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New Jersey Governor Proposes Urban Scholarship Program
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in March announced details of a new initiative that will offer college scholarships to students in 14 urban school districts throughout the state, The Associated Press reported. Christie first unveiled the scholarship program and other higher education initiatives during his 2012 budget address in February.
The Governor’s Urban Scholarship Program will provide up to 1,000 students with $1,000 scholarships for four years. Christie indicated the 2013 fiscal year budget will include $1 million to fund the program. The state Higher Education Student Assistance Authority will administer the scholarship program, which will first be made available during the 2012-13 school year.
Eligible students in Asbury Park, Camden, East Orange, Irvington Township, Jersey City, Lakewood, Millville, Newark, New Brunswick, Trenton, Paterson, Palinfield, Roselle and Vineland will benefit from the program.
Students would be able to use the scholarships at any college or university, both public and private, in New Jersey.
To qualify for the scholarships, students would need to have at least a 3.0 grade point average, be in the top 5 percent of their class and meet certain income requirements.
Christie’s office said in a press release the creation of the Governor’s Urban Scholarship Program keeps “true to the governor’s commitment that no child’s educational destiny should be predetermined by ZIP code.”
Maryland’s House Judiciary Committee approved legislation in March that would lessen penalties for possession of insignificant amounts of marijuana, The Baltimore Sun reported. The bill sponsored by Del. Luke Clippinger would set the maximum penalty for possession of 7 grams or less at 90 days and a $500 fine. It also would call for those convicted to be tried before a district court rather than a jury trial in circuit court. The bill now goes to the full House.
Maine state workers now will be allowed to keep concealed weapons in their locked cars while at work. Gov. Paul LePage in March signed into law a bill giving state workers that privilege, according to The Associated Press. The law is similar to one passed last year that afforded workers employed by private companies the same right. The law is scheduled to take effect 90 days after the conclusion of the 2012 legislative session.
New York’s Education Department in March hired Tina Sciocchetti to lead efforts to prevent educator cheating, The Wall Street Journal reported. Schiocchetti, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York, will head up a group of five to 10 people who will investigate cases of suspected pervasive educator cheating as well as train school districts to better prevent cheating. The new group was created in response to the department’s inability to follow up on previously reported cases of educator cheating.
Pennsylvania voters will be required to show a photo ID in November’s general election. Gov. Tom Corbett signed a law in March requiring voters to present a state driver’s license or nondriver ID card, passport, municipal government ID, college or university ID, or military ID.Those voters not presenting photo IDs will have the opportunity to fill out a paper ballot. Their vote, however, will not count unless they acquire a valid photo ID and present it within six days of the election, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The New Hampshire House in March rejected House Bill 437, which would have repealed the state’s gay marriage statutes. House members voted 211-16 against the legislation, the New Hampshire Union Leader of Manchester reported. Gov. John Lynch signed both a civil union and a gay marriage bill in 2007. He had previously said that he was ready to veto House Bill 437 if it passed.