TRENTON – During the Assembly Budget Committee hearing today, Assemblyman Jay Webber, (R-26), of Morris Plains, suggested an amendment to the budget bill in which the state would pick up the school tab for women and children living in shelters.
A recent administrative law change now requires the host communities of shelters to pay for the school costs. Previously, it was the sending district’s responsibility.
Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, (D-32), of Secaucus, the committee chairman, said Webber’s amendment didn’t make it to the “budget language” stage and the bill already has passed the Senate Budget Committee. However, he said he would gladly co-sponsor legislation with Webber calling for the state to pick up the school costs of children living in shelters.
Webber thanked Prieto for his support and said such a bill has already been drafted. As a result, he withdrew his amendment request.
“Most communities are penalized for opening the doors to families in crisis,” he said.
Webber described the costs as “budget neutral” since they would be covered by available state funds, he said.