Senate Amends Ruiz, Turner Bill to Help Schools Procure PPE
Trenton – In an effort to help school districts and county colleges procure the necessary PPE, today the Senate amended legislation sponsored by Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Shirley K. Turner, which would maximize districts’ buying power and reduce costs. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill at the November 16 voting session.
“Superintendents around the state have been struggling to get the PPE they need to bring students back into the classroom,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex), chair of the Senate Education Committee. “Not only are they battling shipping delays and supply shortages, but the increased demand is driving up prices. Pooling districts’ purchasing power will allow the state to negotiate better deals, with quicker turnaround times, to ensure schools have the supplies they need.”
The bill, S-2698, would require the state to enter into contracts for school districts and county colleges to purchase COVID-19 related goods and services. The goods and services would include medical supplies, devices, and other needs, and the contracts could be awarded to more than one vendor.
“Many supplies crucial to safe in-person instruction, such as thermometers, masks and hand sanitizer, can be extremely hard to find right now, especially at a reasonable price,” said Senator Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “By having the state enter into contracts for the purchasing of these goods, we can help to ensure our school districts are able to buy the supplies they need at the lowest possible price.”