By David Madden
TRENTON, Nj (CBS) — Quick action is expected to tweak New Jersey’s anti-bullying law to address concerns that it creates, in effect, an unfunded mandate on school districts across the Garden State.
The state’s Council on Local Mandates raised concerns in January, starting a two month clock on a requirement to address the issue, or risk having the law invalidated.
Governor Chris Christie said on Wednesday, that he didn’t want to put the law at risk. So they’re changing it.
“It strengthens the law,” Christie said. “It allows protections the law provides to remain in place without interruption and to address the constitutional issues that were raised by the council.”
Among those in support of the changes is Steven Goldstein, head of Garden State Equality, who’s at odds with the Governor on one major issue.
“On a Tuesday, I can have a different position from him on Marriage Equality,” said Goldstein. “On a Wednesday, I can praise the Governor for doing great things on school bullying. That’s life. That’s about getting things done.”
A new bill would set aside a million dollars for districts to apply for this year after they’ve exhausted free training materials now available.
A seven member panel will look into making other changes in the law, if needed.