Early budget numbers look promising in Lower Township. Early projections put a potential tax increase at under one cent. Those numbers do not including the bargaining that continues between the township and all of its labor unions, since all of the contracts are up at the end of this year. These also don’t include any cuts or potential changes that council may offer up. Deputy Mayor Kevin Lare says the starting point is much better than council has had in recent years.
Legislation to help both New Jersey businesses and workers avoid layoffs was released Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill is designed to encourage employers who must reduce their employees’ work hours because of economic conditions to avoid layoffs by sharing the remaining work.
That would be achieved by permitting, under certain circumstances, a full-time employee to receive unemployment benefits when the employee’s weekly work time is reduced by 10 percent or more. The bill also permits the employee to attend an approved training program while receiving those benefits.
The bill provides that an employer of at least 10 full-time non-seasonal employees may provide a shared work program if approved by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The program may be approved for one year with annual renewals upon request.
Legislation that would strengthen the education and practice requirements for New Jersey’s Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program was advanced by an Assembly panel on Monday.
Under the bill, any teen driver under the age of 18 who is applying for their learner’s permit or examination permit would first be required to have a parent or guardian complete an approved teen driver orientation program, which may be done through an approved online provider. This program also would be available, but not required, for drivers between 18 and 21 who are seeking an examination permit.
The bill would also require any driver under the age of 21 who holds an examination or special learner’s permit to complete a minimum number of certified practice driving hours with a parent, guardian or adult supervisor. Any teen driver with a special learner’s permit would be required to complete 50 hours of practice driving, 10 hours of which would be at night, in addition to the currently required six hours of certified driving school instruction. Drivers with an examination permit would be able to complete the aforementioned requirements or, alternatively, complete 100 hours of certified driving, 20 hours of which would be at night.
A man accused in a shooting death in Atlantic City made his first court appearance on Monday. Haneef Graves has formally been read the charges including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and other related offenses. Bail has been set at $1 million.
The Atlantic City Police Department saw 14 officers repromoted on Monday. The demotions were apart of the city’s effort to cut back in public safety to work within budget constraints. A ceremony was held for the officers. Two others had been demoted last year, but have since retired. All 14 are being returned to Sergeant.
An arrest was made in a sexual assault case last Wednesday. Wildwood Crest Police and the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office announced the arrest of Steven E. Thompson for the alleged 2010 incident. Bail was set at $100,000. Police say that Thompson posted bail and has since been released.
The Middle Township Police Department will be hosting their community relations program labeled “Cops And Coffee”. This program is designed to give the public a chance to speak with our local police officers in a casual setting and exchange ideas and concerns over a cup of coffee. This program will be monthly, at local establishments within Middle Township. This meeting will be held on Saturday, December 03, 2011 at McDonalds, located on Route 9, in downtown Cape May Court House between the hours of 9am and 10:30am.
A measure was pushed through a key Assembly panel on Monday morning that would allow victims of stalking to sue. The legislation is similar to nearly a dozen states that have similar bills. A lawsuit could bring compensatory and punitive damages and a civil case is easier to get a verdict in a victim’s favor. It still needs to pass through the full Assembly.
A reform was announced on Monday to how non-violent offenders receive punishment. Gov. Chris Christie rolled out a plan to provide these criminals with counseling and other treatment programs, rather than placing them all in jail. Christie said the state could receive significant savings by cutting down on the amount of prisoners that are housed in prisons across the state. The programs would also be aimed at making these individuals better people and more productive members of society.
New Jersey residents whose homes and properties sustained damage in Hurricane Irene have only till Wednesday to register for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The deadline is Nov. 30.
Even if an insurance settlement has not been determined, individuals must register before the Nov. 30 deadline or face losing the opportunity to be considered for federal assistance. Though FEMA will not duplicate insurance benefits, expenses not covered by insurance may be eligible for federal grants after the claim has been paid.
The deadline to submit loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is also Nov. 30. Completing and returning the SBA application is an essential step in the process. If you are a homeowner or renter and SBA determines you cannot afford a loan, you may be referred for other possible assistance. Additional information is available at www.sba.gov or 800-659-2955.
To register or to contact FEMA: Go to www.disasterassistance.gov, m.fema.gov or call FEMA toll-free, 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET; multilingual operators are available.