Raising Judicial Retirement Age, Improved Wildlife Control for Farmers, Discussion on Port Authority Reform & Enhanced Veterans' Services Top Monday Assembly Committee MeetingsBills to raise the judicial retirement age from 70 to 75, a package to help farmers manage wildlife and protect their crops, a discussion on several proposed Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reforms and enhanced services for veterans highlight Monday's Assembly committee meetings.
Protections for law enforcement animals, adding a crime-fraud exception to the marital privilege, improving engineering and computer science curriculum and requiring generators for multiple dwelling units are also among the bills on tap...
McKeon Statement on People’s Climate MarchClimate Change Demonstration Expected to Draw Thousands to NYC
Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee Vice-Chair John F. McKeon (D-Essex/Morris) issued a statement Friday on the People's Climate March, a climate change march to be held Sunday, Sept. 21 in Manhattan:
"As stewards of the earth, we have an urgent duty to take action on behalf of our environment, and I am elated that so many men and women who recognize this responsibility will stand together this weekend. The projected attendance for the People's Climate March is a reflection of the fact that - no matter how much the climate deniers spend to reject it - people across this country understand that the wellness of our environment and that of the human race are inextricably linked. …"
Diegnan Bill to Require Coin Exchange Machines to Disclose Fees Advanced by Assembly PanelLegislation Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee Vice-Chair Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. sponsored to require coin redemption machines to disclose fees received panel approval on Thursday.
"When consumers go to a kiosk to trade in loose change for bills, they reasonably expect to walk away with the same amount of money they brought in. Unfortunately, it's too often the case that - unbeknownst to consumers until it's too late - for every hard-earned dollar they put in, the machine takes a dime," said Diegnan.
Fuentes: Notable Speakers Mark 4th Annual Hispanic Leadership SummitAssemblyman Angel Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester) has announced that this weekend's Fourth Annual Hispanic Leadership Gala will feature noted speakers from New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Keynote Speaker Vincent Prieto, Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, will address the gala after being introduced by Senator Donald Norcross.
I want to personally thank the Hispanic Leadership Association of New Jersey Host Committee, who have delivered our most exciting summit to date, and another sold out Gala," said Assemblyman Fuentes. "For the fourth year in a row, the Hispanic Leadership Summit will offer a wealth of resources to the entire Hispanic community. I am also truly grateful to all our distinguished guests who will be joining us..."
WEDNESDAY - Assembly Panel to Hold First Special Hearing on New Jersey's Transportation Funding CrisisThe Assembly Transportation panel will meet Wednesday in Montclair for the first of several hearings on New Jersey's transportation funding crisis.
The committee will take testimony from transportation experts and the public concerning the Transportation Trust Fund and its impact on the state's economy. The committee will examine how a first-class transportation network for moving goods, services, and people is essential to attract businesses and create jobs in the state...
Mazzeo & Whelan To Port Authority: ‘AC’s Airport Workers Need A Raise Too’
Measure Asking for Increase in Minimum Wage of Atlantic City Airport Workers Approved by Senate State Government CommitteeA measure sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo that would urge the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to increase the Atlantic City Airport's workers minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2015 was approved Thursday by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.
"There was wisdom in the Port Authority Commissioner's recognizing that hard-working residents cannot survive on less than $9 per hour, and they made efforts to ensure a more-livable wage for airport employees in the New York City metro area," said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic and Chairman of the Senate State Government Committee. "Unfortunately, they left Atlantic City Airport employees out of the plan, forcing them to work for subpar wages. It's time for AC's airport workers to see a raise, too."
Benson Bill to Enhance Awareness, Protect Children from Lead Poisoning Advanced by Assembly PanelLegislation sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex) to help prevent lead poisoning in children was released Thursday by an Assembly committee.
"This bill helps educate parents so they are able to recognize the symptoms of lead poisoning in children, which can have harmful, lasting health effects," said Benson.
Gusciora, Eustace, Jasey & Quijano Bill to Encourage Police, Firefighters, Teachers and Sanitation Workers to Buy Homes in Towns Where They Work Released by Assembly PanelLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Tim Eustace, Mila Jasey and Annette Quijano to provide financial incentives to qualified police officers, firefighters, public school teachers and sanitation workers to live where they work was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.
"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).
Assembly Panel Moves Diegnan, Moriarty Bill Banning Manufacturing and Sale of Microbead Cosmetic Products in New Jersey
Sponsors Cite Rising Environmental Concerns; NJ Joins Other States, including New York, in Introducing Legislation Aimed at Ridding Microbeads from Personal Products(TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Democrats Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) and Paul Moriarty (D-Camden, Gloucester) sponsored to address the growing environmental concerns over beauty products containing microbeads was released by the Assembly Consumer Affairs panel on Thursday.
The sponsors of the bill commend the companies that have begun to voluntarily phase out the use of microbeads in products. If this legislation were to become law, New Jersey would join one other state, Illinois in banning the use of microbeads.
Assembly Panel Ok’s Democratic Legislation to Train the Struggling Unemployed to Find Work in New Industries
Measure is Sponsored by Singleton, Conaway, Andrzejczak, Riley, Lagana, Garcia & MosqueraAn Assembly panel on Thursday advanced legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., Bob Andrzejczak, Celeste Riley, Joseph Lagana, Carmelo Garcia and Gabriela Mosquera to help train and equip the struggling unemployed with the skills necessary to find work in new industries.
"As New Jersey's economic recovery continues to lag behind our neighboring states, we have to be more aggressive in our approach to boosting jobs and economic opportunity in our state," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "This is an excellent way to help train people with employable skill sets swiftly so that they can get back into the work force as soon as possible."
Singleton, Schaer, Benson, Eustace & Mosquera Bill to Improve Reporting and Disclosure of State Tax Expenditures Continues AdvancingAssembly approved legislation Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Gary Schaer, Daniel R. Benson, Timothy Eustace and Gabriela Mosquera sponsored to improve reporting and disclosure requirements on state tax expenditures and impose a seven-year limit on the duration of new state tax expenditure enactments was advanced Thursday by a Senate panel.
"The state does not authorize these tax expenditures lightly," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "They're authorized for specific goals such as creating jobs or boosting economic growth, so we need to make certain these benefits are working as intended. It's common sense to examine whether these expenditures are working. It's what the taxpayers deserve..."
Benson, DeAngelo, Quijano, Lampitt & Giblin Bill to Boost College Internships in Life Sciences Field Ok’d by Assembly PanelLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Wayne DeAngelo, Annette Quijano, Pamela Lampitt and Thomas Giblin that would help boost paid internship opportunities for college students in the life sciences field was cleared the Assembly Commerce Committee on Thursday.
The bill (A-1011) would create "The New Jersey Life Sciences Internship Challenge" program, which provides a tax credit subsidy to small life science companies to establish a limited number of paid summer internships in the life sciences field for undergraduate students from New Jersey and undergraduate students attending New Jersey schools.
Stender & Scutari Introduce Bill to Prohibit Sale of Pure Caffeine Powder to MinorsFollows Overdose Death of 18-Year-Old In Ohio
Assemblywoman Linda Stender and Senator Nicholas Scutari (both D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union) today introduced legislation to prohibit the sale of pure, 100 percent caffeine powder to minors.
"Ingesting pure caffeine is dangerous and potentially lethal," said Assemblywoman Stender. "The sale of this drug to children should be treated like the hazardous substance that it is. By outlawing its sale to minors and establishing penalties and fines for violating the prohibition, we will send a message that we are serious about cracking down on offenders that engage in this activity and about keeping our children safe..."
Assembly Panel Moves Conaway, Eustace, Vainieri Huttle, Lagana & Pinkin Measure to Create Medicaid Smart Card Pilot Program & Address Fraud- Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway M.D., Tim Eustace, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joseph Lagana and Nancy Pinkin to increase efficiency in the state Medicaid program and reduce monthly costs for recipients was advanced by an Assembly panel on Thursday.
"Many residents rely on Medicaid services for healthcare," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "Developing a more efficient system for Medicaid would preserve the integrity of the program and make it more accessible to those who truly need it. This pilot program would help us discover if and how we may improve the system..."
Assembly Panel OKs Fuentes, Gusciora Bill to Combat Scrap Metal Theft In NJ(TRENTON) - An Assembly panel cleared the way on Monday for legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angel Fuentes (D-Camden, Gloucester) and Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) to strengthen New Jersey law concerning scrap metal sales and to stem the sale of stolen scrap metal.
Assemblyman Fuentes authored this legislation (A-2074) in response to the rise in scrap metal theft happening in Camden and other parts of the state.
Singleton, Vainieri Huttle & Benson Bill to Promote Donations to ALS Research Released by Assembly PanelLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Daniel R. Benson to allow gross income taxpayers to use their returns to make voluntary contributions to the Greater Philadelphia and Greater New York Chapters of the ALS Association for services provided to New Jersey residents was advanced on Thursday.
The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy, while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig's Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support through a nationwide network of chapters," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "Making it easier for New Jerseyans to donate to support this cause is the right and moral thing to do..."
Assembly Panel Ok’s Bill Package Aimed at Making College More Affordable and Attainable for NJ Students
Four-Bills are Sponsored by Cryan, Riley, Giblin, Mukherji, Lagana, Moriarty, Eustace, Quijano, Diegnan, Benson, Garcia, Singleton, Jasey and FuentesThe Assembly Higher Education Committee on Thursday approved four key bills that are part of a larger 20-bill package aimed at addressing the systemic factors pushing more and more New Jersey students into the real world saddled with debt and without a college degree.
The package is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Celeste Riley, who chairs the committee, as well as Joseph Cryan, Thomas Giblin, Raj Mukherji, Joseph Lagana, Paul Moriarty, Tim Eustace, Annette Quijano, Patrick Diegnan, Daniel Benson, Carmelo Garcia, Troy Singleton, Mila Jasey and Angel Fuentes.
DeAngelo: BPU Nominations will Provide Varied Experience to Utility Oversight AgencyCongratulates Colleague Assemblyman Chivukula on Appointment to BPU
Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex), vice chairman of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, on Thursday congratulated Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula; Rick Mroz and Joseph Fiordaliso upon their nominations to the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU):
"These three gentlemen provide a vast array of experience in professional and public service that will offer a balance and depth of knowledge to the Board of Public Utilities. As we saw during and after Superstorm Sandy, it's critical that our state's telecommunications and utility services are able to withstand any test that they may face. These commissioners also will need to continue to move our state forward in clean energy at reasonable rates for consumers..."
Wisniewski Statement on Christie Nomination of Jamie Fox as New Jersey Transportation CommissionerAssembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) issued the following statement on Governor Christie's nomination of Jamie Fox as New Jersey Commissioner of Transportation.
"Jamie Fox is a widely respected leader with whom I have had an excellent working relationship over the years. I offer him my sincere congratulations on his nomination.
Greenwald: Fox the 'Right Choice' for Transportation CommissionerNew Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) released the following statement Thursday on Gov. Christie's appointment of Jamie Fox as commissioner for the Department of Transportation:
"I applaud the governor for nominating Jamie to be the next transportation commissioner. He is the right choice for the job.With a struggling Transportation Trust Fund and decaying infrastructure posing significant economic challenges to our state, New Jersey faces tremendous problems in transportation policy..."
Prieto Statement on Fox & Chivukula NominationsAssembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following statement Thursday on appointments made by Gov. Chris Christie:
"I applaud Gov. Christie's selection of Jamie Fox as the next Department of Transportation commissioner. We know from past experience that Mr. Fox is a problem solver, and New Jersey certainly has many transportation problems that need solving..."
Lampitt Bill Bolstering Car Safety for Young Children Continues AdvancingAssembly approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Pamela Lampitt to bolster car safety for young children was released Thursday by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
"With advances in research and car safety technology, recommendations to protect children in motor vehicles are always changing. Just look how different things were just a decade or two ago," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington), chairwoman of the Assembly Women and Children Committee. "Incorporating the latest recommendations will help ensure that we're doing all we can to protect young children in automobiles..."
Andrzejczak & Benson Legislation to Crack Down on Illegal Telemarketing Practices Gets OK from Assembly Panel(TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Democrats Sgt. Bob Andrzejczak and Daniel Benson sponsored to create an investigative section of the Division of Consumer Affairs dedicated to telemarketing abuses was advanced Thursday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-986) would establish a telemarketing fraud investigation unit within the Division of Consumer Affairs that would investigate consumer complaints related to telemarketing practices.
"Unwanted telemarketing calls continue to interrupt the lives of New Jersey residents, regardless of whether they have deliberately expressed that they are not interested or perhaps even logged a complaint," said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). "It's critical that we are proactive about cracking down on companies that casually break the law on a regular basis. The investigative unit that this bill creates will be essential as we fight back against the uncompromising telemarketers who pester New Jerseyans incessantly."
Speaker Prieto Hails Senate Advancement of Vocational Education Improvement PackageAssembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following statement Thursday after the Senate Education Committee released seven bills he sponsored (A-3334/3335/3337/3338/3339/3340/3341) to improve vocational education throughout New Jersey. The Assembly approved the bills in June:
""We cannot rest idle while businesses and jobs change and the global economy becomes more competitive. In the end, this is all about jobs and a stronger economy, so we need to take steps such as these to ensure our state is at the cutting edge of educational offerings. I look forward to continued progress..."
DeAngelo & Lagana Bill Targeting Automobile Insurance Fraud Advanced by Assembly PanelLegislation Assembly Democrats Wayne P. DeAngelo and Joseph Lagana sponsored to crack down on insurance fraud was advanced Thursday by an Assembly panel.
"Insurance fraud is not only wrong, but it costs honest drivers money through higher premiu said DeAngelo. "We've made a lot of progress in controlling auto insurance rates, but we still have a long way to go and cracking down on fraud needs to be a big part of that continuing effort."
Conaway, Chivukula, Benson & Pinkin Bill to Allow Residents to Text 9-1-1 Clears First Legislative HurdleAn Assembly panel on Thursday cleared the way for legislation Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway, Upendra Chivukula, Daniel Benson and Nancy Pinkin sponsored to enable residents to text 911 in an emergency.
The sponsors said the ability to text 9-1-1 will be a vital service for New Jersey residents with communication disabilities and in emergencies where an individual is unable to talk or must be discrete.
"Some emergency situations require a less obvious call for help," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "It can be especially vital in domestic violence situations, or situations involving children and seniors. Expanding existing law to include the option to text 9-1-1 will protect more residents in more emergency situations."
Mainor & Mukherji Bill to Test Effectiveness of State's Probation & Rehabilitation Programs Advanced by Assembly PanelLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Charles Mainor and Raj Mukherji (both D-Hudson) to measure the effectiveness of the state's probation and rehabilitation programs was released Thursday by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
The bill (A-2417) requires the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts to establish a program to record and analyze recidivism rates for adults sentenced to a period of probation.
Johnson & Mainor Bill Requiring Higher Ed. Police Departments to Adopt Policing Procedures Used by All Law Enforcement in NJ Advanced by Assembly PanelAn Assembly committee on Thursday released legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson and Charles Mainor requiring college and university police departments to adopt the Attorney General Guidelines on internal affairs policies and procedures.
"Having uniformity across the board can help avoid potential confusion and mistakes," said Johnson (D-Bergen). "Rather than have these departments operating under different guidelines, this bill would require them to use the same guidelines as every other law enforcement agency in the state."
Assembly Panel Releases Johnson & Mainor Bill to Expand Access to DNA Testing, Exonerate the Wrongfully ConvictedLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) and Charles Mainor (D-Hudson) to help exonerate the wrongfully convicted by allowing anyone who has been convicted of a crime to request DNA testing was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.
New Jersey is one of 14 states with an incarceration requirement in their post-conviction DNA testing statutes, meaning only those who are currently incarcerated can file a motion for DNA testing. The bill (A-1678) would allow any person who has been convicted of a crime to make such a motion.
Vainieri Huttle & Conaway Join with Legislators in Announcing Bipartisan Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse Package
Legislation Will Increase State's Prevention and Education Efforts, Improve Treatment and Recovery OptionsAssembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Herb Conaway, joined with Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Chairman Joseph F. Vitale and bipartisan legislators from both the Senate and General Assembly today to announce they will introduce a comprehensive bill package to tackle the heroin and prescription drug epidemic that is occurring across the state. The package, consisting of 21 bills, will focus on the need to improve paths to evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery efforts for those addicted to opiates.
"This multi-faceted problem cannot be addressed by law enforcement measures alone or by ignoring it as has been done for decades. It requires evidence-based healthcare strategies and treatments aimed at the root causes of addiction," said Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr. M.D., D-Burlington, Chair of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee. "Policy-makers inside and outside of medicine have an obligation to focus much needed attention on the physical and emotional problems which lead addiction. If we in society can at last do that, we together can save countless lives in the long run."
Tuition Freeze & More Higher Education Reform, 911 Texting & New Consumer Protections Top Thursday Assembly Committee MeetingsCombating Metal Theft, Expanded Use of DNA Evidence, Lead Hazard Control & Job Training Also Among Bills on Tap
Prohibiting colleges and universities from hiking tuition and fees for nine continuous semesters following a student's initial enrollment and other higher education reform bills, requiring 911 facilities to handle text messages and new consumer protections top Thursday's Assembly committee meetings.
Combating the scourge of metal theft, authorizing courts to order law enforcement to submit DNA evidence to national databases to determine whether the evidence matches a known individual or a profile from an unsolved crime and lead hazard control are among the bills also on tap…
Vainieri Huttle, Conaway, Benson, Lagana & Pinkin News Conference Excerpts Unveiling Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Package
Mosquera, Lampitt, Gusciora, Vainieri Huttle & Johnson on Comprehensive Domestic Violence Prevention Bill Package
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