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Senators Joe Pennacchio and Anthony Bucco introduced today legislation to limit the sale of remaining state-owned portions of the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital property and to require the land be maintained as open space, showing that there are creative ways to preserve land in New Jersey that don’t involve mass spending measures.
“We have already made great progress turning the Greystone property into open space for future and current generations to enjoy,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “This bill will assure that process continues and the remaining land is protected as well.”
The Senators’ bill provides that remaining Greystone property owned by the state and declared as surplus can only be sold to Morris County. Morris County is in turn limited to using the property for the purposes of recreation, conservation, historic preservation, farmland preservation and associated public services.
Legislation originated and sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R- Monmouth and Ocean) that establishes a physician loan redemption program for certain specialties moved one step closer to becoming law today after being advanced by the Assembly Higher Education Committee. The bill is based on a recommendation in a report issued by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals that states loan forgiveness is one of the top factors that medical residents look for in determining a practice.
The report found New Jersey is facing significant future shortages in both primary care and several specialty areas. In eleven years there is a projected 12 percent shortfall in the physician supply versus the likely population demand for services.
“Facing a significant shortage of physicians in needed specialties and a growing demand for care, it’s important we act now to create incentives to attract and retain the best-trained physicians,” said Singer. “Incentives like loan redemption programs will help close that gap and draw more doctors into the specialty areas needed most.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) was honored Tuesday evening by The Arc of New Jersey as the organization’s Legislator of the Year in the Senate for 2013.
“It is a true honor to be recognized by an organization like The Arc of New Jersey, which has done so much in its own right to advocate for those with disabilities,” said Allen. “I look forward to continuing to work with The Arc of New Jersey to help those who are disadvantaged receive the assistance they need to succeed. To assure that all people have the opportunity to reach their full potential it is imperative we provide those with disabilities and their loving families the supports they need.”
The following editorial by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman about the need to identify sex offenders on social networking websites was published in the Star-Ledger on December 6. The editorial can be viewed at this link and is pasted below in its entirety.
By Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex):
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Assemblywoman Donna Simon, all R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex, welcomed the Christie administration’s announcement that schools in Legislative District 16 will be receiving nearly $8.7 million in grants for school construction projects.
On Wednesday, the administration announced the approval of $507.7 million in total state grants to help fund the cost of 1,538 school construction projects in 331 school districts throughout the state.
“This funding will go a long way in giving local districts the means needed to provide safe, modern facilities for all students,” said Bateman. “A student’s classroom environment weighs heavily on their ability to succeed. By giving teachers and administrators the facilities and tools they need our children will be better able to achieve their fullest potential.”
Thompson, Dancer & Clifton Announce Construction Funding for Schools in the 12th Legislative District
More than $9 Million in State Money for Regular Operating Districts
Sen. Sam Thompson and Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton, all R-Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington and Middlesex, announced more than $9 million in state funding for school construction projects in seven school districts in the 12th Legislative District.
“We are confident districts will well-utilize this funding to provide safer, more efficient schools, and the result will be students who are better prepared for future success,” said Thompson. “The grants allow our districts to provide a first-rate education to all students.”
The funding of will support $22,120,278 in construction projects.
Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco announced that the Christie administration has approved $13.8 million in grants to support projects in 12 school districts in the 25th Legislative District.
“On behalf of District 25 families, I’d like to thank the Christie administration for believing in our students and educators,” Bucco said. “We are fortunate to have great schools here, but some are in desperate need of structural improvements and safety upgrades. This funding will help ensure healthy, state-of-the-art learning environments for students.”
A resolution sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck calling on New York, New Jersey and federal officials to reject the proposed Liberty Natural Gas (LNG) Port Ambrose Project was advanced today by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
LNG has applied to federal authorities for permission to build a port in the ocean 17 miles off the coast of Jones Beach on Long Island and 24 miles off Long Branch, New Jersey. The proposal requires approval from the U.S. Maritime Administration, the Coast Guard and the governors of New York and New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie rejected a similar proposal in 2011.
“The Governor was right to deny this potentially catastrophic project once and we can’t afford to let it move forward now either,” said Beck (R-Monmouth). “The environmental and ecological impacts this port could have on the shore and accompanying tourism, shipping and fishing industries are far too great to ignore. Besides the inherent risk, there’s no evidence of a shortage of natural gas that would necessitate having this import facility in the first place.”
Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen) offered a glimpse of some New Jersey Senate Democrat false promises and fantasies about the federal Affordable Care Act for #ThrowBackThursday.
“No doubt, Senate Democrats held today’s Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the federal Affordable Care Act as a political stunt to take shots at the Christie Administration,” said Commerce Committee member Cardinale. “Try as they might, Democrats can’t hide from how their once-beloved Obamacare is causing devastating hardships on the people of New Jersey and America. Our President has established himself as a habitual liar and no number of committee hearings or task forces can change that reality.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio announced today that $6.2 million in state funding has been approved to support $15.5 million in school construction projects across the 26th District. The funding approved by the Christie Administration will go to support projects in 10 school districts throughout the 26th District.
“This funding will be put to good use making schools across the district a safer and better place for students and teachers alike,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris, Passaic and Essex). “I thank the Governor for this investment in our students and communities. These projects will add jobs and go a long way in helping districts meet the needs of all students.”