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.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) brought Commissioner of Education Kimberley Harrington to Asbury Park and Long Branch schools this Tuesday. Beck and the Commissioner were joined by Asbury Park Superintendent Dr. Lamont Repollet and Long Branch Superintendent Dr. Michael Salvatore along with principals, teachers, administrators, and other school officials.
Asbury Park School District’s “Building a Brighter Future” initiative has seen measurable success through enhanced literacy growth and graduation rates. Asbury Park continues to expand its academies with the addition of Allied Health, Engineering, and Law and Public Safety through a partnership with Monmouth County Vocational School District.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) helped honor the Asbury Park Blue Bishops football and boys soccer teams on the Senate floor during the voting session on Feb. 13. Superintendent Dr. Lamont Repollet, along with soccer coach Jean Dortissant, players Fenelson Etienne and Widmaier Beaubrun, football coach Tim Fosque and players Namir Argilagos and Calvin Simmons-Carter were all present to accept the Senate resolution from the Monmouth County legislative delegation.
The Asbury Park Boys Soccer Team won the NJSIAA Central Group I Sectional Title for the first time in 35 years this past fall. Coach Jean Dortissant noted they finished the season with a record of 18-4-1; it was the soccer team’s first title since 1981.
Also Block Vote on Beck’s Sick Leave Reform Bill
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) continued her efforts to end the New Jersey Senate’s inaction on issues of importance to the people of New Jersey.
Beck’s attempts to force full Senate votes on bills she sponsors to forfeit the pensions of corrupt public officials (S-1557) and limit payouts for accumulated public employee sick leave (S-2140) were blocked by Senate Democrats.
“For the past two Senate sessions, I’ve attempted to bring up for a vote my bill to forfeit the taxpayer-funded pensions of public officials convicted of corruption,” said Beck. “For the second session in a row, Senate Democrats have blocked a vote on my bill, essentially expressing their support for continued pension payments to corrupt individuals who have violated the public trust. It’s absolutely astounding.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) creating foreclosure protections for victims of Superstorm Sandy has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
Beck’s bill, S-2300, establishes temporary protections against foreclosure for families who continue to experience economic distress as a result of the storm.
“A few days ago, I held a public meeting for Sandy victims who continue to experience financial and bureaucratic difficulties associated with the recovery process,” said Beck. “We heard from too many families that are struggling to pay mortgages on homes that are still uninhabitable while also paying rent on temporary housing until they can move home again. We know unequivocally that this financial burden can be overwhelming. This new law will ensure that those families victimized first by the storm, and later by government and insurance company bureaucracies, will have additional protections from foreclosure.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) held a public hearing on Wednesday at the Shark River Firehouse in Neptune to discuss remaining issues faced by victims of Superstorm Sandy. In attendance were over 30 Sandy-affected homeowners, representatives from Congressman Chris Smith’s office, members of the New Jersey Organizing Project, and representatives from New Jersey Natural Gas.
“We heard from residents expressing a number of problems that they are still facing to complete their construction and elevation projects,” said Beck. “We have about 3,200 individuals trying to move onward and return to completed homes. It is imperative that we be accessible to these individuals and attempt to remove any remaining roadblocks to recovery out of their way.”