A-5011 is NJPSA/NJEA Initiated Legislation Establishing an Accidental Death Benefit for “Essential” Educators Who Died of COVID Serving Their School Community
NJPSA has been working hard during the current legislative session to assist the surviving families of NJPSA members who lost their lives from COVID 19 as they served their school communities working as essential employees during this pandemic. We have joined forces with the NJEA and together, we have worked with Senators Linda Greenstein (D-14), Dawn Addiego (D-7), Patrick Diegnan (D-18), Joe Cryan (D-20), Shirley Turner (D-15) and Nellie Pou (D-35) to unanimously pass this legislation, S3284 in the Senate. We thank them for their leadership and support and the support of Senate President Steve Sweeney who quickly moved this legislation forward.
With only a few weeks remaining in the 2020-2021 legislative session, the Assembly companion bill A-5011 (Wimberly) has not been posted for consideration in committee or for a vote despite our repeated requests that the bill move forward. We have met with Assembly Speaker Coughlin and his staff on this legislation and are hopeful that he will move the bill forward due to its merits and our strong voices of support for our fallen colleagues.
If the bill does not move now, this legislation will need to begin all over again in the new legislative session which begins on January 11, 2022. The surviving families of dedicated NJPSA members who lost dear loved ones during this crisis deserve support now!
How You Can Help!
Please email the following legislators, in priority order, to urge them to post A-5011 now for a final vote before the close of the lame duck session:
- Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin – AsmCoughlin@njleg.org;
- Assembly Deputy Speaker Benjie Wimberly (primary bill sponsor) AsmWimberly@njleg.org;
- Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (primary bill sponsor) – AswReynoldsJackson@njleg.org;
- Assemblywoman Linda Carter (co-sponsor) – AswCarter@njleg.org;
- Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (co-sponsor) – AswJasey@njleg.org;
- Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle – AswVainieriHuttle@njleg.org;
- Assemblyman Dan Benson (co-sponsor) – AsmBenson@njleg.org;
- Assemblyman John Burzichelli (Appropriations Chair) – AsmBurzichelli@njleg.org;
- Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo (State Government Chair) – AsmMazzeo@njleg.org;
- Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt (Education Chair) – AswLampitt@njleg.org;
Please support the posting and Assembly vote on A-5011 (Wimberly), legislation that will support the surviving families of educators and school employees who served as “essential employees” and died from COVID-19 in service of their school community, just as our heroic colleagues in the police, and emergency communities did. New Jersey lost several dedicated principals and assistant principals who worked handing out computers and otherwise serving students and families and now their families need our help and support. Please pass A- 5011 in lame duck as the Senate did – unanimously – to thank our educators for their sacrifice and to support their families in return.