Bipartisan Bill Establishes “New Jersey Innocence Study and Review Commission”
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) and Senator Shirley Turner (D-15) have introduced legislation to establish a commission charged with developing reforms to prevent wrongful convictions in New Jersey.
“The annual number of false convictions in our country has more than doubled since 2011,” Senator Pennacchio said. “In New Jersey, those who were exonerated spent an average of ten years behind bars. We cannot give back the years that were stolen from the innocent people who were wrongfully convicted in this state, but by developing comprehensive reforms, we can ensure that countless others are not forced to suffer the same injustices.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) will be collecting items for individuals affected by the 5-alarm fire on March 3 in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Neptune Township officials have estimated up to 40 families may have been affected.
Items which would be helpful to displaced families include; blankets, towels, and toiletries. All donations can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at Senator Beck’s District Office at 32 Monmouth Street, 3rd Floor in Red Bank.
My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the terrible fire this morning in Ocean Grove https://t.co/HMsj3gyvCC
— Sen. Jennifer Beck (@jenbecknj) March 3, 2017
Following Governor Chris Christie’s proposal to dedicate revenues from the state lottery to public pensions, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Passaic) again called for the limited expansion of gaming at the state’s horse racetracks as an additional way to infuse critically needed funds into the state’s struggling public employee pension systems.
“For years, we’ve urged for the creation of dedicated revenue streams to shore up our public pension systems, and I commend the Governor for supporting this approach as a way to address one of the state’s most pressing fiscal issues,” Senator Pennacchio said. “We can take it one step further by opening the door for the establishment of racinos, which would create a substantial new source of revenues for pensions, bolster our casino industry, and support the financial recovery of Atlantic City.”
Saying it’s better late than never, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove all praised the nomination of Louis Goetting, a resident of Point Pleasant, Ocean County, to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority Board.
For several legislative sessions, the 9th District legislative delegation has sponsored bipartisan legislation (S-1674/A-3817) along with the 1st Legislative District to require that at least one member of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority be from South Jersey. On February 13 of this year, S-1674 was passed by the full Senate and referred to the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authority Committee.
Looking to Continue Tax Cuts and Tackle Property Taxes
Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, welcomed the governor’s budget address today and pledged to work with his legislative colleagues to enact an appropriations bill that takes into consideration the plight of taxpayers, and that expands on efforts to attract investment and create jobs.
“Through eight budgets I have worked with this governor and the legislative leaders of both parties to bring in targeted tax cuts that have improved our state’s competitive economic position,” said Oroho. “We have a lot more work yet to do, but I will continue the hard work and painstaking negotiations to make our state fully attractive to capital investment and job creation.”
Superintendents Tomazic & Rumage Join Beck in Trenton Again to Continue Advocacy for School Funding Reform
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) hosted Freehold Borough Superintendent Dr. Rocco Tomazic and Red Bank Superintendent Dr. Jared Rumage at the New Jersey State House in Trenton for the delivery of the Governor’s Budget Message for FY 2018.
“Red Bank and Freehold Borough face the dual challenges of being among the most underfunded school districts in the state, while also experiencing some of the greatest enrollment growth,” said Beck. “I’ve worked closely with Dr. Tomazic and Dr. Rumage on our mutual effort to secure additional state aid for massively underfunded districts like theirs, and am glad they could join me again in Trenton today to continue this important fight.”
Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) met with Commissioner Richard Hammer of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) and department staff, as well as NJ Transit officials, to talk about transportation projects in the 24th Legislative District.
“There are many vital transportation projects throughout the district that need attention,” said Oroho. “Now that the TTF has been reauthorized, and renewed funding in place, these projects can see action.”
In response to recent threats of violence at numerous Jewish community centers throughout the state and country, as well as the desecration of several Jewish cemeteries, Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) called for an end to the hatred and bigotry directed toward religious groups.
“As the representative of one of the largest Jewish communities in the state, these recent acts have left me sickened and heartbroken,” Senator Cardinale said. “These violent threats and displays of hatred have no place in our state or in our country.”
All high school students would receive instruction on available State and federal student loans, as well as student loan debt under legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) and advanced by the Senate Budget Committee.
“No one should rush into signing a contract that could cost them tens of thousands of dollars without fully understanding the repercussions of making such an enormous decision,” Senator Singer said. “High school students statewide are already required to take a financial literacy course in order to graduate. Without a doubt, learning how to get a student loan and more importantly, how to pay it back, is essential to understanding how to manage money in today’s world.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to fight hunger by providing a tax credit to farmers that donate produce to food banks was advanced by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“A lot of people count on these food banks to feed their families, and they do a great job giving help to people in need,” Senator Oroho said. “But they often rely on canned food, which is good, but it can’t match the nutrition or health benefits of fresh produce.”