All public bodies under the Open Public Meetings Act would be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and to display the United States flag at the beginning of meetings under legislation prime-sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors.
The legislation, S-308, was approved by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee on May 23. Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have requested to join as cosponsors on the Assembly companion version, A-777, which has been referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.
“Under current law, public bodies are not required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or to display the U.S. flag,” said Senator Connors. “While the overwhelming majority of public bodies do both voluntarily, I have joined with Senator Jeff Van Drew in a bipartisan legislative effort, to statutorily require that these patriotic acts be carried out as part of the public hearing process.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would expand housing opportunities for veterans has been passed by the New Jersey Senate.
The delegation’s legislation, S-260, would reserve a portion of the tenant-based rental assistance vouchers under the State rental assistance program (SRAP) for grants to veterans. In the 2014-2015 Legislative Session, the legislation passed the Senate unanimously. Despite that level of strong support, the legislation was never considered in the Assembly.
Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Determine Sexual Predators’ Risk of Re-Offense Before Their Release from Prison
To build upon the protections provided under Megan’s Law, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have reintroduced legislation (S-253 and A-1142) to require that the county prosecutors determine a sexual offender’s risk of re-offense, or tier, prior to the inmate’s release from incarceration. Prosecutors classify sex offenders in one of three tiers based on the degree of risk they pose to the public: low risk (Tier 1), moderate risk (Tier 2), or high risk (Tier 3).
The 9th District delegation issued the following statement regarding their sexual offender legislative initiative:
“A defect within existing law prevents sex offenders from being tiered until they have been released into the community. Currently, an offender’s residence status is a factor that is considered in determining risk of re-offense. Removing the residency factor used in the determination process, as our legislation proposes, would provide that sexual offenders are tiered before they are released into the community.
Consistent with their long-standing commitment to reforming the State’s school aid formula, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove voted against a measure aimed at protecting the status quo of underfunding the majority of suburban and rural school districts.
Recently, both houses of the Legislature voted on ACR-131/SCR-90, a resolution that objected to specific recommendations included in the Educational Adequacy Report (EAR), which must be issued by the Governor in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Education every three years. The Report proposed modifying the provisions of the State’s school funding formula that currently ensures the lion’s share of aid is sent to 31 special needs districts, commonly known as Abbotts.
The 9th District delegation issued the following statement:
“Taxpayers living in non-Abbott districts, such as our constituency which includes a significant number of seniors, have little hope of receiving meaningful property tax relief unless the State’s school aid formula is reformed.
Recognizing the profound and devastating economic consequences for their legislative district, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove voted against legislation paving the way for north Jersey casinos.
Following through on their pledge to constituents, each member of the 9th District delegation vehemently opposed and voted ‘NO’ on companion legislation SCR-1 and ACR-1, which proposes amending the State Constitution to permit the establishment of casinos in two other counties located at least 72 miles from Atlantic City.
Despite the delegation’s ‘NO’ votes, both SCR-1 and ACR-1 were passed by both the State Senate and General Assembly on March 14 of this year. Subsequently, a statewide ballot question will be presented to the voters for the 2016 November General Election to decide if the State Constitution will be amended to allow casinos outside of Atlantic City.
Two veterans-centered legislative initiatives sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove concerning property tax relief and housing have been advanced by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
The first measure, S-265, would require the State to annually reimburse each municipality for the cost of providing disabled veterans with a total exemption from property taxation. The 9th District delegation issued the following statement following the Committee’s advancement of the measure:
“This legislation would provide direct property tax relief and would lift an unfunded State mandate that cost municipalities throughout the entire state more than $66,232,734 in 2015.
Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove want their position to be known to legislative colleagues and special interests bent on increasing New Jersey’s gas tax to replenish the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.
The 9th District delegation issued the following joint statement as deliberations on a gas tax increase intensify and residents brace for yet another financial burden imposed by government:
“Middle-class commuters and seniors stand to be hit hardest by a gas tax increase, not to mention the harsh financial impact for businesses. Seniors won’t be receiving a cost-of-living increase in Social Security, making a gas tax increase all the more unaffordable to them.
Imposing more state mandates will have a chilling effect on New Jersey’s economy warned the 9th Legislative District delegation, following the announcement of what is the latest in a string of anti-small business policy proposals.
The statement from Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove comes in reaction to the recent announcement of a joint state-federal effort by New Jersey elected officials to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The delegation questioned how the state could be considering nearly doubling the minimum wage, which could very well drive up the cost of goods, when seniors recently learned they won’t be receiving a cost-of-living increase in their social security checks this year.
Remarking on Governor Christie’s State of the State address, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove echoed support for repealing New Jersey’s Estate Tax, commonly referred to as the “Death Tax.”
The 9th District Legislative delegation has placed its support behind legislative initiatives that would repeal New Jersey’s Inheritance Tax and Estate Tax. Connors, Rumpf and Gove issued a joint statement following the Governor’s address:
“Repeal of both the Inheritance and Estate taxes is desperately needed to stop the exodus of residents and wealth from New Jersey to states with more reasonable and affordable taxes.
Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove stated their profound disappointment with the 11th hour deal cut to move forward with a ballot referendum on North Jersey casinos.
The 9th District delegation issued the following statement:
“From the outset, our delegation has vehemently opposed allowing casinos to operate outside of Atlantic City, as doing so would have a devastating and lasting impact on Atlantic County’s already struggling economy. Needless to say, we are extremely disappointed that the way is being paved for casinos in north Jersey.