The New Jersey state Senate advanced today legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to give municipalities more time to review defeated school budgets whenever the annual school district elections are postponed due to religious holidays, as will happen in 2014.
“I’ve worked hard with local government leaders on this one to make sure municipal boards will have enough time to thoroughly review defeated school budgets and determine how much of the people’s property taxes are necessary to fund each budget item,” Bucco said. “It is common sense to give them the same amount of time from the election to the deadline to modify a defeated school spending plan.”
Under current law, if the voters reject any item submitted at the annual school election on the third Tuesday in April, then the governing body of the municipality or the governing body of each of the municipalities included in the district must determine an appropriate school spending plan by May 19. Bucco’s bill, S2458, provides that whenever the commissioner changes the date of the annual April school election pursuant to that law, the commissioner must also change the May 19th deadline to ensure that municipal bodies have the same number of days to make their determinations.
“In 2014, school election date falls on Passover and the Commissioner of Education will likely move the election date back,” Bucco noted. “Without the implementation of this bill, municipalities have too much pressure to conduct a detailed financial analysis and the people’s money could be misspent. I urge the state Assembly to take immediate action to advance this legislation to Gov. Christie.”