Bill Creates Omega Psi Phi License Plates
(Trenton) – The General Assembly recently approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie E. Wimberly and Charles Mainor to create a New Jersey specialty license plate for the fraternal organization, Omega Psi Phi.
According to the bill, Omega PSI Phi Fraternity was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington D.C. on November 17, 1911. Established over a century ago, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity stands as one of the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American men in America. The fraternity currently has 26 chapters located throughout New Jersey.
“Specialty license plates allow residents to proudly exhibit their support for a worthy cause, a hobby or an organization,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Omega Psi Phi would be added to the state list of national service organizations that residents can represent with a specialty license plate. Its members who live and work in New Jersey would have another way to show pride in an organization with a long, esteemed presence in America.”
“A customize license plate would grant hundreds of members of Omega Psi Phi an opportunity to honor an organization with a rich history of service and leadership,” said Mainor (D-Hudson). “A specialty license plate can represent an individual’s pride in cultural and political views. It is fitting for an organization that has contributed to the success of many in New Jersey be allowed to exhibit their pride in this way.”
The bill (A-3804) authorizes the creation of a special Omega Psi Phi Fraternity license plate. The bill provides that the design of the license plate would be chosen by the chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission in consultation with the National President of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
In addition to all other fees otherwise required by law for the registration of a motor vehicle, there is an application of $50 for these plates. The chief administrator is required to annually certify the average cost per license plate in producing, issuing and publicizing the Omega Psi Phi license plates. If the average cost exceeds $50 for two consecutive fiscal years, the chief administrator may discontinue the license plate program.
The bill provides that no state or other public funds may be used by the commission for the initial cost of producing, issuing and publicizing the availability of Omega Psi Phi license plates or any computer programming changes that may be necessary to implement the Omega Psi Phi license plate program.
The bill also requires that Omega Psi Phi, or other individual or entity designated by Omega Psi Phi, contribute monies in an amount to be determined by the chief administrator, not to exceed a total of $25,000, to be used to offset the initial costs incurred by the commission for producing, issuing and publicizing the availability of Omega Psi Phi license plates and any computer programming that may be necessary to implement the program.
The bill prohibits the commission from designing, producing, issuing, or publicizing the availability of Omega Psi Phi license plates, or making any necessary programming changes, until:
· Omega Psi Phi, or its designee, has provided the commission with the money necessary to offset the initial costs incurred by the commission in establishing the Omega Psi Phi license plate program; and
· Omega Psi Phi, or its designee, has provided the commission with a minimum of 500 completed applications for Omega Psi Phi license plates.
The chief administrator is responsible for publicizing the availability of the license plates on the commission’s website. Omega Psi Phi, or any individual or entity designated by Omega Psi Phi, may also publicize the availability of Omega Psi Phi license plates in any manner Omega Psi Phi deems appropriate.
The provisions of the bill remain inoperative until the appropriate applications and fees required to offset the initial costs incurred by the commission are provided by Omega Psi Phi, and the bill expires after 12 months if sufficient applications and fees are not received.
The measure – approved 78-0 on Monday – now awaits consideration in the Senate.