Trenton – Today, in an effort to help school districts procure the necessary PPE, the Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Shirley K. Turner, which would maximize districts’ buying power and reduce costs.
“Districts around New Jersey have done a tremendous job outfitting their teachers and students with the necessary PPE to provide a safe learning environment, but there is still room for the state to assist them in purchasing the supplies they need to keep things operating smoothly for the duration of the pandemic,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex), chair of the Senate Education Committee. “By pooling districts’ purchasing power the state would be able to negotiate better deals, with quicker turnaround times, helping schools to avoid inflated prices and shipping delays.”
The bill, S-2698, would require the state to enter into contracts for school districts to purchase COVID-19 related goods and services. The goods and services would include medical supplies, devices, and other needs, and the contracts could be awarded to more than one vendor.
“Many supplies crucial to safe in-person instruction, such as thermometers, masks and hand sanitizer, can be extremely hard to find right now, especially at a reasonable price,” said Senator Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “By having the state enter into contracts for the purchasing of these goods, we can help to ensure our school districts are able to buy the supplies they need at the lowest possible price.”
The bill was passed by the Senate by a vote of 33-0.