The following letter to the editor by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) on the need to make the two-percent binding arbitration cap permanent to help local governments lower costs and protect property taxpayers was published in the Star-Ledger on April 17, 2014:
Preserve 2% award cap
Few things in government are ever black and white. Most fall within shades of gray, to be parsed out by policymakers. But the current issue of the expired binding arbitration cap is not one of these. The message is simple: We must make this law permanent. Allowing this critical law to expire is a serious disservice to our constituents.
Tonight, five members of the Senate will sleep out on the steps of the New Jersey Statehouse to bring attention and awareness to the problem of youth and teen homelessness. Senators Jennifer Beck, Joseph F. Vitale, M. Teresa Ruiz, Nellie Pou and Peter J. Barnes III will participate in Covenant House’s first New Jersey Legislator Sleep Out from 7 o’clock tonight to 7 o’clock Saturday morning. Each legislator will receive a sleeping bag and cardboard box for the sleep out.
“Those of us sleeping outside tonight are lucky, ” said Beck (R-Monmouth) “We only have to do it for one night and it’s during the spring. Hundreds of youths sleep outside every night through the most brutal of seasons and during the harshest of weather. We hope that our short night of hardship will help raise some much needed funds so the Covenant House can bring more of these young people in from the cold and show them that that they still can have bright futures. I’ll be spending one night outside so, in the future, New Jersey’s youth won’t have to.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) appeared on NJTV News with host Mike Schneider to talk about state education funding.
Beck said that under the proposed state budget for FY 2015, schools would receive a record amount of state education aid.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck and co-sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman that establishes a moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey has passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
“We just don’t really know all the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing,” said Beck (R-Monmouth). “I have heard from many residents and they are vocally concerned about fracking in New Jersey. And while there is currently no fracking in our state, this bill will ensure that the process is safe before we even consider the practice’s permissibility here.”
Senator Jennifer Beck issued the following statement concerning the advancement of the Jessica Lunsford Act, which is named after the Florida girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a convicted sex offender:
“This bill would be a huge step forward for our criminal justice system. Crimes against children are among the most reprehensible acts imaginable and they deserve to be dealt with swiftly and harshly. Those who would endanger a child need know that we will not tolerate such actions and they will be met with a punishment that fits their heinous crime. Victims’ families deserve the peace of mind of knowing that these criminals are being punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
A proposal by Senators Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth) and Robert Singer (R- Monmouth, Ocean) to extend tax benefits to eligible veterans residing in continuing care retirement communities was advanced today by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
SCR-39 amends the state constitution to extend the state’s current veterans property tax deduction and disabled veterans property tax exemption to eligible veterans living at continuing care retirement communities.
“Veterans who have served this country shouldn’t lose out on a financial benefit they earned because of a medical necessity to live at a continuing care community,” said Beck. “Property taxes are factored into the living costs of those communities and the veterans footing those bills should receive the same break as their peers fortunate enough to still own their own homes.”
New Jersey Senators Jennifer Beck and Joe Kyrillos (both R-Monmouth) urged U.S. Senator Bob Menendez to help facilitate the state’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy, rather than pushing for ways to slow it down. On Wednesday, Menendez called for even more federal regulations on how New Jersey delivers $1.4 billion in aid to people who have been hampered by federal rules since the October 2012 storm.
“At the grassroots level, residents are being hung by federal regulations and a lack of federal funding,” Beck said. “There are 7,000 people on waiting list for the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program because we don’t have enough federal money to fund them all. New Jersey also received $400 million less in CDBG money the second round than the first round. Why isn’t Senator Menendez addressing this when all of our programs are oversubscribed? Either Senator Menendez is completely out of touch with our residents’ struggles or he has a political motivation to slow down recovery to try to make a popular Republican governor look bad. He has to get with the program and do his job for the people.”
Delay of Flood Insurance Premium Increases Will Be Relief to Shore Homeowners
The United States House of Representatives passed legislation to curb some of the premium increases in the nation’s flood insurance program that have been a concern to many Sandy affected homeowners. H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, passed 306-91. The measure reverses some of the changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) introduced by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
“This is good news for many residents of coastal Monmouth County,” Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) explained. “The impending premium increases contained in the Biggert Waters Act was going to be a real problem for local homeowners. With the expenses incurred after Sandy, the additional cost incurred through a premium increase would have simply been too much for many to handle. No one doubts that changes need to be made to the NFIP but we must do it in a way that doesn’t bankrupt our homeowners.”
At a press conference today, Senator Jennifer Beck joined with other legislators who will be sleeping outside of the State House on April 11 in an effort to raise money for and awareness of the homeless population in New Jersey.
Beck said: “Those of us sleeping outside on the 11th will be lucky. We only have to do it for one night and it will be during the spring. Hundreds of youths sleep outside every night through the most brutal of seasons and during the harshest of weather.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) appeared on NJTV News with host Mike Schneider following Governor Christie’s budget address to talk about the importance of addressing New Jersey’s long-term debt problem.