TRENTON – One of the bills before the Assembly Appropriations Committee Thursday, A4394, would move school board elections to the general election day in November.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Lou Greenwald, (D-6), of Voorhees, would also eliminate the public vote on the district’s base budget, so long as it doesn’t exceed the tax cap. The change is designed to encourage more voters to participate in the school board elections, since voter turnout is generally abysmal in the spring, often below 25 percent.
The proposal allows for a local option for changeover procedures, for instance referendum approval or petition approval, requiring signatures of 15 percent of voters in the preceding general election for state lawmakers. Under another option, the election may be moved without voter approval, merely by the adoption of a resolution by the board of education or the governing body of the municipality.
Other bills in committee:
–A2292, which authorizes the Office of Public Defender to provide legal representation for a child after parental rights have been terminated.
–A2502, which establishes the N.J. Property Assessment Clean Energy (NJ PACE) Municipal Financing Program.
–A3700/A3934, which require services be provided for sexually exploited juveniles charged with certain offenses, and creates an affirmative defense regarding prostitution.
–A3754, which provides a credit against ambulatory care facility assessment liability for the value of unreimbursed care provided to hospital charity care patients.
–A4283, which revises the NJ STARS and NJ STARS II Programs.
–A4358, establishes forest harvest program on state-owned land.
–A4389, which permits registered voters to receive mail-in ballots automatically for all elections under certain conditions; limits number of sample ballots transmitted to each residence (pending referral).
–A4259, which provides a gross income tax credit for interest paid on certain student loans (for discussion only).