Federation Advocacy Helped Increase Security Funding for Religious Schools

GOVERNOR MURPHY SIGNS LEGISLATION TO ENHANCE SAFETY AND SECURITY AT SCHOOLS, HOUSES OF WORSHIP, AND COMMUNITY CENTERS. The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey advocacy efforts helped bring about this positive development. The following press releases and statements were issued by the Office of the Governor, the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations, and other NJ state bodies. 
 
PASSAIC - Governor Phil Murphy today signed two pieces of legislation to enhance the safety and security of New Jersey residents at schools, houses of worship, and community centers. A4597 makes a supplemental appropriation of $11,300,000 from the General Fund to the Department of Education to increase per pupil funding for nonpublic security aid from $75 to $150, and A3906 makes a revision to the New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program to expand the type of protective measures that can be installed or constructed at houses of worship and community centers.
 
     "Our Administration is tasked with the vital responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of all New Jerseyans," said Governor Phil Murphy. "Working with our partners in the Legislature, we are taking significant steps to dramatically improve security measures for New Jersey's children and families. I am proud to sign two bills into law that help ensure that anyone visiting a school, house of worship, or community center may be free of fear and intimidation."
 
     Primary sponsors of A4597 include Assemblymembers Gary Schaer, Lisa Swain, P. Christopher Tully, and Benjie Wimberly, and Senators Joseph Lagana, Vin Gopal, Paul Sarlo, and Steven Oroho. Primary sponsors of A3906 include Assemblymembers Annette Quijano, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Jamel Holley, and Robert Karabinchak, and Senators Joseph Cryan and Kip Bateman.
 
     "Keeping all of New Jersey's children safe is our number one responsibility as parents, leaders in the community, and legislators," said Assemblyman Schaer. "The allocated funds will double the amount spent on security services, equipment, or technology, and will ensure a safe and secure school environment for all students."
 
     "A primary and essential function of government is providing security for our residents. Nothing could be more important than protecting our children and ensuring parents have peace of mind and full confidence that their schools are equipped to keep students safe," said Senator Lagana. "All New Jersey children are deserving of a safe place to learn and with this legislation being signed into law we move closer to that ideal."
 
     "We have witnessed a disturbing increase in the number of incidents of hate and bigotry based on race, religion and ethnicity and the targets include churches, synagogues, mosques and non-profit agencies that serve the needs of the most vulnerable, including families and children," said Senator Cryan, the former Sherriff of Union County. "We can't ignore these threats and we should not tolerate any acts of violence or intimidation. This new law will help places of worship and other non-profit service organizations to better protect themselves, so they can continue to serve our communities without fear. We will not allow any expressions of hate or discrimination to prevail. As Americans, we value our diversity, our freedoms and our security."
 
     "The mosque attack in New York last year led to threats for many Islamic worship centers across the country and here in New Jersey. The same has happened for synagogues and Jewish community centers after the tragic shooting last year in Pittsburgh," said Assemblywoman Quijano, who is chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. "Non-profit organizations that support residents within our communities are at risk of becoming targets of hate and discrimination more and more these days. With the potential of threats increasing at events and online, certain organizations would benefit from additional funding to bolster security measures. This new law will help to keep organizations, their staff, and the people they serve safe."
 
 

 

STATEMENT OF DR. MARLENE HERMAN, PRESIDENT OF THE NJ STATE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH FEDERATIONS
 
Appreciation is extended to Governor Phil Murphy on behalf of the state’s Jewish Federations and their affiliated and beneficiary agencies for enacting A3906/S2546 and A4597.  With his signature, the Governor has recognized and affirmatively responded to the clear need for New Jersey’s government to continue assisting community institutions in their efforts to provide strengthened security precautions for its members.
 
New Jersey’s Jewish Federations led a coalition of the state’s faith-based communities in seeking both legislative and gubernatorial approval for A3906/S2546 amending the NJ Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program to include authorization for target hardening grants. We are grateful to our community partners, among which are the NJ Catholic Conference, Lutheran-Episcopal Advocacy Ministry of NJ, Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, Agudath Israel of America and the NJ Interfaith Coalition. 
 
The Jewish Federations were also pleased to support A4597 and the advocacy effort initiated by non-public school interests to secure supplemental funding and ensure that all New Jersey students, public and non-public, will be able to be schooled in a secure and safe environment.  
 
With the ever-increasing rise of anti-Semitism and other acts of hate and bigotry and threats to the safety of every community that that we, unfortunately, see every day, enactment of the two measures are very important step in the right direction in reducing the Jewish community’s vulnerability to threats, attacks, and other violent acts. 
 
 

 
A3906/S2546 EXPANDING NJ NONPROFIT SECURITY GRANT PILOT PROGRAM
News From The Assembly Democrats - QUIJANO, VAINIERI HUTTLE, HOLLEY & KARABINCHAK
BILL EXPANDING NONPROFIT SECURITY GRANT PROGRAM SIGNED INTO LAW
 
Law Helps Nonprofits Protect Against Terror and Cyber Attacks
 
     (TRENTON) – In response to recent incidents of hate, bigotry and faith-based violence against nonprofit groups in New Jersey and across the country, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Jamel Holley and Robert Karabinchak to help nonprofits protect themselves against terror threats and attacks was signed into law on Tuesday by the Governor.
 
     "The mosque attack in New York last year led to threats for many Islamic worship centers across the country and here in New Jersey. The same has happened for synagogues and Jewish community centers after the tragic shooting last weekend in Pittsburgh," said Quijano (D-Union), who is chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. "Non-profit organizations that support residents within our communities are at risk of becoming targets of hate and discrimination more and more these days."
 
     As a result of her concern for Jewish and Muslim groups in her district in light of recent threats, Quijano was inspired to sponsor the law that created the "New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program" in the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness which provides grant funding for security personnel.
 
     "With the potential of threats increasing at events and online, certain organizations would benefit from additional funding to bolster security measures. This measure helps keep organizations, their staff, and the people they serve safe," added Quijano.
 
     The new law (formerly bill A3906) amends the three-year "New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program" to permit eligible nonprofit organizations to acquire target hardening equipment in addition to hiring permanent or temporary security personnel, in order to reduce vulnerability to threats, attacks, and other violent acts. Examples of target hardening equipment are cameras, barriers, and cybersecurity programs.
 
     "Acts of hate, bigotry and faith-based attacks are very real today and a daily challenge for houses of worship, community centers, family services agencies and other non-profit institutions," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "Helping these institutions protect themselves should remain an ongoing priority of the state."
 
     The New Jersey Attorney General reported that, in 2016, bias and hates crimes in New Jersey increased from 14 percent to 417 percent. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the greatest increase in religious-based crimes was against Muslims, an increase of 19 percent from 2015 to 2016.
 
     "The abominable acts of terror against Muslim and Jewish communities over the last few years were reprehensible and should never be accepted as the new norm for America," said Holley (D-Union), who is Vice-Chair of Assembly Homeland Security Committee. "No one should ever live in fear of this happening to their community centers or churches. Supporting the non-profit organizations in this way is important to protecting our residents and communities."
 
     In addition, the Anti-Defamation League's "Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents" highlighted that these incidents rose 32 percent in 2017 in New Jersey and occurred in almost every county. New Jersey had the third highest number of such incidents reported in the nation. Nationally, in 2107, there was a 57 percent increase from 2016 in anti-Semitic incidents and, for the first time, anti-Semitism was reported in all 50 states.
 
     "The rise of hate and bias crimes in this state and nation is a disheartening reality in today's world," said Karabinchak (D-Middlesex). "This new statute provides necessary support to New Jersey's non-profits and vulnerable faith communities who would feel the need to put in place security measures for their staff and the people they serve."
 
     The law establishes a maximum grant award of $50,000 per target hardening equipment application. Applicants are permitted to apply for either personnel or equipment grants, or both, in each year of the pilot program, but OHSP may only award funds for either personnel or equipment.
 
     The measure was unanimously approved by the Assembly and Senate in December.
 
 

 
News From The Senate Democrats
CRYAN LAW WILL HELP PROTECT AGAINST ACTS OF BIGOTRY, THREATS OF VIOLENCE
 
Places of Worship & Public Service Organizations Have
Experienced Increase In Bias Incidents
 
     TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed into law a bill sponsored by Senator Joe Cryan that will help protect places of worship and non-profit service organizations from threats, intimidation and acts of violence by funding additional security personnel and equipment.
 
     "Churches, synagogues, mosques and social service organizations in our communities are at increased risk of becoming targets of hate and discrimination, including threats of violence," said Senator Cryan, the former Union County Sherriff. "These incidents are a daily challenge for houses of worship, community centers, family and children services agencies and other non-profit institutions that are most vulnerable. This law will help protect the facilities, their staffs and the people they serve with additional funding to bolster security measures."
 
     The law, S2546 / A3906, amends the three-year old "New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program" to permit eligible nonprofit organizations to acquire "target hardening" equipment and to hire permanent or temporary security personnel to reduce vulnerability to threats, attacks and other violent acts. Examples of target hardening equipment are cameras, barriers, and cybersecurity programs.
 
     "We have witnessed a disturbing increase in the number of incidents of hate and bigotry based on race, religion and ethnicity," said Senator Joe Cryan. "We can't ignore these threats and we should not tolerate any acts of violence or intimidation. We will not allow any expressions of hate or discrimination to prevail. As Americans, we value our diversity, our freedoms and our security. "
 
     The New Jersey Attorney General reported that, in 2016, bias and hates crimes in New Jersey increased 14 percent over the prior year to 417. In addition, the Anti-Defamation League's "Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents" highlighted that these incidents rose 32 percent in 2017 in New Jersey and occurred in almost every county. New Jersey had the third highest number of such incidents reported in the nation.
 
     The bill will establish a maximum grant award of $50,000 per target hardening equipment application. Applicants are permitted to apply for either personnel or equipment grants, or both, in each year of the pilot program.
 
 
 

 

 
A4597 – SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION FOR NON-PUBLIC STUDENT SECURITY
News From The Assembly Democrats
SCHAER, SWAIN, TULLY & WIMBERLY BILL EXPANDING FUNDS FOR
SCHOOL SECURITY EFFORTS SIGNED INTO LAW
 
     (TRENTON) – Continuing efforts to ensure the safety of all New Jersey students while in school, legislation sponsored by Assembly members Gary Schaer, Lisa Swain, Chris Tully and Benjie Wimberly to boost funding for security services at nonpublic schools was signed into law on Tuesday by the Governor.
 
     "Keeping all of New Jersey's children safe is our number one responsibility as parents, leaders in the community, and legislators," said Schaer (D-Bergen, Passaic). "The allocated funds will double the amount spent on security services, equipment, or technology, and will ensure a safe and secure school environment for all students."
 
     In FY2019, $286 million of the school funding formula was appropriated for public school district school security aid. On average, each public school receives $205 per pupil.
 
     The nonpublic security budget in the FY2019 appropriations bill provides $11.3 million for Boards of Education to provide security services, equipment, or technology to make certain school environments are safe and secure for nonpublic school pupils enrolled full-time. The new law doubles that amount to $22.6 million.
 
     "School security is important," said Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic). "We must do all we can to ensure all schools have access to the proper funding necessary to protect all students while in school."
 
     "Our priority is keeping students safe which requires the proper security measures and the funding to implement them," said Tully (D-Bergen, Passaic). "All schools must have the tools necessary to protect our children."
 
     Specifically, the law (formerly bill A4597) makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Education to increase funding for nonpublic security aid. Under the appropriations act for fiscal year 2019, school districts received $75 per student enrolled in a nonpublic school located in the district for the purpose of providing security services, equipment, or technology. This law increases the funding to $150 per pupil.
 
     "School security funding is an important part of school funding today," said Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic). "This new law ensures that every school in the state can take the appropriate steps to protect their campuses. Students and teachers deserve to feel safe in their schools."
 
     The measure was unanimously approved by the Assembly and Senate in December.
 
 
 

 

Senate Republican News
OROHO BILL TO INCREASE SCHOOL SECURITY FUNDING BECOMES LAW
 
     Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to increase funding for school security was signed into law.
 
     "Improving the safety and security of students and faculty in every classroom is paramount," Oroho said. "Every student deserves a warm and nurturing environment where they're not afraid to learn. Every teacher deserves a safe workplace where they can focus on educating. Every parent deserves peace of mind knowing their child is protected when at school. I'm glad our collective effort to better guard against violence in more New Jersey schools is now law."
 
     The enacted bill, S3080, doubles per pupil spending for non-public security aid from $75 to $150, an overall increase from $11.3 million to $22.6 million. This comes in the wake of recent shootings in schools and places of worship.
 
     This new law comes on the heels of the $500 million "Securing Our Children's Future" ballot measure passed by the voters this past November which will also be used in great part to bolster school security.
 
     "Churches, synagogues, and schools are unfortunately not immune from the evils of this world," Oroho added. "Every step must be taken safeguard all students, no matter what school they attend."
 
Pictured: Governor Phil Murphy signing into law legislation (A3906/S2546) to expand NJ Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program to include authorization for target hardening grants. Standing behind Governor Murphy, from left to right, Jacob Toporek, Executive Director, NJ State Association of Jewish Federations; Dr. Marlene Herman, President, NJ State Association of Jewish Federations and Board Member, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey; Senator Joseph Cryan, prime sponsor; Assemblyman Gary Schaer; Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, prime sponsor; Senator Paul Sarlo; Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent, NJ State Police. Not pictured: Roy Tanzman, Executive Committee, NJ State Association of Jewish Federations and Board Member, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey; and Jeffrey Schwartz, Board Member, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey

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