NJ Legislative Preview: September 29

An override effort is coming in the New Jersey State Assembly.

An override effort is coming in the New Jersey State Assembly. Wikimedia

Tomorrow is a session day at the Trenton State House, and the Assembly’s Democratic majority will once again be weighing an override vote to counter Governor Chris Christie’s veto of a bill to  make automatic voter registration a reality at Motor Vehicle Commission locations across the state. See Christie’s veto, which cites potential voter fraud, here.

Notable bills on compensating local governments for delay-related expenses resulting from the standoff over funding the Transportation Trust Fund and eliminating standardize tests as a performance metric for students and school officials will also be up for a vote.

A suite of bills to reform the state’s student loan agency will be under consideration in committee, as will a much-derided and misunderstood distracted driving bill.

Those reforms to HESAA, the state’s newly notorious student loan authority, would reign in the state’s collection practices by requiring court approval in many cases, introducing a sliding scale for repayment of loans based on income, mandating that the state provide information on its collection practices to prospective borrowers, and introducing a debt ceiling of $200,000 for all students taking out loans from the state.

That distracted driving bill from Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) would revise the state’s vehicular homicide statute to include distracted driving under the legal rubric for “reckless” driving. Wisniewski has said that the bill would not make it illegal to drink coffee behind the wheel as critics claim.

See the full list of bills to watch below, or listen to live proceedings tomorrow.

Assembly Session – 1:00PM – Assembly Chambers

A-1944 – Override – “Automatically registers or updates voter registration as part of driver’s license application or renewal.” – Coughlin/Schaer/Eustace/Downey/Benson/Wimberly/McKeon/Jasey/Chiaravalloti/Vitale/Gill

A-4114 – “Requires DOT to compensate local government entities for contractual delay damages resulting from shutdown of transportation projects funded by Transportation Trust Fund.” – Muoio

A-4122 – “Eliminates use of standardized assessments as measure of student growth or progress in evaluations of teachers, principals, assistant principals, and vice-principals.” -Caride/Jasey/Eustace/Vainieri Huttle/Jimenez

Senate Higher Education Committee – 10:00AM – Committee Room 7

S-2510 – “Requires Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to obtain court order prior to using certain collection practices for defaulted loans under New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students (NJCLASS) Loan Program. Under current law, HESAA may pursue without a court order.” – Cunningham/Kean, T/Ruiz

S-2573 – “Requires HESAA to establish income-driven repayment option and loan rehabilitation program for borrowers under New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students (NJCLASS) Loan Program. An income-driven repayment option is a student loan repayment plan that sets a borrower’s monthly student loan payment at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on the borrower’s income.” – Cunningham/Singer/Gordon

S-2577 – “Requires HESAA to provide annual New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students Loan Program report to Governor and Legislature and develop student loan comparison information document to increase program transparency. The purpose of this bill is to increase transparency under the NJCLASS Loan Program and public knowledge and awareness of the strict loan repayment requirements under the program as compared to federal student loan programs.” – Cunningham/Ruiz/Gordon

S-2578 – “Revises New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students Loan Program to require applicants first exhaust federal student loans, require income verification, and limit total student loan amounts. One of the provisions of this bill is that it provides that a student borrower’s total loans under NJCLASS may not exceed $200,000 and limits loan amounts based on certain factors including family income, and the cost of the institution as well as other established regulations.” – Cunningham/Pou/Gordon

Senate Law and Public Safety – 10:30AM – Committee Room 10

S2342 (A4062) – “Establishes failure to maintain lane while engaging in distracted driving as reckless under vehicular homicide statute.” – Addiego/Diegnan

NJ Legislative Preview: September 29