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The New Jersey Senate passed 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.”
The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) that seeks to deter dangerous driving that may harm children as they board or exit a school bus.
The legislation, S-211, establishes a pilot program for municipalities and school districts to use video monitoring systems to help enforce laws against illegally passing a school bus.
“We need to show drivers who think they can get away with passing a school bus that they are being watched,” said Holzapfel. “Sadly, this might be the only we get them to stop.”
The State Assembly overwhelmingly passed legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would expand housing opportunities for veterans.
The 9th District delegation’s veterans’ initiative, S-260/A-452/A-984, would reserve a portion of the tenant-based rental assistance vouchers under the State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) for grants to veterans. The legislation passed the Senate unanimously in May of last year.
The Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee today advanced legislation (A-3186) introduced by 9th District Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove which would increase from a 4th degree crime to 3rd degree crime the penalty for trespassing offenses committed in a nuclear generating plant.
9th District Senator Christopher J. Connors will introduce the Senate companion measure. Following the Committee’s action, the 9th District delegation issued a joint statement following the advancement of its legislative initiative:
“Security at our nuclear generating facilities has taken on a greater level of importance since 9/11. Obviously, this is an issue that hits close to home for us and our constituents, as the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station is located in our legislative district.
Senator Steven Oroho and Assemblyman Parker Space (both R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) said that today’s ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court addressing how municipalities must account for so-called “gap period” affordable housing requirements is further legislating from the bench that will cost property taxpayers dearly if towns are mandated to comply.
“Towns will be forced to conduct expensive new studies and analyses as a result of today’s ruling, and likely will end up in litigation once again,” said Oroho. “Property taxpayers will continue to pay the price for an activist Court’s repeated attempts to effectuate a flawed social policy.”
Group discusses local transportation projects and priorities with local mayors and council members
Senator Jennifer Beck invited senior Department of Transportation officials to her district to meet with local leaders to discuss ongoing projects and issues. The group toured District 11 and met with local mayors, administrators, and council members to discuss transportation priorities within their communities. On this particular tour, the group met with representatives of Deal, Shrewsbury Borough and Red Bank.
“The Department of Transportation offered to come into the district to talk to local leaders and I was happy to make it happen,” said Beck. “The roads and thoroughfares in the region are constantly being updated and improved, it is important that the state hears about local needs and concerns. Monmouth County has presented a number of unique transportation challenges that we will need to be addressed at both the state and local level.”
Following the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling on affordable housing, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex) again called for the legislature to take the lead in passing comprehensive affordable housing reform.
“This decision only provides our towns with even more confusion about how this process should work,” Senator Bateman said. “This is only going to cost them more time and money to determine exactly what their additional requirements are. We won’t break this cycle until the legislature acts to bring on comprehensive affordable housing reform.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Passaic, Morris) announced plans to introduce legislation to study the use of ethanol in gasoline and find out if it makes sense for New Jersey.
“There is a lot of concern that the addition of ethanol to fuel can cause engine problems in vehicles that aren’t specifically designed to handle it, and even that it could potentially decrease the gas mileage of car,” Senator Pennacchio said. “At a time when gas prices are spiking, New Jersey’s drivers can’t afford to have their vehicles become any less fuel-efficient.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) announced a Senate resolution supporting the preservation of Columbus Day as a federal and state holiday. The resolution will be formally introduced at the next Senate quorum.
“New Jersey has the second highest population of people of Italian ancestry in the country,” Senator Pennacchio said. “For the 1.4 million Italian-Americans living in New Jersey, it is not enough for legislators to say we support the preservation of Columbus Day. We need to take action and show our constituents that we are committed to upholding their values, culture and heritage.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to ensure top-notch healthcare diagnosis by ensuring the quality of the state’s laboratories was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
“These labs process samples, and the results they produce often determine what medical treatment a patient gets,” Senator Beck said. “If we can’t be sure that our labs are being run properly, people can’t have confidence that their doctors will get the critical information they need to make the right recommendations.”