Five Republican senators today said that it’s unlikely that a bill redefining marriage can pass the Senate and asked their Democratic colleagues to join them in a bipartisan effort to strengthen New Jersey’s civil union law. The five said that while they can’t support the Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act (S-1967), they will work to ensure that New Jersey civil union law is enforced and provides all rights and benefits that legislators intended.
“Moving testimony in Senate hearings suggests that New Jersey’s civil union law is not always understood or followed,” Senator Tom Kean said. “We need to educate the public about the law, and enhance it if necessary so that no civil union partner is turned away from the hospital bed of a loved one.”
The Senate today passed a bill that would require that districts notify parents within 10 days when soil contaminated with pesticides or other chemicals is discovered at a school. Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, R-District 16, was a primary sponsor of Senate Bill 480 (Assembly Bill 1072).
“Administrators should let parents know immediately if there is a health risk present on school grounds,” Senator Bateman said. “This bill will make sure that parents are alerted to the risk and are informed of the steps being taken to prevent children from coming in contact with contaminated soil.”
Senator Christopher (Kip) Bateman, R-District 16, said he is pleased that the Senate unanimously passed his legislation requiring that state agencies release any report resulting from a school district audit within 30 days of completion.
“When taxpayers pay for a study or an audit, they should have the right to see it as soon as it is completed,” Senator Bateman said. “Keeping such information secret only contributes to a growing distrust of government.”
Senator Kip Bateman speaking during the Senate session on December 10, 2009.