(4th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblyman Paul Moriarty on Tuesday announced he has introduced legislation to move school board and fire district elections to November, reforming an inefficient process while saving money and ensuring more voter participation.
“We must change this costly system that elects school boards and fire commissioners with a super-minority of voters year after year after year,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “The largest portion of our tax bills go toward schools, and fire districts also have taxing authority, yet we cling to the charades of these oddly timed elections. Ultimate fiscal responsibility and accountability should rest with officials elected in November by a majority of voters.”
Fire district elections occur in February and school elections are in April.
Under the Moriarty bill (A-2766):
– Fire commissioner and school boards will be elected at the general election in November. Fire commissioners will take office on the first Tuesday in December and school board members will take office at the beginning of January.
– Fire district budget votes would also be moved to November.
– School budgets that fall within a state-mandated cap will not be submitted to voters.
– School budgets that seek to exceed the cap will go to voters for approval in November elections.
“November school and fire elections would offer increased accountability while reducing unnecessary election costs,” Moriarty said. “This is common sense solution that would go a long way toward controlling government spending and property taxes and ensuring more public participation in our democracy. Those are all good things.”
The bill has been referred to the Assembly State Government Committee.
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