TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Bernard F. Kenny Jr. and Joseph V. Doria Jr., D-Hudson, to financially support the New Jersey Medevac Helicopter Program and to train new State trooper, was approved today by the full Senate.
“When a terrible accident happens on our State’s highways, it is comforting to know that we are equipped with medical helicopters that can get the injured to the hospital quickly and save lives,” said Senator Kenny, Senate Majority Leader. “We need more funding fort he State’s Medevac Helicopter Program which was established in 1992. The $1 registration fee surcharge has not been enough to cover the operational costs of the program.”
Senator Kenny noted that there has been no money to either replace or retrofit the State’s four Medevac helicopters that are, on average, 15 years old.
The bill, S-2934, would increase the current $1 additional registration fee for the New Jersey Emergency Medical Service Helicopter Response Program Fund to $3 per registration, and would establish an additional fee of $1 dedicated to funding new State Police trooper classes. The bill would increase registration fee surcharges from $1 to $4 total.
“State troopers play an important role in the protection of the residents of New Jersey,” said Senator Doria, D-Hudson. “It’s is important that we continue to properly fund training for our officers. The $1 fee dedicated to new State Police trooper classes would provide between $6 million and $7 million annually. This is expected to be sufficient to fund 200 new troopers each year.”
The bill now heads to the Governor’s office for enactment.