Assembly Democrats


Taliaferro Bill to Allow Impoundment of All-Terrain Vehicles,Dirt Bikes by Law Enforcement Now Law

Law Pertains to Vehicles Used in Certain Crimes and Offense

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Adam Taliaferro that would close a loophole in current law which prevents law enforcement from seizing ATVs and dirt bikes used in crimes including drugs sales, prostitution, and weapons transport was signed into law Friday.

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Pinkin Vows to Fight for Clean Water at Jersey Water Works Event

Speaking to a crowd of about 110 people at Jersey Water Works’ annual membership meeting on Thursday, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex), who chairs the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, spoke about New Jersey’s mounting obligation to update the state’s water infrastructure and to provide all New Jersey residents with clean drinking water.

“The importance of ensuring the health of our water supply cannot be overstated,” said Pinkin. “The progress being made in New Jersey to ensure the sustainability of our water is promising and we will continue to work to make our water cleaner every day.”

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Mazzeo, Calabrese and Vainieri Huttle Bill Banning Smoking in Public Parks & Beaches Signed into Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Clinton Calabrese and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to prohibit smoking at public parks and beaches was signed into law by Gov. Murphy on Friday.

“We all know the harms of smoking, not only for those using tobacco, but for those around them,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “People should be able to enjoy New Jersey’s beautiful beaches and parks without worrying about secondhand smoke or litter from cigarette butts.”

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Conaway Welcomes Additional Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Murphy Administration Seeking Up to Six New Dispensaries

Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee Chair Herb Conaway (D-Burlington) today praised Gov. Murphy's plan to add more medical marijuana dispensaries to better serve the thousands of patients currently in the state's medical marijuana program.

The Murphy administration today announced it will seek up to six new applicants to operate medical marijuana dispensaries. There are currently six dispensaries operating in the state.

Conaway is the lead sponsor of a bill (A-3740) to make medical marijuana more accessible to patients who could benefit from it. The bill would, among other things, require the state Department of Health to issue a request for additional medical marijuana dispensary permits.

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McKeon Applauds SALT Lawsuit

Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex, Morris) today applauded Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal's decision to join New York, Maryland and Connecticut in suing the Trump administration over its $10,000 cap on the federal tax deductions for state and local taxes (SALT).

Assemblyman McKeon is a strong opponent of the SALT cap and was the prime sponsor of a recently enacted law (formerly bill A-3499) to counteract it by permitting a municipality, county or school district to establish one or more charitable funds for specific public purposes and permitting local property tax credits in association with such donations.

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McKeon: Trump's Actions with Putin are Unacceptable

Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex, Morris) today issued the following statement regarding President Trump's summit with President Vladimir V. Putin.

"President Trump's recent actions are disappointing and unacceptable. His tweets and statements are an embarrassment and a danger to our nation.

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Quijano Applauds State Investigation of Non-Compete Clauses in Fast Food Workers' Contracts

Assembly Judiciary Chair Annette Quijano (D-Union) issued the following statement regarding the recent announcement by the state Attorney General of an investigation of non-compete clauses in contracts of fast food workers:

"I applaud the New Jersey Attorney General's Office for taking a deeper look into non-compete clauses in fast food employee contracts.

"These clauses are more predominately seen on the corporate level as an effort to protect trade and intellectual property. Let's face it. The ingredients to the proverbial "secret sauce" are no longer a secret for fast food businesses these days and fast food workers are not, in the least, the keepers of company secrets.

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DeAngelo, Benson and Greenstein, Praise Grant for Devoe Lake

$2.5 Million Will Alleviate Flooding, Improve Water Quality

Senator Linda R. Greenstein and Assemblymen Wayne P. DeAngelo and Daniel R. Benson issued the following statements after the announcement that the Devoe Lake restoration project would be receiving a $2.5 million grant administered through the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

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McKeon Supports Transition Away from PARCC Testing

Cites Decision As a Win for Students, Parents and Teachers

Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex, Morris) today gave strong support for Governor Murphy's decision to transition students away from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing and toward a more accurate learning assessment system.

The transition's initial proposal includes reducing the number of necessary tests to graduate high school from six to two; providing educators and parents with timely test data; and easing requirements for first-year English learners on the English language proficiency test.

"Governor Murphy delivered on a key campaign promise with these changes, and they are a win for parents, teachers and most importantly, students. By transitioning away from this problematic standardized test, which has been flawed from its inception, it will allow for increased instructional time and provide educators with the flexibility needed to prepare our children for their future.

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Speaker Coughlin Lauds Beginning of PARCC Reversal


Gov. Murphy Today Announced Plans to Phase Out PAR

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) today commended Gov. Murphy's recommendation to eliminate some of the PARCC exams used to test student proficiency, as part of a larger plan to begin to transition away from the controversial assessment.

The PARCC was made a graduation requirement for high school students despite being heavily criticized since its inception as a flawed and unfair measurement tool that hurt students.

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Holley Appointed to Health and Senior Services Committee

Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley (D-Union) was recently appointed to serve on the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

“I am humbled and honored that Speaker Craig Coughlin has selected me to serve on this influential yet vital committee with Chairman Conaway and Vice-Chairwoman Pinkin,” said Holley. “I look forward to working with my fellow committee-members to help solve some of New Jersey’s most pressing issues, like the need to clean up our water, widespread depression and suicide, homelessness, obesity, pressing health concerns and making New Jersey the best place for seniors, children and families to live in the country.”

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McKeon Statement on Pruitt Resignation

Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex/Morris) released the following statement regarding Scott Pruitt’s recent resignation as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency:

“From the beginning, I opposed Scott Pruitt's nomination as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. His anti-environmental record as the former Oklahoma Attorney General was a nonstarter…"

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Vainieri Huttle & Mukherji “Revised State Medical Examiner Act” Signed into Law

Establishes Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner in Department of Health

Legislation Sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Raj Mukherji establishing the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner in, but not of, the Department of Health to replace the Office of the State Medical Examiner in the Department of Law and Public Safety was signed into law on Tuesday by Governor Murphy.

The bill (A-1709), designated as the “Revised State Medical Examiner Act,” abolishes the existing Office of the State Medical Examiner in the Department of Law and Public Safety and transfers all of its functions, powers, and duties to the newly established Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner.

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Johnson, Calabrese Introduce Bill to Require Navigational Apps to Reroute Drivers Around Emergency Conditions

Addressing public safety concerns caused by turn-by-turn navigation systems, Assemblymen Gordon Johnson and Clinton Calabrese have introduced legislation that would authorize the Attorney General to require navigation app makers to reroute vehicular traffic when emergency conditions are present. The bill stems from concerns raised in Leonia, NJ of heavy traffic flooding neighborhood streets as a result of navigational apps rerouting drivers away from the NJ Turnpike.

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Johnson, Moriarty, Greenwald Bill Aimed at Incentivizing Media Production in New Jersey Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Gordon Johnson, Paul Moriarty and Majority Leader Lou Greenwald entitled the 'Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act' was signed into law Tuesday.

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Johnson Bill to Give Police & Firefighter Management of their Pension Fund Signed into Law

Legislation Assemblyman Gordon Johnson sponsored to give police and firefighters more control over their pension fund was signed into law on Tuesday by Governor Murphy.

The bill (A-3671) transfers management of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System from the state to the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System, granting more investment responsibility to employees and union members, with the board acting on behalf of contributing employers, active members of the retirement system and retired members.

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Legislation Solidifying New Jersey's Place as a Leader in Transgender Civil Rights Signed into Law

Bills Sponsored by Vainieri Huttle, Pinkin & Jasey

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Nancy Pinkin and Mila Jasey to strengthen civil rights for transgender individuals in New Jersey was signed into law Tuesday.

"Now more than ever, we need to stand up for those who are being marginalized," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "Antiquated policies and attitudes towards transgender individuals have led to discrimination, violence, depression and suicide. While tremendous strides have been made in recent years to advance equality for members of the 'LGB' community, much more still needs to be done to help protect our brothers and sisters in the 'T' community."

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Vainieri Huttle, Zwicker & Chiaravalloti Bill to Revise Requirements for Changing a Birth Certificate Due to Gender Reassignment Signed Into Law

Designated as 'Babs Siperstein Law'

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Andrew Zwicker and Nicholas Chiaravalloti to make it easier for an individual undergoing gender reassignment to obtain an amended birth certificate was signed into law Tuesday.

"This new law acknowledges that individuals do not necessarily undergo gender reassignment surgery when transitioning genders so it revises the process for obtaining an amended birth certificate to reflect the change in current practices," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "Essentially we're updating a standard state procedure to be more inclusive and reflective of our changing society."

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McKnight, Chiaravalloti, Pintor Marin, Holley, Wimberly & Quijano Bill to Teach 6-8 Students Financial Literacy Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angela McKnight, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Eliana Pintor Marin, Jamel Holley, Benjie Wimberly and Annette Quijano to require school districts in New Jersey to teach financial literacy to elementary and middle school students received approval from the Assembly on Saturday, 71-2.

“One of the most important lessons a person can learn is how to manage their money. Many young people go into adulthood knowing little about finances, and end up making decisions that cost them in the long run,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “Teaching our kids early about the importance of managing their money and making sound financial decisions can prevent them from making costly mistakes and set them on the right financial path.”

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Assembly Approves Karabinchak & Coughlin Bill to Establish Tax Amnesty Period

Would Apply to Tax Returns Due on or After February 1, 2009

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin to establish a state tax amnesty period, that would end no later than January 15, 2019, for tax returns due on or after February 1, 2009 was approved Sunday by the full Assembly.

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Houghtaling, Downey & Egan Bill Expanding Issuance of Alcoholic Beverage Licenses Heads to Governor

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey and Joseph Egan to help revitalize shuttered military bases in Monmouth County by providing additional liquor licenses received final legislative approval Sunday and now heads to the governor’s desk.

“By allowing additional alcoholic beverage licenses to be distributed in our municipalities, we are bringing an ample amount of opportunities to Monmouth County,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “It will promote small businesses, encourage tourism, and create jobs for our constituents.”

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Murphy, McKnight and Egan Jones Bill Authorizing Parking Privileges for Certain Healthcare Workers Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Carol Murphy, Angela McKnight and Patricia Egan Jones allowing for parking privileges for certain healthcare workers who render care at patient’s home residences was advanced by the Assembly on Sunday 71-0.

“Parking should not be an obstacle in the way of providing critical home healthcare services across our State,” said Murphy (D-Burlington). This is an important step to expand access to care for patients who depend on it.”

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Quijano, Vainieri Huttle, Mukherji & Giblin ‘Airbnb’ Bill to Ensure Level Playing Field among Lodging Businesses Heads to Governor’s Desk

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Raj Mukherji and Tom Giblin to ensure fairness among all hospitality providers in New Jersey and provide a much-needed revenue boost to the state was approved by the Assembly on Sunday with a vote of 41-29.

“Our laws need to be updated to keep up with changes brought about by new technology,” said Quijano (D-Union). “The fact that taxes are not paid for stays at locations rented through sites like Airbnb but are applied to stays in hotels is an unfair advantage that hurts the hospitality industry and takes funding away from municipalities for important programs. This bill levels the playing field and provides tax fairness for the entire hospitality industry in New Jersey.”

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McKnight & Speight Bill to Exempt Hair Braiders from Cosmetology Licensing Requirement; Create Entity to Oversee Hair Braiding Businesses Goes to Governor

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angela McKnight and Shanique Speight to exempt hair braiding from the state's current licensing requirements and create a new regulatory entity to oversee these businesses has received final legislative approval and now heads to the governor's desk.

"Hair braiders are predominantly African-American and African immigrant women. This is a skill that is often learned at an early age and passed down from one generation to the next," said McKnight (D-Hudson). "Asking hair braiders to spend time and money on training that doesn't relate to their craft so they can do it professionally is unnecessarily burdensome and only helps to keep talented people out of work."

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Benson, Burzichelli & Lampitt Bill to Make Major Investment in Career/Technical Education & School Security & Water Infrastructure Upgrades Heads to Governor

Proposal Would be Put Before Voters in General Election

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Dan Benson, John Burzichelli and Pamela Lampitt to invest in career and technical education programs offered by county vocational school districts and county colleges, as well as school security and water infrastructure upgrades received final legislative approval Sunday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"The economic viability and competitiveness of New Jersey is inextricably linked to the strengths and skills of the state's current and future workforce," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Making the necessary investments in career and technical education programs will help us maintain current and attract new high-demand industries that are the engine of economic growth."

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Greenwald Statement on Legislature, Governor Budget Deal

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington) released the following statement on the successful negotiation of a state budget for FY '18-'19:

"We've reached a budget deal that comprises both the Governor's and the Legislature's priorities and sets New Jersey on a strong economic path for the next four years.

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Greenwald, Moriarty & Murphy Bill to Create New Jersey Civic Information Consortium Approved by Assembly, Heads to Governor's Desk

Approved by Assembly, Heads to Governor's Desk

(TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald and Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty and Carol Murphy sponsored to establish a New Jersey Civic Information Consortium was approved 52-22 Saturday by the full Assembly. The bill will now go to the Governor for further consideration.

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DeAngelo & Quijano Bill to Establish Licensure Procedures For Pool and Spa Service Contractors Advances

Creates 7-Member Advisory Committee to Ensure Health & Safety

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano to put in place safety procedures and guidelines for pool and spa contractors in New Jersey was approved by the General Assembly on Saturday by a vote of 58-11-3.

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Schaer, Houghtaling Bill Prohibiting Sale of Adulterated Candy Approved by Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Gary Schaer and Eric Houghtaling prohibiting the sale or offering of adulterated candy in New Jersey was approved 73-0 Saturday by the full Assembly.

“The contamination of lead, mercury, and other harmful chemicals in candy has posed a severe health risk for the residents in our state; particularly for children,” said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). “It is not uncommon for people to be unaware of what goes into the food they consume, or that these chemicals can cause life-threatening illnesses or cognitive disabilities. This important piece of legislation provides an extra layer of comfort for parents as it allows them to know exactly what they are giving their children, and most importantly, that what they are giving them is safe to eat.”

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Assembly OKs Land, Andrzejczak & Armato Bill to Encourage Drone Companies to Set up Shop in Cape May Airport

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bruce Land, Bob Andrzejczak, and John Armato to attract up-and-coming drone companies to settle in Cape May Airport was approved Saturday by the full Assembly, 63-10.

“Startup drone tech businesses have described the Cape May County Airport as an ideal location due to its large and open air space, away from large commercial airports,” said Land (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “We have to capitalize on this major asset and build on this momentum to grow the region’s economy.”

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Timberlake Statement on Budget Negotiations

Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic) issued the following statement:

"Yesterday, the Speaker proposed both the Millionaire's Tax and the Corporate Business Tax as a compromise to generate revenue and best position our State.

"I am proud of Speaker Coughlin for his hard work and dedication to the people of NJ and am in support of both taxes.

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Jasey, Lopez & Sumter Bill to Ensure New Jersey's Participation in 2020 Federal Decennial Census Goes to Governor

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Mila Jasey, Yvonne Lopez and Shavonda Sumter to establish the "New Jersey Complete Count Commission," which will help ensure the state's full participation in the 2020 federal decennial census, received final legislative approval Saturday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"Because federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors, communities benefit the most when the census counts everyone," said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris).

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McKeon, Vainieri Huttle, Tucker, Jones & Jasey Bill to Keep State Parks Open in Event of Government Shutdown Clears Assembly

Legislation would Keep State Parks Open for First Seven Days of Shutdown

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John F. McKeon, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Cleopatra Tucker, Patricia Egan Jones and Mila Jasey to require state parks and other state attractions to remain open for the first seven days of a state government shutdown was approved Saturday by the General Assembly.

"It is unfair that people who frequent our parks and beaches are collateral damage in a budget process that will ultimately be resolved," said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). "No more."

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Reynolds-Jackson Statement on Budget Impasse

Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) issued the following statement Friday concerning the budget impasse:

"We have put forth a responsible budget that is balanced and fair to New Jersey taxpayers.

"Our budget contains 95 percent of what the governor has asked for, and we have offered numerous reasonable compromises including a millionaire's tax."


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Spearman Sworn in as Newest Member of General Assembly


Represents New Jersey's 5th District in Camden and Gloucester Counties

Vowing to fight for affordable housing, education funding, tax relief, environmental protection and women and minority owned businesses, William Spearman took the oath to join the New Jersey General Assembly on Saturday, representing the 5th legislative district in Camden and Gloucester Counties.

"This is truly a great honor to be able to join this esteemed body, and it is a privilege I don't take lightly," said Spearman. "I am excited to get to work and serve the citizens of Camden and Gloucester Counties."

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Gusciora & Reynolds-Jackson Bill to Help Curb Gun Violence Clears Assembly

Bill would Eliminate Presumption of Non-Imprisonment for First-Time Stolen Weapon Offenders

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora and Verlina Reynolds Jackson (both D-Mercer/Middlesex) to remove the presumption of non-imprisonment for first-time stolen weapons offenders was approved Saturday by the General Assembly.

"What happened at Art All Night is tragic. An event that brought people from all over the tristate area to Trenton to celebrate the arts, creativity and community was marred by gun violence perpetuated by individuals who were there for the wrong reasons," said Gusciora. "What's even more tragic is that for many residents in Trenton and other communities around the country, this is a recurrent problem. These families and the children they are raising deserve better."

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Speaker Coughlin: Budget Agreement Meets Common Priorities & Turns Page on Last Eight Years

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) on Saturday lauded the budget agreement reached between legislative leaders and Gov. Murphy which protects New Jersey's taxpayers, honors the priorities set by the Legislature and averts a government shutdown.

"I want to thank Gov. Murphy and Senate President Sweeney for agreeing to meet in the middle and putting forth a final budget that we can all put our names to. After much work, we have reached an agreement that meets our common priorities and turns the page on the last eight years," said Coughlin.

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Greenwald & Lampitt Statement on School Bus Accident on the Turnpike

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington) issued the following joint statement regarding the school bus incident on the NJ Turnpike near Cherry Hill early Friday:

"As we wait for more details on today's bus crash, our thoughts are with everyone on the bus and their families. At this time there are no reports of serious injuries. This accident follows a string of school bus accidents in the state, and action must be taken to guarantee these kinds of tragedies don't happen again. Our children's safety is a paramount concern, and we must ensure they are safe whether in school or in transit."

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Greenwald Statement on Budget Negotiations

(TRENTON) – Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) issued the following statement on the ongoing budget negotiations:

“Last week, we sent Governor Murphy a balanced budget that protects the priorities of middle- and working-class New Jerseyans.

“This budget would provide property tax relief to families by restoring the full homestead rebate, increase aid for the underfunded districts in our state, and contains a $3.2 billion pension payment while managing to preserve the Governor's priorities.

“We sent a responsible budget with real numbers that's sitting on his desk, and we still have 24 hours for Governor Murphy to take another look at the budget that both the Senate and Assembly passed…"


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Calabrese Statement on Ongoing Budget Negotiations

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese (D-Bergen/Passaic) issued the following statement on the ongoing budget negotiations:

“From the very beginning, our budget reflected at least 95% the governor’s priorities…

“We have repeatedly compromised, including on today’s offer to give him a millionaire’s tax and a reduction in the corporate tax rate.

“I applaud the Speaker for being a voice of reason in this process. I hope the Governor will consider supporting this budget compromise.”


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Quijano Statement on Budget Stalemate

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union) issued the following statement on Friday calling on Gov. Murphy to work with the Legislature to resolve the budget stalemate:

"I sincerely applaud all of legislative leadership for working toward a compromise with the governor. After months of exhaustive work by our budget committee, we put forward a balanced budget..."

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Murphy Statement on Need for Compromise Amid Budget Impasse

Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Burlington), who sits on the Assembly Budget Committee, issued the following statement Friday on the budget impasse:

"I'm extremely proud of the leadership from Speaker Coughlin, Majority Leader Greenwald and Budget Chairwoman Pintor Marin throughout this budget process, and especially today as they offered a reasonable compromise to have both, large corporations and millionaires pay their fair share."

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Conaway Introduces Bill Package to Help Address Alarming Rise of Teen Depression & Suicide

Concerned about the rise in depression and suicide among teenagers, Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee Chair Herb Conaway, M.D., Jr. (D-Burlington) has introduced two pieces of legislation to help curb this troubling trend.

The bills would require annual depression screenings for adolescent public school students, and create a commission to study the effects of smart phone and social media usage on young people.

"Teens today are navigating a very different world. The stressors that arise around puberty are now intensified by social media, which can be used to bully and make young people who are already susceptible to social pressure feel like they are not measuring up," said Conaway.

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Speaker Coughlin on Supreme Court's Janus Decision

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) released the following statement on Wednesday on the Supreme Court's Janus decision:

"This is disappointing and a major setback for the labor movement.

"This will hamper the ability of labor unions to represent the best interests of public workers.

"The fair share fees were just that: fair. They helped covered the cost of bargaining and representation. Public workers had no obligation to become union members, but were expected to contribute to the work that was being done on their behalf, and stood to benefit from. Now that's gone."

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Speaker Coughlin Thanks Mercer/Burlington Building Trades for Legislative Budget Support

Legislature's Budget would Help Fund Infrastructure Projects & Create Jobs

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin on Wednesday thanked the Mercer and Burlington building trades for their support of the Legislature' budget, which will help make necessary infrastructure improvements, create jobs and better enforce the state's prevailing wage laws.

"I want to thank the Mercer and Burlington trade unions for recognizing the contribution that the Legislature's budget makes towards our transportation infrastructure, which will help make our roadways safer and create jobs. Our budget also provides additional funds to better enforce our prevailing wage laws so the workers doing these jobs are paid fairly and adequately," said Coughlin.

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Speaker Coughlin Visits St. James Food Pantry & Reo Diner to Discuss Food Security & Property Tax Relief Investment in Legislative Budget

Budget Fully Restores Homestead Rebate & Provides Funding to Fight Hunger in NJ

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) today met with residents in Woodbridge to discuss the restoration of the Homestead Rebate Program and the funding provided in the Legislature's budget to help fight hunger in New Jersey.

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Speaker Coughlin: We Share the Governor's Commitment to NJ Transit


Legislature's Budget Maintains Governor's $167 million in Additional Funding for NJ Trans

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) today reaffirmed the Legislature's commitment to NJ Transit and the commuters it serves:

"As Gov. Murphy said this morning, the budget we sent him would help NJ Transit better serve the thousands of commuters who rely on our public transportation system. The Legislature's budget mirrors the governor's priority to increase funding for NJ Transit by $167 million. NJ Transit has unfortunately become synonymous with delays and service interruptions. Our budget maintains the additional funding proposed by the governor to help this beleaguered agency turn things around and improve service."

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Greenwald & Coughlin Bill Permitting Public-Private Partnership Agreements for Building & Highway Infrastructure Projects Heads to Governor’s Desk

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Speaker Craig Coughlin permitting certain government entities to enter into public-private partnership agreements with private entities for undertaking certain building and highway infrastructure projects advanced out of the full Assembly 72-3 on Monday.

“Public-private partnerships have produced enormous benefits to our state colleges and universities in the form of infrastructure improvements. We’ve seen private-public partnerships help Montclair State University build a new dormitory and The College of New Jersey build a mixed use campus town. I want to see the same results in our public schools, highways, and government buildings as a benefit to our taxpayers,” said Majority Leader Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington).

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Johnson, Moriarty, Greenwald Bill Aimed at Incentivizing Media Production in New Jersey Clears Legislature

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Gordon Johnson, Paul Moriarty and Lou Greenwald entitled the 'Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act' received final legislative approval Thursday by the full Assembly, 59-18. It will now go to the Governor for further consideration.

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Assembly Approves Democratic Bill Package Focused on Protecting Environment and Students from Lead Exposure

Bills Sponsored by McKeon, Pinkin, Conaway, Mukherji and Danielsen
A two-bill Assembly Democratic package focused on protecting students and the environment from lead exposure in water was approved by the full Assembly.

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Vainieri Huttle, Tucker & McKeon Resolution Condemning Federal Government's Separation of Immigrant Families Approved by Assembly

Despite President Trump's Executive Order, Many Questions Left Unanswered

A resolution (AR-175) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vaineri Huttle, Cleopatra Tucker and John McKeon condemning the federal government's mandate to separate immigrant children and families as part of a "zero tolerance" policy, one that led to thousands of divided families, was approved 62-2-5 Monday by the full Assembly. The resolution contends that the government's directive, issued in response to unauthorized crossings at the country's southwestern border, was sanctioned child abuse.

"Although President Trump has signed an executive order ending these separations, the administration still has no real plan for how to reunite those children with their parents. More than 2,500 children woke up today without their parents. The questions now become 'where are the children who were separated from their families prior to the order, when will they get reunited, and how will they get reunited?'," said Vaineri Huttle (D-Bergen).

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Zwicker, Lopez & Mukherji Legislation to Help Displaced Professionals from Puerto Rico on Mainland Heads to Governor

Bill Would Revise Law on Out-of-State Licenses to Include Professionals from Storm-Ravaged Island

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Andrew Zwicker, Yvonne Lopez and Raj Mukherji on Monday aimed at recognizing the professional licenses of displaced Puerto Rican doctors, nurses, teachers and other professionals who relocated to New Jersey following Hurricane Maria was advanced by the General Assembly on Monday by a vote of 75-0-0 and now heads to the governor after being moved through the Senate earlier in the day.

“Prior to Hurricane Maria six months ago, New Jersey had one of the highest populations of Puerto Ricans on the mainland. Following the hurricane, we've seen more of our fellow Americans from the island seek safety with family and friends here,” said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “As they settle into their new lives in New Jersey, we can and should ensure that men and women from Puerto Rico are treated just as professionals moving here from any state would be, so they're able to continue in their professions and support their families here.”

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Swain, Mosquera & Downey Bills Requiring Sexual Assault Reporting, Training for Airline Industry Approved by Assembly

Measures Would Help Document, Track and Solve Sexual Assaults

A three-bill legislative package sponsored by Assembly Democrats Lisa Swain, Gabriela Mosquera and Joann Downey to require sexual assault reporting and training in the airline industry was approved 77-0 Monday by the full Assembly.

"We can all agree that even one victim of sexual assault is too many, and the victims of these crimes deserve to know that we hear them and have their backs," said Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic). "It is crucial that policies are created and maintained that lead to these crimes being reported, prosecuted, and ultimately prevented."

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Swain, Tully & Murphy Bill Expanding Temporary Disability and Family Leave Program Advanced by Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Lisa Swain, Christopher Tully and Carol Murphy permitting individuals to submit temporary disability and family temporary disability leave claims prior to the commencement of leave was advanced by the General Assembly on Monday by a vote of 74-3-0.

The bill (A-4118) states that an individual can submit leave claims up to 60 days prior to the commencement of leave if he or she knows in advance when the leave will commence. The measure requires the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to pay the benefit for such a claim upon the commencement of the leave.

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Mazzeo, Burzichelli, Chiaravalloti, Wimberly & Downey Bill to Prevent Individuals with Criminal Records from Officiating School Sporting Events Advanced by Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo, John Burzichelli, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Benjie Wimberly and Joann Downey to prevent individuals with criminal records from officiating interscholastic athletic events was advanced by the General Assembly Monday by a vote of 75-0-0.

“We must be diligent about who we put in positions of authority, and who we bring around our children,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “In youth sports many different positions are already required to undergo background checks. Our referees and officials who have close contact with children shouldn’t be an exception. This bill is about protecting our kids and our families.”

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Jasey & Lopez Bill to Ensure New Jersey’s Participation in 2020 Federal Decennial Census Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Mila Jasey to establish the “New Jersey Complete Count Commission,” which will help ensure the state’s full participation in the 2020 federal decennial census, cleared the General Assembly Monday by a vote of 53-22-2.

“Because federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors, communities benefit the most when the census counts everyone,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “We need all hands on deck in New Jersey to ensure that our communities are fully represented in the 2020 census.

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Zwicker & Johnson Bill to Protect Freelance Workers Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker and Gordon Johnson to ensure fair treatment of freelance workers was approved Monday by the full Assembly, 54-19-4.

The bill (A-1526) provides that a freelance worker must be paid the compensation earned according to work terms agreed to by the freelance worker and its client, and requires the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to act as a regulatory agency regarding these work agreements.

"Freelance workers aren't free," said Zwicker (D-Mercer/Somerset/Hunterdon/Middlesex). "Freelance workers must be paid the compensation they've earned, and we need to ensure this basic fairness afforded to every other worker. Freelances are a valuable part of our workforce, and they provide many services, but too often they lack basic protections. This bill will ensure they're treated fairly, benefiting our economy and, in the end, everyone."

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Assembly Democratic "Alyssa's Law" Bill to Install Silent Alarms in Schools Gets Final Approval, Heads to Governor

Bill sponsored by Caputo, Tucker, Quijano, Vainieri Huttle, Sumter & McKnight

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Ralph R. Caputo, Cleopatra Tucker, Annette Quijano, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Shavonda Sumter and Angela McKnight to require public elementary and secondary schools in New Jersey to install panic alarms for use in security emergencies received final legislative approval Monday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"Our children deserve the chance to learn in peace," said Caputo (D-Essex). "I am not suggesting this will stop all security threats, but coupled with security measures already in place, it can increase the chances of diffusing a bad situation without further harm to students and staff."

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Benson, Wimberly and Giblin Bill to Hold Public Utilities Accountable, Improve Storm Response Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Dan Benson, Benjie Wimberly and Thomas Giblin to improve the response of public utility companies to major storms and hold them accountable was approved Monday by the General Assembly.

"Some residents were without power for weeks, making the devastation of these storms even worse. This is unacceptable," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "This ensures that utilities have suitable response plans that can be enforced to mitigate the impact on residents when the next big storm hits, and holds them accountable when they fail to implement them."

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Pintor Marin & Calabrese Bill to Establish Protections for New Homeowners of Foreclosed Properties Approved by Assembly

Legislation Assembly Democrats Eliana Pintor Marin and Clinton Calabrese sponsored to require provisions regarding a sellers' obligation to deliver marketable and insurable title in certain residential real estate contracts of sale was approved 76-0 Monday by the Assembly.

"There have been issues that arise in these transactions when a seller fails to deliver marketable and insurable title at closing," said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). "This breaches the contract and leaves the buyer with considerable expenses they must incur to purchase the property."

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Calabrese Bill Package to Ensure State Meets its Financial Obligation to Meadowlands Towns Goes to Governor

Bills Would Provide Overdue Funding to Meadowland Towns in Municipal Tax Sharing Program

A two-bill package sponsored by Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese to ensure the state meets its obligation to the Meadowlands towns in the municipal tax-sharing program and provides the funding owed to these municipalities is headed to the governor's desk.

"This program is supposed to help these towns offset their inability to build due to environmental restrictions, but for the last two years, it has failed to do so, denying them the property tax relief they were promised and saddling them with budget holes to fill," said Calabrese (D-Bergen/Passaic).

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Gusciora, Lampitt, Mukherji & Sumter Bill to Ban Marriage for Anyone under 18 Now Law

Legislation is Designed to Combat Forced Child Marriages

(TRENTON) - Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Pamela Lampitt, Raj Mukherji and Shavonda Sumter to combat forced child marriages was signed into law by the Governor on Friday.

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Assembly Passes Chiaravalloti, Mukherji & McKnight Bill Expanding Law to Help Municipalities Boost School Aid

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Raj Mukherji and Angela McKnight to enable municipalities to create a local revenue stream dedicated to funding education was approved Thursday by the full Assembly, 46-27.

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Assembly Approves Freiman, Mukherji Bill Aiming to Attract More Businesses to NJ

Bill would Modernize Business Filing Law in the State

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Roy Freiman and Raj Mukherji to modernize business filing statutes to include entity conversion and domestication was approved 75-0 by the full Assembly Thursday.

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Tully, Swain & Benson Bill to Study School Bus Safety during in Emergency Situations Approved by Assembly

The full Assembly Thursday approved, 75-1, legislation sponsored by Chris Tully, Lisa Swain, and Daniel Benson to study the safety of school bus passengers during a variety of emergency situations.

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Mazzeo, Armato & Giblin Bill to Create Garden State Growth Zone within Atlantic City Airport Area Goes to Governor

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, John Armato and Thomas Giblin to create the Garden State Growth Zone at Atlantic City International Airport and surrounding areas cleared the legislature on Thursday with final approval given in the Senate.

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DeAngelo & Benson Bill to Remind Drivers 'U-TEXT, U-DRIVE, U-PAY' Clears Assembly

Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) Teens Inspire Anti-Texting Legislation

- Legislation Assemblymen Wayne P. DeAngelo and Daniel Benson sponsored to place a "U Text, U-Drive, U-Pay" reminder on the inspection sticker located on a vehicle's windshield was approved 76-0-1 by the full Assembly Thursday.

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Greenwald, DeAngelo, Mukherji & Conaway Legislation Improving Access to Disability Leave Program Clears Assembly

A bill package sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald, Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, and Assemblyman Herb Conaway revising laws concerning temporary disability leave was approved by the full Assembly on Thursday.

“The last thing a mother should have to worry about during a pregnancy or after childbirth, especially one that resulted in a disability, is the stress of filing for multiple benefit programs,” said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “These pieces of legislation allow for the consolidation of the filing process as well as easily-accessible tools and information for family leave benefit applications, which will ultimately save time and worry for new mothers. In addition, we will be able to study more in-depth data reports on these benefits and programs so we can continue to ease this burden for our citizens.”

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Taliaferro Urges Increased Exportation of NJ Dairy Products

(SALEM) – Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem) issued the following statement Friday on the need to export more New Jersey dairy products and on his resolution AR-156, which was approved by the General Assembly Thursday:

“There are so many communities in our state which are reliant upon domestic and international dairy sales.

Foreign diary sales have been increasing steadily over the past 15 years, having quadrupled since 2000 to the tune of $5 billion, and while New Jersey has been a beneficiary of this to some degree, I think we deserve better."

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Coughlin & Greenwald Bill to Fix Inequity in School Funding Formula Goes to Governor

Measure Helps Restore Fairness in School Funding Formula

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald to modify the school funding formula so schools receive fair and adequate funding that meets their needs received final legislative approval Thursday and now heads to the governor.

“The school funding formula in its current form is simply not viable. Basing funding on the formula without taking into account enrollment shifts has made it really difficult for some districts to adequately provide for their students,” said Speaker Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “This will help address the inequities that have plagued our schools for too long and unfairly benefitted some schools districts over others, and allow districts to properly meet the educational needs of their students.”

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Armato, Freiman and Jasey Bill Providing Funds for Acquisition of Lands for Recreational and Conservational Purposes Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members John Armato, Roy Freiman and Mila Jasey providing funds to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to acquire land for New Jersey cleared the General Assembly Thursday by a vote of 74-0-1.

“We owe it to our taxpayers to preserve our natural and historic sites so they can enjoy them for years to come,” said Armato (D-Atlantic). “We must make New Jersey not only the best state to live and work in, but also to play in.”

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Assembly Democratic Bill to Ensure Safety of Special Needs Students on School Buses Passes Assembly

Bill sponsored by Benson, Vainieri Huttle, Gusciora, Caputo, Zwicker

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Reed Gusciora, Ralph Caputo and Andrew Zwicker to protect special needs students who ride school buses cleared the full Assembly Thursday, 68-4-6.

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Holley, Carter, Kennedy & Quijano Measure to Rename a Part of Route 27 "Jerry Green Memorial Highway" Clears Assembly

(TRENTON) - The full Assembly approved legislation, 77-0, Thursday sponsored by Assembly Democrats Jamel C. Holley, Linda Carter, James Kennedy and Annette Quijano to designate the portion of the State Highway Route 27 in Union County as "Jerry Green Memorial Highway" in honor of the life-long career in public service of the Assemblyman who represented Legislative District 22 for 16 years.
Speaker Pro Tempore Green was the longest serving Assemblyman of the current New Jersey General Assembly.

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McKeon & Jasey Bill “Tommy’s Law” to Establish NJ Transit Policies Advances in Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon and Mila Jasey to require New Jersey Transit to put in place policies in case a person is injured or killed in an accident involving motor buses and rail or light rail vehicles was released by the full Assembly with a vote of 76-0 on Thursday.

"It’s shocking that such policies were not in place at the time of this tragic incident," said McKeon (D-Essex). "Accidents that result in injury involving mass transit vehicles are unexpected and even more so, heartbreaking if a family suffers a loss. These are delicate situations that require preparedness and compassion from employees designated to work with the person or the family."

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Jasey Bill to Aid in College Affordability Heads to Governor’s Desk

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Mila Jasey promoting college affordability was advanced by the Assembly on Thursday, 73-0-3.

“This bill both informs students and their families of what it takes to graduate in four years and asks institutions to be mindful of ensuring it is possible for students to earn a degree in four years,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “This will ultimately save on tuition costs, resulting in less debt and less stress.”

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Houghtaling, Downey, Mukherji & Holley Legislation to Make Sure Taxpayers are Aware of Property Tax Relief Programs Advanced by Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey, Raj Mukherji, and Jamel Holley to help ensure that New Jersey taxpayers are well aware of the property tax relief programs available to them was advanced by the full Assembly on Thursday with a vote of 73-2-2.

“It’s no secret that New Jersey has one of the highest property tax rates in the country,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “But what may be a secret to many is that there are a number of tax relief programs that they might be eligible for. This bill will ensure that taxpayers are aware of the relief that is available.”

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Moriarty, Reynolds-Jackson Bill Eliminating Discrimination against Cash Paying Consumers Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty and Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson prohibiting discrimination against consumers paying for goods or services with cash was advanced by Assembly on Thursday with a vote of 71-4.

“Many people do not have access to consumer credit and any effort by retail establishments to ban the use of cash would be discriminatory towards those people,” said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). “The U.S. dollar is legal tender and should be accepted at any retail establishment in New Jersey.”

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Benson & Jones Bill to Criminalize Tampering of School Bus Cameras Approved by Assembly

Bill Requires Monthly Inspection of Cameras of School Bus Video Footage

Legislation sponsored by Assembly democrats Daniel Benson and Patricia Egan Jones to set penalties for tampering with school bus cameras and require monthly inspection of camera video footage was approved 75-1 Thursday by the full Assembly.

The sponsors said recent bus incidents in Paramus and Chesterfield as well as the recent cases of sexual assault on school buses in other school districts has prompted a closer look into bus safety protocols in the state.

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Assembly Passes Bill to Crack Down on Powerful New Synthetic Opioid Far Stronger Than Heroin

Mazzeo, Armato, & Kennedy Bill Would Criminalize U-4 or "Pink" Which Has Been Responsible for Nearly 50 Deaths Nationwide

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, John Armato, and James Kennedy to crack down on a powerful, new synthetic opioid flooding the market that has proven far stronger than heroin was cleared to advance by the full Assembly, 76-1, on Thursday. The bill will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

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Lopez, Benson and Egan Jones Bill Establishing NJT Office of Real Estate Economic Development Advances Out of Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Yvonne Lopez, Daniel Benson and Patricia Egan Jones requiring the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJT) to establish an office of real estate economic development and transit-oriented development advanced Thursday by the General Assembly by a vote of 74-2-0.

“NJ Transit is the second largest landholder in the state, and there has never been a listing of all their properties,” said Lopez (D-Middlesex). “This will help us moving forward in determining how to allocate funding to ensure that there are no wasted dollars.”

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Pintor Marin & Tucker Bill Authorizing Assessments, Bonds to Fund Replacement of Lead-Contaminated Water Lines Approved by Assembly

Bill Aims to Ensure Safer, Cleaner Drinking Water for Thousands of Homes

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eliana Pintor Marin and Cleopatra Tucker authorizing municipalities to levy special assessments, and issue bonds, to replace certain lead-contaminated water service lines, was approved 73-2 Thursday by the full Assembly.

"This bill will put us one step closer to ensuring that our drinking water is safer to drink and lead free," said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). "In Newark alone, there are approximately 15,000 homes in which the water service lines connecting the property to the city's main water line are lead. This can lead to contaminated home drinking water."

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Benson, Burzichelli & Lampitt Bill to Make Major Investment in Career/Technical Education & School Security & Water Infrastructure Upgrades Clears Assembly

Proposal Would be Put Before Voters in General Election

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Dan Benson, John Burzichelli and Pamela Lampitt to make a significant investment in career and technical education programs offered by the state's county vocational school districts and county colleges, as well as school security and water infrastructure upgrades was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.

"The economic viability and competitiveness of New Jersey is inextricably linked to the strengths and skills of the state's current and future workforce," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Making the necessary investments in career and technical education programs will help us maintain current and attract new high-demand industries that are the engine of economic growth."

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DeAngelo Bill Package Regarding HVACR Contractors Advances in Legislature

Bills A-3703 and A-3704

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo clarifying ownership of standards and training requirements of certain HVACR contactors was advanced by the General Assembly Thursday.

“HVACR is an incredibly lucrative and necessary field, and these bills are designed to encourage people with a certain set of hands-on and entrepreneurial skills to get involved,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “We need talented individuals filling the skills gap we currently have, and I believe these bills will help remedy this.”

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Jimenez & Mukherji Bill to Provide Tax Relief for Low-Income & Middle Class Families Approved by Assembly


Bill Would Increase NJ EITC, Expand Property Tax Deduction Cap & Create Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit


Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angelica Jimenez (D-Bergen/Hudson) and Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) to provide tax relief for low income and middle class families in New Jersey was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.

"It is no secret that New Jersey has one of the highest property taxes in the nation," said Jimenez. "These changes will help relieve some of this financial hardship by expanding the property tax deduction cap, increasing the earned income tax credit and providing a new credit to help offset the cost of child care, which for families with multiple children can really add up."

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Quijano, Vainieri Huttle, Mukherji & Giblin 'Airbnb' Bill to Ensure Level Playing Field among Lodging Businesses Clears Assembly


Bill would bring tax fairness to short-term rentals made popular by sites like Airbnb

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Raj Mukherji and Tom Giblin to ensure fairness among all hospitality providers in New Jersey and provide a much-needed revenue boost to the state was approved Thursday by the Assembly.

The bill (A-1753) would impose the same taxes and fees that hotels and motels currently must pay to the state on "transient accommodations," or residences used as temporary lodging.

"Our laws need to be updated to keep up with changes brought about by new technology," said Quijano (D-Union). "The fact that taxes are not paid for stays at locations rented through sites like Airbnb but are applied to stays in hotels is an unfair advantage that hurts the hospitality industry and takes funding away from municipalities for important programs…"
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Greenwald, Moriarty & Murphy Bill to Create New Jersey Civic Information Consortium Approved by Assembly

Legislation Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald and Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty and Carol Murphy sponsored to establish a New Jersey Civic Information Consortium was approved 54-22 Thursday by the full Assembly.

"New Jersey's reliance on New York and Philadelphia media outlets for information means that a lot of our residents' news is coming not from their neighbors, but rather outside reporters who may be unfamiliar with the links between the state's past and its present," said Greenwald
(D-Camden/Burlington). "Local news is the lifeblood of a community. It adds local context to stories and keeps those in power accountable. Supporting it is undoubtedly in the public's best interest."

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Vainieri Huttle, Pinkin & McKeon Bill to Curb Use of Single-Use Carryout Plastic Bags Heads to Governor

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Nancy Pinkin and John McKeon to discourage the use of single-use carryout plastic bags and reduce the damaging impact they have on the environment received final legislative approval Thursday and now heads to the governor.

"Most stores have made the change and now provide more environmentally friendly bags for customers," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "This bill encourages more stores to get on board and move away from using the bags that are harmful to the environment."

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Reynolds-Jackson, Chiaravalloti and Andrzejczak Bill Appropriating Funds for Capital Projects and Park Development Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Bob Andrzejczak appropriating funds to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to provide funding for capital projects and park development on lands administered by the DEP’s Division of Parks and Forestry and Division of Fish and Wildlife cleared the Assembly Thursday by a vote of 75-0-0.

“We owe it to our taxpayers to make New Jersey as enjoyable to live in as possible,” said Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer/Hunderton). “And that doesn’t just mean economically, but also in a way that allows our residents to enjoy our beautiful nature to the fullest.”

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Sumter, Mukherji, Pintor Marin & Wimberly Bill to Ease Transition from Disability to Work Approved by Assembly

Legislation Assembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter, Raj Mukherji, Eliana Pintor Marin and Benjie Wimberly sponsored to establish a partial return to work program for residents receiving temporary disability insurance was approved 74-0 Thursday by the full Assembly.

Currently, the temporary disability insurance (TDI) law provides for benefits only during the time that the worker is completely unable to work due to the disability. The bill provides that the part-time TDI benefit is the full-time TDI benefit amount minus the wages paid to the worker during a week.

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Democratic Legislative Budget Proposal Goes to Governor


Budget Increases School Aid, Expands Earned Income Tax Credit & Restores Homestead Rebate

Budget Plan Also Includes Corporation Business Tax Surcharge, Pre-K Expansion, Child & Dependent Tax Credit & Cost Cutting Initiatives to Minimize Tax Increases

The General Assembly on Thursday approved a $36.5 billion budget that provides more funding for schools, restores the homestead rebate, reduces healthcare costs, restores valuable social programs and calls for forensic audits to eliminate costly inefficiencies.

The bill was approved 46-28-0 by the Assembly and 21-17 by the Senate and now heads to the governor.

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Speaker Coughlin Statement on $36.5 Billion Budget Sent to Governor



Assembly's $36.5 Billion Spending Plan Approved by Both Houses

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) released the following statement on the $36.5 billion budget sent by the Legislature to Gov. Murphy on Thursday:

"This budget represents months of hard work, dedication and a commitment to mitigating the financial burden that weighs heavy on the shoulders of New Jersey taxpayers. It represents our values and priorities as Democrats, and our responsibility to provide valuable services to our working families while reducing the cost of government."


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Karabinchak & Coughlin Bill to Establish Six-month Tax Amnesty Period Passes in Assembly

Would Apply to Tax Returns Due on or After Jan. 1, 2012

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin to establish a six-month State tax amnesty period, that would end no later than December 31, 2018, for tax returns due on or after January 1, 2012 was approved 55-20 Thursday by the full Assembly.

"This bill (A3438) will help eligible tax payers who, for a variety of reasons, are in arrears with their state taxes," said Karabinchak (D-Middlesex). "A job loss, health crisis or even a family emergency can change a person's financial picture. This bill would provide relief and a means to satisfy such outstanding debt."

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Vainieri Huttle Lauds Return of Division of Mental Health & Addiction Services to Department of Human Services

Assemblywoman was Fierce Opponent of Transfer Plan Under Christie Administration

(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen/Passaic) today praised Gov. Murphy’s decision to return the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, which was transferred to the Department of Health last October under a rushed and ill-advised plan by the former Christie administration, back to the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Vainieri Huttle introduced a bill (A-3065) in February to return the division to DHS. The governor today announced his plan to move the division back to DHS.

“I am elated that the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services will return to the Department of Human Services which is better equipped to do this important work…"

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Andrzejczak, Land, Benson, Holley & Mukherji Measure to Strengthen Animal Cruelty Laws Clears Assembly

Bill Would Require Abusers to Cover Cost of Caring for Recovering Animals

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bob Andrzejczak, Bruce Land, Daniel R. Benson, Jamel Holley and Raj Mukherji to require animal abusers to pay the cost for caring for the animals they harmed was advanced by the General Assembly Thursday by a vote of 68-4-4.

The bill (A-781) would provide for the cost of care for animals involved in animal cruelty violations and establish a procedure for the alleged violator to pay for the care.

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*** THURSDAY ASSEMBLY VOTING SESSION***

FY '18-'19 Budget Legislation -- Increasing School Aid, Expanding Earned Income Tax, Fully Restoring Homestead Rebate, Creating Tax Amnesty Program on Tap for Thursday Assembly Session Assembly Budget Also Restores Funding to Fair Housing Trust & Increases Funding to Pension System, NJ Transit, and Transportation Trust Fund

Also Up for Vote: School Bus Safety Bills, Garden State Growth Zone in Atlantic City Airport, Requiring DMV Stickers to Notify Drivers of Texting While Driving Penalty & Tommy's Law

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Assemblywoman Quijano Celebrates World Refugee Day At International Refugee Committee; Condemns Trump’s Separation of Children From Families

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano joined the International Refugee Committee in Elizabeth on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate International Refugee Day and to celebrate the important role that immigrants play in our communities.

“Immigrants are the foundation of the United States and since our inception we have always been the city on the hill shining that beacon of freedom to the world,” stated Assemblywoman Quijano. “Through all the negativity out there right now, immigrants need to know that they have the strong support of the people of New Jersey.”

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Chiaravalloti Bill for Transportation Services to Aid in School Funding Gains Assembly Panel Approval

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti to establish a 20 cent per ride fee on certain prearranged rides, dedicating revenue to schools, was approved by the Assembly Budget Committee on Tuesday.

“These days, it is difficult to find people who are not taking advantage of prearranged ride services such as Uber and Lyft,” said Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). “Devoting some of the increasing revenue coming from these services to our schools is significantly beneficial to our students as well as our state.”

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Benson, Lopez & Jones Bill to Criminalize Tampering of School Bus Cameras Clears Committee

Bill Requires Monthly Inspection of Cameras of School Bus Video Footage

An Assembly panel recently approved legislation sponsored by Assembly members Daniel Benson, Yvonne Lopez and Patricia Egan Jones to set penalties for tampering with school bus cameras and require monthly inspection of camera video footage.

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Assembly Democratic Bill to Ensure Safety of Special Needs Students on School Buses Clears Assembly Panel

Bill sponsored by Benson, Vainieri Huttle, Gusciora, Caputo, Zwicker

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Reed Gusciora, Ralph Caputo and Andrew Zwicker to protect special needs students who ride school buses was released Monday by an Assembly panel.

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Lopez, Benson, Swain and Tully Bill Focused on Seat Belt, School Bus Safety Approved by Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Yvonne Lopez, Daniel Benson, Lisa Swain and Chris Tully requiring new school buses to be equipped with 3-point lap and shoulder safety belts was approved by the Assembly Transportation Committee Tuesday.

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Coughlin & Greenwald Bill to Fix Inequity in School Funding Formula Clears Assembly Panel


Measure Helps Restore Fairness in School Funding Formula

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald to modify the school funding formula so schools receive fair and adequate funding that meets their needs was released Tuesday by the Assembly Budget Committee.

"The school funding formula in its current form is simply not viable. Basing funding on the formula without taking into account enrollment shifts has made it really difficult for some districts to adequately provide for their students," said Speaker Coughlin (D-Middlesex). "This will help address the inequities that have plagued our schools for too long and unfairly benefitted some schools districts over others, and allow districts to properly meet the educational needs of their students."

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Greenwald, Moriarty, & Murphy Bill to Create New Jersey Civic Information Consortium Advances

Legislation Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald and Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty and Carol Murphy sponsored to establish a New Jersey Civic Information Consortium advanced through the Assembly Budget Committee on Tuesday.

“New Jersey’s reliance on New York and Philadelphia media outlets for information means that a lot of our residents’ news is coming not from their neighbors, but rather outside reporters who may be unfamiliar with the links between the state’s past and its present,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “Local news is the lifeblood of a community. It adds local context to stories and keeps those in power accountable. Supporting it is undoubtedly in the public’s best interest.” For More             

Johnson, Schaer & Pinkin Bill Concerning Investment of Pension and Annuity Funds by the State Approved by Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Gordon Johnson, Gary Schaer and Nancy Pinkin to prohibit investment of pension and annuity funds by the state in entities that avoid Superfund obligations to the state received approval from the Assembly Budget Committee on Monday.

“Considering the devastating impact Superfund sites have on residents and the environment, any corporation avoiding their Superfund obligations should be aware that avoiding such responsibility will not be without consequence,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “Under no circumstance should a corporation get a pass from fulfilling their Superfund obligations.”

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Quijano, Gilbin, & Downey Bill to Make NJ’s Family Leave Program More Accessible & Affordable to More Working Families Advanced by Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Thomas Giblin, and Joann Downey expanding New Jersey’s paid leave program and making it more accessible and affordable to more New Jerseyans was released Monday by the Assembly Budget Committee.

“Many workers can’t afford to take family leave because of its low wage replacement rates, or choose not to out of fear of being retaliated against if they do. In some cases, they are unaware that this is even an option,” said Quijano. “The revisions in this bill would help working families who need to take time off work to bond and care for a new child, or to care for a family member who is sick or is recovering from a violent ordeal to do so without jeopardizing their financial security.”

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McKeon & Jasey Bill “Tommy’s Law” to Establish NJ Transit Policies Advances in Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon and Mila Jasey to require New Jersey transit to put in place policies in case a person is injured or killed in an accident involving motor buses and rail or light rail vehicles was released by the Assembly Budget Committee Monday.

"It’s shocking that such policies were not in place at the time of this tragic incident," said McKeon (D-Essex). "Accidents that result in injury involving mass transit vehicles are unexpected and even more so, heartbreaking if a family suffers a loss. These are delicate situations that require preparedness and compassion from employees designated to work with the person or the family."

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Greenwald, DeAngelo Legislation Improving Disability Leave Program Advances

Two bills sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo revising laws concerning temporary disability leave continued to advance in the Assembly on Monday with approval by the Assembly Budget Committee.

“The last thing a mother should have to worry about during a pregnancy or after childbirth, especially one that resulted in a disability, is the stress of filing for multiple benefit programs,” said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “These pieces of legislation allow for the consolidation of the filing process as well as easily-accessible tools and information for family leave benefit applications, which will ultimately save time and worry for new mothers.”

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Zwicker: Trump Forced Separation Policy is Cruelly Abusive

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/Hunterdon) released the following statement Tuesday regarding the Trump administration's forced separation policy:

"The reports, photos and videos of families being forcibly separated by our own federal government are horrifying beyond description. Imagine the terror and confusion these children are experiencing as they're torn out of their parents' arms, locked in cages indefinitely with strangers, deprived of any comfort, and treated like hardened criminals. As a parent, of course, I'm appalled. But one doesn't need to have children to understand that our government's conduct is cruelly abusive and wrong in the extreme.

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Swain, Tully & Murphy Bill Expanding Temporary Disability and Family Leave Program Advances

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Lisa Swain, Christopher Tully and Carol Murphy permitting individuals to submit temporary disability and family temporary disability leave claims prior to the commencement of leave was approved Monday by an Assembly panel.

The bill (A-4118) states that an individual can submit leave claims up to 60 days prior to the commencement of leave if he or she knows in advance when the leave will commence. The measure requires the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to pay the benefit for such a claim upon the commencement of the leave.

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Quijano, Vainieri Huttle, Mukherji & Giblin ‘Airbnb’ Bill to Ensure Level Playing Field among Lodging Businesses Clears Assembly Budget Committee

Bill would bring tax fairness to short-term rentals made popular by sites like Airbnb

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Raj Mukherji and Tom Giblin to ensure fairness among all hospitality providers in New Jersey and provide a much-needed revenue boost to the state was approved Monday by the Assembly Budget Committee.

The bill (A-1753) would impose the same taxes and fees that hotels and motels currently must pay to the state on “transient accommodations,” or residences used as temporary lodging.

For More             

Speaker Coughlin on President Trump's Immigration Policy: This is Cruel, Inhumane & Must End

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) issued the following statement Tuesday admonishing President Trump's immigration policy to separate families attempting to cross the US-Mexico border:

"This policy is cruel, inhumane and wildly at odds with the values we share as Americans.

"The damage that this is doing to these children and their families is sinful.


For More             

Assembly Panel Approves Benson, Burzichelli & Lampitt Bill to Make Major Investment in Career/Technical Education & School Security & Water Infrastructure Upgrades


Proposal Would be Put Before Voters in General Election

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Dan Benson, John Burzichelli and Pamela Lampitt to make a significant investment in career and technical education programs offered by the state's county vocational school districts and county colleges, as well as school security upgrades for K-12 schools was approved Monday by the Assembly Budget Committee.

"The economic viability and competitiveness of New Jersey is inextricably linked to the strengths and skills of the state's current and future workforce," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Making the necessary investments in career and technical education programs will help us maintain current and attract new high-demand industries that are the engine of economic growth."

For More             

Assembly Budget Clears Assembly Panel



Budget Increases School Aid, Expands Earned Income Tax Credit & Restores Homestead Reba


Budget Proposal Also Includes Corporation Business Tax Surcharge, Pre-K Expansion, Child & Dependent Tax Credit & Cost Cutting Initiatives to Minimize Tax Increases

The Assembly Budget Committee todroved a $36.5 billion budget that provides more funding for schools, restores the homestead rebate, reduces healthcare costs, restores valuable social programs and calls for forensic audits to eliminate costly inefficiencies.

The budget (A-4200) restores the full homestead rebate to help ease the burden on seniors and working families, restores $15 million from the Fair Housing Trust Fund to build affordable housing, provides additional funding for NJ Transit and contributes to the state pension obligations.

"The budget we approved today reflects an earnest attempt to provide our working families with property tax relief, make vital investments in education, and maintain valuable services while minimizing the financial impact on our overtly taxed residents," said Assembly Budget Chair Eliana Pintor-Marin (D-Essex).

For More             

Assembly Bill Package Focused on Protecting Environment and Students from Lead Exposure Clears Budget Committee

Bills Sponsored by McKeon, Pinkin, Conaway, Mukherji and Danielsen

(TRENTON) – A two-bill Assembly Democratic package focused on protecting students and the environment from lead exposure in water was released by the Assembly Budget Committee on Monday.

One bill (A-2697), sponsored by Assemblyman John F. McKeon and Nancy Pinkin, would require each public water system in New Jersey to compile and report to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) an inventory of lead service lines in use in its distribution system.

“We all know the dangers of water tainted by lead,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “The long term negative effects of drinking lead-tainted water can be absolutely devastating, and it is our responsibility to take all the measures necessary to limit the amount of lead in our drinking water for the sakes of all of our constituents, especially our children.”

For More             

Tully, Swain & Armato Bill to Maximize Federal Funding for Municipalities Advances

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Chris Tully, Lisa Swain, and John Armato to make information available to maximize federal funding was advanced by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee on Monday.

“The creation of this office will help New Jersey take full advantage of federal funding and will allow our state to get the most out of every federal dollar,” said Tully (D-Bergen/Passaic). “By dedicating an ombudsman to relay this information, our residents will not be short-changed as they will be more aware of the resources available to them.”

For More             

Houghtaling, Downey, Mukherji & Holley Legislation to Make Sure Taxpayers are Aware of Property Tax Relief Programs Advances

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey, Raj Mukherji, and Jamel Holley to help ensure that New Jersey taxpayers are well aware of the property tax relief programs available to them was approved by an Assembly panel on Monday.

“It’s no secret that New Jersey has one of the highest property tax rates in the country,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “But what may be a secret to many is that there are a number of tax relief programs that they might be eligible for. This bill will ensure that taxpayers are aware of the relief that is available.”

For More             

Assembly Democrats Legislation Making College Textbooks Affordable Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Nancy Pinkin, Benjie Wimberly, and Adam Taliaferro to make textbook more affordable for students of higher education was cleared by an Assembly panel on Monday.

“The ever-increasing prices of college textbooks are simply becoming unreasonable,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “By implementing open textbooks in college courses, students will save a significant amount of money as well as lower both the amount of and the stresses of debt after college.”

For More             

Assembly Democrats Bill Package on College Affordability Gains Assembly Panel Approval

A bill package sponsored by Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey, Angelica Jimenez, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and Daniel Benson promoting college affordability was advanced by the Assembly Higher Education Committee on Monday.

“Combined, these bills both inform students and their families of what it takes to graduate in four years and asks institutions to be mindful of ensuring it is possible for students to earn a degree in four years,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “Which will ultimately save on tuition costs, resulting in less debt and less stress.”

For More             

Mazzeo, Burzichelli, Chiaravalloti, Wimberly & Downey Bill to Prevent Individuals with Criminal Records from Officiating School Sporting Events Approved by Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo, John Burzichelli, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Benjie Wimberly and Joann Downey to prevent individuals with criminal records from officiating interscholastic athletic events was approved Monday by an Assembly panel.

"We must be diligent about who we put in positions of authority, and who we bring around our children," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "In youth sports many different positions are already required to undergo background checks. Our referees and officials who have close contact with children shouldn't be an exception. This bill is about protecting our kids and our families."

For More             

*** TUESDAY***
Assembly Budget Committee will Continue Budget Deliberations

The Assembly Budget Committee will continue its deliberations on Tuesday and will consider several bills, including the FY 2018-2019 budget.

The meeting will pick up again at noon in Committee Room 11 on the 4th Floor of the State House Annex in Trenton.

Audio of the hearings will be streamed at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.

For More             

Mazzeo, Armato & Giblin Bill to Create Garden State Growth Zone within Atlantic City Airport Area Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, John Armato and Thomas Giblin to create the Garden State Growth Zone at Atlantic City International Airport and surrounding areas was approved Monday by the Assembly Budget Committee.

Under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program and the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program, qualified business located in a Garden State Growth Zone (GSGZ) benefit from enhanced incentives offered only to businesses located in GSGZs. The state currently has five designated Garden State Growth Zones: Atlantic City, Camden, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton.

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Assembly Bill Tackling Mortgage Discrimination and Foreclosure Practices in New Jersey Advances in Assembly

Bill Sponsored by Assembly Members Mosquera, Wimberly & Mukherji

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gabriela Mosquera, Benjie Wimberly and Raj Mukherji that would address concerns of mortgage discrimination and foreclosure practices by prohibiting discrimination based on familial status advanced in the Assembly Monday.

The bill (A-401) prohibits depository institutions that make mortgage loans in this state from discriminating against any person in making available a mortgage loan, or in the terms or conditions of a mortgage loan, because of the person's familial status. It also would allow anyone discriminated against in violation of the bill to bring action in New Jersey in a court of competent jurisdiction. Upon finding that a depository institution is in violation, the court would be permitted to award actual damages, reasonable attorneys' fees, and court costs.

For More             

Pintor Marin & Calabrese Bill to Establish Protections for New Homeowners of Foreclosed Properties Advances in Assembly

Legislation Assembly Democrats Eliana Pintor Marin and Clinton Calabrese sponsored to require provisions regarding a sellers' obligation to deliver marketable and insurable title in certain residential real estate contracts of sale advanced in the Assembly Monday.

The bill (A-3366), which supplements the "Fair Foreclosure Act," addresses situations in which a residential mortgage lender foreclosing on a residential property, buys the property at the resulting sheriff's sale, and subsequently seeks to sell the property (commonly known as a "Real Estate Owned" or "REO" property) through a contract with a new purchaser.

For More             

Benson and DeAngelo Measure to Ensure Job Security for Organ Donors Clears Assembly Committee

Bill Would Prohibit Termination Due to Temporary Leave Related to Organ Donation

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson and Wayne DeAngelo sponsored to ensure that organ and bone marrow donors do not lose employment due to a temporary inability to work was advanced Monday by an Assembly Committee.

“Organ and tissue donors selflessly undergo procedures to save another person’s life only to face the possibility that their act of kindness may cost them their livelihood,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Establishing statutory job protection for these men and women will ensure that no New Jersey resident can lose employment because he or she took temporary disability due to organ or tissue donation.”

For More             

DeAngelo Bill to Better Protect Unemployment Insurance Fund Advanced by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo sponsored to better protect the state’s Unemployment Insurance Fund from fraud and ensure it’s used only by those it was created to assist – unemployed New Jerseyans – was advanced Monday by the Assembly Labor Committee.

“Out-of-work New Jerseyans deserve this help, and every taxpayer deserves to know the benefits system they pay into is protected as best as possible from fraud that, in the end, only costs everyone more money,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “The unemployment fund exists to help New Jerseyans get back on their feet as they find work, and it should be protected for their use and their use only. With these few steps, we can better ensure that happens.”

For More             

Armato, Freiman and Jasey Bill Providing Funds for Acquisition of Lands for Recreational and Conservational Purposes Clears Assembly Budget Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members John Armato, Roy Freiman and Mila Jasey providing funds to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to acquire land for New Jersey cleared the Assembly Budget Committee on Monday.

“We owe it to our taxpayers to preserve our natural and historic sites so they can enjoy them for years to come,” said Armato (D-Atlantic). “We must make New Jersey not only the best state to live and work in, but also to play in.”

For More             

Reynolds-Jackson, Chiaravalloti and Andrzejczak Bill Appropriating Funds for Capital Projects and Park Development Clears Assembly Budget Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Bob Andrzejczak appropriating funds to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to provide funding for capital projects and park development on lands administered by the DEP’s Division of Parks and Forestry and Division of Fish and Wildlife cleared the Assembly Budget Committee on Monday.

“We owe it to our taxpayers to make New Jersey as enjoyable to live in as possible,” said Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer/Hunderton). “And that doesn’t just mean economically, but also in a way that allows our residents to enjoy our beautiful nature to the fullest.”

For More             

Reynolds-Jackson Statement on Art All Night Shooting

Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon), whose districts include the Capital City of Trenton, released the following statement Monday regarding the Art All Night Festival shooting on June 17:

"I, like countless others, was saddened, angered and hurt by the shootings and injuries at Art All Night. I extend my condolences to the family of the individual killed and wish a speedy recovery to those injured.

For More             

Pinkin, Pintor Marin & DeAngelo Bill Requiring Agencies to Establish Online Outlet to Report Lead Testing Results Clears Assembly Budget Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Nancy Pinkin, Eliana Pintor Marin and Wayne DeAngelo requiring the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to establish online reporting systems for schools and child care centers to report lead testing results cleared the Assembly Budget Committee on Monday.

“While the State Board of Education has adopted regulations requiring every New Jersey school to test for lead in drinking water, there is no centralized database for children, parents and lawmakers to view this information,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex), who serves as chairwoman as of the Committee. “It would add transparency for all of our residents to see exactly what is in school drinking water.”

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Monday Assembly Committees--Combatting Mortgage Discrimination, High Costs of College Textbooks, & Addressing School Security, School Bus Safety Concerns

Also on Tap: Boosting School Aid, Securing Our Children's Futures Bond Act, Temporary Disability Leave, & Criminal Background Checks for Athletic Event Officials

**Assembly Transportation to Hold Hearing on School Bus Safety at
10 AM in Committee Room 6**

(TRENTON) - Legislation aimed at college affordability, a measure allowing a payroll tax in certain municipalities to boost school aid, and bills helping to ensure school security will be considered by Assembly committees on Monday.
The Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee will also meet Monday to receive testimony from invited guests regarding school bus safety.

For More             

Greenwald, Lampitt & Mosquera “Jake’s Law” Bill to Create Inclusive Playgrounds to Better Serve NJ Families with Disabilities Clears Senate Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington), Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) and Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester) to make playgrounds in New Jersey inclusive and capable of catering to children and parents with different types of disabilities was approved Thursday by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee.

“Many parks, including those that are Americans with Disabilities compliant, do not have proper wheelchair access and equipment suitable for all visitors,” said Greenwald. “Inclusive playgrounds allow every child to participate, and allow adults with special needs and accommodations to play with their children on the playground. That should be the goal moving forward.”

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Assembly & Senate Transportation Committees to Hold Joint Hearing on School Bus Safety Monday

Discussion Raised in Light of Tragic Bus Incident in Paramus Last Month

Assembly Transportation Chairman Daniel Benson and Senate Transportation Chairman Patrick Diegnan announced Friday a joint hearing to receive testimony on school bus safety prompted by public concern raised by the recent tragic incident in Paramus.

For More             

Swain, Mosquera & Downey Bills Requiring Sexual Assault Reporting, Training for Airline Industry
Clears Committee

Measures Would Help Document, Track and Solve Sexual Assaults

A three-part legislative package sponsored by Assembly Democrats Lisa Swain, Gabriela Mosquera and Joann Downey to require sexual assault reporting and training in the airline industry was introduced in the Assembly Thursday.

"We can all agree that even one victim of sexual assault is too many, and the victims of these crimes deserve to know that we hear them and have their backs," said Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic).

For More             

Assembly Bill Package Focused on Protecting Environment and Students from Lead Exposure Clears Assembly Panel

Bills Sponsored by Conaway, Pinkin & McKeon

A two-bill Assembly Democratic package focused on protecting students and the environment from lead exposure in water cleared the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on Thursday.

For More             

Holley, Carter, Kennedy & Quijano Measure to Rename a Part of Route 27 "Jerry Green Memorial Highway" Clears Assembly Panel

A legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Jamel C. Holley, Linda Carter, James Kennedy and Annette Quijano to designate the portion of the State Highway Route 27 in Union County as "Jerry Green Memorial Highway" in honor of the life-long career in public service of the Assemblyman who represented Legislative District 22 for 16 years was approved by the Assembly Transportation Committee on Thursday.

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Vainieri Huttle & Mukherji Bill to Allow Electric Bicycles on NJ Roadways Clears Assembly Committee

The Assembly Transportation Committee released on Thursday legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Raj Mukherji to permit operation of low-speed electric bicycles on New Jersey roads.

The bill will go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.

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McKeon & Jasey Bill "Tommy's Law" to Establish NJ Transit Policies Clears Committee

An Assembly panel Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon and Mila Jasey to require New Jersey transit to put in place policies in case a person is injured or killed in an accident involving motor buses and rail or light rail vehicles.

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Murphy, Conaway & Benson Bill, 'Antwan's Law,' to Protect Pedestrians Crossing Route 130 near Burlington City High School Advances in Assembly

Legislation Assembly Democrats Carol Murphy, Herb Conaway and Daniel Benson sponsored to make roadways safer for children who must cross a busy section of Rt. 130 going to and from school was released Thursday by the Assembly Transportation Committee.

For More             

DeAngelo & Benson Bill to Remind Drivers 'U-TEXT, U-DRIVE, U-PAY' Advances in Assembly

Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) Teens Inspire Anti-Texting Legislation

Legislation Assemblymen Wayne P. DeAngelo and Daniel Benson sponsored to place a "U Text, U-Drive, U-Pay" reminder on the inspection sticker located on a vehicle's windshield was advanced by an Assembly committee on Thursday.

For More             

Benson Bill to Promote Motor Vehicle Safety Among Teen Drivers Approved by Assembly Panel

Legislation Assembly Democrat Daniel Benson sponsored to reform New Jersey's graduated driver license program and promote motor vehicle safety among young drivers was approved by the Assembly Transportation Committee Thursday.

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Pinkin, Pintor Marin & DeAngelo Bill Requiring Agencies to Establish Online Outlet to Report Lead Testing Results Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Nancy Pinkin, Eliana Pintor Marin and Wayne DeAngelo requiring the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to establish online reporting systems for schools and child care centers to report lead testing results cleared the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on Thursday.

For More             

McKnight, Vainieri Huttle & Chaparro Bill to Increase Awareness of ‘Dry Drowning’ Advances

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Angela McKnight, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and Annette Chaparro to provide parents and caregivers of children with critical information that can save the lives of young swimmers in New Jersey was advanced by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee on Thursday.

“The notion that a child can seem perfectly fine during a fun day at the pool and then be near death hours after leaving is terrifying for any parent,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “Making sure parents and caregivers know to look out for the signs of dry drowning can save children’s lives in New Jersey.”

For More             

Houghtaling & Downey Legislation Aiding in Tax Relief for Veterans Approved by Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey extending property tax deductions and exemptions for veterans living in continuing care retirement communities was cleared by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee on Thursday.

“Our veterans have done so much for us, it is simply the least we can do to give them the same assistance we give to current homeowners,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “The goal of this piece of legislation is to make a simple fix to offer all of our veterans the same benefit whether they own a home or live in a continuing care retirement community".

For More             

Greenwald, DeAngelo Legislation Improving Access to Disability Leave Program Advances

A bill package sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo revising laws concerning temporary disability leave was advanced by the Assembly Labor Committee Thursday.

“The last thing a mother should have to worry about during a pregnancy or after childbirth, especially one that resulted in a disability, is the stress of filing for multiple benefit programs,” said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “These pieces of legislation allow for the consolidation of the filing process as well as easily-accessible tools and information for family leave benefit applications, which will ultimately save time and worry for new mothers. In addition, we will be able to study more in-depth data reports on these benefits and programs so we can continue to ease this burden for our citizens.”

For More             

Swain, Tully Legislation Expanding Temporary Disability and Family Leave Program Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Lisa Swain and Assemblyman Christopher Tully permitting individuals to submit temporary disability and family temporary disability leave claims prior to the commencement of leave was cleared by the Assembly Labor Committee on Thursday.

“Currently, covered individuals often receive their benefit payments weeks after their leave has already begun which can cause financial hardship on families,” said Swain (D-Bergen/Passaic). “The goal of this bill is to prevent delays in payment by giving both employers and departments advanced notice of leave and ample time to issue benefits to employees.” For More             

Quijano, Giblin & Downey Bill to Make NJ's Family Leave Program More Accessible & Affordable to More Working Families Advanced by Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Thomas Giblin, and Joann Downey expanding New Jersey’s paid leave program and making it more accessible and affordable to more New Jerseyans was advanced out of the Assembly Labor Committee on Thursday.

“Many workers can’t afford to take family leave because of its low wage replacement rates, or choose not to out of fear of being retaliated against if they do. In some cases, they are unaware that this is even an option,” said Quijano. “The revisions in this bill would help working families who need to take time off work to bond and care for a new child, or to care for a family member who is sick or is recovering from a violent ordeal to do so without jeopardizing their financial security.”

For More             

Andrzejczak & Houghtaling Bill Establishing Value-Added Dairy Farming Program Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Bob Andrzejczak and Eric Houghtaling requiring the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to establish a “Value-Added Dairy Farming Program” cleared the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday.

“We should support our dairy farmers so that they can not only survive, but thrive,” said Committee Chairman Andrzejcak (D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic). “This program will help us do just that.”

For More             

Wimberly, Schaer & Lampitt 'Healthy Small Food Retailer Act' Continues Advancing


Bill Aims to Fight Obesity & Increase Nutrition in Lower Income Urban & Rural Areas

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie Wimberly, Gary Schaer and Pamela Lampitt to increase the availability of healthy, nutritious foods in lower income, urban and rural communities was approved Thursday by a Senate panel.

"This bill is designed to boost the availability of fresh produce and other healthy foods, at affordable prices, to residents in neighborhoods that are typically underserved in this area," said Wimberly.

For More             

Downey, Houghtaling, Lampitt, Mukherji & Holley Bill to Establish Grant Program for Veterans Advances in Assembly

'Veterans Assistance Grant Program' Would Provide Support for Mental Health Care, Housing

Legislation Assembly Democrats Joann Downey, Eric Houghtaling, Pamela Lampitt, Raj Mukherji and Jamel Holley sponsored to help provide more veterans with counseling, employment and housing services advanced in the Assembly Thursday.

"New Jersey's veteran population is made up of people who were willing to give their lives for the United States of America. At the very least, they deserve to rest assured that they can get help when they need it - whether it's talking to a therapist or finding an apartment," said Downey
(D-Monmouth). "Providing funding to help these men and women is part of honoring our obligation to those who served."

For More             

Mazzeo, Andrzejczak, Zwicker, Land, Benson & Downey Bill to Require Schools to Maintain Narcan Supply Continues Advancing

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Bob Andrzejczak, Andrew Zwicker, Bruce Land, Dan Benson & Joann Downey to require schools to maintain a supply of an opioid antidote was approved Thursday by a Senate panel.

"The harsh reality is that opioids are killing thousands of people in this country, many of them young people," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "Narcan has been proven to save lives. Having it readily available in schools can help ensure that our schools are ready to respond in every emergency situation."

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Quijano, Holley and Lopez Bill Making the SNAP Employment and Training Provider Demonstration Project Permanent Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Annette Quijano, Jamel Holley and Yvonne Lopez making the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Provider Demonstration Project permanent and renaming the program to recognize that it would no longer be a demonstration program cleared the Assembly Human Services Committee on Thursday.

“Ultimately, this program has helped our residents gain skills and training which will help them obtain regular employment,” said Quijano (D-Union). “This has been proven to work, so we should absolutely continue it.”

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Downey & Chiaravalloti Bill Providing Oversight to Medicaid Transportation Brokerage Program Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Joann Downey and Nicholas Chiaravalloti establishing standards in association with New Jersey’s transportation brokerage program cleared the Assembly Human Services Committee on Thursday.

“It is simply not right for patients to be late for their appointments, or miss them all together, through no fault of your own,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “Not only will our bill solve this problem by requiring drivers to arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled pickup time, but it will also save the state a significant amount of money by implementing strict oversight measures to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.”

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Greenwald and Mosquera Two-Bill Package to Strengthen Protections for Victims of Sexual Assault Approved By Panel

Would Establish "Stealthing" As A Third-Degree Crime; Amend Sexual Assault Statute

A two-bill legislative package sponsored by Assblyl Democrats Louis Greenwald and Gabriela Mosquera to establish "stealthing" as a crime, and to amend certain provisions of a sexual assault statute by clarifying the necessary elements for conviction advanced in the Assembly Thursday.

The first bill (A-2766), would make stealthing, a term used to describe intentional removal or damage to a sexually protective device before or during a sexual act without the consent of a sexual partner, a third-degree crime--an offense generally punishable by 3 to 5 years imprisonment, a fine up to $15,000 or both.

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Zwicker Joins New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force to Issue Recommendations to Boost State's Biotechnology Sector

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker and Vice-chair of the New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force today helped issue the Task Force's final report to encourage the growth of the State's biotechnology sector.

The Task Force was established in December 2017 pursuant to P.L. 2016, Joint Resolution No. 5, to recognize the pivotal role the biotechnology industry plays in the state's economic activity, jobs, and tax revenues.

The Task Force met with and accepted testimony from representatives in the life sciences industry and in New Jersey's academic institutions. Testimony focused on existing efforts related to industry collaboration and technology transfer (as well as gaps and challenges); government and private resources; and strategic partnerships that have been leveraged to support continued growth of the life sciences industry in New Jersey. This testimony provided a framework for the recommendations contained in the final report.

For More             

Speaker Coughlin Statement on New Gun Safety Laws

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) issued the following statement Wednesday after Gov. Murphy signed six gun safety bills into law.

"These laws will help provide our families with the peace of mind and sense of security that they expect and deserve. I commend Gov. Murphy for signing these bills, and my colleagues for bringing them to the table."

For More             

*** Common Sense Gun Safety *** McKeon, Greenwald, Jasey, Zwicker, Murphy & Moriarty Bill to Keep Guns Away from Dangerous Persons Now Law

The Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018 - which authorizes new protective orders against those who pose a significant danger by either possessing or purchasing a firearm – sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Mila Jasey, Tim Eustace, Andrew Zwicker, Carol Murphy and Paul Moriarty has been signed into law.

“We’ve seen too many ‘what ifs’ when it comes to these mass shootings, often centered around the question of why didn’t somebody do something to take guns away from someone who poses a danger,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “This law makes it easier to accomplish that goal and, ultimately, protect our communities and our children. The status quo doesn’t work. We need new approaches that give authorities a real chance to keep guns away from individuals who pose a threat. It’s common sense.”

For More             

*** Common Sense Gun Safety *** Jones, Mosquera, Sumter, Downey, Barclay & Moriarty Bill to Prevent Gun Violence among Individuals with Mental Disorders Becomes Law

Legislation Assembly Democrats Patricia Egan Jones, Gabriela Mosquera, Shavonda Sumter, Joann Downey, Arthur Barclay and Paul Moriarty sponsored to prevent individuals with an elevated risk of engaging in violence due to mental illness from harming themselves and others was signed into law Thursday.

“For someone who may be struggling with disturbing thoughts, having access to a firearm significantly increases the likelihood of suicide,” said Jones (D-Camden/Gloucester). “By reducing their access to a lethal weapon, New Jersey can now help prevent fatalities among those with serious mental health concerns.”

For More             

*** Common Sense Gun Safety *** Assembly Democrats Greenwald, Holley, & Moriarty Legislation to Counter Efforts to Weakean Gun Safety Regulations Becomes Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald and Assemblymen Jamel Holley and Paul Moriarty aimed at ensuring strong gun safety regulations are codified into law in New Jersey was signed into law Thursday.

“New Jersey’s gun safety laws are among the strongest in the nation and we must keep them that way,’ said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “Overturning these unsafe regulations has been a top priority of mine. I commend Governor Murphy for doing the right thing to keep our streets safe and ensure laws are enforced as intended. Today, with the signing of this bill into law, we need to make sure that no future governor can attempt to carelessly weaken our gun safety laws.”

For More             

*** Common Sense Gun Safety *** Greenwald, Murphy, Quijano Bill to Ban Possession of Body Armor Piercing Ammunition Now Law

Legislation Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Assembly Members Carol Murphy and Annette Quijano sponsored to ban the possession of ammunition capable of penetrating body armor was signed into law Thursday.

“As technology advances, so does the threat to our police officers who must brave criminals armed with powerful weapons,” Greenwald said. “Criminalizing the use of this type of ammunition is common sense. Our officers risk their lives daily. Today, we’ve taken a step to better protect them.”

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*** Common Sense Gun Safety *** Assembly Gun Safety Bills Clear Legislature Now Law

Six gun safety bills sponsored by Assembly Democrats were signed into law Thursday. Among them, legislation aiming to keep guns away from those who pose threats, reducing ammunition magazine capacity, enhancing background checks, banning armor-piercing ammunition and countering efforts to weaken gun safety regulations.

“Meeting the families of Sandy Hook was one of the most moving experiences of my 22 years of public service,” said Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “For these families, the single most important law we could have fought for is lowering magazine capacity. I refused to let these families down, to look them in the eyes and tell them we are powerless - that their loved ones were a tragic but necessary, loss. No loss to gun violence is ever necessary.”

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*** Common Sense Gun Safety ***

Greenwald, Holley, Moriarty Bill to Require Background Checks for Private Gun Sales Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Assemblymen Jamel Holley and Paul Moriarty to improve gun safety by requiring background checks for private gun sales was signed into law today by Gov. Murphy.

"Requiring a licensee to complete a National Instant Criminal Background Check on the recipient of a handgun, rifle or shotgun is just plain common sense," said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). "It's shocking that we don't do this already, but we are fixing this gaping loophole with this law to make us all safer."

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Zwicker Statement on Net Neutrality

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/Hunterdon), who is chair of the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, released the following statement Wednesday regarding net neutrality:

"This week, our country took a step backwards with the Trump administration rolling back net neutrality rules and allowing internet service providers to charge us more for access, or faster access, to certain websites or content. In other words, using the internet is about to become like cable TV: we'll pay one rate for some basic level of internet access, but have to pay a higher rate for faster speed or more "premium" kinds of websites.

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*** Common Sense Gun Safety ***

Greenwald, Quijano, Johnson, Holley & Moriarty Bill to Reduce Ammunition Magazine Capacity Now Law

Legislation Assembly Democrats Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Annette Quijano, Gordon Johnson, Jamel Holley and Paul Moriarty sponsored to limit gun magazine capacity to 10 rounds was signed into law today by Gov. Murphy.

"Our nation is in the midst of a gun violence epidemic," said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). "Now, as we move into this new term with a new governor, we have a real chance to reduce the number of deaths by gun violence and protect our neighborhoods."

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Assembly Democratic Bill to Establish Loan Program for N.J. Wineries Advanced by Assembly Panel

Sponsored by Houghtaling, Andrzejczak, Mazzeo, Taliaferro

Legislation aiming to help New Jersey's burgeoning winery industry create jobs and economic development was advanced Monday by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

The bill (A-1046) -- sponsored by Assembly Democrats, Eric Houghtaling, Bob Andrzejczak, Vince Mazzeo, and Adam Taliaferro - directs the EDA, in consultation with Department of Agriculture, to establish a loan program for certain vineyard and winery capital expenses.

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Speaker Coughlin on Budget Agreement with Gov. Murphy



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