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June 22, 2010  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

Bill would expand background check requirements


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A New Jersey Senate committee approved legislation that would expand background check requirements to school bus drivers who don’t currently fall under the mandate. Pictured is the State House, where the Legislature meets.

A New Jersey Senate committee approved legislation that would expand background check requirements to school bus drivers who don’t currently fall under the mandate. Pictured is the State House, where the Legislature meets.

TRENTON, N.J. — The state Senate Education Committee on Monday approved legislation that would expand background check requirements to school bus drivers who don’t currently fall under the mandate.

Under current New Jersey law, it is optional for a nonpublic school to require its employees to undergo the criminal history record check. But the new bill, passed by the Education Committee in a 4-0 vote, would make the checks mandatory for those and other drivers.

Also covered under the bill would be school bus drivers who are employed by such agencies as the Department of Human Services, the Department of Children and Families, and the Department of Law and Public Safety.

Additionally, drivers for a school bus contractor holding a contract with one of those agencies or with a nonpublic school would fall under the background check mandate.

The check, conducted through the state Department of Education (DOE), includes input from the Division of State Police and the FBI. “Using information from both entities provides a comprehensive review that transcends state lines and jurisdictions,” the Education Committee said in a statement.

The bill also requires that the Motor Vehicle Commission and the DOE compare data files on a regular basis to ensure that any school bus driver disqualified by the DOE also has the “S” endorsement on his or her CDL revoked by the Motor Vehicle Commission.

“Comparing files will also assist in identifying school bus drivers who have had their special license [‘S’ endorsement] revoked or suspended but who are still employed as school bus drivers,” the Education Committee said. “The Motor Vehicle Commission will notify the Department of Education of these cases, and their employment will be terminated.”

 


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With the technology we have today it seems these computers the governmental agencies use would actually already be able to cross data based information from each agency. MSN Microsoft can bunch all our different email groups together, even blogs you may have joined can all be linked together. It is good that all the agencies are starting to cross data bases. Background checks are only as good as the information already available. Any school Official, including school board members, on down should all fall under the back ground check requirements. If students have to have drug and alcohol spot checks, it would be a good idea for teachers as well. The main thing, if you are not involved in something you shouldn't be - then you have not a thing to worry about. Drivers that speed will speed in a school bus. Traffic tickets linked to CDL licenses should automatically be linked to that persons insurance company, and employer. What about drunk drivers? Slap on the wrist? Not if it involves a CDL driver. Keep doing what it is you are doing.

Dan Luttrell    |    Jun 23, 2010 01:04 PM

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