TRENTON – Senator Nia Gill was successful at shepherding two age-friendly bills past the committee level in the NJ Senate on Monday, June 8, 2015. Senator Nia H. Gill, Penny Carey (Montclair SCAC) and Ann Lippel (Montclair SCAC) testified before the NJ Senate Community and Urban Affairs committee on Monday, June 8, 2015. After testimony, the bill package [S2523 & S2524 described below] passed out of committee. The SCAC is very grateful to Senator Gill for her leadership in making New Jersey a place where its seniors can ‘age in place” with dignity. Where does the legislation go from here? The Senate bills will go to the full Senate for a vote. The companion NJ Assembly bills has yet to come out of committee. Watch this space for updates on progress through the Assembly.
What can you do to help move this process forward? You can express support for these bills by:
a) alerting your friends in neighboring town and counties about the Senate bills and their importance to all of New Jersey’s seniors. Encourage those friends to write/call/email their own NJ Senators.
b) Watch this space for information about the NJ Assembly State and Local Government Committee which will vote their versions of the bill package out of their committee. When the timing is appropriate, we will ask you to write/call/email to urge the Assemblymen on the State and Local Government Committee to support A3917 and A4067.
ASSEMBLY: State and Local Government Committee Memberhsip
Chair: Linda Stener, Scotch Plains, 908.668.1900
Vice Chair: Herb Conaway, Delran, 856.461.3997
Members: Robert Auth, Haskell, 862.248.0491
Michael Patrick Carroll, Morris Plains, 973.539.8113
Tim Eustace, Paramus, 201.576.9199
S2523/A3917: allowing Municipalities to establish Senior citizen parking zones, much like handicapped parking spaces, and reduced rates for seniors’ parking permits.
S2524/A4067: This bill would permit municipalities to establish a Senior Volunteer Real Estate Tax Work-off Program which would allow seniors to earn tax vouchers for volunteer services to the town for up to $1,000.00 per tax year. The vouchers could be earned at the current minimum wage, roughly 120 hours of service per volunteer. Each municipality would design the program to meet its particular needs, but volunteers WOULD NVER replace paid municipal workers.
Every town has pending projects that they cannot fund and/or are outside the expertise of the salaried workforce. Each of these towns has talented retirees who possess needed skills. S2524/A4067 would match those skills and needs to mutually benefit town and citizen.