Bill Would Create Omega Psi Phi License Plates
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Benjie Wimberly and Charles Mainor to create a New Jersey specialty license plate for the renowned fraternal organization, Omega Psi Phi, received final legislative approval by the Assembly on Monday.
“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.”
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington D.C. on November 17, 1911. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity now stands as one of the oldest Greek-letter organizations established by African American men in the country and currently has 26 chapters located throughout New Jersey.
“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.”
“This legislation would give New Jersey residents who are members of Omega Psi Phi the option of showing their pride in their organization,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “Other organizations in the state are represented through specialty license plates. I believe members would welcome the opportunity to represent Omega Psi Phi in this way.”
The bill (A-3804) would authorize the creation of a special Omega Psi Phi Fraternity license plate. 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 with an annual renewal fee of $10. The additional fees, after the deduction of the cost of producing and publicizing the plates, will be deposited into a special non-lapsing fund known as the “Omega Psi Phi License Plate Fund.” The proceeds of the fund are to be annually appropriated to the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and be used to support the organization’s mission and programs which include scholarships, social action programs, college endowment funding, and health initiatives. 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 also requires that Omega Psi Phi, or another individual or entity designated by Omega Psi Phi, contribute funds 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 the plates and any computer programming that may be necessary to implement the program.
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 Assembly passed the measure 78-0.