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Cunningham Bill to Authorize Delta Sigma Theta

Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham, D-Hudson, listens to testimony during the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee’s hearing on the FY 2011 Budget bills.

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Sandra B. Cunningham that would authorize the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to issue special Delta Sigma Theta license plates was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee today.

In addition to all fees otherwise required by law for the registration of a motor vehicle, the bill would provide for an application fee of $50 and an annual renewal fee of $10 for the Delta Sigma Theta plates.  After deducting the cost of designing, producing, issuing, renewing, publicizing and implementing the license plate program, in an amount not to exceed $150,000, the additional fees would be deposited into a special non-lapsing fund known as the “Delta Sigma Theta License Plate Fund.”

“By supporting this sorority through the license plate fund, we contribute to its ongoing efforts to make a difference in our world,” said Senator Cunningham (D- Hudson).  “Since its very first social action, as it marched for Women’s Suffrage in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta has impacted citizens’ involvement in civic and social justice, the academic confidence of young students, the health of mothers and babies, the welfare of H.I.V. orphans and a host of other vital concerns in the U.S. and abroad.  By delivering the proceeds of these license plates to Delta Sigma Theta each year, we enhance the ability of these distinguished, dynamic women to continue their critical mission and programs.”

The bill, S-2618, would provide that no State or other public funds could be used by MVC for the initial production or publicity costs and that the Delta Sigma Theta Eastern Region Director, or a designated representative would contribute monies in an amount to be determined by the chief administrator of the MVC, not to exceed a total of $25,000, to be used to offset the startup costs.  Once the sorority submits those monies, along with a minimum of 500 completed applications for the plates, their design would be chosen by MVC chief administrator in consultation with the Eastern Regional Director to honor the sorority with appropriate words or a slogan and an emblem.

The chief administrator would be required to annually certify the average cost per license plate in producing, issuing, renewing, and publicizing the Delta Sigma Theta license plates.  If the average cost exceeds $50 for two consecutive fiscal years, the chief administrator could discontinue the license plate program.

The bill was approved by a vote of 5-0 and proceeds to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.