Pending Legislation Would Release Schools from 2 Percent Cap for School Security

In the wake of the Newtown massacre, schools coping with upgrading security without going over the 2 percent cap may get relief from pending legislation.

In the wake of Newtown, schools everywhere are performing security audits and collaborating with local law enforcement to implement new security intitiatives.

At last week's Town Hall meeting, Fort Lee Police Chief Keith Bendul and the Board of Education talked about amped up security within the Fort Lee Schools and confirmed that they are in the process of reviewing security plans within each school with the intent of putting new measures into place.

In addressing the concerns of parents who want a more visible police presence at the schools, Bendul said, "We are increasing our footprint within the district" by having a more visible police presence in and around the schools.

However, the question being asked by many Superintendents is how to implement new security measures and still stay within the 2 percent cap.

There is a bill pending in the Assembly, A3814, that would allow schools to go over the 2 percent cap for securiity expenditures without having to go to the voters for permission. The bill, introduced on Feb. 11, is sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D) representing Mercer and Middlesex Counties. 

The 2 percent property tax cap was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie in the summer of 2010. The law set a 2 percent cap on annual property tax hikes, effectively lowering the ceiling on county and municipal government and school district spending.

With certain exceptions, municipalities and school districts may increase their tax levies more than 2 percent, but only by approval from the voters.

This pending bill provides that any annual increase in expenditures on school security costs in excess of two percent incurred by a school district will be excluded from the limit.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Education Committee.

Patch will be following the progression of this bill.


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Steve Pumilia February 22, 2013 at 02:53 AM
Yes that is true, but they did not get raped by fat boy Christie because of mismanagement and ungratefuls calling for more.
Rona February 22, 2013 at 03:53 AM
You've got to be kidding or your a municipal employee? Nobody has the salaries benefits, and retirement packages the police have. Do you pay property taxes? I don't know what la-la land you live in but mine are up substantially and may be a reason I have to sell my home one day. This town has approximately 94 active now & over 190 retirees. What private company pays the kind of salaries they receive and allows you to retire after 20 years and collect forever? With actuarial lifespans the way they are people can retire and collect longer than they worked, and many do just that.
Judy February 24, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Maybe it's time to send our high school kids to a regional school and make room for kids in the lower grades in town. We are land-locked and taxed to the hilt. We could save money by sharing services of school administration with another town, perhaps Leonia, where the Superintendent actually attends the office. Christie proposed a 2.5% tax ceiling - it was the Democrat Legislature who insisted on the 2% limit, but regardless, it is we who agree to pay our municipal employees by electing and re-electing representatives to the BOE, council and mayor's offices and not speaking up at their meetings (or sending letters when their meetings are scheduled when we cannot attend them).
Rona March 13, 2013 at 11:59 PM
Why make a remark about Mr. Christie's weight who is trying to help the majority of taxpayers and not the special interests after many years of union negotiation abuse. Oh, and by the way sir last photo I saw of you doesn't really give you the right to make reference to Mr. Christie's weight.
Jack B Goode March 14, 2013 at 01:35 AM
One thing Christie did when he got the Pension reform bill passed was to start funding the state pension fund which was about 75% short. Call him names and joke about his weight all you want, he gets things done and tells it like it is. You may not be able to put a price on bravery that protects the public while putting your own life at risk but the union negotiators do a pretty good job of increasing public employees salary,pension and benefits every contract, so I see no room to complain.


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