Category: Press Release

Bucco Bill Honoring Cadets and Midshipmen Approved by General Assembly

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

The Assembly has approved Republican Anthony M. Bucco’s legislation honoring New Jersey cadets and midshipmen. Assembly Bill 225 directs the Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to identify and issue state flags to state residents enrolled in one of the five United States Military Service Academies.

Anthony M. Bucco

“We are already so very proud of these outstanding young men and women,” said Bucco, R-Morris and Somerset. “It is fitting we honor them with a state flag as they pursue becoming the finest military officers in the world. They represent the best qualities of our state and its people wherever they serve. They are an inspiration to me and to millions of their fellow New Jerseyans.”

This bill honors each resident of New Jersey enrolled at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York; U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado; U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York; and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut.

The Assembly unanimously approved the bill 80-0. Assembly Bill 225 is now in the Senate.

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Assembly Approves Schepisi & Auth Measure to Fix Dams, Prevent Flooding

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans Holly Schepisi and Robert Auth that appropriates more than $21 million for the restoration of 14 dams across the state was approved today by the General Assembly.

Holly Schepisi

“Making these dams more resilient to storms helps control water levels, prevent flooding and avert the damage that is inevitable when a dam fails. These projects ensure safer communities,” said Schepisi, R – Bergen.

Projects listed in A-3229 access existing monies made available in the Dam, Lake and Stream Project Revolving Loan Fund. These funds are a self-replenishing pool of money, where principal and interest payments from old loans are used to issue new ones. Local governments or private associations and owners of private dams that are co-applicants with local government units are eligible for loans.

Robert Auth

Robert Auth

“This is ready money that won’t cost taxpayers a dime,” said Auth, R – Bergen, “These are necessary projects, but they are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to finance through private lenders. In the future, more dams will be repaired as more money is paid back into the fund.”

According to the American Society of Civil Engineer’s 2013 report card, New Jersey is particularly vulnerable. It is in the top 10 states with dams in need of repair with 217 high-hazard dams.

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Schepisi & Auth Bill Fixing Dam Problems Advances

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republicans Holly Schepisi and Robert Auth’s legislation appropriating more than $21 million to make 14 dams across the state more resilient to storms and help control flooding passed out of the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee Thursday.

Holly Schepisi

“So many things can happen when a huge wall of water is released,” said Schepisi, R – Bergen. “It’s totally uncontrollable and without the maintenance of our dams, the risk of catastrophic failure grows. These projects will overhaul existing dams across the State, helping to control water levels, prevent flooding and ultimately ensure safer communities.”

According to the American Society of Civil Engineer’s 2013 report card, New Jersey is particularly vulnerable. It is in the top 10 states with dams in need of repair with 217 high-hazard dams.

Robert Auth

Robert Auth

“It is work that needs to be done to prevent flooding and property loss,” said Auth, R-Bergen. “Projects to secure the integrity of dams are costly and virtually impossible to finance through private channels. This money is available and won’t cost taxpayers any thing. In the future, more money will return and additional dam problems can be addressed.”

Projects listed in A-3229 access existing monies made available in the Dam, Lake and Stream Project Revolving Loan Fund. These funds are a self-replenishing pool of money, where principal and interest payments from old loans are used to issue new ones. Local governments or private associations and owners of private dams that are co-applicants with local government units are eligible for loans.

The following projects will be funded from the money appropriated by this bill:

Boonton Reservoir Dam / Jersey City MUA / $1,616,000
Split Rock Dam / Jersey City MUA / $3,792,188
Bass Lake Dam / Princeton-Blairstown Center, Inc. / $ 700,000
Lake Gerard Dam Lake Gerard, LLC $1,746,323
Stony Brook #14 (Honey Lake) Dam /Honey Lake Association /$1,250,000
High Crest Lake Dam / High Crest Lake Lodge, Inc. / $ 575,000
Heaters Pond Dam / Borough of Ogdensburg / $ 660,000
Lake Winona Dam / Lake Winona Civic Association / $ 708,773
Preakness Hills Country Club, Dam No. 1 / Preakness Hills Country Club / $ 650,000
Country Lakes #1 Dam / Township of Pemberton / $3,731,248
Lake Erskine Dam / Erskine Lakes Prop. Owners Assn. / $ 668,000
Lake Shawnee Dam / Lake Shawnee Club, Inc. / $2,000,000
Henion Pond Dam / Vacamas Programs for Youth /  $1,165,000
Country Lakes #3 Dam / Township of Pemberton / $2,139,272

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McHose & Space Seek Action to End One-Sided School Funding Formula

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republicans Alison Littell McHose and Parker Space are pressing for legislative action on their proposals to reform the inequities in the school funding formula. One of their measures, ACR-16, amends the state constitution to stop the courts from interfering with the Legislature’s ability to make the formula more fair for New Jersey’s students.

Alison Littell McHose

“The school funding formula is now rigged so that only 31 school districts get more than 56 percent of the aid,” said McHose, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “The only sure fix for the education funding mess is to put it in the voters’ hands and change the constitution.”

New Jersey currently ranks 3rd in the country in school expenditures per student, spending more than 60 percent above the national average. Nearly 60 percent of state aid goes to the 31 former Abbott districts largely because of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s interference. Spending in Abbott districts has tripled since 1972.

Parker Space

“That’s why property taxes are higher than they should be in Sussex, Warren, and Morris Counties,” said Space. “Because so much of the money the state collects for education ends up supporting just a handful of districts, there is little left for our students. Every education dollar that isn’t funded by state income tax revenue must be made up for in higher property taxes.”

In McHose and Space’s legislative district, 38 school districts receive an average of less than $5,000 in state aid per student. In contrast, Asbury Park receives $23,000 per student. The average cost to educate a student in New Jersey is close to $19,000 and district taxpayers make up the difference.

“Residents are paying high property taxes to educate our own children in local schools, and the Supreme Court is grabbing even more taxpayer money and sending it to a couple dozen school districts,” continued McHose. “After doing this for four decades, has the money made a difference? Attendance and graduation rates or test scores have not improved. The Supreme Court keeps spending and taxpayers are not getting anything in return.”

“We need to make school funding a priority for the Legislature, as it is for Senator Oroho, Alison, and myself,” concluded Space. “The three of us have been long-time advocates of establishing a funding formula to ensure that state education dollars are distributed equally and fairly to all students.”

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Wolfe-Rible Bill to Protect NJ’s Waterways Advances

 

Dave Wolfe

Press Release – (Trenton, NJ) – Furthering their efforts to protect all of the state’s waterways, Assemblyman Dave Wolfe and Assembly Republican Conference Leader Dave Rible today won backing for legislation that imposes criminal penalties for discharging untreated sewage from watercraft. The bill, A-2664, was approved by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

“Boaters have a moral obligation to respect and protect our state’s shoreline and other bodies of water,” said Wolfe, R-Ocean and Monmouth. “Common decency dictates that our ocean and other waterways should not be treated as waste dumps, yet we know people do dump raw sewage overboard. Those who do will face very serious consequences for their deplorable actions.”

Dave Rible

The measure prohibits the discharge of untreated sewage from containment tanks on boating vehicles into any of New Jersey’s waterways. It also subjects violators to a five-year prison term and a fine of up to $50,000. Current law prohibits the discharge of raw sewage from a watercraft in an area that has been designated as a “no discharge” zone by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

“New Jersey has some of the most beautiful waterways in the nation. We need to prevent the Jersey Shore, our bays and rivers from becoming a dumping ground for raw sewage,” said Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean. “Boaters who fail to be good environmental stewards will face severe penalties.”

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Casagrande-Muñoz Laud Assembly Women and Children Committee for Action on Domestic Violence

Assembly Republican Press Release -

With domestic violence at the forefront of public concern, Assembly Republicans Caroline Casagrande and Nancy F. Muñoz lauded the action taken today by the Assembly Women and Children Committee which released a package of bills addressing the problem. Both Republican legislators are members of the committee.

Caroline Casagrande

“We heard testimony from people on the front lines of domestic violence that the Ray Rice case wasn’t rare,” said Casagrande, R-Monmouth. “Even though common sense dictates that knocking someone unconscious is an attempt to cause serious bodily injury, these charges are frequently downgraded. There is clearly a disconnect between the legislative intent regarding domestic violence and how the law is applied in the courtroom. Reducing charges that allow a violent act to go unpunished trivializes the seriousness of this crime.”

The 5-bill package requires counseling for domestic violence offenders; establishes the justification of self-defense by victims; creates a program to assist victims reintegrate into society; and permits a witness under age 16 to testify by closed circuit television in domestic crime prosecutions.

Nancy Munoz

“Physical assault is an act of violence,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “The recent event regarding Ray Rice and his then fiancé brings this important issue to the forefront. The Legislature is committed to protecting the public from violent acts. Today’s bill package addresses the victims’ needs, and we must also make clear there is an intent to punish those guilty of committing this heinous crime.”

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Webber Bill Updating Access Standards to UI Data Protects Taxpayers and System

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation Assemblyman Jay Webber sponsors to protect the state’s unemployment insurance system today won approval by the Assembly Labor Committee. The bill, A-3155, implements a recommendation by the state auditor that the Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) review the procedures used to grant access to unemployment insurance data by personnel in the department.

Jay Webber

“Eliminating costly mistakes, whether intentional or not, is the purpose of this common sense, anti-fraud legislation,” said Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “Under the bill, the department will examine its own protocols that grant access to the sensitive data it maintains. The state auditor’s recommendations are sound and practical and were positively received by DOLWD. Monitoring who should have access to this personal data further ensures taxpayers, businesses and recipients are treated fairly and the UI fund is protected.”

Webber’s bill requires periodic reviews of the appropriateness of employees’ access to data which reduces the risk of errors, misuse or unauthorized alteration of information.

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Ciattarelli EFT Bills Protecting Consumers Signed into Law

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation that treats electronic funds transfers (EFTs) under the same criminal and civil statutes for issuing bad checks was signed into law on Wednesday by Gov. Christie. The bills, A-1153 and A-1162, are sponsored by Assembly Republican Jack Ciattarelli, R- Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex.

Jack Ciattarelli

“The growing use of modern technologies for financial transactions means more convenience and less waiting for consumers,” said Ciattarelli. “Our laws, however, need to keep up with technological changes in order to protect the consumer and financial institutions.

“Whether someone is passing insufficient funds electronically or by paper, the effect on the victim is the same,” explained Ciattarelli. “Updating the current statutes to include the electronic transfer of funds ensures there is recourse for those who are victimized.”

Prior to the new law, there was no specific guidance with respect to authorizing an electronic transfer that cannot be honored. Ciattarelli’s bills clarify that EFTs are to be treated the same as a check, draft, or money order.

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Dancer Bipartisan Bill Protecting Millions of Dollars to Educate Military Families’ Children Advances

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer protecting millions of dollars used to fund the education of military members’ children in New Jersey passed unanimously out of the Education Committee today.

The bill, A-1286, would allow school districts to establish a special account for federal dollars meant to offset the loss of property taxes from federal property. The bill would also prevent the state from reducing education aid because of these federal funds.

Ron Dancer

“New Jersey will set a national example by committing to use these funds for what they are intended – educating the children of our brave men and women in the armed forces,” Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth. “This will benefit property taxpayers and communities that host military bases.

“The most important beneficiaries will be military families and their children,” Dancer added.

According to the Office of Legislative Services, approximately 12 of 21New Jersey counties have school districts that receive the federal funds.

Dancer, whose legislative district includes several school districts that receive federal impact aid, said the legislation is critical because the federal government would be more likely to preserve funding in states that ensure the dollars would go toward educational costs of military families, rather than balancing state budgets.

“This is the right thing to do from a moral and economic standpoint, because it protects millions of dollars of educational funding for the children whose families are fighting to keep us safe,” Dancer said. “We need to act quickly and make sure our schools serving these military families don’t lose these dollars.”

 

School Districts Receiving Federal Impact Aid in FY 2012 & FY 2013

 

County District Impact Aid (FY 2012) Impact Aid (FY 2013)
       
Atlantic Atlantic City

$28,723

$36,357

Bergen Allendale Bor.

$37,500

Burlington NewHanoverTwp.

$738,544

$2,104,519

Burlington North HanoverTwp.

$8,735,585

$7,693,165

Burlington Northern BurlingtonRegional

$1,746,912

$1,486,010

Burlington Pemberton Twp.

$1,159,099

$1,299,626

Camden CamdenCity

$57,955

$46,417

Cape May Cape MayCity

$1,130,751

$1,110,283

Hudson HobokenCity

$200,202

$139,275

Mercer TrentonCity

$5,157

Mercer Robbinsville Twp.

$2,588

$7,511

Middlesex EdisonTwp.

$52,843

Monmouth Colts Neck Twp.

$517,890

$1,818,885

Monmouth Eatontown Bor.

$123,110

$80,208

Monmouth Long BranchCity

$33,703

$27,244

Monmouth Monmouth Regional

$53,651

$39,199

Monmouth TintonFalls

$74,749

$95,412

Morris MorrisSchool District

$5,233

$6,978

Morris Rockaway Twp.

$371,449

$872,941

Ocean LakehurstBor.

$1,357,481

$902,299

Ocean Plumsted Twp.

$1,600,370

$1,785,111

Passaic Little Falls Twp.

$5,678

Salem SalemCity

$12,034

$21,023

Somerset Watchung Hills Regional

$15,368

$152,458

Sussex Kittatinny Regional

$294,554

$304,691

Sussex Montague Twp.

$285,901

$304,691

Sussex Sandyston-Walpack Twp.

$285,915

$646,637

Warren PhillipsburgTown

$39,432

$39,512

Information provided by OLS using data from the Department of Education

 

 

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Rible Bill to Help Children with Rare Genetic Disorders Gets Gov’s Signature

Press Release – Legislation Assembly Republican Conference Leader Dave Rible sponsors to improve the quality of life for children suffering with rare genetic disorders has been signed into law by Gov. Christie.

Dave Rible

“Children living with these conditions are seldom able to enjoy the simple pleasures of youth, spending more time in medical offices than in backyards and playgrounds,” said Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean. “Early detection and treatment can bring some semblance of normalcy to their lives. It can give them more time to just ‘be kids.’”

Known as the “Let Them Be Little Act,” Rible’s measure, A-1101/S-668, provides for infant screening for Hunter and Hurler syndromes, rare genetic disorders that can be difficult to diagnose.

Hunter syndrome causes permanent, progressive damage affecting appearance, mental development, organ function and physical abilities. Hurler syndrome is a metabolic disease that begins to manifest in children younger than eight years old.

Rible also sponsored “Emma’s Law,” which requires newborns to be screened for other lysosomal disorders such as Krabbe, Gaucher, Niemann-Pick and Fabry.

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