New Jersey's 11th Legislative District

Senator Jennifer Beck

Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck/Sweeney ‘Stephen Komninos’ Law’ to Protect Developmentally Disabled from Abuse and Neglect Passes Committee

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The Senate Health and Human Services Committee has passed “Stephen Komninos’ Law,” bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck and Senate President Steve Sweeney to protect individuals with developmental disabilities from abuse and neglect, by improving transparency and accountability among caregivers and at facilities. The law is named for a 22-year-old man with intellectual disabilities who tragically died in 2007 when he was left unsupervised, against medical orders.

“Stephen Komninos’ Law,” sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck, would protect individuals with developmental disabilities, by improving transparency and accountability among caregivers and at facilities. (SenateNJ.com)

According to published reports, Stephen’s caregiver was only verbally counseled, and was allowed to return to work despite the fact that he had been found by DHS to have neglected not only Stephen, but another client as well.

Senators Beck and Sweeney were the prime sponsor of “Tara’s Law,” (2012) which established protections similar to those proposed under “Stephen Komninos’ Law” for people with developmental disabilities living in adult foster homes.

“When we enacted Tara’s Law more than five years ago, we made a promise that we would fight to extend those protections to group homes, supervised apartments, supported living arrangements, and developmental centers,” Senator Beck (R-Monmouth) explained. “Much like Tara, Stephen suffered through many substantiated incidents of abuse and neglect, and ultimately lost his life because a caregiver recklessly chose to ignore documented medical orders that were meant to keep him safe. There are 2,340 of these facilities in New Jersey. We need a fresh set of eyes in each one on a regular basis to ensure that anyone who commits such atrocities is held accountable for their crimes. This law will strengthen reporting requirements, upgrade penalties, and improve the way investigations are conducted, so that no other family ever has to endure such a tragedy.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck: Governor’s Sick-Leave Reform Recommendations for PFRS Members Shows Willingness to Compromise to Address $2 Billion Liability to Property Taxpayers

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Says Democrats Should Come to the Table to Protect Property Taxpayers from Six-Figure Payouts

Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) said that recommendations put forward by Governor Chris Christie to achieve sick leave reform are in line with legislative proposals that she and a bipartisan group of legislators have suggested, and again called for the Democratic majorities of the Legislature to allow any of those critical reform measures to advance to address an estimated $2 billion liability to property taxpayers for payouts for unused sick and vacation time for public employees.

Sen. Jennifer Beck said that recommendations put forward by Gov. Christie to achieve sick leave reform are in line with legislative proposals that she and a bipartisan group of legislators have suggested, and again called for the Democratic majorities of the Legislature to allow any of those critical reform measures to advance. (SenateNJ.com)

In his conditional veto message for S-3040, the Governor called for payouts for unused sick days to be capped at $7,500 or the amount already accumulated, whichever is greater.

“I’ve repeatedly called on legislative leadership to allow for the consideration of any sick leave reform proposals by members of either party that could protect taxpayers from a $2 billion property tax liability,” said Beck. “The Governor’s proposal shows a willingness to compromise and accept sick leave payout limits that are in line with both my legislation and other proposals advocated by both Republicans and Democrats. This presents a clear opportunity for the Legislature to reach agreement with the Governor on sick leave reforms that have been stalled for too long.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck Again Calls for School Funding Relief for High Enrollment Growth Districts

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Warns of Unintended Consequences of Eliminating Adjustment Aid

Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) continued her call for school funding relief to school districts with large enrollment growth that are underfunded by the State. At the Senate Budget Committee’s hearing today with the Department of Education, Beck also urged caution at the suggestion that all adjustment aid should be eliminated as a potential solution for school funding reform.

Beck noted that 157 of the 181 districts receiving adjustment aid are underfunded by the State and 97 overtax residents locally. The FY 2018 budget proposal includes a recommended appropriation of $566 million for adjustment aid.

Sen. Jennifer Beck with families from Freehold Borough at today’s Senate Budget Committee meeting. Parents and school officials from thirteen underfunded school districts attended the hearing, including: Freehold Borough, Red Bank, Monroe Township, Kingsway Regional, Newton, Chesterfield, Robbinsville, Delran, Paulsboro, Rahway, Swedesboro-Woolwich, Cherry Hill School District, and Deptford Township Public Schools. (SenateNJ.com)

“We have a large number of school districts that already overtax their residents who would be hurt even more by the abrupt removal of adjustment aid as some have suggested we should do,” said Beck. “Those districts would be forced to raise property taxes even higher to absorb such a loss of funding.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck: Monmouth Taxpayers Deserve Justice

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement in light of news reports that the Monmouth County Prosecutor wouldn’t pursue criminal charges after an 18-month long investigation into Monmouth County Tax Board Administrator Matthew Clark.

The investigation reviewed allegations that Clark had a personal relationship with two companies working with Monmouth’s tax program. The Prosecutor’s office has made referrals to various state and county agencies for ethics and administrative review.

Following reports that the Monmouth County Prosecutor won’t pursue criminal charges against Tax Board Administrator Matthew Clark, Sen. Jennifer Beck called on state and county agencies to act swiftly to ensure taxpayers get the justice they deserve. (SenateNJ.com)

“While the FBI and Prosecutor’s office may have decided there is not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges against the Tax Administrator, I call on the State and county agencies which have been referred this case to take action swiftly,” Senator Beck said. “Our residents have lost confidence in the Administrator and continue to demand a resolution. They deserve a prompt review into the ethics of his actions. Monmouth County taxpayers have waited long enough, they should not have to wait any longer for justice.”
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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck Applauds Red Bank RiverCenter on $500K Award

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) congratulated the Red Bank RiverCenter for receiving a $500,000 award from the Downtown Business Improvement Zone Loan Fund program. The award was announced by Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Charles Richman on April 28, 2017.

An aerial view of Red Bank, New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)

“The RiverCenter continues to serve and enhance our community in Red Bank,” Senator Beck, who represents Red Bank, said. “This $500,000 award will allow for visual and safety improvements to our downtown area. I extend my sincere congratulations to the RiverCenter, for receiving this well-deserved award.”

Commissioner Richman stated in his announcement that the $500,00 award will provide funds to improve visual appeal, safety, and retail cachet of White St. from Broad St. and English Plaza, and English Plaza from White St. to Front St. in Red Bank, improving quality of life for all who frequent downtown Red Bank.

Senator Jennifer Beck

Governor Signs ‘Michael Massey’s Law’

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Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Beck Expands “Move Over Law” to Sanitation Vehicles

Governor Christie today signed “Michael Massey’s Law.” Sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck, the law is named for 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 Massey’s Law” was signed by Gov. Christie on May 1, 2017. Sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Beck, the law expands the Move Over Law to sanitation vehicles. (Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home)

“Michael Massey’s tragic death was preventable. He was a loving husband and a father of two young children who lost his life because of a driver who chose to speed past a sanitation vehicle,” Senator Beck said. “Because of the Move Over Law, we know to slow down and change lanes when we see a police car or ambulance. Michael Massey’s Law cannot alter the great loss his family has experienced, but I am hopeful that it will be just as successful at saving lives.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck: NJDOT Commissioner Confirms Existing “Data-Driven Process” Works for Prioritizing Transportation Projects

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Beck Says Unconstitutional TTF Pork Panel Will Instead Make Billions in Transportation Spending Decisions Based on Politics

During Thursday’s Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee hearing on the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s portion of the FY18 state budget, Senator Jennifer Beck questioned NJDOT Commissioner Richard Hammer on the process employed to prioritize transportation projects across New Jersey, confirming that the current analytical approach to capital planning works.

Sen. Jennifer Beck questioned NJDOT Commissioner Richard Hammer on the approach used to prioritize transportation capital projects. (SenateNJ.com)

“As Commissioner Hammer confirmed in his testimony, New Jersey’s current data-driven process for prioritizing transportation projects is a model for the nation,” said Beck. “As part of the gas tax increasing deal that I fought against, however, a four-person political panel has been given control of these important decisions regarding the allocation of billions of dollars of transportation projects. I’ve opposed this unconstitutional pork panel from the start, and I’ll keep fighting to protect the current analytical process for prioritizing our state’s transportation needs that Commissioner Hammer maintains is ‘the way it needs to be done.’”

Listen to the exchange:

Click here to download the audio clip.

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Following Yet Another Six-Figure Leave Payout, Beck Again Urges Action

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) is once again calling for immediate action on sick and vacation leave reform, following reports that Asbury Park taxpayers will pay $127,000 to cover the cost of a retiring Acting Police Chief’s buyback of unused leave time.

Sen. Jennifer Beck is once again calling for sick leave reforms following reports that Asbury Park taxpayers will have to pay $127,000 to cover the cost of the retiring Acting Police Chief’s buyback of unused leave time. (Wikimedia Commons)

“Acting Police Chief Salerno is a dedicated law enforcement officer who committed himself to the Asbury Park community,” Beck said. “That being said, the outdated practice of sick and vacation leave payouts has left struggling property taxpayers across New Jersey with rising tax bills they can’t afford. Think of the more productive services that Asbury Park could fund with that $127,000. By enacting reform, we can address the $2 billion sick leave liability for property taxpayers statewide.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck Joined by Superintendents, Parents of 10 Underfunded & Overlooked School Districts to Push for Fair Funding

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) was joined at a press conference today by superintendents and parents representing ten school districts that are among the most underfunded in the state to push for fair funding for their children’s education. The press conference was held outside the Assembly Budget Committee’s hearing with the Department of Education on their portion of the FY18 state budget.

Sen. Jennifer Beck was joined by superintendents and parents representing ten school districts that are among the most underfunded in the state to push for fair funding for their children’s education at a State House press conference on April 24, 2017. (SenateNJ.com)

“We’re fighting for funds in this budget cycle for underfunded districts. Reworking the school funding formula is a complex undertaking and no legislator will want to move funds if it makes the property tax crisis in their towns worse. That said, the underfunded districts cannot wait for another state budget cycle or another school year passing without getting relief,” said Beck. “At the very least, I’m asking my colleagues on the Senate and Assembly budget committees to provide our most underfunded and overlooked school districts with additional resources in the upcoming FY18 state budget. As for more comprehensive reform, I welcome a substantive discussion.”

Joining Beck today at the press conference and Assembly Budget Committee hearing were representatives from Freehold Borough, Red Bank, Monroe Twp., Kingsway Regional, Chesterfield, Robbinsville, Delran, Paulsboro, Rahway, and Swedesboro-Woolwich.

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Senator Jennifer Beck

MEDIA ADVISORY (4/24): Beck to Hold Press Conference with Underfunded School Districts at Assembly Budget Hearing

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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.

Sen. Jennifer Beck with parents from Freehold Borough and Red Bank who joined her at a Senate Budget committee hearing last year to highlight the state’s underfunding of their schools. (SenateNJ.com)

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.

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