With the holidays quickly approaching there is a race to pass important bills before the current legislative session expires. Your action is needed to ensure that legislation UU task forces have worked on this year don’t expire along with the session. Bills will be coming up for a vote very soon, some tomorrow, from many of our task forces. Contact your elected representatives today!
State Senate President Steve Sweeney will post S2444, the Renewable Energy Transition Act (RETA) for a floor vote on Thursday, December 17. S2444 is the Renewable Energy Transition Act (RETA). As amended by the Senate environment and energy committee, RETA establishes new “Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). These require each electric power supplier to annually increase the percentage of renewable energy — notably solar electric — within the mix of power being produced and sold by year 2050 80% of electric energy consumed in the state is provided by renewable energy sources. Write your senator for support.
S2806 is up for a Senate vote this Thursday, Dec. 17. This bill removes the ban on NJ General Assistance grants to former drug offenders. UULMNJ provided testimony in support of this bill on December 10. Read the testimony here then write your senator and ask them to support S2806.
S1771/A4576 requires the lowest possible cost for inmate telephone calls from all State and county correctional facilities and immigrant detention centers. This reforms the price gouging of a captive clientele, often far from family and with no recourse. This bill is due for a vote in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday, December 21 before it can reach the Senate floor. Ask your senator to support this bill.
S1279/A2325 makes a FY 2016 supplemental Grants-in-Aid appropriation of $10,000,000 to the Department of Community Affairs. The Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund provides funding to address lead-based paint in New Jersey in a comprehensive and focused manner. Ask your representatives to protect New Jersey’s children from dangerous lead poisoning.
Another bill that may see action is S2399/A3989, requiring every NJ State, county and municipal law enforcement officer to wear a body camera. This important bill has been buried under the radar for well over a year and is now up for a vote in the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee on Jan. 7. We believe this bill is insufficient as stands and are in conversation with Senator Ray Lesniak to make revisions. We will keep you updated as there is progress.
Thank you for your continued dedication to ensuring that the voice of Unitarian Universalism is heard in New Jersey.
Rev. Craig Hirshberg
Executive Director, UULMNJ