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IN THIS UPDATE

  • STATE BUDGET
  • IS THE HEALTH EMERGENCY OVER?
  • BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW SINCE THE LAST UPDATE
  • SESSION DAY RESULTS
  • BILLS TO BE CONSIDERED
  • WHEN IS THE LEGISLATURE MEETING AGAIN?

STATE BUDGET

Sometime in May, budget break ends as the legislature starts to meet again.  The legislature started meetings again about two weeks ago, with Senate committees meeting in-person and Assembly committee meetings still on zoom.  The first Assembly voting session post-budget break will be tomorrow, with the Senate tentatively scheduled for June 3.  (The legislature is off the week before Memorial Day.)

News for the state budget just gets better and better.  Twice during budget season, the state treasurer and the Office of Legislative Services (known as OLS, this is the non-partisan office that does research for members of the legislature) present their budget forecasts.  The treasurer and OLS presented their forecasts to the Assembly on Monday and will present them to the Senate on Thursday.  You can read about Monday’s hearing here: https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/05/state-treasurer-says-revenue-forecasts-could-be-increased-by-hundreds-of-millions-by-june-budget-update/.  Word on the street is that the budget will be done early in June this year, without much controversy.

And if you didn’t try this already – I know some of you did — try to balance the budget with this tool from NJSpotlight:  https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/04/nj-budget-2021-interactive-tool-calculator-tax-spend-balance-try-your-hand

IS THE HEALTH EMERGENCY OVER?

This week, the Assembly heard a bill that would end the Coronavirus health emergency while allowing the governor to keep some emergency powers:  https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/05/murphy-emergency-health-powers-extend-legislation-democrats-gop-nj/

Governor Murphy announced that schools will be open full-time next year for in-person learning.  https://www.nj.com/education/2021/05/nj-parents-must-send-kids-to-in-person-school-this-fall-murphy-says.html.

Look at these three articles from John Mooney at NJSpotlight about school reopening:

And this article about the importance of arts and athletics in the fall:

BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW SINCE THE LAST UPDATE

  • S968 – Requires public water systems to provide notice of elevated lead levels in drinking water to customers and local officials; requires landlords to notify tenants of elevated lead levels. (Support)
  • S2486 – Establishes Clayton Model Pilot Program in DOE to provide school-based social emotional learning to students in grades kindergarten through five at certain public schools. (Support)
  • S2832 – Allows student enrolled in institution of higher education who has completed 30 semester-hour credits to serve as substitute teacher; extends time period substitute teacher may serve during public health emergency. (Support)
  • A1070 – Requires Secretary of Higher Education to develop guidance for institutions of higher education to identify cultural barriers in recruitment and retention of underrepresented students for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. (Support)
  • A4461 – Requires State to enter into contract and coordinate with certain cooperative purchasing systems for procurement of COVID-19 related goods and services by school districts. (Support)
  • A3548 – Requires health benefits coverage for adolescent depression screenings. (Support)
  • S989- “Healthy Terminals Act”; requires certain airport and train station workers to be paid certain wage rates and benefits. (Support)

BILLS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE WEDNESDAY, MAY 5

  • A3149 – 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 amendments, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee)
  • 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 with committee amendments, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee)
  • S84/S2093 – “Timothy J. Piazza’s Law”; expands scope of hazing activities and increases penalties for hazing resulting in injury; requires institutions of higher education, and public and nonpublic high schools and middle schools to adopt anti-hazing policies. (Support) (Reported out of committee, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee)
  • A246 – Authorizes county colleges to establish and operate student dormitories. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5232 – Requires public institutions of higher education to take various actions to improve campus diversity and directs Secretary of Higher Education to develop guidance regarding diversity in faculty search and selection process. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)

BILLS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE THURSDAY, MAY 6

  • A681/S397 – Expands scope of law prohibiting age discrimination. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S991 – Requires owner or operator of certain trains to have discharge response, cleanup, and contingency plans to transport certain hazardous materials by rail; requires DEP to request bridge inspection reports from US DOT. (Support) (Reported out of committee, referred to Senate Budget Committee)
  • S3378 – Requires MVC to conduct unscheduled surprise inspections of certain school buses. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, referred to Senate Budget Committee)

BILLS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE WEDNESDAY, MAY 11

  • S697 – Authorizes common law public nuisance suits regarding lead paint under State law; exempts Attorney General from certain aspects of public nuisance claims when pursuing lead paint actions. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • SR91 – Urges Congress to address in future federal higher education stimulus legislation inequities in incorporation of part-time and online learning students in formula calculation. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)

BILLS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE THURSDAY, MAY 12

  • 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) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • 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) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A1971 – Directs BPU to develop and implement electric school bus pilot program. (Seek Amendments) (Reported out of committee, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee)
  • A2300 – Requires apportionment of membership on certain regional district boards of education to be based on amount of district costs apportioned to each constituent municipality. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A2763 – “New Voter Empowerment Act”; permits 17 year olds to vote in primary election if they turn 18 years old before next succeeding general election. (No Position) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A3369 – Establishes Commission on Asian Heritage in DOE. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A4693 – Prohibits school official from using district resources to influence any partisan or nonpartisan election. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5365 – Permits parent or guardian to request grade retention for student during 2021 2022 school year. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A5366/S3434 – Requires boards of education to provide special education and related services to certain students exceeding age of eligibility for special education and related services. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee)
  • A5701 – Creates special education unit within the Office of Administrative Law; requires annual report. (Support) (Reported out of committee, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee)

BILLS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE THURSDAY, MAY 13

  • A2455/S2204 – Establishes pilot program in DOE to support FIRST Robotics Programs in school districts. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • 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) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • A4434/S2716 – Establishes Student Wellness Grant Program in DOE. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • A4435/S2717 – Requires DCF to give priority to certain school districts with student mental health counseling centers in awarding grants under School Based Youth Services Program. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • A5147/S3479 – Establishes Alleviating Learning Loss in New Jersey Grant Program in DOE to assist public schools in establishing or expanding certain educational programs to address learning loss in students. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S1025 – Requires certain additional school district personnel to complete training program on suicide prevention. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3469 – Mandates training on remote teaching for all candidates for teaching certification. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3531 – Requires public schools to offer or expand summer school programs to students. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3654 – Establishes Amistad Curriculum Award Program for teachers who perform exemplary service providing instruction on slavery and African-American history; appropriates $5,000. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3684 – Requires DOE to establish central registry of individuals and organizations interested in providing supplemental tutoring support to students. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • 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) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S3725 – Establishes “Summer Earn and Learn Pilot Program.” (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)

BILLS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE MONDAY, MAY 17

  • A5597 – 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 Assembly)

BILLS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE TUESDAY, MAY 18

  • A1055 – Establishes five-year community schools pilot program. (Support) (Reported out of committee; 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A3394/S237/S854 – “Laura Wooten’s Law”; Requires civics instruction in middle school; authorizes New Jersey Center for Civic Education to provide curricula, professional development and technical assistance for middle and high school civics. (Support with Qualification) (Reported out of committee; 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A4789 – Establishes Safe and Equitable Remote Learning Pilot Program in DOE to support provision of remote learning safe havens by certain school districts. (Support) (Reported out of committee; 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A4856 – Requires Internet websites and web services of school districts, charter schools, and renaissance schools to be accessible to persons with disabilities. (Support) (Reported out of committee; 2nd reading in Assembly)

BILLS TO BE CONSIDERED THURSDAY, MAY 20

  • A246 – Authorizes county colleges to establish and operate student dormitories. (Monitor)
  • A1055 – Establishes five-year community schools pilot program. (Support)
  • A1616/S550 – Requires certain student identification cards to contain telephone number for suicide prevention hotline. (Monitor)
  • A3394/S237/S854 – “Laura Wooten’s Law”; Requires civics instruction in middle school; authorizes New Jersey Center for Civic Education to provide curricula, professional development and technical assistance for middle and high school civics. (Support with Qualification)
  • A4544/S3150 – Permits school nurse 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)
  • A4789 Establishes Safe and Equitable Remote Learning Pilot Program in DOE to support provision of remote learning safe havens by certain school districts. (Support)
  • A4819/S3033 – Establishes School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program in BPU.
  • A4856 – Requires Internet websites and web services of school districts, charter schools, and renaissance schools to be accessible to persons with disabilities. (Support)
  • A5597 – Permits school districts to administer student health surveys after prior written notification to parents and legal guardians. (Monitor)
  • A850 – Establishes “Broadband Access Study Commission.” (Support)
  • A970 – Establishes Mental Health Screening in Schools Grant Program in DOE; appropriates $1 million. (Support)
  • S2160 – Creates special education unit within the Office of Administrative Law; requires annual report. (Support)
  • S2833 – Establishes Teacher Apprenticeship Program. (Support with Qualification)

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

  • Thursday, May 20                   Senate Budget Committee; Assembly Voting Session
  • Tuesday, June 1                      Senate Voting Session
  • Wednesday, June 2                 Assembly Committees
  • Thursday, June 3                     Senate Committees
  • Wednesday, June 9                 Assembly Committees
  • Thursday, June 10                   Senate Committees
  • 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
  • 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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