MEDIA ADVISORY (4/24): Beck to Hold Press Conference with Underfunded School Districts at Assembly Budget Hearing
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) will hold a press conference with representatives from ten school districts that are among the most underfunded in New Jersey to push for additional state funding.
Representatives of the following school district will be in attendance:
Freehold Borough – orange shirts
Red Bank – red shirts
Monroe Twp. – purple shirts
Kingsway Regional – black shirts
Chesterfield – blue shirts
Robbinsville – dark green shirts
Delran – brown shirts
Paulsboro – red shirts
Rahway – red and black shirts
Swedesboro-Woolwich – blue shirts
The press conference will be held prior to the start of the Assembly Budget Committee’s hearing with the Department of Education on their portion of the FY18 state budget.
Senator Jennifer Beck issued the following statement after today’s Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee hearing that examined the portions of the proposed FY18 state budget related to the departments of Health and Banking and Insurance:
“If there is ever a surplus that is in excess of what is appropriate to cover claims and ensure Horizon’s solvency, it should be returned to the subscribers who paid the premiums. That’s the only fair thing to do.”
Calls for Democratic Leadership of Legislature to “Do the Right Thing” for New Jersey Property Taxpayers
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) again called for legislative Democrats to join her in moving sick leave reforms following reports that property taxpayers will be on the hook for a potentially record-breaking payout of more than half-a-million dollars for unused days to Jersey City’s retiring police chief.
“How many six-figure sick leave payouts must fall on the shoulders of property taxpayers before the Democratic leadership of the New Jersey Legislature will allow votes on reform legislation to end this anachronistic practice?” Beck asked. “New Jersey property taxpayers cannot afford to make $500,000 payments to retiring employees when their tax bills are already the highest in the nation.”
Senator Jennifer Beck’s (R-Monmouth) Sandy foreclosure protection legislation, which was signed by the Governor last month, has been put into effect by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
“I’ve heard from Sandy-impacted homeowners how much of a financial burden it is to attempt to float mortgage and rental payments while trying to rebuild.” Beck said “To the greatest extent possible, we should be trying to remove the barriers stopping these families from finally getting back home.”
DCA has contacted all FEMA and RREM/LMI recipients who might be eligible.
Senators Jennifer Beck (R-11), Michael Doherty (R-23) and Joe Kyrillos (R-13) sent letters today inviting Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to join their effort to achieve vacation and sick leave reform.
Their invitation follows the publication of a story by NJ Spotlight today putting the total accumulated liability of towns, counties, and school districts for unused sick and vacation time at nearly $1.9 billion.
In the letter, the senators note that New Jersey residents pay the highest property taxes in the nation, and highlight the bipartisan effort to enact the two-percent cap in 2010.
“When few people thought it was possible, Republicans and Democrats in both houses of the Legislature came together to pass the property tax cap,” said Doherty. “That was a good demonstration of what’s possible, but much more remains to be done. Ending the sick and vacation leave payout abuses that contribute to our state’s property tax crisis should be low-hanging fruit that we can accomplish together if given the opportunity.”
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).