On Monday and Tuesday, the Assembly and Senate had committee hearings via Zoom.  Everything went smoothly.  I can’t say the same for yesterday’s voting sessions, which were held via phone. Although members of the legislature handled their initial voting sessions via phone in April fairly well, yesterday they had problems with the mute button. Those listening to the sessions heard cursing, part of a credit card number, the automated voicemail comment “If you are satisfied with this voicemail….” from someone who didn’t hang up, and GPS directions. 

 

If you are so inclined, you can listen to the Assembly stream here https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/mp.asp?M=A/2020/A/0514-1100AM-S0-1.m4a&S=2020 and the Senate stream here https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/mp.asp?M=A/2020/S/0514-0330PM-S0-1.m4a&S=2020.  For anyone who does this, please let me know how many times you hear the word “mute.”  I lost track!

 

During these voting sessions, both houses passed the furlough bill (A4132/S2350) – see an article below – and a bill to push back revenue deadlines (A3969/S2392). The revenue bill allows municipalities to push back the deadline for paying property taxes, solidifying Murphy’s executive order to do the same. (The legislature often does this.)

 

We opposed the revenue bill because it was not clear how a school district will be made whole if a municipality pushes back the deadline and does not collect its full payments. After hearing testimony from the School Boards Association, the Association of Counties, and us, the bill sponsor assured everyone that municipalities have the obligation to make their payments. The Assembly also passed a bill allowing municipalities and counties to issue bonds to cover COVID-19- expenses and revenue shortfalls. While this bill needs to go through the Senate, the furlough bill and the revenue bill are all on the governor’s desk.

 

You may recall that New Jersey pushed its budget deadline to September 30.  The governor is supposed to give an updated financial picture on May 22. In the meantime, you can read more about the state’s finances below.

 

IN THE NEWS

 

 

TAKE ACTION

 

 

RESULTS FROM MONDAY, MAY 11

 

  • A3969 – Allows extension of certain local government timeframes; allows local governments to accept certain payments; allows local governments to conduct certain meetings remotely; adjusts certain property tax distribution and notice requirements. (Oppose) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A4132 Concerns benefits and leave provided to workers. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)

 

RESULTS FROM TUESDAY, MAY 12

 

  • S2392 – Allows extension of certain local government timeframes; allows local governments to accept certain payments; allows local governments to conduct certain meetings remotely; adjusts certain property tax distribution and notice requirements. (Oppose) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Senate)

 

RESULTS FROM THURSDAY, MAY 14

 

  • A3946/S2536 – Provides relief to students receiving State financial aid to address special circumstances due to 2020 health state of emergency. (Monitor) (Passed in both houses and sent to governor)
  • A3969/S2392 – Allows extension of certain local government timeframes; allows local governments to accept certain payments; allows local governments to conduct certain meetings remotely; adjusts certain property tax distribution and notice requirements. (Oppose) (Passed in both houses and sent to governor)
  • A3971- Authorizes the issuance of “coronavirus relief bonds” by municipalities and counties. (Monitor) (Passed in Assembly)
  • A4132/S2350 – Concerns benefits and leave provided to workers. (Support) (Passed in both houses and sent to governor)
  • AR154 – Honors contributions of teachers and recognizes National Teacher Appreciation Week. (Support) (Passed; filed with the Secretary of State)

 

WHEN IS THE LEGISLATURE MEETING AGAIN?

 

  • Thursday, May 28 – Assembly and Senate Committees
  • Thursday, June 4 – Assembly and Senate Committees
  • Monday, June 8 – Assembly and Senate Committees
  • Thursday, June 11 – Assembly and Senate Committees
  • Monday, June 15 – Assembly and Senate Voting Session
  • Thursday, June 18 – Assembly and Senate Voting Session
  • Monday, June 22 – Assembly and Senate Voting Session
  • Thursday, June 25 – Assembly and Senate Voting Session

 

EXTRA BILL SOME OF YOU MIGHT FIND INTERESTING….