Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-Essex)

19 Oct: Rice-Pou Introduce Measure To End State Takeover Of Local Schools After Five Years

TRENTON – Earlier this week, Senators Ronald L. Rice and Nellie Pou introduced a measure which would cap the amount of time that the State could intervene in a local school district to five years before governing authority would be returned to the local board of education.

“When an outside entity comes in and takes over control for two decades, that’s not intervention – that’s occupation,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “After twenty years of occupation from State regulators, school districts in Newark, Paterson and Jersey City have seen little progress and few results, and students are facing many of the same challenges today that they faced when the State first came in and took over these districts. It’s time for the State to admit that prolonged takeover of a local school district is a failed experiment, and it’s time to return the school districts that have languished under State control back to the people in those school districts.”

“While there may be legitimate reasons for the State to temporarily take over the functions of a local school district, such an agreement must come with an expiration date,” said Senator Pou, D-Passaic and Bergen. “As we’ve seen with Paterson, Newark and Jersey City, while there has been progress during the takeover period, there has also been backsliding, and it’s to the point where the benefits of State intervention are really called into question. The point of the law that allows the State to take over local school districts is that the takeover period is finite, and having a deadline by which State regulators have to withdraw puts added emphasis on the need to produce results.”

05 Jan: Gill-Vitale-Weinberg Bill Would Require Health Insurers To Cover Up To Age 30 As Dependents Approved

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Nia H. Gill, Joseph F. Vitale and Loretta Weinberg which would require insurers in the State of New Jersey to cover unmarried dependents to still receive health insurance on their parent’s family health plan until the age of 30 was approved by the Senate today by a vote of 36-0.

“In today’s job market, even highly qualified young adults are having trouble finding gainful employment,” said Senator Gill, D-Essex and Passaic, the Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. “And in some cases, the work they do find does not provide health benefits to entry-level employees. By giving parents the ability to extend coverage for their children until the age of 30, we can ensure that while our kids look for job opportunities, their health is not compromised by a lack of insurance.”