As you have probably heard already, the Senate met for a brief voting session today. In spite of everything going on with the Coronavirus outbreak, the Senate still met and voted on NJEA’s Job Justice and Chapter 78 relief bills!! All three bills passed the Senate. For more details on the bills, go here: https://www.njea.org/justice/.
In addition to our three bills, the Senate met and voted on COVID-19 bills, including a bill to allow virtual instruction to meet the 180-day school requirement. NJEA worked to secure amendments that, we believe, will help ensure that all employees, salaried or hourly, get paid during remote instruction days. Other bills that passed are designed to provide food security for students during school closures, help ensure students have access to the technology they need for remote learning and help guarantee worker rights.
Governor Murphy signed an executive order that all special and school elections will be held by Vote By Mail on May 12. No decisions have yet been made about the June primary.
Wondering about what’s happening to the state budget? So is everyone else. Lawmakers passed a bill to allow them to meet remotely. Either way, the state constitution requires a budget by June 30. My guess is the governor will recommend a new budget proposal sometime soon.
Looking for things to do?
Some of these are for children; some adults.
- Exercise helps reduce stress.
- Go outside.
- Check on your neighbors who live alone and/or are elderly.
RESULTS FROM THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2019
- S84 – “Timothy J. Piazza’s Law”, upgrades hazing; clarifies that prohibited conduct includes causing, coercing or forcing consumption of alcohol or drugs. (Support) (Combined with S2093; Reported out of Committee; 2nd reading in Senate)
- S2093 – Expands scope of activities constituting hazing; 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) (Combined with S84; Reported out of Committee; 2nd reading in Senate)
- A1104/S687 – “Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act”; requires certain school meal information be provided to students’ parents; establishes protocols for identifying eligible students for meal programs; prohibits stigmatizing student with bill in arrears. (Support) (Passed in both houses and sent to Governor)
- A3095/S1982 – Provides county clerks with additional week to mail ballots for 2020 primary election; requires ballot position draw to occur one day early if statutory date falls on holiday. (Monitor) (Passed in both houses and sent to Governor)
- A3813/S2292 – Permits use of virtual or remote instruction to meet minimum 180-day school year requirement under certain circumstances. (Support) (Passed in both houses and sent to Governor)
- A3840/S2281 – Requires school districts to provide school meals or meal vouchers to students eligible for free and reduced price school meals during school closures due to COVID-19 epidemic. (Support) (Passed in both houses and sent to Governor)
- A3842/S2282 – Establishes Bridging the Digital Divide in Schools Grant Program in DOE to provide and expand access to technology and equipment for students in certain school districts. (Support) (Passed in both houses and sent to Governor)
- A3843/S2283 – Requires health insurance and Medicaid coverage for testing of coronavirus disease 2019 and for telemedicine and telehealth during coronavirus disease 2019 state of emergency. (Monitor) (Passed in both houses and sent to Governor)
- A3846/S2293 – Creates “Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program;” allows persons to claim for lost wages due to coronavirus disease 2019, and employers to pay wages to workers ordered under quarantine by licensed healthcare practitioner; appropriates $20,000,000. (Monitor) (Passed in both houses and sent to Governor)
- A3848/S2301 – Concerns time off from work in connection with infectious disease. (Monitor) (Passed in both houses and sent to Governor)
- A3850/S2294 – Allows public bodies to conduct meetings, and provide notice, by electronic means during periods of emergency. (Monitor) (Passed in both houses and sent to Governor)
- A3852/S2296 – Allows conduct of State business and legislative sessions at locations other than Trenton during periods of emergency or other exigency; allows conduct of legislative business using electronic means. (Monitor) (Passed in both houses and sent to Governor)
- S993 – Concerns arbitration for certain non-teaching school staff. (Support) (Passed in Senate)
- S2273 – Requires SEHBP and eligible employers that do not participate in the SEHBP to provide certain plans for public education employees and certain public education retirees. (Support) (Passed in Senate)
- S2303 – Concerns subcontracting agreements entered into by public school districts and public institutions of higher education. (Support) (Passed in Senate)
WHEN WILL THE LEGISLATURE MEET AGAIN?
We don’t know. As mentioned above, both houses of the legislature have passed a bill that allows the legislature to conduct its business remotely.