Beck Calls on Senate to Pass “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” to Protect Victims from Contractor Fraud
Makes 6th Request for Bill to Be Considered Following New Report by APP Highlighting Gaps in Sandy Consumer Protections
Following an Asbury Park Press report highlighting the severe difficulties some victims of Superstorm Sandy have faced when dealing with home contractors, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) renewed her call for the New Jersey Senate to pass S-532, the “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act.” Since the bill was introduced, Beck has made five written requests to legislative leaders, and more by email and in person, for the bill to advance.
Beck, the sponsor of the legislation, has prepared new letters to Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo requesting that a hearing be scheduled for S-532.
The “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” would allow the Department of Community Affairs to bar contractors who commit fraud from working in New Jersey and strip them of their licenses. It also would allow the Attorney General to sue on behalf of homeowners for negligence, when they currently can only act in criminal cases. Additionally, in instances where a homeowner was approved for a grant by the State and has made commitments based on that approval, S-532 requires the State to fund the grant even if they later realize the approval was issued in error.
“We’ve heard too many stories of predatory contractors walking away from unfinished Sandy recovery projects after getting paid, and of the State doing little to address complaints or prevent others from becoming new victims,” said Beck. “Sadly, the stories detailed by the Asbury Park Press mirror dozens of others that I’ve heard at the many public and private meetings I’ve held to provide assistance to Sandy victims. The ‘Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act’ was written based on my work with Sandy victims to prevent further harm, and to hold recovery contractors accountable for their work. I’m hopeful that we can continue working on a bipartisan basis in the New Jersey Senate to move these important protections forward.”
Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos condemned the repeated efforts by Legislative Democrats to block Senate and Assembly Republican attempts to move bills limiting local sick leave payouts to protect property taxpayers.
An effort by Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz to move legislation (A-653) addressing six-figure sick leave payouts that some local government employees receive when they retire was blocked by Assembly Democrats during the March 16, 2017 Assembly voting session.
Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos also attempted to force a vote on their sick leave reform bills during the most recent Senate session on March 13. Senate Democrats blocked each of those efforts.
“It doesn’t make any sense to repeatedly block attempts to achieve sick leave reform, when both Democrats and Republicans sponsor legislation to do just that,” Senator Beck (R-Monmouth) said. “I am disappointed to see the majority party pass up another opportunity to provide property tax relief to our residents, by eliminating this billion-dollar expense hanging over their heads.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) was today recognized by the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for her efforts to expand domestic violence protections under State law. Beck was a prime sponsor of a law inspired by Gabby Giffords to prevent domestic abusers from committing acts of gun violence.
“Enacting this landmark bill was an incredibly important effort, and a proud moment in my career,” Senator Beck said. “As a former Rape Crisis Advocate and a proponent of women’s rights I was happy to sponsor this legislation. I am hopeful that this law will significantly enhance protections for victims of domestic violence.”
Joined by Over 30 Parents, Superintendents, and School Officials United in Renewed Call for Fair Share of State School Aid and School Funding Reform
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) continued the fight for a fair share of state school aid for massively underfunded school districts at today’s public budget hearing held by the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee in Newark.
Beck was joined by Freehold Borough Superintendent Dr. Rocco Tomazic, Freehold Borough Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer, Freehold Borough Education Foundation President Jean Holtz, as well as Red Bank Borough Superintendent Dr. Jared Rumage, Red Bank Board of Education President Dr. Fred Stone, and numerous parents from those districts.
“We have over 100 underfunded school districts that have seen significant enrollment growth without a corresponding state school aid increase, leading to substantial educational challenges.” Beck said “At the same time, approximately 200 school districts that are more than 10 percent above the funding standard continue to receive more state aid despite enrollment loss. This school funding disparity is a critical issue that the Legislature must address to protect both students and property taxpayers.”
Fenwick Sponsored State Law Prohibiting Sex-Based Discrimination, Was Called “Conscience of Congress” by Walter Cronkite
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) introduced and the Senate approved a resolution (SR-112) honoring the life and work of the late Millicent Fenwick, a Republican woman who fought for women’s pay equity and civil rights in both the New Jersey Legislature and the United States Congress.
“Millicent Fenwick was a life-long fighter for civil rights, not just for women, but for anyone who was not being treated equally under the law,” said Beck. “As a freshman Assemblywoman, Millicent Fenwick’s first piece of legislation outlawed wage discrimination. Today, women across the nation owe her a debt of gratitude for leading this civil rights fight. As a result of her efforts, New Jersey now has one of the most rigorous, progressive and aggressive wage discrimination statutes in the nation.”
Fenwick was one of just two women serving in the New Jersey Legislature, both Republicans, when she entered the General Assembly in 1970. The first bill she sponsored, A-403 of the 1970-71 legislative session, outlawed gender-based wage discrimination by adding “sex” as a protected status to New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). That bill quickly passed the Legislature and was signed into law by Governor William T. Cahill (R) on June 2, 1970 (P.L. 1970, c. 80).
Senate Democrats Block Three Attempts by Kyrillos, Doherty & Beck to Move Bills Limiting Local Sick Leave Payouts to Protect Property Taxpayers
Measures Would Stop Six-Figure Payouts for Unused Sick Time to Retiring Local Government Employees
Three separate efforts by Senate Republicans to protect property taxpayers by moving bills they sponsor addressing the absurd six-figure sick leave payouts that some local government employees receive when they retire were blocked by Senate Democrats during today’s session of the New Jersey Senate.
Motions were made by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) on S-194, Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) on S-572, and Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) on S-2140 to bring the bills to the floor of the Senate for consideration. Senate Democrats blocked each of those efforts.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) voted against legislation (S-3075) in the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee which would give the Governor and Legislature another year to form a political pork panel that would have the ability to manipulate billions of dollars in state transportation spending. Her refusal to help legitimize the panel follows the receipt of a legal opinion from the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services that deemed the “Capital Program Approval Committee” unconstitutional.
Under previously approved legislation, the Capital Program Approval Committee is to be a panel of four individuals, including political appointees, who would have power over the state’s Annual Transportation Capital Program. The objection of any single member of the committee would explicitly prevent the Legislature from funding any transportation projects in that year.
“We have an opinion from OLS that this panel unconstitutionally usurps the authority of the Legislature to appropriate funds,” said Beck. “A single member of this pork panel who doesn’t believe they are getting their fair share for their pet projects could effectively hold hostage all state transportation spending. I cannot support any legislation that would further legitimize this committee that clearly is designed to waste the gas taxes paid by millions of drivers for political purposes.”
The Assembly Transportation Committee has passed “Michael Massey’s Law,” legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to expand the “Move Over Law” to sanitation vehicles. The bill is named for Michael Massey, a 39-year-old Freehold man who was tragically killed when he was hit by a car while loading a sanitation vehicle as part of his public works duties in Ocean Township.
“Michael was a life-long Monmouth County resident and hardworking young man,” Senator Beck said. “When we learned of his death we were shocked and saddened. This tragic event was a wake-up call that we need to do more to slow down traffic in order to reduce injuries and fatalities on the job. While this legislation of course cannot alter the great loss that the Massey family has experienced, we are hopeful that such a common sense change to our law will prevent other public works employees from being injured.”
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
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.”