Jersey Shore Landmark Reopens for First Time Since Sandy
Senator Jennifer Beck joined Governor Chris Christie in reopening the Ocean Grove boardwalk. The Shore landmark was devastated by Superstorm Sandy, and Ocean Grove struggled to procure the aid necessary to rebuild. After numerous appeals, FEMA approved the request for funds and repairs began. Nearly a year later, the boardwalk is rebuilt and ready for the 2014 summer season.
“This is a very exciting day for shore residents. The reopening of the Ocean Grove boardwalk is a significant step forward in our recovery from Sandy. I worked closely with Ocean Grove officials and FEMA representatives through the application process and the numerous appeals.
The New Jersey Senate recently passed legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck re-establishing the moratorium on the imposition of fees on non-residential construction projects to support affordable housing projects for the period beginning with the moratorium’s prior expiration date of July 1, 2013 through December 31, 2015.
“This was essentially a tax on all non-residential development in New Jersey,” Beck explained. “Further, this fee voids all municipal ordinances that otherwise imposed development fees or payment in lieu fees on non-residential developers. I have opposed this 2.5% assessment on commercial development from day one — it deters new businesses from locating in New Jersey, which means it stops jobs creation.”
Senator Jennifer Beck applauded the funds allocated in the new state budget for domestic violence and sexual violence services. The 2015 budget provides $1.8 million for domestic violence services and an additional $400,000 for the direct services to victims of sexual violence.
“Over the past three years I have worked closely with the Christie administration to ensure these services were funded at the necessary levels,” said Beck. “In a year that every dollar was more important than ever, it is encouraging to see sexual violence services made a priority. I know these funds will go a long way in assisting victims of domestic and sexual violence.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) said that the Democrats’ elimination of funding in the FY 2015 New Jersey budget for payments approved through the state’s Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP) would serve as a warning to employers who are considering whether the Garden State is a good place to do business.
“Many companies that signed deals with the state under BEIP are dependent on those funds to continue operating, and the state has a contractual obligation to make the payments,” said Beck. “With other states aggressively promoting lower taxes, better regulatory structures and their own incentive programs, how can New Jersey afford to break its word?”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), a sponsor of bipartisan legislation to make permanent the 2-percent cap on local public employee salary increases, said the cap extension enacted by Gov. Christie offers hope for more meaningful reforms.
“I applaud my legislative colleagues and the governor for compromising to continue this important reform that has been a very effective tool for local officials to control property taxes,” Beck said. “Today’s extension of a 2-percent cap on local public employee raises is a symbol that both parties in Trenton can still work together for the benefit of all New Jerseyans.”
The Senate Republican members of the Budget & Appropriation Committee — Jennifer Beck, Anthony Bucco, Steven Oroho, Kevin O’Toole and Sam Thompson — joined in support of options to avoid $1.7 billion in tax and fee increases proposed for the FY15 New Jersey state budget.
“We oppose the Senate Democrats plan to raise taxes by $1.6 billion. It is not a workable plan for the people of New Jersey, and for similar reasons, we oppose $137 million in tax and fee increases proposed in the governor’s budget and supported by Senate Democrats.
“The federal tax increases on families and small business owners have already caused a state revenue shortfall, to the detriment of New Jersey’s workforce. The Senate Democrats’ proposal to raise taxes by $1.6 billion will damage our economic viability regionally, nationally and internationally.
The following editorial by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) addressing flaws in the Sandy “Bill of Rights” was published in the Star-Ledger on June 11, 2014:
In The Star-Ledger’s June 2 editorial “Republican-style whiplash,” the editorial board chose to ignore the many factual and substantive legal issues with the Hurricane Sandy “Bill of Rights” now before the Legislature. If the bill is passed, my residents will be positioned to violate federal law and regulations. I, for one, will not support that.
Let me start by saying that I did not support this bill in committee because indeed the original version also contained multiple conflicts with federal law and regulations. For example, it said people could be reimbursed for work done while their Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) housing grant application was pending. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development absolutely does not allow that despite repeated appeals by New Jersey, New York and New York City.
Senator Jennifer Beck issued the following statement on the signing of the Jessica Lunsford Act, named after the Florida girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a convicted sex offender:
“This new law is a significant advancement in New Jersey’s criminal justice system as we continue to work to ensure the safety of our youth. Violent acts upon our children are among the most reprehensible and warrant a truly severe penalty. Those who would prey upon children must know that New Jersey will not stand for it and they will be punished harshly and without exception. This law may offer just a small peace of mind to the families of those unfortunate victims.”
A proposal by Senators Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth) and Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex) to extend tax benefits to eligible veterans residing in continuing care retirement communities was advanced today by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
The Senators’ S880 extends the state’s current veterans property tax deduction and disabled veterans property tax exemption to eligible veterans living at continuing care retirement communities. Under current law, honorably discharged veterans who own a home and served in a qualifying combat zone receive a $250 property tax deduction, while those that are deemed “totally and permanently disabled” are exempt from property taxes altogether.
The following op-ed by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) on the distribution of Superstorm Sandy aid was published May 6, 2014 in the Asbury Park Press. The op-ed is posted in its entirety below:
The May 4 Asbury Park Press article on superstorm Sandy aid distribution (“77 percent of Sandy aid still unspent”) failed to point out that most of the $1.8 billion in HUD-funded programs are reimbursement programs, which is the primary reason why much of the Sandy funding has yet to be distributed.