Following recent reports that New Jersey’s drought is still in effect despite a winter full of precipitation and foul weather, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman again called for the state’s residents and leaders to do whatever they can to help conserve water.
“Most of the state just spent the last week digging out of a big snowstorm, and the rest was no stranger to wet storms this winter, but it still doesn’t look like this drought is going anywhere anytime soon,” Senator Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon) said. “We all need to make an effort to conserve water and implement a statewide plan to address this drought.”
The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to appropriate $59.532 million from constitutionally dedicated funds for open space, park development, and expansions to the Blue Acres and Green Acres programs.
“New Jersey voters overwhelmingly supported the constitutional amendment I sponsored to create a permanent funding source for open space,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “The appropriation approved by the Senate today will secure our hard-won victory to save Princeton Battlefield, conserve clean water and protect the farms that fuel our economy. These are exactly the kinds of projects that our residents had in mind when they voted yes in 2014.”
A trio of bills sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington), Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon) and Senator Sam Thompson (R-Burlington, Middlesex, Ocean, Monmouth) aimed at reducing waste by encouraging more donation and recycling of food were advanced by the Senate Environment Committee.
“Unfortunately, there are still many in New Jersey that struggle to find the next meal for their families,” Senator Allen said. “We hope that by cutting back on waste at our schools and other institutions we can get more food to people who need it.”
Following recent news reports that PSE&G plans to sell its share in the proposed PennEast Pipeline and abandon its involvement in the controversial project, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman urged others involved with the pipeline to reconsider their support as well.
“I think this decision by PSE&G can be traced directly back to the overwhelming opposition by local residents who don’t want this pipeline cutting through their communities and damaging the environment,” Senator Bateman said. “It’s time for the other companies involved to realize that this project is unneeded and unwelcome.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) to improve the safety of the State’s drinking water and hold public water systems accountable for making improvements has cleared the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
The bill would require all public water systems to establish a cyber-security program, as well as an asset management plan designed to inspect, maintain, and repair water infrastructure. S-2834 would establish specific safety standards for testing fire hydrants.
“Our legislative task force recently learned that nearly two dozen school districts in our state have elevated levels of lead,” Senator Bateman said. “Protecting our drinking water from contaminants must be a top priority. All public water systems must be held accountable for making water infrastructure inspections and improvements. We simply cannot take chances when it comes to protecting the health and safety of our residents.”
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) issued the following statement after the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today passed SJR-16, which designates September as “Affordable Housing Awareness Month.”
“I am appalled that Senate Democrats would fast track a meaningless resolution before even considering my bipartisan affordable housing reform bill. This is a slap in the face to the countless constituents who are begging for their elected leaders to act.
“The courts have given us a golden opportunity to develop a new affordable housing policy. Creating an ‘Awareness Month’ does nothing to solve this problem.
“If we continue to do nothing, there will be serious consequences in every legislative district. Property taxes will skyrocket. Open space will be destroyed. Worst of all, the people who truly need affordable housing will continue to struggle to find it.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon) to protect critical facilities against power loss during emergencies was advanced by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
“There are certain facilities throughout the state that provide crucial services and can’t afford to experience a power outage during an emergency,” Senator Bateman said. “This will allow them to continue operations and perform their duties even if the rest of the area has gone dark.”
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Diane Allen to extend opportunities to earn varsity letters to high school students who participate in competitive activities other than athletics has passed the New Jersey Senate.
“Extending varsity letters to kids who compete on stage or in a classroom doesn’t diminish the value of the letter – it enhances it,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “Our schools are home to some of the best performing arts programs in the country. I think anyone who has witnessed a standing ovation at a school musical would agree that the kids who participate in these programs deserve varsity letters, too.”
An effort by Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) to have the New Jersey Senate vote on comprehensive affordable housing reform legislation was blocked by the majority Senate Democrats.
Bateman’s action follows a recent ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court on affordable housing which ensures continued confusion and expensive litigation for municipalities.
“Towns across the state were begging for legislative relief to clarify the state’s incoherent affordable housing policy before the recent Supreme Court ruling, and those pleas have only increased since the decision was released,” said Bateman. “I am saddened that the Senate Democratic majority refuses to consider the passage of reform legislation that would prevent unnecessary litigation for towns and protect residents from higher property tax bills.”
Municipal master plans would now be required to include strategies concerning energy efficiency, storm resiliency and environmental protection under a bill sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and advanced by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. The strategy required under the bill would be located within the land use section of the master plan.
“Every municipality should be actively working to improve energy efficiency and shore up our environmental infrastructure,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “As the most densely populated state in the nation, we have to be aggressive in our efforts to protect the environment. Requiring every master plan to address sustainability issues will ensure each community is doing their part to safeguard natural resources for the next generation.”