Wisniewski: Baroni & Wildstein Must Go & PANYNJ Dysfunction Frighteningly Rampant
Vows Further Inquiry by CommitteeAssembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chairman of the Assembly transportation panel, released the following statement Monday after hearing testimony from Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials on the questionable closing of George Washington Bridge access lanes from Fort Lee in September:
"Several things are clear after today's hearing.
"Bill Baroni has outlived his usefulness as the Port Authority's deputy director. The testimony showed that Mr. Baroni has not been honest with the public and this committee about these lane closures and his mythical traffic study.
Senate Advances Eustace Bill to Allow New Jersey Residents to Participate in Contests of Skill
Bill Brings Common Sense & Eliminates Confusion over ContestsLegislation sponsored by Assemblyman Tim Eustace to bring an end to an archaic state law that bars New Jersey residents from participating in contests of skill was approved by a Senate panel on Monday.
The bill (A-3624) provides that participation by a New Jersey resident in a contest of skill in which a participant pays an entry fee for the opportunity to win money or something else of value is not considered a game of chance, does not constitute unlawful gambling and will not subject the participant or the sponsor of the contest to any civil or criminal liability.
Wisniewski to Join with Fire Safety Officials to Highlight Holiday Fire Safety Tips and Conduct a Demonstration Christmas Tree BurnAssemblyman John S. Wisniewski, Chair of the New Jersey Fire Safety Commission, will join with Fire Safety officials tomorrow at the Middlesex County Fire Academy to highlight important fire safety tips for the holiday season. Fire Academy staff will conduct a demonstration of a Christmas tree fire to highlight the flammability of a Christmas tree and the speed with which such a fire can build and spread.
The burning of the Christmas tree will be conducted in a Fire Academy training facility building and will be visibly accessible for photos and filming
Vainieri Huttle on Latest Bullying Stats: Numbers Show the Law is WorkingAssemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, the lead sponsor of New Jersey's landmark Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights law, on Monday welcomed the latest statistics that show a significant decline in bullying incidents throughout New Jersey schools.
"These numbers show that the law is working. The culture and climate of schools are changing. Students know they are accountable now and I think that is making a difference," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen).
Albano & Burzichelli Bill to Better Promote New Jersey Wineries & Farms Advances in Senate(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Nelson Albano and John Burzichelli to better promote New Jersey wineries and farms was released Monday by a Senate panel.
The bill (A-2978) would require the Department of Agriculture to post on its web site information on the location and contact information of wineries and farms in New Jersey, along with a link to any other list of wineries posted on the Internet by any other state agency.
"Our wineries carry great potential for increased job creation and economic development throughout our state, so let's embrace that potential and promote wineries and our farms as best we can," said Albano (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland). "It's 2012, so let's make sure we utilize our technological resources as best we can to promote our agricultural heritage."
Innovative Fuentes, Jimenez, Burzichelli, Mosquera & Sumter Bill to Entice Private Entities to Fund Health Care Initiatives Clears Senate PanelLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angel Fuentes, Angelica Jimenez, John Burzichelli, Gabriela Mosquera and Shavonda Sumter to establish a five-year pilot program that would encourage private investment in preventive and early intervention health care to reduce public costs was approved Monday by a Senate committee.
"Providing adequate healthcare to our neediest residents can be costly to service providers, governments and residents," said Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester). "This bill seeks to reduce healthcare costs in the long run while increasing the wellness of our residents without raising taxes..."
Assembly Panel to Take Testimony from Port Authority Executive Director on GWB Lane ClosuresFoye to Testify at 10 a.m. Monday on Questionable Lane Closures in Fort Lee in September
The Assembly transportation committee will meet Monday to take testimony from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's executive director on the decision by the agency to close - without public notice - access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September.
The Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee will meet on Monday at 10 a.m. in Committee Room 11 on the 4th Floor of the State House Annex on West State Street in Trenton...
Cryan Urges Residents to Follow Fire Safety Tips this Time of Year to Ensure a Happy, Healthy Holiday SeasonWith the holiday season fully underway, Assemblyman Joseph Cryan would like to remind residents to take all the necessary precautions when it comes to seasonal decorations in order to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.
"What's supposed to be one of the happiest and most joyous times of the year, can quickly turn into a tragedy if the proper precautions aren't taken," said Cryan (D-Union). "Every year we see heartbreaking stories of families being displaced in the cold during the holidays because of an unfortunate fire that could have likely been avoided."
Conaway & Singleton Announce Major Haul in State Funding for Burlington County
District Poised to Receive Nearly $50 Million for School Construction Projects, Thousands More for Home Heating Assistance for Low-Income FamiliesAssemblymen Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. and Troy Singleton (both D-Burlington) on Friday announced two major awards in state funding for Burlington County, one to support school construction funding projects and another to help low-income families pay their home heating bills this year.
"This funding is critical to the foundation of our children's future," said Conaway. "These grants will provide a vital life line to help Burlington County districts undertake critical repairs without further burdening local property taxpayers. More importantly, they'll help provide a healthy learning environment for our students to flourish."
Speaker Oliver on Passing of Nelson MandelaAssembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement upon learning of the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela:
"In this age of many people being famous simply for bad behavior, it's remarkable to consider the life of Nelson Mandela. This man wrongfully spent 27 years in prison yet emerged from that ordeal with a quiet strength powerful enough to heal a torn nation and bring people of all races and backgrounds together..."
Lampitt & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Protect Newborns from Highly Contagious & Sometimes Fatal Whooping Cough Advances in Senate(TRENTON) - Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to help protect newborns from the sometimes fatal disease pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough was released on Thursday by the Assembly Human Services Committee.
Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and often causes uncontrollable, violent coughing, making it hard to breathe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age.
"By inoculating mothers and all other adult family members who may come into contact with infants, we can help reduce pertussis cases in infants less than three months old by up to 70 percent," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "It's important that we inform parents of this option because this simple practice can help save lives."
Senate Advances Stender, Conaway, Benson & Quijano Bill to Save Money, Improve Health of Public Employees with Chronic ConditionsLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Linda Stender, Herb Conaway M.D., Daniel R. Benson and Annette Quijano to establish a pilot program that would encourage better health care practices by employees with chronic health conditions was approved by the Senate Budget Committee on Thursday.
The bill (A-1214) would require the State Health Benefits Commission and the State Health Benefits Plan Design Committee to create a three-year pilot program to provide benefits coverage to select employees with chronic health conditions using a value-based benefit design under the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP). The following chronic health conditions would be targeted under the value-based benefit design: diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and asthma.
Burzichelli, Eustace, Albano, Barnes & Quijano Bill to Broaden Protections for Crime Witnesses Advances in SenateMeasure Would Require Crime Witnesses to be Notified of Defendant's Release or Change in CustodyAssembly approved legislation Assembly Democrats John J. Burzichelli, Timothy J. Eustace, Nelson T. Albano, Peter J. Barnes III and Annette Quijano sponsored to require a crime witness to be notified when the offender is released from custody was advanced Thursday by a Senate panel.
"The witness of the crime has just as much right to be notified of changes in the defendant's status as the victim of the crime," said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). "Especially in the case of violent crimes or domestic violence, both the victim and the witness may be at risk..."
Benson, Chivukula, Lampitt & Eustace Bill to Enable Comprehensive Care to Sick Children & Their Families Clears Senate Panel
Bill Would Allow for Pediatric Respite Care Facilities in New Jersey
Legislation Assembly Democrats Daniel R. Benson, Upendra Chivukula, Pamela R. Lampitt and Tim Eustace sponsored to enable facilities that provide comprehensive services to children with limited life expectancy or complex illnesses and give support to their families was approved Thursday by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
"It's a sad and tragic reality, but many families in New Jersey who have children with limited life expectancies or complex illnesses can become overwhelmed," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "New Jersey lacks adequate support services to give respite for families responsible 24 hours per day for very sick children. We can change that for the benefit of the children and families alike..."
Remember Fire Safety This Holiday Season
Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-19, Middlesex),Chair of the New Jersey Fire Safety Commission today released the following column reminding residents of the increased risk of home fires over the holiday season and highlighting steps they can take to reduce such risks.
Sayreville, N.J - The holiday season should be a time of joy. But each year, fires caused by Christmas trees and holiday decorations bring tragedy to families all across the country. Research by the US Fire Administration shows a significant rise in fires and the danger of fires during the holiday season.
In recent years, the U.S. has averaged more than 200 fires each year that began with a Christmas tree or holiday lighting, many resulting in death or injuries. But there are simple steps that families can take to substantially reduce the risk of a fire over the holidays.
Singleton Introduces "Green Infrastructure" Bill to Support NJ's Energy Efficiency Goals and Lower Energy BillsIn an effort to save consumers money, boost the economy and protect the environment, Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) has introduced legislation that would bring clean energy improvements within reach for a broader segment of the population.
"By making energy efficiency improvements more accessible and affordable to those who have traditionally been underserved, we can alleviate the financial impact and put more New Jerseyans to work through pro-green energy initiatives," said Singleton. "Creating an innovative system, while furthering New Jersey's goal to be an environmental leader, is a win-win situation."
Wisniewski Statement on Port Authority Toll Hike Effective Sunday December 1, 2013Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski issued the following statement in response to the toll hike for Port Authority of NY & NJ bridges and tunnels that will become effective on Sunday, December 1, 2013.
"Sunday's Port Authority toll hike is the third of five, which will end up resulting in a 50% toll increase at a time of stagnant wages and negligible inflation. It comes from an agency whose management has been described as dysfunctional, that operates with minimal accountability and no transparency, and that has lost sight of what it means to serve the public..."
Wisniewski Subpoenas Port Authority of NY & NJ Executive Director to Explain George Washington Bridge Lane ClosuresCompels PANYNJ Chief to Appear at Special Dec. 9 Hearing in Trenton
Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski on Wednesday subpoenaed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's executive director to attend a special December hearing on the agency's finances and its decision to close lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee.
"Mr. Baroni's unprofessional testimony created many more unanswered questions," said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). "It's important for the Legislature to understand the circumstances surrounding these lane closures, as the impact on emergency services from the inexplicable lack of notification could have resulted in the loss of life. It's also now more than two months after the closure and no clear and convincing information has been forthcoming on how this decision was made and why it was suddenly necessary..."
Johnson Measure to Boost Economic Relations with Taiwan Advances in AssemblyLegislation sponsored by Assemblyman Gordon Johnson to boost New Jersey's economic relations with Taiwan was approved by an Assembly panel recently.
The measure (ACR-190) urges the governor and lieutenant governor to establish a foreign trade office in Taiwan in order to strengthen trade relations with China and to promote and support greater investment and economic cooperation between New Jersey and Taiwan.
Quijano Joins Latino Leaders in Orlando for National Institute on Emergency Response and Management Conference
Quijano and more than 45 other policymakers received Department of Homeland Security certification following completion of natural disaster and emergency response trainingAssembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee Chair Annette Quijano joined the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund and more than 45 Latino public officials from across the country in Orlando this past week to discuss issues relating to emergency response and community preparedness at the National Policy Institute on Emergency Response and Management.
Quijano and other policymakers who participated in the two-and-half day event from November 22-24, had an opportunity to work directly with emergency preparedness officials to enhance their understanding of multi-agency coordination and the incident command system, a systematic tool used for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response situations. Upon completion of the sessions, Assemblywoman Quijano received a certificate indicating her participation in the Department of Homeland Security overview and training.
Democratic Members of Assembly Transportation Committee on Failure of Port Authority to Fully Explain GW Bridge Lane Closures
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