New Jersey's 11th Legislative District

Senator Jennifer Beck

Senator Jennifer Beck

Senators Beck and Rice Launch Effort to Hold Negligent Landlords Accountable for Deplorable, Unsanitary Rental Housing Conditions

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) and Senator Ron Rice (D-Essex) have introduced legislation (S-3270), the “Safe Sanitary Subsidized Rental Housing Bill of Rights,” to hold negligent landlords accountable for dangerous, unsanitary, and unsafe conditions in subsidized housing. The bill addresses the deplorable living conditions uncovered in the recent Asbury Park Press (APP) investigative series, “Renter Hell,” which found children and families living side by side with rats and cockroaches, crumbling walls and ceilings, a lack of  heat and hot water, and human waste. Many of sites investigated were in Asbury Park and Newark.

Sen. Jennifer Beck visited one of the locations highlighted in the APP series, “Renter Hell,” on Tuesday, May 30th, with local officials, including Asbury Park Councilwoman Yvonne Clayton. (SenateNJ.com)

“Landlords are evading local, state and federal enforcement while simultaneously allowing families to live in unimaginable squalor and collecting a pay check from our taxpayers,” said Beck. “It must stop. As New Jersey residents, we cannot allow our neighbors to live with dozens of rats and walls covered in cockroaches while taxpayers are footing the bill.”

Senator Rice added, “For decades I have fought for the tenants of Garden Spires and Pueblo City, but bad landlords and ineffective government oversight has allowed these complexes to continue to operate in a deteriorated, unlivable condition. There is a systematic failure here. Taxpayers are funding this housing and it must be safe, sanitary and code compliant.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Advanced: Beck’s ‘Stephen Komninos’ Law’ to Protect Developmentally Disabled from Abuse

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The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee has advanced “Stephen Komninos’ Law,” bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck to protect individuals with developmental disabilities from abuse and neglect, by improving transparency and accountability among caregivers and at the 2,340 group homes, developmental centers and day programs across the state.

Sen. Jennifer Beck’s “Stephen Komninos Law” has passed the Senate Budget Committee. The law is named for a 22-year-old man who died at the hands of a neglectful caregiver. (SenateNJ)

The law is named for a 22-year-old man with intellectual disabilities who suffered 16 separate substantiated incidents of abuse between 2004 and 2007. Stephen passed when he was left unsupervised, against medical orders. According to published reports, his caregiver 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.

“Stephen Komninos was abused not once, but multiple times before he died at the hands of a neglectful caregiver,” Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) said. “Unannounced site visits, faster parental notification, and stronger penalties can and will save lives.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck Speaks Out on Behalf of Military Children at NWS Earle & Local Taxpayers

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) testified today in opposition to a politically-motivated bill sponsored by Assemblymembers Houghtaling and Downey that pits local taxpayers in Tinton Falls and Colts Neck against each other.

Sen. Jennifer Beck testified that the politically-motivated bill proposed by Houghtaling and Downey is not a solution and will only further the divide between Tinton Falls and Colts Neck taxpayers, and military families on NWS Earle. (Google Maps)

“The bill proposed by Houghtaling and Downey will generate a civil war between the Colts Neck and Tinton Falls school districts, leading to costly litigation that will harm taxpayers in both communities,” Senator Beck said. “The bill wrongly puts the children of our military families in the middle of a funding dispute. This is purely a financial issue for these school districts, and we need to treat it as such in order to find a solution.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck Serves as Honoree Chair for Girl Scouts Golf Classic

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) was again the Honoree Chair for this year’s Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Annual Golf Classic, held on Monday, May 15, at the Manasquan River Golf Club in Brielle, New Jersey.

Sen. Jennifer Beck served as the Honoree Chair for this year’s Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Annual Golf Classic, held on May 15 in Brielle, NJ. (SenateNJ.com)

“Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls in Monmouth and Ocean Counties,” Senator Beck said. “They provide our young women with the skills and confidence necessary to become future leaders. I’m proud to help support their outstanding community commitment for yet another year as Honoree Chair of the annual Golf Classic.”

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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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