Testa Questions states short notice on educational hearings

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A New Jersey state senator said this week that the New Jersey State Board of Education is trying to limit participation in public hearings on integrating climate change and environmental justice into math and English classes.

“They want public hearings without an audience,” said Sen. Michael Testa, R. Cape May of Cumberland, Atlantic.

Testa said the council opened the registration period in late March but announced it publicly via email on the Thursday before the Easter break.

He questioned why people must register to testify by Monday for hearings to be held weeks later, calling it “another failure by the State Board of Education to be open and transparent with parents and concerned citizens.”

the Southern District session Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Camden County College. the North District session It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 24 at Warren County College, WA Central session It will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. May 3 at the New Jersey Department of Education in Trenton.

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To testify at any of the public hearings, register by Monday noon https://homeroom5.doe.state.nj.us/events/or call your state Board of Education office at 609-376-9071.

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Van Drew talks about school security

US Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the second Republican, and other Republicans in Congress introduced last week legislation To prioritize hiring military veterans and retired law enforcement officers to protect schools as school resource officers.

“After the many unbelievable events that have occurred in our schools across the country, it is time for Congress to address the need to improve security in schools,” Van Drew said. “We protect our nation’s leaders and celebrities with armed security, so why not our children?”

Another House member to introduce the Safer Schools Guarantee Act was Dan Crenshaw of Texas. Andy Parr, R-K; Don Bacon, R-Neb.; and Marinette Miller Mix, R-Iowa.

The legislation also recommends that school resource officers undergo annual tactical training and a mental health screening, and encourages schools to promote engagement between officers and students.

General contractor campaign contributions

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General contractors have disclosed that they will make $8.8 million in campaign contributions in 2022, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

That was 15% less than the $10.4 million in 2021, when the governor’s office and all legislative seats were up for re-election.

The electric company’s CEO, Jeff Prindel, said contractor contributions have risen to more than $10 million in all four gubernatorial elections dating back to 2009.

Engineers contributed nearly $4 million (44%), while lawyers contributed $2.3 million (26%).

Of the top ten construction companies that made contributions, eight were engineering firms while two were law firms. The top ten made 33% of the contributions and won 2% of the contracts.

Remington & Vernick Engineers led the donors, providing $588,350. It received about $56 million in public contracts.

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Total Contracts increased by 10% to a new high. Business entities reported more than $15.1 billion in contracts in their 2022 disclosure reports.

Under Pay-for-Play laws, all companies that have earned $50,000 or more through public contracts must indicate if they have made any reportable contributions, and if so, must disclose contracts and contributions to ELEC by March 30 of the year previous calendar.

The average contractor contribution in 2022 was $1,252, an increase of 0.2%. The record average high was $1,372 in 2020, according to ELEC.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates led Top 10 contractors. They secured contracts worth $12.9 billion, or about 86% of all contracts. Electric said the group made $165,573 in contributions, which is 2% of the total.

Reporter: Michele Brunetti Post


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