Current Legislation - March 10, 2011
Penalties for Passing School Bus: S-2244 (Sweeney, Allen) was released by the Senate Education Committee with strong support from the NJEA. The legislation calls for increased fines when drivers illegally pass school buses transporting disabled persons. NJEA suggested the same penalties for passing any school bus and is seeking to merge this with another bill, S-400 (Singer), to accomplish this outcome.
Medically-Recommended Service Dogs:
S-1797 (Norcross) On March 10, the Senate Education Committee released S-1797. This bill would allow a student classified for special education programs and services for autism or other developmental disabilities to bring a medically-recommended service dog to school. Under the bill, the parent or guardian of a student who seeks authorization for a service dog is required to provide the school district with: (1) a written medical recommendation; and (2) certification of appropriate training of the service dog. This bill is now on second reading in the Senate. NJEA supports the bill.
Red Tape Review Recommendations on Contested Case Hearings:
A-2722/S-2666 (Burzichelli, Rumana, Quijano, Caputo/Oroho, Addiego): On March 10, the Senate State Government Committee released A-2722/S-2666 unanimously. These identical bills would modify the process for contested case hearings by the NJ Office of Administrative Law. The goals of the bills are to streamline controversies and disputes in administrative agencies. Specifically, the bills would eliminate Commissioner review of ALJ decisions, allow witness testimony by video/phone, and permit oral ALJ decisions. NJEA successfully amended the bills to restrict the use of video/phone testimony. The bills also were amended to allow parties to request written decisions. This bill is now on second reading in the Senate.