Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Senator Bob Gordon and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced they have reached an agreement with the Christie Administration to end the state’s ‘Return Home’ policy as it currently exists.
Under new legislation sponsored by the senators and agreed upon by the administration, the state Division of Developmental Disabilities would be prohibited from transferring an individual with a developmental disability currently residing out-of-state to a placement in New Jersey if the individual or their guardian objects in writing.
“Throughout this process I’ve heard heart-wrenching stories from many families concerned about the disruption and change in the level of care that will occur if their loved ones who had spent the majority of their life at one facility were suddenly uprooted and moved back to New Jersey,” said Senator Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer). “This legislation recognizes those concerns by giving families and guardians the option to determine what’s best for the treatment of their loved one.”
The Senate Transportation Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senators Jennifer Beck and Christopher “Kip” Bateman to help prevent fuel shortages during a State of Emergency.
“This legislation will help assure that we never again experience such a devastating and crippling fuel shortage as we did during and in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy,” said Beck (R-Monmouth). “Fuel merchants in other states will be aware that they can immediately distribute fuel in our state when we are vulnerable and need it most.”
Sen. Kip Bateman, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Assemblywoman Donna Simon, all R-Somerset, Morris, Mercer and Middlesex, lauded Wednesday’s announcement by Gov. Christie that Manville is now a beneficiary of the Blue Acres Buyout Program. The program, which is overseen by the Department of Environmental Protection, allows willing homeowners to sell their houses at pre-Sandy market value. The home purchased in Manville is the 300th property acquisition since the program’s inception two years ago.
“This marks a fresh start for Manville residents, who now have the opportunity to live and raise families without the fear, stress and anxiety of bracing for the next natural disaster to destroy their homes,” Bateman said. “The Blue Acres Buyout Program gives homeowners here who have suffered through flood after flood a chance to sell their homes at a fair price. Converting some of these properties into open space will also go a long way to creating a natural buffer to protect against future flooding.”
The following editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, ranking Republican member of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, on their legislation to urge expanded recycling efforts by government entities was published by the Star-Ledger on May 22, 2015:
Every year in New Jersey, tens of millions of tons of solid waste are incinerated or deposited into landfills, posing a serious threat to the environment, public health and safety.
New Jersey’s growing landfills release toxic chemicals into the soil and groundwater. Incinerated waste emits dangerous toxins and air pollutants.
Senate Passes Allen, Bateman Bill Increasing Penalties for Assaults Against Certain Law Enforcement Officers
The Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans Diane Allen and Christopher “Kip” Bateman to increase penalties for assaulting a corrections officer, sheriff’s officer and other law enforcement personnel because of their job status.
“These law enforcement officers have some of the most difficult and dangerous jobs that there are,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “Unfortunately, the risk carries over into their personal lives as we were made aware of an instance where a corrections officer was assaulted by a former inmate out in public.”
After TerraCycle Visit, Senate Republicans Introduce Resolution to Spark Statewide Recycling Initiative
After visiting TerraCycle, a Trenton-based recycling operation, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and ranking Republican Environment Committeeman Christopher “Kip” Bateman introduced a resolution urging a statewide effort to keep out of landfills hazardous and hard-to-recycle materials.
“We thank TerraCycle for hosting us today and for being a wonderfully innovative asset for New Jersey’s environment,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “It shows there are local recycling programs that state facilities, parks, libraries, museums, beaches, destinations and rest stops, as well as county governments, local governments, schools and businesses can implement to greatly reduce environmental impacts. Many of them are cost-free and will take just about any nonperishable piece of waste.”
“Before such programs, e-waste and items like used snack bags, cigarette butts, coffee pods and shoes were never considered to be recyclable,” said Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon). “We are encouraging all New Jersey entities to use programs like this, because just about everything we use can and should be recycled. There is no more excuse to continue amassing these hazardous materials in landfills.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman raising awareness of the value of horticultural therapy has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
Under Senator Bateman’s legislation, SJR-12, the third full week in March of each year will now be designated as “Horticultural Therapy Week” in New Jersey.
“Designating a week each year to raise awareness of Horticultural Therapy will hopefully expand opportunities for more people to take advantage of the many benefits it offers,” said Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex).
The following editorial by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman on ending the 40 years of chaos caused by COAH and the need to pass reasonable affordable housing reforms was published by NJ.com on March 24:
Too many people are still struggling to find adequate housing in New Jersey — a troubling issue embodied by the Council on Affordable Housing’s chaotic 40-year existence, which has been marked by the passage of harmfully overreaching court rulings.
COAH regulations set forth by New Jersey courts have placed an undue tax burden on residents and crippled communities that have been forced to conform to one-size-fits-all mandates that ignore their unique needs. New Jersey has more inclusionary zoning requirements than any other jurisdiction in the country, according to a 2014 report by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Costly COAH fees have also harmed the economy by stymieing development and related job growth.
Just last week, the state Supreme Court again issued a troubling COAH ruling that state trial judges will now decide housing laws and quotas on a town-by-town basis. That decision will not fix our housing problem and stands to create expensive litigation and countless lawsuits.
What other state allows the courts to mandate to municipalities how much affordable housing to build and where it must go? It should be the legislature’s responsibility to develop statewide policies, not unelected members of New Jersey courts.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset) banning the sale or production of personal care products containing microbeads was signed into law by Governor Christie. The bill (S-2178) will protect New Jersey’s rivers, lakes, and drinking supplies from environmental damage and harmful contamination.
Microbeads are small plastic particles that are added to products like face washes and cosmetic products to exfoliate. These tiny beads can become trapped in water filtration systems, ending up in rivers and lakes and contaminating the drinking supplies used by millions of New Jerseyans every day.
“By signing this bill into law, we are placing our state at the forefront of a national effort to eliminate the dangers this product poses to our environment and our water supply,” said Senator Bateman. “We have a responsibility to protect New Jersey residents from contamination and keep our state’s waterways clean and pristine. The only way to keep our drinking water safe and protect our beautiful rivers and lakes is to stop production and get these items off the shelves.”
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer) renewed his call for the legislature to take up legislation reforming the state’s affordable housing laws, after the state Supreme Court ruled that trial judges would begin deciding housing laws on a town-by-town basis.
“This issue should have never gotten to this point,” Bateman said. “Senate Republicans have had sensible solutions on the table for years and it’s the legislature’s responsibility to get this done. The legislature does not have to subject the public to this costly Supreme Court ruling. We can fulfill our obligation to implement a reasonable plan that has the best interest of New Jersey’s diverse communities, property owners and residents.”