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Governor Christie Conditionally Vetoes A444

Governor Christie Conditionally Vetoes A444

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Governor Christie conditionally vetoes A444 on May 5, 2011 which would require school board members to be held to the same standards of conduct as school employees.
Governor Christie conditionally vetoes A444 on May 5, 2011 which would require school board members to be held to the same standards of conduct as school employees.

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Governor Chris Christie on Aug 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/06/2013

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May 5, 2011
 
 ASSEMBLY BILL No. 444(First Reprint)
To the General Assembly:Pursuant to Article V, Section I, Paragraph 14 of the NewJersey Constitution, I am returning Assembly Bill No. 444 (FirstReprint) with my recommendations for reconsideration.This bill would require members of boards of education andcharter school boards of trustees to undergo criminal historybackground investigations, and would disqualify any person fromserving on these boards if convicted of certain crimes andoffenses. The intention of the bill is to hold board membersto the same standards as school employees, i.e., the individualsthey hire and oversee. Currently, N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.1, whichgoverns criminal record checks for school employees, providesthat an individual employed by a board of education will bedisqualified from employment or service if the individual’scriminal history record check reveals any one of severalidentified crimes or offenses. These include, for example: anycrime of the first or second degree; a crime involving the useof force; certain drug offenses; and various third degreecrimes.While this proposed legislation is similar to N.J.S.A.18A:6-7.1, there are two notable discrepancies between this billand the existing statute. First, N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.1 includes asa disqualifying offense for all school employees the thirddegree crime of “bias intimidation” (N.J.S.2C:16-1). This crimewas added to N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.1 as a result of the recentlyenacted amendments to the Anti-bullying law, but was notincluded as a disqualifying offense in this proposedlegislation. Second, the bill includes as a disqualifyingconviction “any crime of the fourth degree involving a victim
 
 
2who is a minor.” This crime, however, is not listed in N.J.S.A.18A:6-7.1 as a disqualifying offense.Therefore, I recommend that the bill be amended to correctthese discrepancies. In order to ensure that school boardmembers and members of charter school boards of trustees areheld to the same standards as school employees, as was clearlythe intent of this bill, the list of disqualifying crimes andoffenses for both school employees and board members must beidentical.Accordingly, I herewith return Assembly Bill No. 444 (FirstReprint) and recommend that it be amended as follows:Page 3, Section 1, Line 4: After “N.J.S.2C:29-5”delete “;”Page 3, Section 1, Line 5: Insert “BiasintimidationN.J.S.2C:16-1;”Page 7, Line 15: Insert “9. Section 1 ofP.L.1986, c.116(C.18A:6-7.1) is amendedto read as follows: Afacility, center,school, or school systemunder the supervision ofthe Department ofEducation and board ofeducation which caresfor, or is involved inthe education ofchildren under the ageof 18 shall not employfor pay or contract forthe paid services of anyteaching staff member orsubstitute teacher,teacher aide, childstudy team member,school physician, schoolnurse, custodian, schoolmaintenance worker,cafeteria worker, schoollaw enforcement officer,school secretary orclerical worker or anyother person serving ina position whichinvolves regular contactwith pupils unless theemployer has firstdetermined consistentwith the requirementsand standards of thisact, that no criminalhistory recordinformation exists on
 
 
3file in the FederalBureau of Investigation,Identification Division,or the State Bureau ofIdentification whichwould disqualify thatindividual from beingemployed or utilized insuch capacity orposition. An individualemployed by a board ofeducation or a schoolbus contractor holding acontract with a board ofeducation, in thecapacity of a school busdriver, shall berequired to meet thecriminal history recordrequirements pursuant tosection 6 of P.L.1989,c.104 (C.18A:39-19.1).A facility, center,school, or school systemunder the supervision ofthe Department ofEducation and board ofeducation which caresfor, or is involved inthe education ofchildren under the ageof 18 may requirecriminal history recordchecks for individualswho, on an unpaidvoluntary basis, provideservices that involveregular contact withpupils. In the case ofschool districtsinvolved in a sending-receiving relationship,the decision to requirecriminal history recordchecks for volunteersshall be made jointly bythe boards of educationof the sending andreceiving districts.An individual, except asprovided in subsectiong. of this section,shall be permanentlydisqualified fromemployment or serviceunder this act if theindividual's criminalhistory record checkreveals a record ofconviction for any crimeof the first or seconddegree; ora. An offense as setforth in chapter 14 ofTitle 2C of the NewJersey Statutes, or asset forth inN.J.S.2C:24-4 and 2C:24-

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