Hey folks!  They’re back.  Senate Committees are meeting twice this week.  The Assembly doesn’t get started until next week.  Not too much to report tonight, but don’t miss this update because there is some good news!

In this update:

  *   Attorney General Gurbir Grewal lends support to NJEA’s position in Janus case
  *   What’s Governor Murphy been up to?
  *   Special meeting of the SBOE next Monday
  *   Support national #WeChoose Week
  *   Results from January 22, 2018 session
  *   Bills to be considered 26, 2018 session
  *   Suggested good read
  *   When is the legislature meeting again?

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal lends support to NJEA’s position in Janus case: 

You may have been hearing about a very concerning case, Janus v. AFSCME, that is pending consideration by the Supreme Court.

The plaintiff in the case is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a previous decision which held that public unions could require all workers to pay a fair share in union dues to cover collective bargaining costs even if they did not want to join the union. If the Court rules in favor of the plaintiff Janus, workers who opt out would no longer be required to pay a “fair share” which could weaken unions and their ability bargain.

Now for the good news– it was announced today that New Jersey’s new Attorney General Gurbir Grewal will sign on to an amicus brief supporting the position of public sector labor unions in the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court case.  Gurbir joins a coalition of attorneys general from approximately 20 states and the District of Columbia, in signing this brief which calls on the court to uphold the fair-share provision.

Here is what Governor Murphy had to say about it:

“Labor is the backbone of New Jersey’s economy; union members make up over 16 percent of our wage and salary workers. Supporting strong unions is a critical part of making New Jersey’s economy work for everyone. By supporting this brief, Attorney General Grewal is sending a message to those attempting to undermine our labor force that New Jersey and this administration will not stand for policies that weaken unions and labor organizations.”

NJEA has joined NEA’s brief in the Janus case. NJEA is very thankful to have the NJ Attorney General and Governor Murphy’s support!  (what a difference a week makes, huh?)

What’s Governor Murphy been up to?

It’s been almost a week since his inauguration, and you might be wondering, “What has Governor Murphy been up to?”  Here are a few highlights of the first week of the Murphy Administration:

  *   Well, if you really want to start at the beginning, here is the full text of his inaugural address https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/governor/2018/01/16/full-text-phil-murphys-inaugural-address/1036455001/

  *   Right after his inauguration, he signed his first Executive Order (EO) to combat gender inequality and promote equal pay for women in New Jersey. Under Executive Order #1, state agencies and offices are prohibited from asking a job applicant for their past wage history, or investigating the prior salaries of their applicants. The purpose of the EO is to ensure that state employees receive salaries that are commensurate with their skills, qualifications, and experience. NJEA President Marie Blistan attended the signing.  You can read more about it at https://www.njea.org/blistan-equal-pay-executive-order-represents-new-era/

  *   The very next day he held his first cabinet meeting and signed another EO outlining the ethics and standards of the administration. His cabinet, the most diverse in state history, includes eight women, the first Muslim commissioner in state history, the first Sikh commissioner in state history, and the first Latina to head the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

  *   Over the weekend, he convened a bipartisan call with members of the New Jersey congressional delegation on the impacts of the federal government shutdown (Congress voted to end the shut down earlier today).

  *   He signed an Executive Order to direct all state agencies that interact with the public to provide information regarding enrollment in the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

  *   And of course, as reported above—his administration is signing on to an amicus brief supporting public sector unions in the Janus case.

Not a bad week!

Special meeting of the SBOE next Monday

On Monday, January 29, the State Board of Education will hold a Special Meeting for the purpose of making appointments.  We expect they will be appointing Lamont Repollet as Acting Commissioner of Education.  Repollet will serve as Acting Commissioner until he is confirmed by the Senate.

Support national #WeChoose Week

The Journey for Justice Alliance has declared January 21-27 National #WeChoose Week, in support of public schools across New Jersey and throughout America.  Events during the week will shine a light on efforts to disenfranchise local communities and privatize public schools, to the detriment of students, families and communities.
Please join the fight to defend public education by supporting #WeChoose week.
Click here<https://www.j4jalliance.com/events/national-wechoose-week/> for more information.

Results from January 22, 2018 session

  *   S-392 – Increases certain penalties for violations of wage and hour law. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  *   S-704 – Establishes NJ Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Life Long Skills Commission in the Department of State. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)
  *   SCR-25 – Reconstitutes the “Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity.” (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Senate)

If you would like to see the text for any of these bills go to http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/ and put in the bill number in the “Bill search window” or call the friendly people who work in GR!

Bills to be considered on January 25, 2018
  *   S-414 – Requires school districts, charter schools, and contracted service providers to review employment history of prospective employees to ascertain allegations of child abuse or sexual misconduct and includes penalties for certain willful violations. (Seek Amendments)
  *   S-631 – Requires all students enrolled in grade eight to have certain physical examination that includes cardiac component. (TBD)
  *   S-692 – Prohibits the DOE from regulating the maximum salary amount a school district may pay its superintendent of schools. (Monitor)
  *   S-696 – “Early Childhood Innovation Act”; establishes early childhood innovation loan pilot program and study commission within EDA. (Monitor)
  *   S-698 – Establishes Department of Early Childhood. (Support)
  *   S-847 – Requires a public school district to provide a daily recess period for students in grades kindergarten through 5. (Support)
  *   S-1055 – Requires full-day kindergarten in all school districts and establishes uniform age requirement for enrollment in kindergarten. (Support)

  *   SR-25 – Urges President and Congress of United States to restore “net neutrality” in federal law. (Support)

If you would like to see the text for any of these bills go to http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/ and put in the bill number in the “Bill search window” or call the friendly people who work in GR!

Suggested Good Reads:

With all the attention on Governor Murphy’s inaugural and the swearing-in of a legislature in which Democrats hold stronger majorities than before, one might wonder what the Republicans are thinking and gearing up for this session. Here is a quick look.

In case you don’t read it, the most interesting quote in the piece may be Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick saying:

“We’re the Republican Party, but we’re not crazy,” Bramnick said. “We are not crazy or extreme. We’re reasonable.”

Clearly a sign of the times we are living in!

http://observer.com/2018/01/bramnick-new-jersey-republicans-kinder-trump/

When is the legislature meeting again?

Monday, January 29, 2018     Assembly Committees
Thursday, February 1, 2018    Assembly Committees; Senate Voting Session
Monday, February 5, 2018     Senate Committees
Thursday, February 8, 2018    Assembly Committees; Senate Committees
Monday, February 12, 2018   Assembly Committees
Thursday, February 15, 2018  Senate Committees; Assembly Voting Session
Thursday, February 22, 2018  Senate Committees
Monday, February 26, 2018   Senate Voting Session:
Monday, March 5, 2018         Assembly Committees; Senate Committees
Thursday, March 8, 2018        Senate Committees
Monday, March 12, 2018       Assembly Committees; Senate Committees
Thursday, March 22, 2018      Assembly Committees
Monday, March 26, 2018       Assembly Voting Session; Senate Voting Session

Governor’s Budget Message: Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ginger Gold Schnitzer
Director
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

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