Assembly Democrats

Mazzeo & Andrzejczak Bill to Establish Fishing Buddy License Clears Legislature; Goes to Governor

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vincent Mazzeo and Bob Andrzejczak to spur interest in fishing and other sportsman licenses recently received final approval in the Assembly. The measure passed with a vote of 76-0.

The Mazzeo and Andrzejczak bill (A-4025) creates an annual New Jersey resident and nonresident "Fishing Buddy License" and amends current law for all-around sportsman and fishing licenses.

"Fishing is a favorite past time for many New Jersey families," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "Reduced rates for licenses will encourage more residents to enjoy the fishing experiences the state has to offer and encourage an appreciation for New Jersey's fishing and wildlife."

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Conaway, Benson, Pinkin & Wimberly Bill Requiring Health Insurers to Cover New Abuse-Deterrent Pain Medications Clears Assembly

Legislation is Aimed at Reducing Opiate Addictions & Overdoses
(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., Daniel Benson Nancy Pinkin and Benjie Wimberly requiring health insurers to cover prescription pain relief medications designed to decrease abuse and addiction was recently released by the General Assembly, 60-13-5.

Specifically, the bill (A-4271) would require health insurers to provide health benefits coverage for prescribed abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drugs.

"As it stands now, deaths from opioid addiction are at epidemic proportions," said Conaway (D-Burlington), a practicing physician. "Pain treatment, similar to other courses of treatment, can have side effects - including the risk of addiction. As a doctor, my goal is to reduce those risks and make the patient well. Removing the cost barrier to abuse-deterrent opiates will increase the prescribing and use of these high-tech drugs, which have significant potential to reduce dependency and overdoses. We as policymakers should be encouraging the widespread use of abuse-deterrent formulations to protect consumers and lower costs to the health care system. That's exactly what this bill achieves." For More             

Fuentes, Johnson, Burzichelli, Pintor Marin & Mosquera Bill to Entice Private Entities to Fund Health Care Initiatives Gains Final Legislative Approval

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angel Fuentes, Gordon Johnson, John Burzichelli, Eliana Pintor Marin and Gabriela Mosquera to encourage private investment in preventive and early intervention health care to reduce public costs gained final legislative approval on Thursday.

"Providing adequate healthcare to our neediest residents can be costly to service providers, governments and residents," said Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester). "We cannot continue to do things the old way with limited resources and expect different results. We need to be innovative. This bill seeks to reduce healthcare costs in the long run while increasing the wellness of our residents without raising taxes. This is a new way of looking at accomplishing our goals."

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Vainieri Huttle, Mosquera, McKeon, Benson & Sumter ‘Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015’ Heads to Governor’s Desk

Asw. Valerie Vaineri Huttle Legislation Would Permit Victims without Ties to Offenders to Seek Protective Orders

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Gabriela Mosquera, John McKeon, Daniel Benson and Shavonda Sumter to allow more victims of sexual assault to seek protective orders against their perpetrators recently received final legislative approval from the General Assembly.

"Simply seeing an abuser - whether he or she is a new acquaintance or an old friend - forces many sexual assault survivors to relive the trauma of having been violated, and current law says they have no option but to suffer in silence," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen)…

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Bipartisan Vainieri Huttle Bill to Shine Light on the Port Authority Signed Into Law

Bi-state, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle to increase transparency at the troubled Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has officially been signed into law.

The new law (S-2183/A-3350) will now require the agency to be subjected to the New Jersey Open Public Records Act and the New York Freedom of Information Law, making its records readily accessible upon request for inspection, copying or examination.

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Mazzeo & Pintor Marin Condemn Governor’s Repeated, Shameful Veto of Critical Women’s Health Funding

Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo and Eliana Pintor Marin joined together on Tuesday to condemn Gov. Christie's "annual veto" of legislation they sponsored that would have restored funding for critical health services for low and middle income women and their families, calling it a continued affront to women, children and taxpayers throughout New Jersey.

The two-bill package would have restored the $7.5 million Gov. Christie has routinely eliminated for women's health centers since taking office (A-3672, sponsored by Mazzeo), and also expanded Medicaid coverage under federal law to help serve some of the state's poorest women (A-4604, sponsored by Pintor Marin).

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Gusciora, Eustace, Jasey, Quijano & Wimberly Bill to Encourage Police, Firefighters, Teachers, Sanitation & Corrections Workers to Buy Homes in Towns Where They Work Clears Legislature

Asm. Reed Gusciora Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Tim Eustace, Mila Jasey, Annette Quijano and Benjie Wimberly to provide financial incentives to let police officers, firefighters, public school teachers, corrections and sanitation workers to live where they work cleared the Legislature on Monday.

"There is an advantage to having these workers living in the communities they serve. We have very dedicated public employees, but the commitment is even greater when your work directly impacts the neighborhood where you live and raise your family," said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon)...

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Prieto, Jimenez, Jasey & Quijano Measure to Streamline Vocational School Construction & Improvements Now Law

Speaker Vincent Prieto Law Continues Speaker's Commitment to Improving State's Vocational, Technical Programs; Making Vo-Tech Education a Viable Alternative to 4-Year College

Legislation Assembly Democrats Speaker Vincent Prieto, Angelica Jimenez, Mila Jasey and Annette Quijano sponsored that would streamline construction of county vocational school facilities in New Jersey has been inked into law.

"As I've said before, college isn't necessarily for everyone; we need to have multiple viable paths to employment in New Jersey," said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). "Students who might struggle in AP courses or college may thrive in a vocational instruction environment, and we should encourage investment in that infrastructure so that New Jersey continues producing a highly skilled, highly trained and highly educated workforce..."

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Benson, Sumter & Lagana Bill to Ensure Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs Signed into Law

Asm. Dan Benson Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Dan Benson, Shavonda Sumter and Joseph Lagana to help curb New Jersey's heroin and opioid crisis is now law.

"With its emphasis on educating the public, this is critical in our effort to prevent overdoses and save lives," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "This will help prevent drugs from getting into the wrong hands and, hopefully, eliminate the scourge that is prescription drug abuse in New Jersey..."

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Diegnan, Lampitt & Caride Bill to Create Task Force to Recommend How to Integrate Engineering into K-12 Curriculum Heads to Gov's Desk

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Patrick Diegnan, Pamela Lampitt and Marlene Caride to create a task force charged with recommending how to incorporate engineering into the K-12 science curriculum received final legislative approval last week and now heads to the governor's desk.

"STEM jobs are on the rise, but our colleges are not graduating enough engineering majors to keep up with the demand. If we want to compete in an increasingly global economy, we have to expand engineering education,.." said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). For More             

Andrzejczak & Caride Bills to Protect and Promote New Jersey's Beekeeping Industry Heads to Governor

Bills Designed to Boost Key N.J. Agricultural Industry
(TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Democrats Bob Andrzejczak and Marlene Caride sponsored to protect and promote New Jersey's beekeeping industry and the vital role it plays in New Jersey's agricultural community cleared the final legislative hurdle on Monday with approval by the full Senate.

The three bills originated from the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee chaired by Andrzejczak. The General Assembly approved the measures last June.

"Bees are an essential part of agriculture nationwide, needed to pollinate about a third of the food people consume, including important New Jersey crops such as apples, blueberries, cantaloupes, cranberries, cucumbers, peaches, pumpkins, squash and strawberries," said Andrzejczak (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland). "Yet, we also know of the problems faced by the industry with a decline in the honey bee population. If we don't do more to protect this industry, our farming community may suffer irreparable harm. We cannot allow that to happen if we favor a strong New Jersey economy."

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Moriarty, Coughlin, Mainor, Pinkin & Danielsen Bill to Prohibit Sale of Powdered Alcohol Clears Legislature, Heads to Gov's Desk

(TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty, Craig Coughlin, Charles Mainor, Nancy Pinkin and Joseph Danielsen sponsored to prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol in New Jersey cleared its final legislative hurdle with passage by the full Senate Monday afternoon. The bill was approved 39-1.

Powdered alcohol is ethyl alcohol which is designed to be dissolved in liquid to produce alcoholic beverages. Moriarty first introduced the bill in November. However, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau finally approved the sale of powdered alcohol on the market in March, prompting renewed concerns about the dangers the product poses.

"The lure of this product to underage people and the potential for dangerous misuse among people of any age is ripe. Not only can it be inhaled, it can also be added to another person's food or drink unbeknownst to them," said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). For More             

Mazzeo, Andrzejczak, Lagana, Mukherji, Tucker & Garcia’s ‘New Jersey Stolen Valor Act’ Gains Final Legislative Approval

Asm. Vince Mazzeo Bill Inspired by Recent Spate of Imposters Caught on Video Impersonating Military Personnel

Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Bob Andrzejczak, Joseph Lagana, Raj Mukherji, Cleopatra Tucker and Carmelo G. Garcia to crack down on individuals who demean members of the U.S. Armed Forces by falsely impersonating veterans or active duty military in order to try and receive various perks gained final legislative approval on Monday.

"Anyone who attempts to obtain any financial benefit or perks by knowingly lying about their military or veteran status really stoops to a new low," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "These examples of Stolen Valor demean those who have served in the military and those who have sacrificed and lost their lives in defense of our nation. It is my hope that this legislation and its harsh penalties will help dissuade anyone from continuing this heinous practice."

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Legislature Approves Greenwald & Lampitt Bill to Ensure Students with Debilitating Illnesses & Disabilities are Not Denied Medical Marijuana Relief while at School

The Senate granted final legislative approval on Monday to a bill sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt to ensure that students with debilitating illnesses and disabilities who participate in the state's medical marijuana program are not denied medicinal relief while at school or attending school functions.

New Jersey's medical marijuana law does not currently authorize the use of medical marijuana in schools or day programs serving developmentally disabled adults. In the absence of a state law on the subject, several school districts have specifically prohibited the use or administration of medical marijuana on school grounds.

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Moriarty, Andrzejczak, Mazzeo, Mosquera & Quijano Bill to Crack Down on Swatting Heads to Gov’s Desk

Lawmakers Cite Recent Incidents in New Jersey as Need for Harsher Penalties
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty, Bob Andrzejczak, Vince Mazzeo, Gabriela Mosquera and Annette Quijano to crack down on the dangerous trend known as "swatting" received final legislative approval from the Senate on Monday and now heads to the governor's desk.

The FBI describes "swatting" as making a hoax call to 9-1-1 to draw a response from law enforcement, usually a SWAT team. The individuals who engage in this activity, many of whom are teens and twenty-somethings with ties to the online gaming community, use technology to make it appear that the emergency call is coming from the victim's phone. The FBI notes that sometimes swatting is done for revenge, sometimes as a prank, but either way, it is a serious crime that has potentially dangerous consequences.

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Johnson, Mainor, Wilson & Wimberly Bill to Expand Access to DNA Testing & Exonerate the Wrongfully Convicted Gains Final Legislative Approval

Asm. Gordon Johnson Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson, Charles Mainor, Whip Wilson and Benjie Wimberly to help clear the wrongfully convicted by allowing anyone convicted of a crime to request DNA testing gained final legislative approval on Monday.

"Thanks to DNA testing, we have seen a number of individuals exonerated after years, sometimes decades, spent behind bars for crimes they did not commit," said Johnson (D-Bergen). "Sadly, under current state law, an innocent person who is on probation or parole does not have the same access to the technology that can help clear their name and restore their dignity. This bill would open access to DNA testing to these individuals so they can stop living under the shadow of guilt and finally be free."

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Schaer, Prieto, Caride, Lagana, Giblin & Wimberly Bill to Require Carbon Monoxide Detectors in More Public Buildings Gains Final OK

Bill Stems from Tragic Incident in Passaic
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Marlene Caride, Joseph Lagana, Thomas Giblin and Benjie E. Wimberly to require more buildings to have carbon monoxide detectors received final legislative approval from the Senate on Monday.

The bill (A-4073) is designated as Korman and Park's Law after Noel Korman and Alice Park, who lost their lives while several others were sickened and hospitalized due to carbon monoxide exposure in a multi-use commercial structure in Passaic. The building is home to nearly 20 rehearsal spaces and small recording studios rented monthly by a variety of local musicians and bands and part of an industrial complex off Van Houten Avenue.

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Diegnan, Jasey & Wimberly Bill to Prevent School Districts from Having State Aid Withheld Based on Student PARCC Participation Gets Final Legislative OK

Asm. Pat Diegnan Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex), Mila Jasey (D-Essex/Morris) and Benjie Wimberly (D-Passaic/Bergen) to prevent the state from unjustly punishing school districts by withholding state aid because the majority of the district's students refuse to take the PARCC test is headed to the governor's desk.

"Threatening to cut state aid to districts for a decision made entirely by parents - a decision they believe is in the best interest of their children - is unreasonable," said Diegnan, who chairs the Assembly Education Committee and sponsored the Assembly bill to allow parents to opt their children out of the PARCC test...

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Mazzeo, Pinkin & Mukherji Bill to Help Property Taxpayers Whose Homes Were Damaged in Natural Disasters OK'd by Senate

Asm. Vince Mazzeo Legislation Assembly Democrats Vincent Mazzeo, Nancy Pinkin and Raj Mukherji sponsored to help property taxpayers whose homes were damaged in natural disasters was approved 40-0 Monday by the Senate.

"After Sandy, many of our state's residents found that the homes they had lived in and the businesses they had owned for years suddenly were uninhabitable," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "In anticipation of the next disaster of that magnitude, it's important that we implement a buffer for those struggling to recover..."

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Moriarty, Diegnan, Wimberly, Vainieri Huttle, Gusciora & Sumter Bill to Help Prevent Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse Gains Final Legislative Approval

Asm. Paul Moriarty Measure Would Penalize Sale of DXM-Containing Products to Minors

Legislation Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty, Patrick Diegnan, Benjie Wimberly, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Reed Gusciora and Shavonda Sumter sponsored to help address the prescription drug and opioid abuse epidemic plaguing New Jersey gained final legislative approval on Monday.

"DXM abuse is becoming increasingly worrisome for law enforcement, parents and health care officials across the country," said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). "It's a scary thought, but adolescents are the primary abusers, mainly because it's cheap and easy to obtain and many parents simply don't know about its potential abuse. With a few simple steps like the ones outlined in this bill, we can combat the risk and ensure this medicine is used properly."

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Conaway, Singleton & Spencer Bill to Protect N.J. Drinking Water from Likely Carcinogen Gets Final Legislative OK

Asm. Herb Conaway Bill Comes Amid Moorestown Water Concerns

Legislation Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway, M.D., Troy Singleton and L. Grace Spencer sponsored to protect New Jersey's drinking water from toxic contaminant was approved 31-7 Monday by the Senate, giving it final legislative approval.

"This contaminant, which has been found to cause cancer, was recently detected in Moorestown's water supply, causing town officials to shut down two of its primary wells," said Conaway (D-Burlington) "This legislation will strengthen water quality standards to protect public health. When residents turn on the tap, they should be confident that their water is safe to drink..."

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Democratic Leadership Urges Governor to Make Upfront $1.3 Billion Pension Payment

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto New Jersey's Democratic legislative leadership today called upon Governor Christie to make the state's $1.3 billion budgeted pension payment in early July to shore up the underfunded pension system.

"We presented the governor with a fiscally responsible budget that fully funded our obligation, but he instead chose a different course that will lead to more credit downgrades, increase state debt and hurt our economy," said Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen). "These are difficult fiscal times, which means we have to be creative and consider all responsible options," the Assembly speaker said. "This is one of them. Democrats are being responsible. It's time for Governor Christie to follow suit..."

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Speaker Prieto & Majority Leader Greenwald Bill to Restore Tax Credit for Working People Gains Assembly Approval

Speaker Vincent Prieto Legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Majority Leader Louis Greenwald to restore a tax credit that strengthens families by encouraging hard work and reducing poverty received the approval of the General Assembly on Monday.

"The EITC has received strong bipartisan support over the last 40 years, because it is a manifestation of the fundamental idea that hard work should pay off," said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). "The governor's action on this issue is the right thing to do, but the right time to do it was years ago. …"

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Mukherji, Pintor Marin & Eustace Bill to Help Property Owners Finance Flood & Hurricane Resistance Projects Heads to Governor

Asm. Raj Mukherji Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Raj Mukherji, Eliana Pintor Marin and Tim Eustace to help homeowners finance flood and hurricane resistance projects, water conservation projects and storm shelter construction recently cleared the General Assembly, giving it final legislative approval.

"The existing program has been helping homeowners and business owners pay for the upfront costs of energy-saving initiatives, which owners then pay back through their property tax bills at a set rate over roughly 20 years," said Mukherji (D-Hudson). "Given the record amount of damage New Jersey suffered in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, it makes sense to expand this program to help finance other smart initiatives that will save property owners money in the long run."

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Diegnan, Fuentes & Eustace Bill to Bolster Computer Science Education in NJ Goes to Governor's Desk

Assemblyman Pat Diegnan Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Patrick Diegnan, Angel Fuentes and Tim Eustace to bolster computer science education in New Jersey's middle schools and high schools was approved 73-2 last week by the Assembly, giving it final legislative approval.

"Many of our young people are graduating with fewer job prospects. Computing and information technology are among the fastest growing occupational fields in the country," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). "By exposing our students to these professions at an earlier age, we are giving them the tools they will need to compete and thrive in the global marketplace..."

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McKeon, Mainor, Jasey, Wimberly & Sumter Bill to Emphasize Traffic Safety to Young Drivers Heads to Gov's Desk

Measure to Be Named "Nikhil's Law" After 11-Year-Old Killed by Driver Who Ran Stop Sign
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Charles Mainor, Mila Jasey, Benjie Wimberly and Shavonda Sumter to emphasize to new drivers the importance of following the state's motor vehicle traffic laws received final legislative approval Monday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"This is a simple step we can take to emphasize to our young people that driving comes with responsibility," said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). "The more we can highlight that point, hopefully the more our young drivers will put safety first."

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Mazzeo, Eustace, Johnson, Wilson & Moriarty Bill to Establish Scholarship Fund for Families of Soldiers Lost, Missing & Disabled in Action Heads to Gov's Desk

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Vincent Mazzeo, Tim Eustace, Gordon Johnson, Whip Wilson and Paul Moriarty to provide scholarships to the children of military personnel who have died, become permanently disabled or are missing in action received final legislative approval Monday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"Military families are our nation's real unsung heroes," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "We know that freedom isn't free and it's only fitting that we honor the sacrifices of those who have worn the uniform by helping their children and spouses attain their highest educational goals."

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Caputo, Giblin, Tucker, Johnson, Mainor & Sumter Bill to Make it Easier for Law Enforcement to Use Outdoor Video Footage to Investigate Crimes Heads to Gov's Desk

Legislation sponsored by Ralph Caputo, Thomas Giblin, Cleopatra Tucker, Gordon Johnson, Charles Mainor and Shavonda Sumter to make it easier for law enforcement agencies to use outdoor video cameras to investigate crimes received final legislative approval on Monday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"This will help law enforcement officials with investigations of criminal activity and save valuable time and resources by providing them with a registry to determine whether a camera is located near where criminal activity occurred,..." said Caputo (D-Essex). For More             

Speaker Prieto: Assembly to Convene Monday to Consider Tax Relief for Working Families

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto Christie Embraces a Top Democratic Priority & Progressive Tax Policy

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) on Friday announced the Assembly will convene Monday to - after repeated obstructions by Gov. Christie - advance legislation to increase the state's Earned Income Tax Credit:

"It's disappointing that Gov. Christie continues to coddle the uber rich, but at least he's finally cleared the way for reversing his brutal tax increase on hard-working families. Gov. Christie has embraced a top Democratic priority and progressive tax policy, so that's a step forward..."

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McKeon, Diegnan, Jasey & Andrzejczak Bill to Permit Shared Services Energy Authority Heads to Gov's Desk

Measure Projected to Save Municipalities Up to $68 Million
(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Patrick Diegnan, Mila Jasey and Bob Andrzejczak to help cut costs for municipally-operated utilities received final legislative approval last week and now heads to the governor's desk.

"This measure would drive competition and help lower costs by enabling municipalities to enter into shared service contracts," said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). "Ultimately, the bill would make utilities more efficient and allow them to pass savings along to the hardworking middle class families in their towns."

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Gusciora Hails Historic Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora on Friday hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in favor of marriage equality:

"This is an historic day for our nation. In ruling on the right side of history, the Supreme Court upheld the underlying principles of our democracy - that everyone is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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Speaker Prieto Praises Historic Supreme Court Ruling

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson) praised the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Friday in favor of marriage equality:

"The President got it right today when he said 'we have made our union a little more perfect.'

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Greenwald on Supreme Court's Historic Marriage Equality Ruling

Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald issued the following statement Friday on the United States Supreme Court's historic ruling in favor of marriage equality:

"Love is love..."

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Singleton Statement on SCOTUS Marriage Equality Ruling

Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) on Friday released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's historic marriage equality ruling:

"This Supreme Court decision is a historic moment in our never-ending fight for civil rights and justice.

"I'm proud that the court extended nationwide the same protection for marriage equality that New Jersey has enjoyed for the past few years in their recognition that love is love."

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Conaway Praises Historic Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality

Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. (D-Burlington) praised the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Friday in favor of marriage equality across the nation:

"Today's Supreme Court's ruling favor of marriage equality is on the right side of the law, and history.

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Schaer: Christie Digs N.J. Deeper & Deeper into Fiscal Crisis

Asm. Gary Schaer Assembly Budget Chairman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen) released the following statement Friday on Gov. Christie's budget vetoes:

"Gov. Christie's policies have once again dug New Jersey deeper and deeper into fiscal crisis. His budget implausibly puts the state deeper into debt, negatively affects our state's future economic growth and causes even more credit rating downgrades and greater interest charges to be paid by New Jerseyans..."

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Prieto Statement on Gov. Christie Budget Vetoes

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) today released the following statement on Gov. Chris Christie's budget vetoes:

"The governor had the opportunity to do right by New Jersey and once again he balked.

"We sent the governor a sensible budget that met our pension obligation, but he's instead chosen to once again cater to the interests of the rich and worsen our financial troubles by failing to fully fund the pension…."

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Greenwald: Christie Chooses Republican Presidential Primary Voters Over Everyday New Jersey Residents

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald issued the following statement Friday on Gov. Chris Christie's FY 2016 budget vetoes:

"If there ever was any doubt that the governor has put Republican presidential primary voters before the everyday people of New Jersey, it's now gone. …"

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***MULTIMEDIA PACKAGE*** Singleton, Burzichelli, Prieto, Schaer, McKeon, Johnson & Wimberly Respond to Christie's Vetoes of the FY 2016 Democratic Budget

Assemblyman Troy Singleton Assembly Education Committee Vice-Chairman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Assembly Appropriations Committee Chairman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman John F. McKeon (D-Essex), Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chairman Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen) and Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Passaic) issued a multimedia package Friday on Governor Christie's vetoes of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Democratic budget plan for New Jersey.

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Sumter & Wimberly: Veto Decision, No Surprise

(TRENTON) - Assembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly (Both D- Bergen and Passaic) on Thursday said Governor's budget line item veto of additional Paterson school state aid comes as no surprise.

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Mazzeo: Christie Vetoes Targeting Egg Harbor Township & Egg Harbor City Schools Will Hurt Taxpayers

Asm. Vince Mazzeo Governor Axes Budget Language that would have Exempted EHT from Unwarranted Fees & Provided Increased State Aid to EHC

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo released the following statement Friday after Gov. Christie vetoed budget language that would have relieved the Egg Harbor Township School District from an unfair school construction assessment and provided more state aid to the Egg Harbor City School District to help handle sharp enrollment increases:

""Gov. Christie and the Republicans in Trenton are clearly not looking out for Atlantic County taxpayers. I couldn't be more disappointed. These provisions were reasonable, affordable, fair and fiscally responsible. I see no reason why they should have been vetoed…"

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Moriarty, Mosquera & Madden Call for Investigation into Atlantic City Electric’s Poor Response to Storm Related Power Outages

Assembly members Paul Moriarty and Gabriela Mosquera and Senator Fred Madden sent a letter to the state Board of Public Utilities on Friday asking for an investigation into Atlantic City Electric's (ACE) poor response to the powerful storm earlier this week that has left many fourth district residents still without power.

In doing so, the lawmakers expressed their concern with ACE's poor communication and coordination with elected officials and emergency personnel and their frustration with the lack of information regarding power restoration plans.

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Burzichelli Bill to Protect & Celebrate New Jersey's Natural Habitats Passes Assembly

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat John Burzichelli to protect and commemorate animals and plants that are native to New Jersey was approved, 76-0, by the General Assembly on Thursday.

The bill (A-3133), sponsored by Burzichelli, would require the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection to establish a private wildlife habitat certification program.

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Assembly OKs Fuentes, Taliaferro & Garcia Bill to Expedite Marriage Applications When One Partner is Terminally Ill

Legislation Named "Linette Lebron's Law" in Honor of Camden Woman Who Married Fiancé One Day Before Passing
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angel Fuentes, Adam Taliaferro and Carmelo G. Garcia to reduce the waiting period and requirements for couples wishing to enter into a marriage or civil union when one is terminally ill was unanimously approved by the full Assembly on Thursday.

The bill (A-4426) is known as "Linette Lebron's Law" in honor of a young woman from Camden whose story inspired Fuentes to introduce the legislation. While battling stage four stomach cancer, Linette and her fiancé Omar Estevez decided to wait on marriage while they focused on her treatment. However, when she was given only days to live, Estevez left her bedside and wasted precious moments traveling between city hall, the hospital, and the courts to seek a waiver to the three-day waiting period for marriage licenses required by law. The couple, with some help from Fuentes, was finally able to secure a license and marry one day prior to Linette's passing.

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Andrzejczak Bill to Facilitate Ramp Construction for Individuals with Disabilities Clears Assembly

Asm. Bob Andrzejczak Measure Would Decrease Application Consideration Period to Five Days from 20 Days

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak to make it easier for New Jersey residents with disabilities to access their homes received unanimous approval from the General Assembly on Thursday.

"Wheelchair ramps are simple projects that can significantly improve quality of life for New Jersey residents, but bureaucracy can delay the construction process," said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). "By reducing the permit application consideration period from a month to mere days, this bill will help ensure that individuals who need wheelchairs at home can have ramps as soon as possible." ...

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Fuentes, Diegnan & Garcia Bill to Promote Biliteracy among N.J. Students Advanced by Assembly

Asm. Angel Fuentes Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angel Fuentes, Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. and Carmelo G. Garcia to honor New Jersey students who achieve literacy in more than one world language was approved 74-2 Thursday by the Assembly.

"The development of this recognition is designed to encourage the study of world languages other than English," said Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester)...

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Conaway, Mukherji, Sumter & Jimenez Bill to Permit Successful Drug Court Completion with Medication-Assisted Treatment Gets Final Legislative Approval

Asm. Herb Conaway Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway M.D., Raj Mukherji, Shavonda Sumter and Angelica Jimenez to permit successful completion of drug court programs notwithstanding use of medication-assisted treatment was approved 76-0 Thursday by the Assembly, giving it final legislative approval.

"Medication-assisted treatment is an evidence-based practice widely recognized by public health and addiction professionals as one of the best options in helping manage opioid addiction," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "This legislation is about making sure that effective rehabilitation methods are available to men and women suffering from addiction..."

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Benson & Mukherji Bill to Require Special Ed Coursework in Teacher Preparation Programs Approved by Assembly

Legislation Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson and Raj Mukherji sponsored to help increase the number of educators in New Jersey qualified to teach students with autism was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.

"New Jersey has one of the highest autism diagnosis rates in the nation, and we must work to ensure that every child with an autism spectrum disorder has access to an appropriate education," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "This legislation will help educators in our state better address the specific needs of children with developmental disabilities so that these students can reach their full potential."

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Jasey, Diegnan, Mainor, Wimberly & Oliver Bill to Restrict Use of Standardized Testing for Young Students in NJ Schools Heads to Gov's Desk

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey, Patrick Diegnan, Charles Mainor, Benjie Wimberly and Sheila Oliver to prohibit the administration of commercially developed standardized assessments to students in grades K-2 received final legislative approval on Thursday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"The pressure put on students and teachers by these assessments is counterproductive to learning," said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris), who sits on the Assembly Education Committee. "There are already state and federally mandated tests that our students are required to take. There is no need to overburden students with yet another test, which takes time away from actual classroom instruction."

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Speaker Prieto on Restoring Tax Credit for Working NJ Families (A-4602)

Speaker Prieto on Restoring Tax Credit for Working NJ Families (A-4602) from NJ Assembly Democratic Office on Vimeo.

Singleton, Burzichelli, Prieto, Schaer, McKeon, Johnson & Wimberly Respond to Christie's Vetoes of the FY 2016 Democratic Budget

Singleton, Burzichelli, Prieto, Schaer, McKeon, Johnson & Wimberly Respond to Christie's Vetoes of the FY 2016 Democratic Budget from NJ Assembly Democratic Office on Vimeo.

Prieto, Schaer, Burzichelli, McKeon, Singleton, Pintor Marin & Wimberly on Passage of FY 2016 Democratic Budget (A-4600)

Prieto, Schaer, Burzichelli, McKeon, Singleton, Pintor Marin & Wimberly on Passage of FY 2016 Democratic Budget (A-4600) from NJ Assembly Democratic Office on Vimeo.

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