This is being sent on behalf of Government Relations
In this update:
- Governor Murphy’s budget address
- Join us for a lobby day
- Results from Monday, March 4
- Bills to be considered Thursday, March 7
- Bills to be considered Monday, March 11
- When is the legislature meeting again?
GOVERNOR MURPHY’S BUDGET ADDRESS
On Tuesday, Governor Murphy gave his budget address to the legislature.
Here are the highlights:
- The budget includes a record investment in public education with additional funding for Pre-k-12, as well as higher education. (Projects $206 million more for K-12, $33 million more for free tuition at county colleges and $68 million more for Pre-K)
- It continues the path toward full funding of SFRA, after many years of neglect.
- It demonstrates a commitment to investing in students and New Jersey families to build a brighter future for everyone in New Jersey.
- While most districts will see increases, some will face cuts, leaving their students without the resources they need.
- The budget contains a record pension payment as the state continues ramping up to full funding of our pensions after years of neglect. (This is the 7/10th payment, a total of $3.8 billion)
- Governor Murphy is asking for a millionaires’ tax, projected to raise $447 million by extending the millionaires’ tax to those with incomes of $1 million to $5 million.
NJEA released a statement on the budget, https://www.njea.org/njea-statement-on-budget-address/, in which the NJEA officers commend the governor for a progressive, people-focused budget that includes record investments in public education and puts New Jersey on the path toward responsible pension funding. At the same time, the officers state that the administration needs to work with those districts that are hurt by cuts to their funding and address the issue of skyrocketing health costs that are hurting public school employees.
The legislature will soon begin the budget hearing process, at which each department presents its budget to the Assembly and Senate budget committees as the legislature prepares its budget bill, which must be passed by June 30.
Want to read more about the budget?
- Governor Murphy has a budget page with video, the text, and other information: https://www.state.nj.us/governor/news/news/budget-fy20.shtml
- This NJ Spotlight article discusses the impact of the budget on schools https://www.njspotlight.com/stories/19/03/06/a-look-at-the-details-of-a-spending-plan-that-boosts-aid-to-districts-by-more-than-200m-and-pre-k-funding-by-68m/
JOIN US FOR A LOBBY DAY
We are holding lobby days! Although we canceled the lobby day for Monday, March 4 due to the threatened snow, they are still happening.
Join NJEA in the statehouse on a session day to ask the legislature to fix the unfairness and give job justice to ESP members. Lobby days give you a chance to remind legislators about why we need these bills.
Please remember that school employees need to take a personal day or union time to come to Trenton for a lobby day. See here https://www.njea.org/njea-lobby-days-to-fix-the-unfairness/ for more details, or rsvp to Iris Star,firstname.lastname@example.org.
RESULTS FROM MONDAY, MARCH 4
- A1428/S2653 – Establishes Child Trafficking Awareness Pilot Programin DOE to train school district staff about warning signs and how to prevent child trafficking. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
- S2564 – Establishes “Restorative Justice in Education Pilot Program” in Department of Education. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
- S2843 – Establishes competitive grant program for school districts to assist inhiring of school psychologists; appropriates $1 million. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
- S2861 – Requires school districts to provide instruction on mental healthas part of health education curriculum. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee substitute, 2nd reading in Senate)
- S3081 – Requires health curriculum for public school students in grades kindergarten through 12 to include instruction on mental health. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee substitute, 2nd reading in Senate)
- S3160 – Establishes pilot program in DOE to provide later school start times for high school students. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
- S3172 – Requires public school instruction in suicide preventionto be provided in grades kindergarten through 12 and include certain elements. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
- S3258 – “Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act“; establishes school district responsibilities in educating gifted and talented students. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
- S3287 – Permits approved private schools for students with disabilitiesto include in tuition calculation hourly rates for healthcare provider consultants which equal average hourly rates paid by certain public schools serving students with disabilities. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate; Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee)
- S3288 – Requires DOE to define expenditures for behavior modification at approved private schools for studentswith disabilities as allowable instructional cost for purposes of tuition rate setting. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
- S3327 – Establishes Commission on Latino and Hispanic Heritagein DOE. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
- S3378 – Prohibits health benefits coverage for certain non-medically indicated early elective deliveriesunder Medicaid program, SHBP, and SEHBP. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate; Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee)
- S85 – Establishes grant program for school districts to establish substance abuse prevention programs for eighth grade students. (No Position) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate; Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee)
BILLS TO BE CONSIDERED THURSDAY, MARCH 7
- S760 – Requires certain undergraduate students tofile degree plan and requires public institutions of higher education to develop pathway systems to graduation. (Seek amendments)
- S775 – Establishes Tuition Aid Grant Study Commissionto examine New Jersey’s Tuition Aid Grant Program and make recommendations regarding improvements to program. (Monitor)
BILLS TO BE CONSIDERED MONDAY, MARCH 11
- A5066 – Permits use of public schools and school district property for certain child care servicesfor children younger than school age. (Seek amendments)
- AJR88/SJR55 – Urges U.S. Congress to pass Equal Rights Amendment(Monitor)
- A3976/S1403 – Permits service credit transferred from another State-administered retirement system to apply toward creditable service requirement for retirement in SPRS. (Monitor)
WHEN IS THE LEGISLATURE MEETING AGAIN?
Thursday, March 7, 2019: Senate and Assembly Committees
Monday, March 11, 2019: Assembly Committees
Thursday, March 14, 2019: Senate Voting Session
Monday, March 18, 2019: Senate and Assembly Committees
Monday, March 25, 2019: Senate and Assembly Voting Session
Office Manager , Somerset County Education Association
1140 Route 22 East, Suite 100
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Telephone: (908) 393-9000 Fax: (908) 393-9007