six-figure sick leave payouts that some local government employees receive when they retire was blocked by Assembly Democrats during the March 16, 2017 Assembly voting session.
Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos also attempted to force a vote on their sick leave reform bills during the most recent Senate session on March 13. Senate Democrats blocked each of those efforts.
“It doesn’t make any sense to repeatedly block attempts to achieve sick leave reform, when both Democrats and Republicans sponsor legislation to do just that,” Senator Beck (R-Monmouth) said. “I am disappointed to see the majority party pass up another opportunity to provide property tax relief to our residents, by eliminating this billion-dollar expense hanging over their heads.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) designed to reduce the burden on property taxpayers and improve roads, bridges and rail safety is headed to the Governor’s desk after it received final legislative passage.
“We have critical transportation projects throughout the state, including many in my legislative district, that need attention now,” Senator Oroho said. “This funding bill can get many of these projects moving forward without burdening local property taxpayers.”
Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space Senator Steve Oroho (both R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to extend opportunities to earn varsity letters to high school students that participate in competitive activities other than athletics is headed to the Governor’s desk after it was passed by the New Jersey General Assembly.
“Extracurricular activities are an integral part of education,” said Space (R—Sussex, Warren, Morris). “The benefits of competing with schoolmates against peers from other schools – on the playing field or in the auditorium – cannot be overstated. A varsity letter is a source of pride earned through tireless effort, fierce determination and unwavering commitment. By opening the opportunity for a letter to more students, schools are strengthened and student outcomes are enhanced.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) was today recognized by the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for her efforts to expand domestic violence protections under State law. Beck was a prime sponsor of a law inspired by Gabby Giffords to prevent domestic abusers from committing acts of gun violence.
“Enacting this landmark bill was an incredibly important effort, and a proud moment in my career,” Senator Beck said. “As a former Rape Crisis Advocate and a proponent of women’s rights I was happy to sponsor this legislation. I am hopeful that this law will significantly enhance protections for victims of domestic violence.”
Following recent reports that New Jersey’s drought is still in effect despite a winter full of precipitation and foul weather, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman again called for the state’s residents and leaders to do whatever they can to help conserve water.
“Most of the state just spent the last week digging out of a big snowstorm, and the rest was no stranger to wet storms this winter, but it still doesn’t look like this drought is going anywhere anytime soon,” Senator Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon) said. “We all need to make an effort to conserve water and implement a statewide plan to address this drought.”
Joined by Over 30 Parents, Superintendents, and School Officials United in Renewed Call for Fair Share of State School Aid and School Funding Reform
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) continued the fight for a fair share of state school aid for massively underfunded school districts at today’s public budget hearing held by the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee in Newark.
Beck was joined by Freehold Borough Superintendent Dr. Rocco Tomazic, Freehold Borough Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer, Freehold Borough Education Foundation President Jean Holtz, as well as Red Bank Borough Superintendent Dr. Jared Rumage, Red Bank Board of Education President Dr. Fred Stone, and numerous parents from those districts.
“We have over 100 underfunded school districts that have seen significant enrollment growth without a corresponding state school aid increase, leading to substantial educational challenges.” Beck said “At the same time, approximately 200 school districts that are more than 10 percent above the funding standard continue to receive more state aid despite enrollment loss. This school funding disparity is a critical issue that the Legislature must address to protect both students and property taxpayers.”
Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset) to fund upgrades and improvements at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities.
The law, S-2897, appropriates the remaining $34.3 million from the “Building Our Future Bond Act,” voter-approved legislation sponsored by Senator Kean to fund capital improvement projects at public institutions of higher education statewide.
“More and more high school grads are choosing to pursue a career in STEM-related fields, such as nursing or engineering. They shouldn’t have to travel out of state to study at a school with a state-of-the art research facility or lab,” Senator Kean said. “This appropriation will help our top-notch colleges and universities evolve to meet the needs of incoming students.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to expand opportunities for new hard cider and mead producers by creating a new license under the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
“Craft beverage aficionados always have an eye out for the best local products,” Senator Oroho said. “New Jersey is already home to dozens of breweries and wineries, and this measure could give consumers even more to choose from while providing a huge boost to the state’s economy at the same time.”
The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to appropriate $59.532 million from constitutionally dedicated funds for open space, park development, and expansions to the Blue Acres and Green Acres programs.
“New Jersey voters overwhelmingly supported the constitutional amendment I sponsored to create a permanent funding source for open space,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “The appropriation approved by the Senate today will secure our hard-won victory to save Princeton Battlefield, conserve clean water and protect the farms that fuel our economy. These are exactly the kinds of projects that our residents had in mind when they voted yes in 2014.”
Fenwick Sponsored State Law Prohibiting Sex-Based Discrimination, Was Called “Conscience of Congress” by Walter Cronkite
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) introduced and the Senate approved a resolution (SR-112) honoring the life and work of the late Millicent Fenwick, a Republican woman who fought for women’s pay equity and civil rights in both the New Jersey Legislature and the United States Congress.
“Millicent Fenwick was a life-long fighter for civil rights, not just for women, but for anyone who was not being treated equally under the law,” said Beck. “As a freshman Assemblywoman, Millicent Fenwick’s first piece of legislation outlawed wage discrimination. Today, women across the nation owe her a debt of gratitude for leading this civil rights fight. As a result of her efforts, New Jersey now has one of the most rigorous, progressive and aggressive wage discrimination statutes in the nation.”
Fenwick was one of just two women serving in the New Jersey Legislature, both Republicans, when she entered the General Assembly in 1970. The first bill she sponsored, A-403 of the 1970-71 legislative session, outlawed gender-based wage discrimination by adding “sex” as a protected status to New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). That bill quickly passed the Legislature and was signed into law by Governor William T. Cahill (R) on June 2, 1970 (P.L. 1970, c. 80).