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June 27, 2017

Re: Daily Update
I. State Budget Takes Shape. Transitional Aid Reduced. Votes on Thursday
II. "The New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act" Awaits Final Committee Action
III. Federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Application Deadline Tomorrow
IV. Help Other Municipalities Find Vendors, While Helping to Support the League’s Magazine

I. State Budget Takes Shape. Transitional Aid Reduced. Votes on Thursday

Yesterday in Trenton, both the Assembly Appropriations Committee (A-5000)  and the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee (S-18)  released identical versions of an Appropriations Act, meant to govern State spending during the 2018 Fiscal Year (SFY ’18), which begins on July 1. The bills would further reduce Transitional Aid by $6 million. The Governor, in March, had proposed allocating $93 million for this purpose. The bill, which is scheduled for votes in both Houses on Thursday, calls for $87 million. 

According to the Legislature’s current proposal, the Department of Community Affairs’ total budget for SFY ’18 would increase by a little less than $10 million, over the Governor’s March proposal. New priorities to be funded by that increase (as well as by the $6 million Transition Aid reduction) include: a County Prosecutors Funding Initiative Pilot Program ($4 million); an Anti-Violence Youth Out of School Summer Program ($3 million); the Volunteers of America Re-entry Services program ($4 million); the New Jersey Re-entry Corporation’s One-Stop Offender Re-entry Services program ($4 million); and other, smaller dedications. (See the Office of Legislative Services Budget Score Sheet for comparisons.)

With regards to the “Best Practices” inventory, please note the following. Prior to last year, the Director of the Division of Local Government Services was authorized to penalize non-compliant municipalities by denying them up to 5 percent of their total Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid (CMPTRA) entitlement. Last year, using the line-item veto, the Governor changed that practice by adding language to the budget stating, “Notwithstanding the provisions of any law or regulation to the contrary, the release of the total annual amount due for the current fiscal year from Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid to municipalities is subject to (receiving a minimum acceptable score on the inventory) …” (Parenthesis added.)  That language is included in the proposal going before both Houses on Thursday.

The proposal put together by the Legislature would distribute CMPTRA and Energy Tax Receipts payments according to the schedule that has been in place for several years now. (45 percent on August 1, 30 percent on September 1, 15 percent on October 1, 5 percent on November 1, and the final 5 percent on December 1 for calendar year municipalities or June 1 for those on the fiscal year.) The Governor’s proposal had called for pushing greater percentages to later dates. (See the Legislature’s proposed Language Changes for details.)  

Significantly, the bills to be voted on this week include changes in School Aid distributions and the Governor’s proposed use of proceeds from the State Lottery to address the State’s recurring pension funding shortfalls.

II. "The New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act" Awaits Final Committee Action

Last week, A-222, which is supported by the League, passed the General Assembly yesterday by a vote of 63-12.  This and its Senate companion, S-2171, the “New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act”  would, upon voter approval, authorize the issuance of $125 million in bonds for the purpose of the construction, reconstruction, development, extension, improvement and furnishing of New Jersey’s public libraries.

A-222, along with its Senate companion S-2171, is referenced to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.   The League has asked that S-2171 be considered by the Budget Committee as soon as possible.   Please contact your State Senators as soon as possible and ask their support for S-2171 and A-222.   We hope to see this bill head to the Governor before the end of the week.

Contact: Michael Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, mcerra@njslom.org, 609-695-3481 x120.

III. Federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Application Deadline Tomorrow

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) BVP program can provide a 50/50 match for the purchase of protective vests for your law enforcement officers. The deadline for application for these funds in the current Federal Fiscal Year is tomorrow, June 28. Please visit BJA’s Office of Justice Assistance (OJA)   Bulletproof Vest Partnership website for details.

IV. Help Other Municipalities Find Vendors, While Helping to Support the League’s Magazine

Have you recently worked with a vendor and think that other municipalities could benefit from their services?  Please tell your vendor about the League’s magazine, NJ Municipalities!

NJ Municipalities is an award winning monthly magazine read by over 6,355 readers.  It has been a local government news source for over 100 years, and is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2017!

Advertising can help spread your vendor’s message!  Let us know your vendor’s contact information so that we can send them a free sample.

Thank you for your support of NJLM!

Contact: Taran B. Samhammer, Advertising Manager, (609) 695-3481 x124, tsamhammer@njslom.org

Very truly yours,

Michael F. Cerra
Assistant Executive Director

 

Posted: 6/28/17

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