Sen. Doherty Joins State’s Indian-American Community in Welcoming His Holiness Brahmrishi Shri Kumar Swami Ji to NJ
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) joined state and federal officials and more than 2,000 members of the state’s Indian-American community to welcome one of India’s most renowned spritiual leaders, His Holiness Brahmrishi Shri Kumar Swami Ji, to New Jersey.
Doherty presented a resolution on behalf of the New Jersey Senate to Brahmrishi Kumar Swami honoring him as an Ambassador of Peace at a reception on September 29th at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset.
“It was an honor to welcome His Holiness Brahmrishi Shri Kumar Swami Ji back to New Jersey,” said Doherty. “His unwavering dedication to helping people and building communities serves as an inspiration to all.”
Senator Mike Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren) called on Senator Barbara Buono and other state Democrats to focus on the real issue behind the condition of Trenton High School: budget and building managers.
“Rather than trying to use Trenton High School in a baseless crusade against Gov. Christie, Senator Buono and others should work toward solving the problem with that school’s physical condition,” Doherty said. “The Trenton school district gets more than enough state tax dollars each year from residents across New Jersey to maintain its buildings and grounds.”
Senator Doherty noted that according to the state Department of Education, the Trenton City school district is getting more aid this year than the total for all of the school districts in Bergen County combined.
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) served as an Honorary Chair of the American Kennel Club’s Meet the Breeds dog and cat show that was held on September 28th and 29th at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
“As someone who cares about animals, I was glad to serve as an Honorary Chair of Meet the Breeds,” said Doherty. “This educational event gave prospective owners the opportunity to interact with and learn about more than 200 different breeds of dogs and cats.”
Beck, Doherty Urge Senate Democrats to Act on Comptroller Report, Hold Rutgers University to Standard Public Bidding Laws
Following a report released today by the State Comptroller on Rutgers University’s contracting procedures, Senators Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth) and Michael J. Doherty (R- Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren) urged action on legislation subjecting Rutgers to the same open public bidding and contracting procedures required of all other state colleges and universities.
In 2011, Senators Beck and Doherty introduced legislation to hold Rutgers to standard open public bidding and contracting procedures per the recommendation of an initial audit of the university’s contracting procedures by the State Comptroller. A follow-up report released by the State Comptroller today found some of the agency’s initial 18 recommendations had been followed but other common-sense measures like the Beck/Doherty legislation (S605) had not been enacted. Senate Democrats have failed to schedule a committee hearing for the Beck/Doherty bill.
Doherty: New State Comptroller Report on Widespread School Lunch Program Fraud Reinforces Need for School Funding Reform
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) said that a new report issued by the Office of the State Comptroller detailing widespread fraud in the state’s free school lunch program reinforces the need to reform the state’s flawed school funding formula.
The investigation conducted by Comptroller Matthew Boxer looked into the free school lunch programs in 15 school districts, resulting in the referral of more than 100 individuals to the Division of Criminal Justice for prosecution.
“Since the initial reports of fraud in Elizabeth were released two years ago, I have repeatedly called for a larger scale investigation to uncover the extent of school lunch program fraud in New Jersey,” said Doherty. “It seemed likely that the abuses found in Elizabeth were occurring all over the place, which the Comptroller’s new report confirms.”
Homeowners Who Refuse to Sign Easements to Protect Views Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Keep Their Communities at Risk
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) said that Governor Chris Christie is right to push for the construction of a protective dune system along the entirety of the Jersey Shore, despite the protests of some oceanfront homeowners who would rather keep entire communities at risk of future devastation to protect their water views from the lowest levels of their homes.
“Hurricane Sandy destroyed entire communities as its storm surge washed away or severely damaged hundreds of thousands of homes in communities along unprotected shorelines,” said Doherty. “Having just seen the massive scope of that devastation, it’s absolutely unbelievable that some selfish oceanfront homeowners would rather preserve their first floor views than allow us to build a protective dune system that would prevent this from happening again.”
Doherty: New Charges in Elizabeth Free School Lunch Scandal Reinforce Need for School Funding Reform
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) said that new charges announced by the state Attorney General related to corruption and fraud in the Elizabeth school district’s free school lunch program are a reminder that New Jersey’s convoluted school funding formula needs to be reformed to prevent future abuse.
“The newest criminal charges announced by Attorney General Chiesa in Elizabeth are further confirmation that massive fraud exists in the free school lunch program,” said Doherty. “I want to congratulate the Attorney General for his persistence in bringing all of those who are complicit in this fraud to justice.”
Doherty noted that fraudulent enrollment in the school lunch program triggers other expenses that are even greater than the cost of the meals provided to students.
Patrick Administration Cites Right to Privacy for Refusing to Disclose Public Benefits Provided to Accused Bombers
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) said that he is shocked at the way the administration of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is fighting to protect the privacy rights of the Boston bombing suspects just days after it allowed the trampling of the privacy rights of law-abiding homeowners with warrantless, armed searches of an entire neighborhood.
“While law enforcement was searching for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown, they had no problem trampling the Fourth Amendment privacy rights of an entire neighborhood of law-abiding citizens as they went door to door pulling innocent families and children out of their homes at gunpoint before conducting warrantless searches of their homes,” said Doherty. “Now, just days later, it’s absolutely shocking to learn that the administration of Governor Patrick is refusing requests to release information related to the public benefits provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the Tsarnaev brothers at taxpayer expense, citing their right to privacy. It’s a sick perversion of our laws that allow for accused terrorists to be afforded greater privacy rights than law-abiding citizens.”
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) commended Governor Christie and his administration for preventing additional red light cameras from being installed at New Jersey intersections. Senator Doherty sponsors legislation to ban red light cameras in the GardenState and also to remove any financial incentive for municipalities to install red light cameras.
“I’ll take Governor Christie’s decision as further evidence that New Jersey’s red light camera pilot program is a failure,” said Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Warren, Somerset). “Reports have indicated, and local officials have acknowledged, that the use of red light cameras does not improve safety.”
Legislation Directs All Red Light Camera Ticket Revenues to Highway Safety Fund
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) has introduced legislation that eliminates the financial incentive for towns to install red light camera ticketing systems. He said the legislation will test the claims of local officials who say their only interest is the supposed safety benefits that cameras provide, not the hundreds of thousands of dollars in ticket revenues that can be produced by each camera.
“Despite growing proof that red light cameras have failed at their primary goal of improving driver safety, local officials continue to defend the cameras,” said Doherty. “It’s clear that many mayors and council members would rather have red light cameras ticket revenues for their budgets than safer roads for our families.”