The female Republican members of the State Senate and General Assembly would like to offer the following statement of support for Governor Christie’s New Jersey Supreme Court nominee, Anne Patterson:
“New Jersey can be proud of its record on women in government. In fact, in 1925, New Jersey was the sixth State in the nation to elect a woman to represent them in the U.S. Congress.
“In that spirit, as female elected-officials, we would like to voice our support for the Senate to hold confirmation hearings for Anne Patterson as a nominee to the New Jersey Supreme Court. If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Patterson’s appointment to the court would mean that for the first time in New Jersey history, we would have a majority of women on the State Supreme Court. New Jersey would become only the fifth State in the nation to have such a balance.
No Penalties for Installing Solar, Wind or Biomass Systems
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen that would prohibit municipalities from hiking property taxes on newly installed home or business-based alternative energy systems passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee unanimously today.
“It is obvious that the United States and New Jersey need to move more quickly towards adopting cleaner alternative energy technologies,” Allen stated. “The policy of reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy is a critical national security issue. This policy also has enormous environmental implications, as anyone watching the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is acutely aware.”
State Psychiatric Hospitals, Developmental Centers and Veterans’ Memorial Homes Will Be Affected
A bill sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) that requires employee drug testing at state psychiatric hospitals, developmental centers and veterans’ memorial homes was recently signed into law.
“Residents in these facilities are reliant on others to take care of their most basic human needs, Allen stated. “It is only common sense that staff must be prepared and alert to perform these vital responsibilities. Requiring employees to undergo drug testing is a reasonable step and should be expected.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) was the prime sponsor of a new law that requires each four-year institution of higher education to provide information on graduation rates, costs, faculty and other important facts on its website.
“College is so expensive that most parents can’t afford to make mistakes when choosing where to send their children,” Senator Allen said. “This bill will help both parents and students make better choices about where to spend their precious educational dollars.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Diane Allen, members of the Senate Education Committee, issued the following statement regarding the State Department of Education’s decision to apply for federal “Race to the Top” education grants.
“I am pleased that Commissioner Davy has decided to apply for $200 million to $400 million in federal education grants,” Kean began. “Her initiative in applying for these funds will positively impact student performance for many years to come. Additionally, these funds will be vitally important to property taxpayers over the next several months.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Diane Allen, both members of the Senate Education Committee, expressed disappointment that New Jersey is woefully unprepared to apply for federal “Race to the Top” education grants. Published reports indicate that the state Department of Education ceased working on the application in mid-November. The deadline for the grant application is January 19, 2010.
“It is disappointing that the state Department of Education will be unable to complete the grant application by the deadline,” Kean stated. “I believe, especially in our current fiscal situation, it is imperative to make every effort to apply for all of the federal aid for which we are eligible. Remember, New Jersey only gets back 61 cents of every dollar we send to Washington. To refuse to apply for a $200 million to $400 million education grant is simply inexcusable.”
Senator Diane Allen, R-7, advanced her bill allowing taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to help members of the military and their families. The New Jersey Military Family Relief Fund would be financed with voluntary contributions from taxpayers. Taxpayers would be asked, as they file their tax returns, if they want to include a contribution or dedicate a portion of a refund to help military families in need of assistance.
“This bill makes it easy for good-hearted, patriotic people to help the most deserving families in our state deal with the stresses of overseas deployment and long terms of duty,” Senator Allen said. “It costs taxpayers nothing unless they donate, and it could mean the world to a military family that is making tremendous sacrifices for every American citizen.”