Sires receives award from National Urban League
Rep. Albio Sires received a Certificate of Recognition from the National Urban League for his support of H.R. 683, the Urban Jobs Act. Elnora Watson, president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Hudson County, presented the award.
“I am honored to receive this certificate by the National Urban League,” said Congressman Sires. “I am proud of the work that the National Urban League affiliates in my district do every single day. The 13th Congressional District is a better place because of their strong programs, which not only provide academic support, but also promote civic involvement.”
Representatives from the National Urban League and its affiliates came to Washington, D.C., for their ninth annual Legislative Policy Conference, titled “Occupy the Vote: Employment and Education Empower the Nation.” Affiliates met with their representatives in Congress to highlight the importance of education and job programs for urban youth and to encourage support for the Urban Jobs Act.
No wrongdoing in tests found at Midtown Community
Midtown Community School was exonerated of alleged cheating on standardized testing by the Department of Education on March 12.
The school district received the letter from State Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf saying that the investigation that had involved more than 30 schools across the state had cleared the Bayonne school.
The investigation was prompted by the fact that students taking the test had erased false answers and replaced them with right answers three times more often than the state average.
Submission deadline extended for Bayonne’s citywide art exhibition
The deadline has been extended for Bayonne’s first citywide art exhibition. Images of artwork may be submitted for consideration through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 19.
Artists interested in exhibiting may submit between one and five images via email to email@example.com for consideration by the exhibition’s jury. Email submissions are strongly encouraged. Artists unable to submit images via email may bring works to Ferdez, located at 237S Broadway (between Eighth and Ninth streets), Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The exhibition will be open to the public on weekdays, 5 to 7 p.m., from Monday, April 16, through Friday, April 27. Participating artists must be Bayonne residents over the age of 18.
Parking changed on East 22nd Street
As a safety measure, the City Council is slated to amend an ordinance at its March 14 meeting that would change parking on the south side of the industrial section of East 22nd Street and authorize it on the north side.
Business Administrator Steve Gallo said this is a safety measure that coincides with the opening of Bayonne Crossing Mall. The parking would be on the side of the street next to the mall.
Mayor makes appointments
Mayor Mark Smith named Business Administrator Steve Gallo and Deputy Police Chief Ralph Scianni to the Insurance Fund Commission for two-year terms expiring on March 1, 2014.
The mayor also appointed Timothy J. Moriarty to the Bayonne Housing Authority for a five-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2016.
Hospital disclosure bill clears committee
A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham, which would ensure that all New Jersey hospitals follow the same rules in terms of disclosure and transparency of finances, was approved by the Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee by a vote of 9-0, with one abstention.
“The intent of this bill is to make sure all hospitals are on the same page when it comes to disclosure and being transparent with their finances and compensation,” said Weinberg. “The fact remains that New Jersey taxpayers invest a great deal of money – and rightly so – into for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals throughout the state to make sure that there’s a facility nearby to meet their health care needs. The taxpayers of the State of New Jersey deserve to know that public resources are being put to good use at our state’s hospitals.”
“This is a good government measure, which will make sure that taxpayer funds aren’t going to waste at hospitals throughout the state,” said Senator Cunningham, D-Hudson. “It would be unconscionable for hospitals to accept massive Charity Care and Medicaid payments from the state on one hand, and then turn around and pay out six- and seven-figure salaries on the other hand. By requiring hospitals to disclose basic financial information to the Department of Health before they can be eligible for Charity Care funding, we can hopefully root out problematic financial practices.”
The bill, S-782, would require that, in order to be eligible for Charity Care reimbursement from the state, a general hospital licensed in New Jersey would be required to annually file certain information with the Department of Health and Senior Services. This would include compensation made to current officers, directors, trustees, key employees, and the five current highest compensated employees other than officers, directors, trustees or key employees, family business relationships among key employees, delegation of day-to-day operations to a management company, or other people.
The bill would also require privately owned hospitals to disclose diversion of hospital assets, and require a report on meetings and other communications on behalf of the governing body, as well as other information that is currently required of not-for profit hospitals.
“Much of this information mirrors information that non-profit organizations are already required to file with the IRS,” said Cunningham. “Whether a facility is for-profit or not-for-profit, many of these hospitals accept substantial taxpayer funds. This is about protecting our investment, and making sure it goes towards the provision of health care.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration, before going to the governor to be signed into law.