TRENTON – The Senate Budget Committee today released several bills, including ones dealing with the illegal tiger trade, pension payout options, and payouts for simulcast races.
S945, which would restrict the illegal trading of tigers and their body parts, was approved 10-0-1 with Sen. Steven Oroho abstaining.
Oroho said that he understands the humanitarian reasons for the bill but would abstain, and urged deference to the amount of reporting that zoos already incur. He said he does have a zoo in his district.
S1025: This bill would allow a casino and out-of-state racetrack to negotiate a higher percentage of payment for simulcasting of a horse race. Under the bill, which passed unanimously, the amount would increase from 3.5 to 6 percent, or from 6 to 9 percent.
S447, which passed unanimously, would require written spousal consent whenever a member of the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund, the Judicial Retirement System or the Public Employees’ Retirement System elects a retirement benefit which is payable for the life of the member only or any other payout option that provides a benefit to the member’s spouse that is less than one-half of the member’s retirement allowance.
S71, this bill, which also was cleared unanimously, establishes a “Yellow Dot Program” to provide emergency responders with critical health information about those 62 or older with chronic illnesses.
S376, this establishes April as “Donate Life Month’’ in order to educate the public about the importance of organ and tissue donation. It passed unanimously.
S512, which was approved unanimously, authorizes a state contribution to the funeral expenses of police officers; sheriff’s officers; firefighters; first aid, ambulance and rescue squad members; and correctional officers who are killed in the line of duty.