The Citizens Campaign and Civic JC issued a joint statement today in support of the Jersey City Board of Education Policy 9272, which would significantly limit contributions by those seeking to perform bid and no-bid contracts with the Jersey City School District.

“CivicJC applauds the school board for crafting such a comprehensive pay-to-play policy, and urges the entire school board to vote in favor on November 21,” said Aaron Morrill, a founder and spokesman for Civic JC. “The school board has been wrestling with this issue for more than a year, there is no reason for further delay.”

“This policy would set the Jersey City School Board at the front of the pack in ending the practice of trading campaign contributions for contracts, hopefully school boards throughout the state will follow their lead,” said The Citizens Campaign Communications Director Heather Taylor.  She added, “By covering both bid and no-bid contracts the school board is leaving no stone unturned.”

Strengthening the Jersey City School Board Pay-to-Play policy has been a top priority issue for Civic JC and The Citizens Campaign.  Other reforms that the groups will be working on in Jersey City include Best Price Insurance Reform, Budget Transparency, and a city-wide Call to Service to get more Jersey City residents involved.  

Specifically the school board’s pay-to-play policy prohibits any business or non-profit entity from entering into or performing a bid or no bid contract over $17,500 if such entity has contributed more than $300 to school board candidates, $500 to the local political parties & continuing political committees (aka PACS) that support municipal & school board candidates, and $1000 to the county political party & continuing political committees that support county candidates, and any campaign committees established in support of a school board member (in the event they run for another public office).  Business entities would be subject to a total $2,500 contribution limit among all committees listed above.  Once a business entity enters into a contract, contributions would be prohibited until the terms of the contract are completed. Businesses that violate the law would be found in breach of contract and would forfeit the right to do business with the Jersey School Board for 3 years.

This policy was passed on first reading on October 17, and will be heard November 21 on second reading.