New Jersey's 11th Legislative District

Senator Jennifer Beck

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 “That being said, the outdated practice of sick and vacation leave payouts has left struggling property taxpayers across New Jersey with rising tax bills they can’t afford.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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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck: Any Unneeded Horizon Surplus Should Be Returned to Subscribers

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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:

Sen. Jennifer Beck said that any unneeded portion of Horizon’s surplus should be returned to subscribers. (©iStock.com)

“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.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck: Property Taxpayers on Hook for $500K Sick Leave Payout While Dems Continue to Block Reform

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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.

Sen. Jennifer Beck called on the Democratic leadership of the Legislature to allow sick leave reforms to advance following reports of a potentially record breaking payout of more than $500,000 to Jersey City’s retiring police chief. (Flickr)

“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.”

According to the Jersey Journal, the police chief is retiring with 450 unused days that are valued at $512,620 in the city’s proposed budget (see page 10).

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck’s Sandy Foreclosure Protection Law Taking Applications

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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).

Sen. Jennifer Beck’s legislation created foreclosure protections for victims of Superstorm Sandy. Applications are now being accepted by DCA. (FEMA)

“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.

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Senator Jennifer Beck
Senator Joe Kyrillos
Senator Mike Doherty

Beck, Kyrillos & Doherty Fight to Reform $1.9 Billion Property Tax Liability

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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.

Senators Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty and Joe Kyrillos invited Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to join their effort to achieve vacation and sick leave reform. (SenateNJ.com)

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.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck Calls on Senate to Pass “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” to Protect Victims from Contractor Fraud

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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.

Sen. Jennifer Beck’s “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” has awaited action by the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee since June 16, 2016. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)

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.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck
Senator Joe Kyrillos
Senator Mike Doherty

Beck, Doherty, Kyrillos Condemn Democrats for Repeated Efforts to Block Sick Leave Reform

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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.

Sens. Jennifer Beck, Mike Doherty, Joe Kyrillos condemned Legislative Democrats for continuing to block Senate and Assembly Republican efforts to pass sick leave reform. (SenateNJ.com)

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.”

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