Current Legislation - Dec. 8, 2011
Moving School Elections/Eliminating Budget Vote: A-4394 (Greenwald) would establish procedures for districts, municipalities, or voters to opt to move their annual school election to November. A district that moves its annual school election to November would not require voter approval for its base budget if the budget is under the 2% cap. Districts would still need to seek voter approval for spending that exceeds the cap at the November election. According to the bill, municipalities may move their school elections from April to the November general election by a resolution by the governing body of the municipality; a resolution by the municipality's board of education; or a petition signed by 15 percent of the legally qualified voters who voted in the immediately preceding presidential election is filed with the municipality's board of education. Towns that successfully move their school elections to November will not be permitted to move their election back to the third Tuesday in April until at least four school elections have been held in November. For limited purpose regional school districts, each of the constituent local school districts must approve moving the election to November. NJEA supported this bill which was released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. It now moves to a vote by the full Assembly.
NJ Stars And NJ Stars II Program A-4283 (Lampitt, Diegnan) which revises the NJ STARS and NJ STARS II program, passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee and will go to the Assembly floor for a vote (not scheduled) NJEA did not have a position on this bill as we are still reviewing the bill. The bill makes a number of revisions to the NJ STARS and NJ STARS II programs. It changes the NJ STARS program, limiting coverage to only the cost of tuition (not the cost of tuition and fees), and encouraging county colleges to host an annual recruitment day and invite representatives from each State four year public and independent institution in order to offer an opportunity to recruit students for the NJ STARS II Program. In the case of the NJ STARS II Program, students will be permitted to use the scholarship to attend a New Jersey independent four-year institution of higher education, where as currently the program applies to only four year public institutions. Finally other revisions to NJ STARS II include: the elimination of the provision that calculated the amount of the scholarship based on the student’s GPA; and the cost of the scholarship, which would be paid 100% by the State, not 50% by the State and 50% by the institution of higher education as provided under current law.
Penalties For Illegially Passing a School Bus: S-400 (Singer, Allen) was scheduled for consideration in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on December 8, 2011; however, the bill was held. This bill would increase the fines assessed for illegally passing a school bus from the current fine of $100 for a first offense to $200 for a first offense. The bill would increase the fine for second or subsequent violations from the current fine of $250 to $500. NJEA supports this legislation.