Bill mandates the currently unrequired Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) check for all public school employees.
The Senate Budget Committee has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to subject all public school employees to a Child Abuse Record Information background check.
“It is appalling that New Jersey does not require background checks that red flag employees with substantiated claims of child abuse,” Senator Bucco said. “A standard criminal background check is simply not enough. Unless we mandate CARI checks for all job candidates and current employees at New Jersey’s public schools, we will fail to protect a number of innocent children from the horrors of child abuse. This dangerous oversight in state law must be corrected immediately.”
The New Jersey Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Joseph Pennacchio allowing veterans to use alternative forms to apply for a county veteran identification card. The bill also expands access to members of the National Guard who have served outside of New Jersey.
“All veterans, including those who have served nationwide in the National Guard, should be able to easily access the benefits they have earned,” Senator Bucco (R-Morris) said. “Thousands have already gone through the process of receiving a veteran ID card from their county. Allowing service members to supply approved separation forms other than a DD-214 will encourage more veterans to participate in programs for the military throughout the state.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) to allow disabled persons to keep their retired service animals passed the New Jersey Senate by a vote of 38-0.
“People spend years forging a relationship with their service animals. They shouldn’t be separated simply because the animal has to retire from its service duties,” Senator Bucco said. “This legislation will keep them together without putting the person’s access to housing in jeopardy.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco and Senator Joe Pennacchio simplifying the process to obtain a county veteran identification card has cleared the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. S-1771 also expands access to veterans who have served in the National Guard in other states.
“Simplifying this process will ensure more veterans have access to the discounts and services provided to veterans returning home to New Jersey,” Senator Bucco (R-Morris) said. “Having a county ID card proving veteran status is more than just a convenience – it is a special designation that recognizes the heroic sacrifices made by the thousands of brave service men and women across New Jersey.”
A resolution sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) to establish “Constitution Week” passed the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee
The resolution, SJR-31, designates Sept. 17-23 of each year as Constitution Week and calls for special activities that will raise public awareness about the important role the Constitution plays in everyday life.
Bucco Bill to Guarantee Equal Access Housing for Disabled Persons and Their Service Animals Advances
Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to prevent disabled persons from being separated from their retired service animal was advanced by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
“We cannot in good conscience allow an individual who has spent much of their life coping with significant hardships and adversity to face the heartbreak of bidding farewell to a faithful guide dog who has become family,” Senator Bucco added. “By amending this law, people with disabilities can continue to love and care for their loyal service dog as a pet, without the fear of losing their home or being unable to find adequate housing.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) and Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) to honor veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice by requiring the “Killed in Action” flag to be flown alongside the official state flag was approved by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“In just the last two weeks, we’ve recognized Memorial Day and the 72nd Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion,” Senator Bucco said. “The number of lives lost on the beaches of Normandy alone is almost unfathomable, and those are just a small slice of all the American lives lost to protect freedom over our country’s history. Commemorating those sacrifices every day at government buildings is a fitting tribute for our nation’s heroes.”
Public school teachers, bus drivers and camp counselors would be subject a Child Abuse Record Information check under a bill sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Steven Oroho. Currently, these employees and job candidates only undergo a criminal background check, which unlike a CARI check, does not show substantiated claims of child abuse. The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Education Committee.
“How many teachers, camp counselors, bus drivers and school employees are child abusers? Under current New Jersey law, we simply do not know,” Senator Bucco (R-Morris) said. “What we do know is that child abusers are falling through the cracks in the system and putting innocent children at risk. Ensuring all current and potential employees have a clean CARI record can end this pervasive threat to our children’s health and welfare.”
The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) and Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) to mandate ethics training for all elected officials. Government officials who fail to complete the training would face a $5,000 fine.
“Unfortunately, you don’t have to dig deep to find examples of political corruption in New Jersey,” Senator Bucco said. “Widely publicized investigations into kickback schemes and recent exploitation of state funds have exposed a critical need for the ethics training mandated under my bill,” Senator Bucco said. “New Jerseyans are already coping with a nation-high tax burden. We cannot allow elected leaders to squander a single public dollar for political gain.”
Bill requires school districts to incorporate sexual abuse prevention and awareness education into core curriculum
Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) has introduced “Erin’s Law” requiring school districts to incorporate sexual abuse prevention and awareness education into the core curriculum. Senator Bucco is working with local advocates and survivor Erin Merryn, for whom the law is named, to swiftly advance the measure.
“We teach our children not to talk to strangers, but for 93 percent of children who are sexually abused, the attacker is not a stranger – it’s a parent, a family friend, or someone else they trust,” Senator Bucco said. “We cannot allow children to feel ashamed and suffer in silence. Erin’s Law will empower kids to recognize the signs of abuse and speak out the moment an unsafe behavior occurs. I will continue to work with Erin, and the advocates fighting for victims in our community, until every child in every New Jersey classroom has access to this education.”
Senator Bucco’s bill requires all school districts to incorporate age-appropriate sexual abuse awareness and prevention education in grades preschool through 12 as part of Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. Senator Bucco introduced Erin’s Law (S-2145) on May 2. The legislation has been enacted in 27 states.