Committee Room 7
State House Annex
Trenton, New Jersey
May 15, 1997
MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE PRESENT:
Senator Joseph L. Bubba, Chairman
Senator William E. Schluter, Vice-Chairman
Senator Leonard T. Connors Jr.
Senator Byron M. Baer
Senator Richard J. Codey
Frank J. Parisi Ken Raatz Todd Dinsmore
Office of Legislative Services Assembly Majority Assembly Democratic
Committee Aide Committee Aide Committee Aide
Senator Dick LaRossa
District 15 1
(Internet edition 1997)
SENATOR JOSEPH L. BUBBA (Chairman): That ends the regular meeting of the Senate State Government Committee. Now we're going to have a hearing -- a public hearing pursuant to Rule No. 8B of the Joint Rules of the Senate and General Assembly on SCR No. 77, which proposes a constitutional amendment to permit portions of unclaimed State lottery prize money to be issued for funeral costs of police officers killed in the line of duty.
Is there anyone here to speak on this? Come forward.
Do you want to find Senator LaRossa? Do you know where Senator LaRossa is? (directed to staff)
Senator LaRossa, do you want to speak first, or do you want to allow--
S E N A T O R D I C K L a R O S S A: No, I think this is fine.
SENATOR BUBBA: You want to be courteous and allow our guest to speak first?
SENATOR LaROSSA: Absolutely.
G A R Y G U E A R: Thank you.
Good morning. My name is Gary Guear. I'm a detective with the Trenton Police Department. I'm here today representing the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association, which humbly requests your consideration to seek an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, authorizing the use of a portion of any lottery money remaining unclaimed one year after a drawing to fund part or all of the funeral costs of police officers killed in the line of duty.
When a police officer is killed during the performance of his or her duty, it's front page news and the big story on all televised news broadcasts. The family's sorrow is shared by everyone, particularly by those in the law enforcement community. In a matter of days, the fallen officer is laid to rest amid all the honor and tribute bestowed a hero, by the hundreds of fellow officers who come from many surrounding states.
God forbid, should one more police officer ever lose his or her life again in the line of duty, but in facing reality, we all know that tragedy will someday strike again in New Jersey despite any amount of training, experience, or protective gear.
My pleas is to bring a speck of financial assistance to the family of a police officer who has paid the supreme sacrifice. A funeral for a fallen officer is always large in capacity and should not cause any undue financial burden to the family.
I am confident that you will lend your support to this very important piece of legislation, demonstrating that our elected officials stand behind the men and women who are out there 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, ensuring that we maintain the highest quality of life for everyone in our great State.
SENATOR BUBBA: Thank you.
SENATOR LaROSSA: I guess in a word, ditto.
SENATOR BUBBA: Are we expected to get this out today?
MR. PARISI (Committee aide): No, this is just the hearing.
SENATOR BUBBA: All right.
Is there anyone else here to speak on the issue? (no response)
I'll entertain a motion to close the hearing.
SENATOR CODEY: So moved.
SENATOR BUBBA: Second?
SENATOR BAER: Second.
SENATOR BUBBA: Okay.