Education

Kean-Bramnick-Muñoz Announce School Aid for District 21

Sen. Tom Kean Jr. and Assembly members Jon Bramnick and Nancy Muñoz, all R-Union, Morris and Somerset, are pleased to announce that under Gov. Christie’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, District 21 schools are scheduled to receive a 2.3 percent increase in school aid compared to last year. Overall, the governor has budgeted $13 billion in total state aid for education which is the highest level in state history.

“With this school funding increase for our district, the governor has once again shown his commitment to improving public education,” Kean said. “We are lucky to live in a district with already outstanding schools that we know will use these added resources the right way for our students.”

“Investing in education is one of our most important priorities,” said Bramnick. “Many of the highest ranked schools are in District 21. I am pleased that Governor Christie remains committed to funding education that will allow our public schools to maintain their high standards of success.”

“It is great news that the children in our school districts will benefit from the increased educational funding,” said Muñoz. “Investing in our children’s future is one of our main responsibilities. The additional funding is welcome news and reaffirms our commitment to provide a quality education.”

MUÑOZ BILL UPGRADING PENALTIES FOR STREET GANG RECRUITMENT ON SCHOOL PROPERTY SIGNED BY GOV.

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz to protect students from being recruited by street gangs while on school property has been signed by Gov. Christie.

The bill, A-2114/S-1479, increases the penalties for individuals convicted of soliciting or recruiting others to join or actively participate in a criminal street gang while on school property.

“Gangs are no longer confined to inner cities. They now operate in the suburbs and rural areas where they have infiltrated our schools, putting students at great risk,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “They use intimidation and fear to exploit their peers as both potential recruits and as victims.”

The bill, upgrades the crime of soliciting or recruiting for a criminal street gang from a fourth degree crime to a third degree crime if the solicitation or recruitment is done on school property. A third degree crime is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000 or both; a fourth degree crime carries an 18-month prison term, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

“School age children are very vulnerable and, therefore, easy targets for individuals who belong to gangs,” stated Muñoz. “It’s very disturbing that many students are afraid to attend school because they are being threatened and coerced into joining these violent groups.

“Under no circumstances should they fear going to school. They deserve a safe and secure learning environment. This measure is an effort to do that while sending the message that using school age children as prey on school grounds for gang activity will not be tolerated, but will result in increased prison time.”

Three other states, Illinois, Indiana and Maryland, have laws making it a crime to conduct criminal street gang recruitment specifically on school property.

MUÑOZ “HIGHER EDUCATION EPINEPHRINE EMERGENCY TREATMENT ACT” SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOVERNOR

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Nancy F. Muñoz, known as the “Higher Education Epinephrine Emergency Treatment Act,” which allows colleges and universities to develop a policy for the emergency administration of epinephrine to a member of their campus community to treat an anaphylaxis attack was signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Christie.

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction which is usually caused by a bee sting, or eating foods known to cause allergies, such as peanuts, fish, shellfish, and milk. Epinephrine medication, often administered with an EpiPen auto-injector into a person’s thigh, is a common way to treat the attack.

“An anaphylaxis reaction is often unexpected and can occur anytime and anywhere,” said Muñoz, R- Union, Morris and Somerset. “Reacting quickly can make the difference in saving someone’s life. New Jersey’s colleges have the personnel who know how to administer treatment, but they may not be immediately available. Training and preparing responsible members on the campus to administer epinephrine will save lives.”

The bill, A-3766/S-2448, directs the Secretary of Higher Education to establish policy guidelines for the emergency administration of epinephrine, which will be sent to the president of each institution. The new law provides immunity for a licensed campus medical professional, a trained designee, and a prescribing physician for good faith acts in administering the medication.

Muñoz’ colleague, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic, was also a sponsor of the legislation.

MUÑOZ BILL UPGRADING PENALTIES FOR STREET GANG RECRUITMENT ON SCHOOL PROPERTY GETS ASSEMBLY APPROVAL

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Deputy Whip Nancy F. Muñoz to protect students from being recruited by street gangs while on school property was approved today by the General Assembly.

The bill, A-2114/S-1479, increases the penalties for individuals convicted of soliciting or recruiting others to join or actively participate in a criminal street gang while on school property.

“Gangs are no longer confined to inner cities. They now operate in the suburbs and rural areas where they have infiltrated our schools, putting students at great risk,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “They use intimidation and fear to exploit their peers as both potential recruits and as victims.”

The bill, upgrades the crime of soliciting or recruiting for a criminal street gang from a fourth degree crime to a third degree crime if the solicitation or recruitment is done on school property. A third degree crime is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000 or both; a fourth degree crime carries an 18-month prison term, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

“School age children are very vulnerable and, therefore, easy targets for individuals who belong to gangs,” stated Muñoz. “It’s very disturbing that many students are afraid to attend school because they are being threatened and coerced into joining these violent groups.

“Under no circumstances should they fear going to school. They deserve a safe and secure learning environment. This measure is an effort to do that while sending the message that using school age children as prey on school grounds for gang activity will not be tolerated, but will result in increased prison time.”

Three other states, Illinois, Indiana and Maryland, have laws making it a crime to conduct criminal street gang recruitment specifically on school property.

COMMITTEE CLEARS MUÑOZ BILL UPGRADING PENALTIES FOR STREET GANG RECRUITMENT ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

Anti-gang legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Deputy Whip Nancy F. Muñoz that increases the penalties for individuals convicted of soliciting or recruiting others to join or actively participate in a criminal street gang while on school property today cleared the Assembly Budget Committee.

“Gangs are no longer an urban phenomenon. They now operate in the suburbs and rural areas as well,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “Especially frightening is their prevalence in our schools where students are prime candidates for recruitment. Using fear and intimidation, they exploit their peers as both potential recruits and as victims.”

The bill, A-2114/S-1479, upgrades the crime of soliciting or recruiting for a criminal street gang from a fourth degree crime to a third degree crime if the solicitation or recruitment is done on school property.

A third degree crime is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000 or both; a fourth degree crime carries an 18-month prison term, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

“Our children deserve to attend school without fear of being threatened and coerced by gang members,” stated Muñoz. “It’s our responsibility to provide them with a safe and secure learning environment. This measure is an effort to do that while sending the message that using school age children as prey on school grounds for gang activity will not be tolerated, but will result in increased prison time.”

Three other states, Illinois, Indiana and Maryland, have laws making it a crime to conduct criminal street gang recruitment specifically on school property.

KEAN, BRAMNICK AND MUÑOZ ANNOUNCE SCHOOL FACILITY GRANTS

TRENTON – Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr., Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, and Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz, all R-Union, Morris and Somerset, announced today that the Department of Education has allocated $27,174,342 dollars in state funds for schools in the 21st Legislative District. The grants, which have been approved by the Christie Administration, will help individual schools modernize and improve their facilities.

“These funds are critical to ensuring that the needs of children are appropriately and adequately met,” said Kean. “The grants will enable school districts to construct modern facilities that can best serve to promote a child’s developmental, social and educational growth.”

“This funding will help our school districts as they continue to provide outstanding services for students,” added Bramnick. “Students, parents and taxpayers can all appreciate the support that these state grants will provide to our schools.”

“These grants will help children achieve the highest possible functioning and interaction in the classroom,” said Muñoz. “These construction projects will help strengthen and improve our schools and communities.”

 

A breakdown of the grants by municipalities is below:

 

MUNICIPALITY AWARD AMOUNT

LONG HILL TWP $1,309,812

CHATHAM $317,379

BERNARDS TWP $4,030,120

WESTFIELD TWP $7,526,310

WARREN TWP $2,058,504

WATCHUNG BORO $362,218

BERKELEY HEIGHTS TWP $2,299,450

SUMMIT CITY $2,146,235

SPRINGFIELD TWP $1,241,966

MOUNTAINSIDE BORO $5,882,348

 

DISTRICT 21 TOTAL $27,174,342.00

Muñoz: Higher Education Epinephrine Emergency Treatment Act” Released by Committee

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Deputy Whip Nancy F. Muñoz, known as the “Higher Education Epinephrine Emergency Treatment Act,” which allows colleges and universities to develop a policy for the emergency administration of epinephrine to a member of their campus community to treat an anaphylaxis attack was released by the Assembly Higher Education Committee today. 

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction which is usually caused by a bee sting, or eating foods known to cause allergies, such as peanuts, fish, shellfish, and milk. Epinephrine medication, often administered with an EpiPen auto-injector into a person’s thigh, is a common way to treat the attack.

“An anaphylaxis reaction is often unexpected and can occur anytime and anywhere,” said Muñoz, R- Union, Morris and Somerset. “Reacting quickly can make the difference in saving someone’s life. New Jersey’s colleges have the personnel who know how to administer treatment, but they may not be immediately available. Training and preparing responsible members on the campus to administer epinephrine will save lives.”

Muñoz’s bill, A-3766/S-2448, directs the Secretary of Higher Education to establish policy guidelines for the emergency administration of epinephrine, which will be sent to the president of each institution. The bill provides immunity for a licensed campus medical professional, a trained designee, and a prescribing physician for good faith acts in administering the medication.

A Message from Nancy F. Muñoz…

I am honored to have been selected by Shelia Oliver, the Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, to attend the National Conference of State Legislators for Emerging Leaders.  I have brought back some fresh ideas that I hope to implement that will benefit the residents of New Jersey.

I am very concerned about making New Jersey an affordable place in which people can live, work and raise their families.  As the mother of five children, I would like to see my children able to afford to remain in New Jersey and raise their families here.  Achieving that goal includes taking on the status quo that stifles economic opportunity and burdens New Jersey’s taxpayers.  I supported New Jersey’s first ever pension overhaul reform and I am leading the fight on sick pay abuses, which undermine local, county and state government at the taxpayers’ expense.

As a former PTO president, I know the challenges that face our schools, which recently have included concerns for the health and safety of our children during school hours.  I was a sponsor of the New Jersey School Security Task Force, the first comprehensive effort to identify physical and cyber vulnerabilities and potential breaches of security in the public schools, and will make recommendations to improve school safety and security.  Additionally, the Governor signed into law my legislation that establishes standards of practice for providers of clinical nursing services for medically fragile students.

I have spent more than 35 years as a nursing professional, and have worked as a staff nurse in the surgical ICU, ER, and recovery rooms; I have also trained the next generation of nurses as a critical care educator.  I understand healthcare from the provider’s and patient’s perspectives and have put my experience to work in Trenton influencing and sponsoring healthcare legislation. I supported $108.4 million for women’s healthcare and services in Fiscal Year 2014 and have been endorsed by the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey.   I was proud when the Governor signed into law last month my Diabetes Action Plan that will improve care and help to control complications associated with diabetes.

As an emergency room nurse, I also know the horrific outcomes of those who choose to drive and text.  It takes a moment of inattention to cause a lifetime of irreparable harm for someone or their family.  I sponsored the law that increases fines for drivers speaking on a hand-held phone or texting while operating a vehicle.  In June, 2013 Governor Christie signed into law my bill which directs health care facilities to transport patients immediately to hospitals that will provide the appropriate level of care. I am a strong advocate for the disabled and those with mental health issues.  I have also supported reasonable gun control legislation, while mindful of our constitutional rights.

I consider it the highest honor to have been chosen to finish the term of my husband, the late Assemblyman Dr. Eric Muñoz as I learned firsthand from him what a privilege it is to represent the people of District 21.  I am even more proud that my constituents have reaffirmed their confidence in my leadership through reelection.  That is why I have used my position as Deputy Republican Whip to be vocal on the issues that matter to the people I represent.  In public service it is important to find balance and represent all constituents equally regardless of individual agendas or special interests.  I will continue to lead the fight for the enactment of the Jessica Lunsford Act, which raises the penalties on those who commit sex crimes against minors.  I was the prime sponsor of Patrick’s Law, which significantly increases penalties for animal abuse.  I consider it integral to my job as a legislator to advocate for laws that protect society’s most vulnerable and to be the voice in Trenton for those who need my help.

MUÑOZ LAUDS OSC FOR TAKING ACTION FOLLOWING SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM PROBE

Assembly Republican Deputy Whip Nancy F. Muñoz today lauded the State Comptroller for referring for prosecution more than 100 individuals who allegedly abused the state’s School Lunch Program.

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) today released the results of an investigation that found widespread fraud in the National School Lunch Program in New Jersey school districts. The OSC audited 15 school districts over a three-year period and found that 109 individuals, including public employees, public officials and members of their households, provided false information about their incomes in an effort to take advantage of the program.

“Audits and investigations are all well and good but worthless if no corrective action is taken,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “I applaud the comptroller and his staff for not only identifying the widespread abuse of this program, but for holding those who allegedly cheated the program accountable for their actions.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘free lunch.’ Someone has to pay the bill. In this case it’s our taxpayers,” she continued. “This program is an effort to provide a good meal for students whose families truly need assistance. It’s shameful that public employees and officials would take advantage of those in need as well as taxpayers. The comptroller’s actions sends a loud and clear message that anyone who attempts to ‘scam’ the system will be held accountable.”

According to the OSC’s report, 83 public employees have been referred for prosecution along with 29 individuals who are either a spouse or another member of a public employee’s household. OSC also made eight other recommendations to improve the free lunch application review process.

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) offers state and federal reimbursement to provide free or reduced-cost school lunches to students from families that meet income eligibility requirements. Applicants for the program must certify that they understand they may face criminal penalties for giving false information.

The OSC investigation is the result of the state Attorney General’s probe into the program following allegations of abuse in the Elizabeth School District in 2011. The school board’s president and others affiliated with the school district were arrested for filing fraudulent applications.

ASSEMBLY APPROVES MCHOSE-MUÑOZ VETERANS EDUCATION BENEFITS RESOLUTION

A resolution sponsored by Assemblywomen Alison Littell McHose and Nancy F. Muñoz, urging the President and Congress to enact legislation that would allow all Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans to transfer their education benefits to dependents, was approved today by the General Assembly.

Under the “Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007,” only members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving in Iraq and Afghanistanon or after August 1, 2009, are eligible to transfer their education benefits to their spouses or children. As a result, war veterans who served following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but ended their service prior to August 1, 2009, are unable to transfer their education benefits to their dependents.

“There’s no justification for excluding the families of veterans who served between 2001 and 2009 from being able to utilize these education benefits,” said McHose, R-Sussex,Warrenand Morris. “They made the same sacrifices as the veterans serving after them. Preventing their dependents from sharing in this benefit when they were the first ones to answer the call following the terrorist attacks on our country on September 11, 2001, is wrong. This is an oversight that needs to be corrected.”

“All our war veterans sacrificed the same regardless of when they served,” stated Muñoz, R-Union, Morris andSomerset. “To deny their spouses and children from sharing in this benefit would be a gross injustice. We owe an incredible debt to all the men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistanwars following the terrorist attacks on our nation in 2001. There’s no excuse for the President and Congress not to amend the current legislation so that it is equitable for all.”

The McHose-Muñoz resolution, ACR-124, respectfully urges the President and Congress to enact legislation that permits all veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including those who fought between 2001 and 2009, to transfer their education benefits to their dependents. This resolution came about after a war veteran reached out to McHose asking for assistance to get this federal law changed