Home>Highlight>Senate panel approves new VBM reform bill

State Sen. Jim Beach at a committee meeting held in the Cellar of the Amalthea Winery in Atco. (Photo by Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe).

Senate panel approves new VBM reform bill

Measure includes $3 million in funding after lack of state money killed old law

By Nikita Biryukov, January 09 2020 8:23 pm

The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advanced a measure restoring the state’s perpetual vote by mail law in a 13-0 vote Thursday.

The New Jersey Council on Local Mandates deemed the previously-passed version of the law an unfunded mandate, effectively invalidating it.

Like the old, the new measure would provide mail-in ballots perpetually to voters who requested them during or before the 2016 election.

The new bill, sponsored by State Sen. Jim Beach, provides $3 million in funding and requires the legislature to appropriate money to the program annually.

“This session we passed meaningful reforms to enhance our state’s vote-by-mail program, including continuing to send mail-in ballots to those who had requested them in the past,” Beach said. “I am proud of the work we have done to increase accessibility and improve upon a dated system. This legislation will protect those reforms and ensure they do not place a financial burden on local governments.”

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