NEW JERSEY – Public school employees may no longer be required to live in the State of New Jersey during a three-year trial period thanks to bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Steve Oroho and approved today by the Senate Education Committee.
“I strongly opposed the state residency requirement for public employment when it was signed into law a decade ago, and some of my constitutional concerns were echoed by a Superior Court Judge last year,” Oroho (R-24) said. “It seems clear to me that the residency requirement in this instance is hampering the efforts of short-staffed schools contending with a labor shortage to hire enough teachers, substitutes, and bus drivers. Under these circumstances, it seems best to exempt school districts from the requirements of the New Jersey First Law.”
The bill, S-904, eliminates the requirement for State residency of public employees for a three-year trail period. Following the conclusion of the trial period, the Department of Education will submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature that evaluates the results of the law, including its effectiveness, any unintended consequences, and any recommendations for legislation.
“New Jersey, like many other states, is currently experiencing a widespread and severe teacher shortage. The most effective way to address this problem is to lift the residency requirement for school staff and allow the state to attract more workers—particularly from Pennsylvania and New York,” Oroho said. “As members of the legislature, we should always try and reduce government red tape, and allow the people who want to work in our great state the ability to do so.”