Oliver, Cryan) The Legislature failed to override Governor Christie’s veto of a proposed tax on income over $1 million. The bill, which NJEA supported, would have increased the gross income tax rate on income exceeding $1,000,000 for taxable year 2010. The additional revenue could be used to restore some of the cuts in the governor’s proposed budget. New Jersey’s Constitution requires 100% of the revenue collected from the state’s income tax be used for property tax relief. Contrary to popular belief, New Jersey’s income tax revenue cannot be used to reduce state debt, to make contributions to state worker pension funds, to build state roads, to pay for Charity Care, to provide state security or for any other state expense. It can only be used for property tax relief.
S-2071 (Ruiz) would limit the amount of time a vacant position could be filled by individuals holding a CE/CEAS or a standard certificate who were serving as substitutes. NJEA supported this bill, which was released from the Senate Education committee with amendatory language requested by NJEA and is now on second reading in the Senate.
A-444 (Green, Bramnick, Conners, Conaway) supported by the NJEA passed the Assembly (80 – 0). This legislation disqualifies board of education members for convictions of certain crimes and requires criminal background checks. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.
S-1835 (Bateman) was released by the Senate Education Committee and is now ready for Senate floor consideration. The legislation supported by the NJEA would now require all school district bus drivers, non-public and contracted to undergo a criminal record check. S-1835 also closes a loophole by requiring both the Motor Vehicle Commission and the Department of Education to maintain comparative data files on disqualified drivers.
SCR-108 (Lesniak, Vitale) a resolution that urges the Governor not to join any lawsuit against the federal health care act, passed in the Senate, 21-16-0. NJEA monitored the resolution, which awaits action in the Assembly, where it has been referred to the Health and Human Services Committee.
A-2405 (Lampitt) This bill passed the Assembly 80-0 and was referred to the Senate Education Committee. This bill directs the governing board of each institution of higher education to develop and coordinate an emergency operations plan that will ensure the continuity of essential institution functions under all circumstances. Under the bill, the plan must identify a baseline of preparedness for all potential emergencies, and be coordinated with State and local authorities including the State Office of Emergency Management. NJEA supported this bill as we have policy supporting such efforts.