Passed in committee: Bills dealing with Megan’s Law, college bond act

TRENTON – The Senate Budget Committee released bills Tuesday dealing with Megan’s Law and the college bond act.

S2636: This bill revises “Megan’s Law,” which provides for the registration of sex offenders. It passed unanimously.

This bill upgrades the third-degree crime of sexual assault if the victim has a disability to second degree.

A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.  A crime of the second degree is punishable by imprisonment for five to ten years, a fine of up to $150,000, or both.

The bill provides that a young person involved in the crime of “sexting’’ would not have to register as a sex offender.

Sen. Jennifer Beck raised a question about a provision that would assess penalties based on someone’s income. “I find it a little troublesome,’’ she said.  She found it an issue that the committee would set a tier system in place.

S2884: This appropriates $715 million under the bond act for new classrooms or labs at public higher education facilities.  This bill also OKs a list of project application. It passed unanimously.

Sen. Paul Sarlo pointed out that Ramapo and Stevens universities were left out in this first round of applications, and he said he received assurance that the Senate president would work with the Higher Education commissioner to ensure those schools receive  money in the second round of applications.

Last year’s bond act was approved by voters, the first such public bond act for college and universities in many years in New Jersey.   Passed in committee: Bills dealing with Megan’s Law, college bond act