Electronic wagering, failing school districts, other bills before Senate committees

TRENTON – The first week of the new year will see legislative committee work resuming.

Five Senate committees will meet on Thursday.  Here is a rundown of some of the key bills that will be considered as the new year kicks off.

Gaming

S3115: Sponsored by Sen. Paul Sarlo, (D-36), Wood-Ridge, this bill would set up a pilot program in a limited number of restaurants and bars in the northern part of the state to allow customers to place bets on horse races via electronic terminals.

It will be before the State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.  The Assembly companion is A4285.

Schools

S3173:  Sponsored by Sen. Donald Norcross, (D-5), Camden, the so-called Urban Hope Act would take three school districts – Newark, Jersey City and Camden – and make them eligible as failing districts for  a program that would be run by non-profits that could access state money for uses such as leases or mortgages on any facility built.

Under the provisions of the bill, these so-called “renaissance” school districts  would pay annually to the nonprofit entity an amount per pupil equal to 95 percent of the district’s per pupil total expenditure. 

It will be before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.  The Assembly companion is A4426.

Agriculture

S2702: Sponsored by Sens. Michael Doherty, (R-23), Washington Township, and Shirley Turner, (D-15), Trenton, this is an effort to establish a program to permit the sale of raw milk.

Earlier incarnations of such attempts, under various sponsors, go back to 2008.

In essence, the bill would require conspicuous consumer warnings about the lack of pasteurization, as well as assurances by the seller that no growth hormones would be used in the process.

The bill will be before the Economic Growth Committee. A743 is the lower chamber version.

Psychiatric hospitals

There is no bill before it, but the Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee will take testimony on the scheduled closing of the Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital in June.

In particular, the panel wants to hear about the placement plans for the residents there.

Nominations

The Judiciary will consider dozens of nominations for judgeships and commission boards, including the nomination of chief counsel to the governor Jeffrey Chiesa to become state attorney general.

 

 

Electronic wagering, failing school districts, other bills before Senate committees