Happy budget season!  Everything gets crammed in.  Remember that after June, the legislature won’t be doing much business until after election day.  Yesterday was a marathon Assembly Appropriations Committee, with over 80 bills being considered.  The hearing started at 10:30 and still wasn’t completed by 2:00 pm.  Monday promises to be a marathon voting session day as well.  Assembly staffers were joking about having removed 20 bills from the list – and it still had over 120 bills on it.  (And remember that when you look at the list of bills below, it is only the ones we are following.  There are a lot more on the list.)

As is typical in a budget season, the legislature is bickering over what the budget will look like.  But the atypical this year?  They can’t figure out what to do with all the extra money they have.  Remember a year ago, it was gloom and doom.  The treasurer was foreseeing deficits over $10 billion in two years.  The state did a mini-budget of three months.  Funding for programs was flat or even cut.

Now?  Now, between federal funds and the recovering economy that never hit rock bottom as expected, the state has more money than it knows what to do with – around $11 billion more.  Treasury is expecting a tax windfall – $4 billion above projected tax revenue this year, and an extra projected $1 billion in Fiscal Year 22, along with the $6 billion in ARPA funds.

John Reitmeyer writes about concerns over the lack of transparency in the budget https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/06/whopping-11-billion-windfall-new-jersey-but-few-avenues-public-comment-shut-out-lawmakers-behind-closed-doors-hearings-canceled-budget-deadline/ and what the state might do with the unexpected cash.  https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/06/so-just-what-should-nj-do-with-all-that-new-money/

Talk was that the budget would be done on June 21.  But clearly, without a budget bill scheduled in committee, that is not happening.  Now the talk is of June 24.  This year won’t be like previous years, with lobbyists and legislative staff sitting around late into the night.  The statehouse is not yet open to the public, so you can watch the marathon sessions at the legislature’s website (www.njleg.org).

In non-budget news, Governor Murphy signed S3434/A5366, the bill that would extend special education services a year for some students who are aging out of the system.  https://www.inquirer.com/news/nj-education-special-needs-bill-extended-year-governor-phil-murphy-20210616.html

Below are the lists of bills to be considered today and Monday.  This list is current as of this morning.  Bills will be added and subtracted even as the committee hearing and voting session happen.  It’s budget season!  Results from this week and last week follow.

 BILLS TO BE CONSIDERED THURSDAY, JUNE 17

  • A4433/S2715 – Creates grant program to encourage school districts to partner with institutions of higher education in training school-based mental health services providers. (Support)
  • A4434/S2716 – Establishes Student Wellness Grant Program in DOE. (Support)
  • A4436/S555/S2718 – Establishes “Student Mental Health Task Force” to study resources available to schools and parents to address student mental health needs. (Support)
  • A5343/S3398 – Requires public community water systems to inventory and replace lead service lines within 10 years; provides for recoupment of costs by investor-owned public water systems. (Support)
  • S2924 – Creates two-year “Restorative and Transformative Justice for Youths and Communities Pilot Program” in Juvenile Justice Commission focused on reducing youth involvement with youth justice system; appropriates $8.4 million in FY 2021 and FY 2022. (Support)
  • S3637 – “New Jersey Retirement Infrastructure Collateralized Holdings Fund Act”; creates trust fund for conveyance of certain assets for benefit of State-administered retirement systems; requires remediation of emergent conditions for certain public assets; (Monitor)
  • S3685 – Permits school teacher who is retired from TPAF to return to employment during public health emergency and state of emergency for COVID-19 pandemic, for up to two years without reenrollment in TPAF. (Monitor)
  • S3881 – Extends deadline for completion and filing of annual audit report of school district for 2020-2021 school year; establishes deadline for submission of Audit Summary for 2020-2021 school year. (Oppose)
  • S3943 – Establishes State supplement for federal summer food service program meals. (Support)
  • S3944 – Establishes State supplement for “breakfast after the bell” meals. (Support)
  • S3945 – Establishes Office of Food Insecurity Advocate. (Support)
  • S3959 – Awards project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for school security projects in certain school districts; appropriates $66,173,243. (Monitor)
  • S3960 – Awards project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for water infrastructure projects in certain school districts; appropriates $6,608,212. (Monitor)
  • S3961 – Provides project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for career and technical education at county colleges; appropriates $26,456,996. (Monitor)
  • S3962 – Provides project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for career and technical education expansion in county vocational school districts; appropriates $222,904,769. (Monitor)

BILLS TO BE CONSIDERED MONDAY, JUNE 21

  • A679/S225 – Provides that student-athlete who sustains concussion must return to regular school activities prior to return to competition; requires school districts to implement six-step return-to-competition process. (Support)
  • A681/S397 – Expands scope of law prohibiting age discrimination. (Support)
  • A1385/S970 – Requires members of governing boards of public institutions of higher education to complete training program developed by institution in consultation with Secretary of Higher Education. (Monitor)
  • A1599 – Requires public school students with concussion to be evaluated by licensed health care professionals before return to school; requires school districts to provide restrictions or limitations to student as needed. (Support)
  • A1971 – Directs BPU to develop and implement electric school bus pilot program. (Seek Amendments)
  • A2311/S356 – Establishes study commission to examine development of mutually beneficial relationships between institutions of higher education and municipalities.
  • A3149/S84/S2093 – Increases penalty for hazing; clarifies that prohibited conduct includes causing, coercing, or forcing consumption of alcohol or drugs. (Support)
  • A4433/S2715 – Creates grant program to encourage school districts to partner with institutions of higher education in training school-based mental health services providers. (Support)
  • A4434/S2716 – Establishes Student Wellness Grant Program in DOE. (Support)
  • A4436/S555/S2718 – Establishes “Student Mental Health Task Force” to study resources available to schools and parents to address student mental health needs. (Support)
  • A4544/S3150 – Permits school nurse who is retired from TPAF to return to employment for up to two years without reenrollment in TPAF. (Oppose)
  • A4517 /S2766 – Requires Civil Service Commission establish mentoring program for minority civil service law enforcement applicants. (Support)
  • A4542/S2765 – Requires Civil Services Commission to undertake various initiatives to increase diversity and inclusivity within law enforcement agencies. (Support)
  • A4594/S2826 – Directs DOE to establish five-year pilot program for issuance of limited certificate of eligibility with advanced standing and limited certificate of eligibility for certain teacher candidates. (Monitor)
  • A4598/S2767 – Establishes oversight database to aid in civil service hiring process for law enforcement officers; requires Statewide diversity analysis of law enforcement. (Support)
  • A4906 – Allows minors to serve as election workers between 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on elections days. (Monitor)
  • A5312/S2834 – Mandates training on culturally responsive teaching for all candidates for teaching certification. (Support)
  • A5343/S3398 – Requires public community water systems to inventory and replace lead service lines within 10 years; provides for recoupment of costs by investor-owned public water systems. (Support)
  • A5537/S3488 – Modifies certain procedures pertaining to school district regionalization; establishes grant program for cost reimbursement of conducting regionalization feasibility studies; and provides financial incentives for regionalization. (Support)
  • A5817 – Revises violation and fines for approving or assigning unauthorized individuals as school bus drivers. (Monitor)
  • A5825 – Changes effective date of Garden State Health Plan; exempts certain charter and renaissance schools from certain healthcare plan requirements; requires certain negotiations over certain health care costs. (Support)
  • A5845/S3654 – Establishes Amistad Commission Exemplary Award Program; appropriates $10,000. (Support)
  • A5886/S3959 – Awards project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for school security projects in certain school districts; appropriates $66,173,243. (Monitor)
  • A5887/S3960 – Awards project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for water infrastructure projects in certain school districts; appropriates $6,608,212. (Monitor)
  • A5888/S3961 – Provides project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for career and technical education at county colleges; appropriates $26,456,996. (Monitor)
  • A5889/S3962 – Provides project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for career and technical education expansion in county vocational school districts; appropriates $222,904,769. (Monitor)
  • S990 – Requires school district to provide information to DOE on various aspects of computer science courses. (Monitor)
  • S2924 – Creates two-year “Restorative and Transformative Justice for Youths and Communities Pilot Program” in Juvenile Justice Commission focused on reducing youth involvement with youth justice system; appropriates $8.4 million in FY 2021 and FY 2022. (Support)
  • S3033 – Establishes School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program in BPU. (Support)
  • S3213 – Establishes New Jersey Community Learning Program in DOE to provide comprehensive extended learning time programs in certain communities; dedicates portion of State cannabis revenue to support program. (Support)
  • S3637 – “New Jersey Retirement Infrastructure Collateralized Holdings Fund Act”; creates trust fund for conveyance of certain assets for benefit of State-administered retirement systems; requires remediation of emergent conditions for certain public assets; (Monitor)
  • S3881 – Extends deadline for completion and filing of annual audit report of school district for 2020-2021 school year; establishes deadline for submission of Audit Summary for 2020-2021 school year. (Oppose)
  • S3943 – Establishes State supplement for federal summer food service program meals. (Support)
  • S3944 – Establishes State supplement for “breakfast after the bell” meals. (Support)
  • S3945 – Establishes Office of Food Insecurity Advocate. (Support)

RESULTS FROM WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16

  • A653/A954/A1669 – Provides that purchase of insulin is not subject to deductible and requires health insurers to limit copayments and coinsurance for insulin. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A1971 – Directs BPU to develop and implement electric school bus pilot program. (Seek Amendments) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A2687/S969 – Establishes loan redemption program for teachers in certain fields to redeem loan amounts received under New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students Loan Program through employment in certain low performing schools. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A2957 – Establishes task force to examine issues and make recommendations concerning youth sports, including abusive coaching, confrontational parents, and bullying of players. (Support)
  • (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A3149/S84/S2093 – Increases penalty for hazing; clarifies that prohibited conduct includes causing, coercing, or forcing consumption of alcohol or drugs. (Support)
  • (Reported out of committee with committee substitute, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A4517/S2766 – Requires Civil Service Commission establish mentoring program for minority civil service law enforcement applicants. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A4542/S2765 – Requires Civil Services Commission to undertake various initiatives to increase diversity and inclusivity within law enforcement agencies. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A4598/S2767 – Establishes oversight database to aid in civil service hiring process for law enforcement officers; requires Statewide diversity analysis of law enforcement. (Support)
  • (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A4663 – Creates two-year “Restorative and Transformative Justice for Youths and Communities Pilot Program” in Juvenile Justice Commission; appropriates $4.2 million in FY 2022 and FY 2023. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5537/S3488 – Modifies certain procedures pertaining to school district regionalization; establishes grant program for cost reimbursement of conducting regionalization feasibility studies; and provides financial incentives for regionalization. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5701/S2610 – Creates special education unit within the Office of Administrative Law; requires annual report. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5817 – Revises violation and fines for approving or assigning unauthorized individuals as school bus drivers. (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly) (Monitor)
  • A5825 – Changes effective date of Garden State Health Plan; exempts certain charter and renaissance schools from certain healthcare plan requirements; requires certain negotiations over certain health care costs. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5834 – Extends deadline for completion and filing of annual audit report of school district for 2020-2021 school year; establishes deadline for submission of Audit Summary for 2020-2021 school year. (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly) (Oppose)
  • A5845/S3654 – Establishes Amistad Commission Exemplary Award Program; appropriates $10,000. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5882 – Establishes State supplement for federal summer food service program meals. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5883 – Establishes State supplement for “breakfast after the bell” meals. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5884 – Establishes Office of Food Insecurity Advocate. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5886 – Awards project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for school security projects in certain school districts; appropriates $66,173,243. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5887 – Awards project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for water infrastructure projects in certain school districts; appropriates $6,608,212. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5888 – Provides project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Future Fund” for career and technical education at county colleges; appropriates $26,456,996. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5889 – Provides project grants under “Securing Our Children’s Fund” for career and technical education expansion in county vocational school districts; appropriates $222,904,769. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5896 – Authorizes supplemental State aid to school districts receiving certain federal Impact Aid; makes appropriation. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)

RESULTS FROM TUESDAY, JUNE 15

  • S1230 – Establishes “New Jersey Higher Education Funding Formula Commission.” (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)

RESULTS FROM MONDAY, JUNE 14

  • ACR216 – Condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and rejects attempts to justify anti-Jewish hatred. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee substitute, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5814 – Creates School Bus Safety Ombudsman position in, but not of, Department of Education. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee)
  • A5818 – Provides for debarment of school bus contractors for certain violations; requires certain information in pupil transportation contract bid. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee substitute, 2nd reading in Assembly)

RESULTS FROM THURSDAY, JUNE 10

  • A5597/S3801 – Permits school districts to administer student health surveys after prior written notification to parents and legal guardians. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S837 – Requires health insurance companies to cover lead screenings for children 16 years of age or younger. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S1715 – Requires new flooring for schools and child care centers to be certified mercury free. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3257 – Establishes Task Force for the Development of Universal Child Care. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3352 – Concerns unlawful discrimination and harassment. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee with committee substitute, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3580 – Provides certain resources to county prosecutors for enforcement of law regarding failure to pay wages; makes appropriation. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3798 – Eliminates premiums and waiting periods for certain NJ FamilyCare enrollees; directs DHS to implement additional targeted outreach initiatives to increase enrollment; revises reporting requirements; appropriates $20 million. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3810 – “Responsible Collective Negotiations Act.” (Seek Amendments) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3827 – Provides temporary paid earned sick leave to workers during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3849  Provides for debarment of school bus contractors for certain violations; requires certain information in pupil transportation contract bid. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3851  Creates School Bus Safety Ombudsman position in, but not of, Department of Education. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3852  Revises violation and fines for approving or assigning unauthorized individuals as school bus drivers. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)

 RESULTS FROM WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9

  • A2619/S3253 – Establishes alternate route to expedite certification of teachers at early college high school programs. (Oppose) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A2687/S969 – Establishes loan redemption program for teachers in certain fields to redeem loan amounts received under New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students Loan Program through employment in certain low performing schools. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee substitute, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee)
  • A4594/S2826 – Directs DOE to establish five-year pilot program for issuance of limited certificate of eligibility with advanced standing and limited certificate of eligibility for certain teacher candidates. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A4838/S2811 – Requires school report card to include information concerning number of mental health professionals and security personnel employed by each school district. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5312/S2834 – Mandates training on culturally responsive teaching for all candidates for teaching certification. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5500 – Expands duties of Commission on Human Trafficking to prevent human trafficking in women and children of color. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5501 – Requires AG to establish Human Trafficking and Underserved Communities Unit. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5537/S3488 – Modifies certain procedures pertaining to school district regionalization; establishes grant program for cost reimbursement of conducting regionalization feasibility studies; and provides financial incentives for regionalization. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee)
  • A5825 – Changes effective date of Garden State Health Plan and provides open enrollment period; exempts certain charter schools from certain healthcare plan requirements. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee)
  • A5834 – Extends deadline for completion and filing of annual audit report of school district for 2020-2021 school year; establishes deadline for submission of Audit Summary for 2020-2021 school year. (Oppose) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)

 WHEN IS THE LEGISLATURE MEETING AGAIN? (subject to change, especially if the budget vote is early)

  • Thursday, June 17                  Senate Committees at the call of the President
  • Monday, June 14                    Assembly Committees at the call of the Speaker
  • Tuesday, June 15                    Senate Committees at the call of the President
  • Wednesday, June 16              Assembly Committees at the call of the Speaker
  • Thursday, June 17                  Senate Committees at the call of the President
  • Monday, June 21                    Assembly/Senate Voting
  • Thursday, June 24                 Assembly/Senate Voting
  • Monday, June 28                   Assembly/Senate Voting
  • Tuesday, June 29                   Assembly/Senate Voting
  • Wednesday, June 30             Assembly/Senate Voting

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