Senator Receives ‘I Am For The Child’ Award from CASA of NJ
Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco was honored with the ‘I am for the Child’ award by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Jersey. The award was recognition of Bucco’s long-standing commitment to New Jersey’s children and his strong, consistent support of CASA advocacy across New Jersey.
“No government entity or agency can ever provide the care, advocacy, commitment and oversight that CASA volunteers and staff do every day for our youth,” said Bucco. “This remarkable network is a model for public-private partnerships, helping the state to better protect abused and neglected children, reducing public costs and enriching our society as a whole for generations to come.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio to help homeowners afford home elevation projects was advanced by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
The legislation, S-122, would utilize existing funding generated through Realty Transfer Fees to help homeowners pay off of the interest payment on a loan taken out to finance a home elevation project.
“In the wake of Superstorm Sandy and the continued flooding issues around the Passaic, Raritan and other rivers across the state, thousands of New Jersey families need to elevate their homes to protect against flooding and future storm damage,” said Pennacchio. “This legislation provides some badly needed financial relief to homeowners that need to take on this costly project to safeguard their families and property.”
Three bills sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to enhance solar power, improve e-waste recycling management and study low or zero emission vehicles have cleared the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
Senator Bateman’s bill, S-984, encourages New Jersey business owners to invest in solar technology by establishing the “Solar Roof Installation Warranty Program.”
“Business owners across New Jersey are eager to help cement our state’s legacy as a trailblazer in solar power,” Senator Bateman said. “We can do more to encourage a new crop of entrepreneurs to join us in this effort. This new and innovative warranty program targets a core, environmentally-friendly audience that is ready and willing to go above and beyond, by investing in energy-efficient technology that will save our environment and enrich our economy.”
Kean Addresses NJ School Choice Summit, Unveils Plans to Expand Quality Education Opportunities for All Students
In commemoration of National School Choice Week, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean served as a speaker at the New Jersey School Choice Summit at Saint Peter’s University. As a distinguished panelist, Senator Kean highlighted New Jersey Senate Republican plans to ensure all children have access to quality education, regardless of where they live.
“For a child in a chronically failing school, every day that goes by is an opportunity lost, a future sacrificed, and a community torn apart,” Senator Kean said. “My Senate Republican colleagues and I are working tirelessly to replicate successful schools that give trapped students new opportunities to achieve and succeed. We can accomplish this goal in part by expanding charter schools statewide and passing legislation to empower all parents to send their children to quality schools of their choice for a fraction of the current cost to tax payers.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to create a new class of special law enforcement officers to provide security at public and nonpublic schools was advanced by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
“In moments of grave danger, every minute that our children and teachers go unprotected brings us one step closer to an unfathomable tragedy,” Senator Bucco said. “By passing this bill, we can meet today’s school security challenges and save lives without overburdening taxpayers. I thank my colleagues in the Senate for demonstrating their continued support of this important issue.”
Senate Republican Gerald Cardinale is renewing his call for sick-leave, pension and public employment reforms in light of recent reported taxpayer abuses in Paterson.
Paterson’s governing body just gave its police chief a big salary raise to $210,631, redoing his contract that expires in a couple weeks. This allows him to collect a bigger pension, a bigger, $150,000 payout for unused sick and vacation days. The governing body also gave the chief, who must retire within a year, a 12 percent pay increase dating to 2012 and a series of four 2 percent hikes after that.
“This pension- and boat-check padding maneuver is an abhorrent abuse of taxpayers in Paterson, as well as state taxpayers, who annually send about $25 million in aid to this cash-strapped city,” Cardinale said. “This is the kind of billion-dollar deal struck in a smoke-filled backroom in the dark of night that destroys the public trust.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Morris, Somerset) will serve as a speaker and member of a bipartisan panel of legislators at the New Jersey School Choice Summit at Saint Peter’s University.
In commemoration of National School Choice Week, the annual conference sheds light on solutions for strengthening New Jersey’s education system. As a distinguished panelist, Senator Kean will address New Jersey Senate Republican plans to ensure all children have access to quality education, regardless of where they live.
Remarking on Governor Christie’s State of the State address, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove echoed support for repealing New Jersey’s Estate Tax, commonly referred to as the “Death Tax.”
The 9th District Legislative delegation has placed its support behind legislative initiatives that would repeal New Jersey’s Inheritance Tax and Estate Tax. Connors, Rumpf and Gove issued a joint statement following the Governor’s address:
“Repeal of both the Inheritance and Estate taxes is desperately needed to stop the exodus of residents and wealth from New Jersey to states with more reasonable and affordable taxes.
Abigail’s Law Requires Sensors to Alert School Bus Drivers of Children in Blind Spots
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) to protect children from being hit by school buses was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie. The law requires that new school buses be equipped with sensors to alert the bus driver when children walk in front of or behind the school bus.
The bill, S-2011 of the 2014/2015 legislation session, is named “Abigail’s Law” in honor of Abigail Kuberiet, a toddler struck and killed by a school bus as it pulled away from a bus stop in South Plainfield in 2003. The bus driver didn’t see Abigail in front of the bus and didn’t know the accident had happened until contacted by radio after traveling several blocks.
“If a small child walks too closely in front of a large school bus, or stops to tie a shoe or pick up a dropped item while crossing, the bus driver may not be able to see them with tragic results,” said Holzapfel. “Safety sensor technology that could protect children’s lives is now available, affordable, and should be employed in school buses just as it is in many newer passenger cars.”
Legislation sponsored by District 24 legislators Senator Steven Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus to enhance economic viability of certain farming operations was signed into law by Governor Christie.
The legislation, S-2620/A-2839, would allow farmers who did not apply for easements at the time they entered their land into the state’s farmland preservation program and are therefore unable to conduct any non-farming business on the property to apply to the state for a permit to conduct limited rural microenterprise activities on a small portion of the land, such as wood working or farm equipment repair services. The legislation would also allow, within limits, the alternation of existing residential or agricultural structures, such as historic barns, so that they may be preserved.
“With today’s bill signing farmers who sold their entire farms into the state’s preservation program will now have a needed means to supplement their farming operations through limited business activities that continue to protect the integrity of the land,” said Oroho. “These measures will also help make sure historic barns are preserved as a permanent part of New Jersey’s beautiful rural landscape.”