20 Additional Judges Will Support Criminal Justice Reforms
The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee has approved a plan authored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Kip Bateman that would add 20 new judges to New Jersey’s courts, providing the support for the already-enacted criminal justice reforms that will take effect in January.
Starting in 2017, the state will shift from a system that relies principally on setting monetary bail as a condition of release to a risk-based system that is more objective, is fairer to defendants because it is unrelated to their ability to pay monetary bail and safer for the public because dangerous offenders can be denied bail.
“The state has made a lot of progress in filling judicial vacancies that enable the courts to administer justice and enforce the law,” said Senator Bateman. “These new judges will make the system better and provide the support needed to ensure the effectiveness of the bail reforms.”
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon) released the following statement on an agreement allowing the Civil War Trust to purchase Maxwell’s Field from the Institute of Advanced Study in order to preserve the historic site of the Battle of Princeton. Bateman has long fought to prevent the Institute from causing irreversible damage to the battlegrounds by building housing on Maxwell’s Field.
“This landmark agreement between the Civil War Trust and the Institute of Advanced Study is the victory we have long-hoped for. For years I have fought tirelessly alongside historians, activists and local residents to save Maxwell’s field from permanent destruction. We refused to stand by and allow the Institute of Advanced Study to bulldoze 240 years of history and I am elated that our battle has finally been won.
“This historic compromise will allow for the preservation of nearly 15 acres of Maxwell’s Field as well as the expansion of Princeton Battlefield State Park. The Princeton Battlegrounds are an unparalleled educational resource. Because of this agreement, future generations will have the opportunity to visit this hallowed ground and learn about the brave soldiers who fought at the Battle of Princeton – the turning point of the Revolutionary War.”
“I commend both the Civil War Trust and the Institute of Advanced Study for answering our call to work together and reach an agreement to protect this national treasure. I am grateful to everyone who stood with us in our fight to save Maxwell’s Field. I vow to remain vigilant and do all that I can to ensure these preservation efforts are completed as swiftly as possible.”
In the face of a statewide drought emergency, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman is urging New Jersey residents and state leaders to take action to prepare for the oncoming crisis.
Senator Bateman, a ranking member of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, has introduced a resolution calling for an updated version of the Statewide Water Supply Plan.
“Much of the state is under a drought warning and we have no way of knowing how long these conditions will last,” Senator Bateman said. “The Statewide Water Supply Plan has not been publicly updated in 20 years. Until the report is released, it will be nearly impossible to implement strategies to address this potential drought crisis. The state must work quickly to enact a plan before we have a true emergency on our hands.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex) to protect the state’s apiaries from pesticides by establishing beehive registries and a notification protocol was advanced by the Senate Environment Committee.
“The state’s apiarists provide a vital service by supplementing our natural bee population with beehives raised on private properties,” Senator Bateman said. “We can’t risk losing these important pollinators to pesticides. The work they do for New Jersey’s farmers is too important.”
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments to overturn a July court decision not to mandate retroactive affordable housing obligations, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman is calling for the legislature to advance his bill clarifying that forcing municipalities to meet “gap period” requirements violates established law.
“The time for litigation is over. Placing affordable housing decisions in the hands of the courts or agencies such as COAH has led to nothing but chaos, confusion and delays. The court agrees these decisions should be decided by the legislature. It is disappointing to see so-called ‘advocates’ continue to engage in frivolous lawsuits that only serve to block municipalities from understanding and fulfilling their housing obligations.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon) to extend funding for projects paid for by the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust through 2017 was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
“This legislation streamlines the process of approving and financing important environmental infrastructure projects that protect our state’s drinking water and waterways,” Senator Bateman said. “In 2016, we’ve already taken advantage of it to finance more than $400 million in projects that will help us keep New Jersey’s water free off pollution and other contaminants.”
The Senate approved a four-bill package sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, Senator Steven Oroho, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, and Senator Brian Stack, Senator Shirley K. Turner to strengthen crime victims’ rights laws in New Jersey. The passage of the legislation took place as the Senate marked the 25th Anniversary of enactment of the New Jersey Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment to the state Constitution, which cemented the right of crime victims to be treated fairly and their ability to be present at certain court proceedings.
“We can do much more to support survivors as they work to rebuild, recover and seek out the justice they deserve. This legislation will end discriminatory practices that have long prevented crime victims from securing housing and stable employment, and provide opportunities for survivors of any age to confront their abusers without fear,” said Bateman. “We must remain vigilant in our efforts to uphold and expand the strong laws we have in place to protect victims of violent crime. I am proud to have worked on a bipartisan basis with my colleague Senator Weinberg to advance these compassionate, commonsense measures and I hope to see all three bills signed into law as swiftly as possible.”
Jewelers who violate New Jersey’s secondhand jewelry and precious metals record keeping laws would face much stricter penalties under legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and approved by the New Jersey Senate.
“Under my legislation, jewelers who pawn off illegally obtained valuables on innocent consumers could no longer claim ignorance as a defense for buying and selling stolen goods,” Senator Bateman said. “Sellers who try and hide the fact that they received stolen property and are putting it up for sale must be held accountable for breaking the law.”
Bill provides free ambulance service for those injured while rendering good faith emergency care
Legislation pioneered by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to ensure people who are injured while rendering emergency care do not have to pay for an ambulance has passed the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. Senator Bateman first authored the bill in 2013 to encourage Good Samaritan acts statewide.
“When a catastrophe strikes, minutes can mean the difference between a life saved and life lost,” Senator Bateman said. “We saw this come to fruition during the recent train crash in Hoboken, where many commuters rushed to aid critically injured passengers in the crucial moments before first responders arrived on the scene. Anyone who demonstrates that kind of selfless courage should not have to pay for an ambulance if they are injured while rendering emergency care.”
Following the signing of legislation to fund improvements through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R- Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex) announced a $5.2 million project to make repairs and ensure the residents of Somerset County have clean water.
“Through our legislation, we were able to streamline the process of getting this kind of important environmental project approved and financed,” Senator Bateman said. “These improvements will help keep the water in Somerset County Safe, and this project is just one of many set to begin across the state.”