Democratic Research Aide: Jennifer Taylor
Group - B
Conaway, Singleton, Greenwald, Taliaferro & Quijano Bill to Boost Survivor Benefits for Children of Law Enforcement & Firefighters Heads to GovernorThe full Assembly on Monday unanimously granted final legislative approval to a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway, Jr., MD, Troy Singleton, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Adam Taliaferro and Annette Quijano that would significantly boost survivor benefits for children of State Police Officers and police and firefighters who die in the line of duty.
Specifically, the bill (A-3610) would increase the percentage of final compensation or adjusted final compensation to 70 percent from 20 percent for a surviving child of a State Police Officer, police officer or firefighter, or for surviving children in equal shares, when there is no surviving spouse or the surviving spouse dies.
Gusciora, Muoio, Caputo, Mukherji & Chiaravalloti Bill to Extend Urban Enterprise Zone Program Gains Assembly Approval
Bill Would Extend Economic Perks to Bolster City RevitalizationsLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Elizabeth Muoio, Ralph Caputo, Raj Mukherji and Nicholas Chiaravalloti to extend the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) designation for participating cities for another 10 years so that they may continue to benefit from the economic incentives was approved 52-25 by the full Assembly on Monday.
"Over the years, the Urban Enterprise Zone program has helped attract both new businesses and consumers alike, and has helped revitalize cites struggling to reinvigorate once-thriving business districts," said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "It makes little economic sense to suddenly halt this momentum. By extending this designation, we can help these towns continue their renaissance."
Prieto, Muoio, Oliver, Schaer, Holley, Mukherji & Quijano Bill to Increase Assistance to Low-Income Families to Help Ease Poverty Heads to Governor
Bill Boosts Work First New Jersey BenefitsLegislation Assembly Democrats Speaker Vincent Prieto, Elizabeth Muoio, Sheila Oliver, Gary Schaer, Jamel Holley, Raj Mukherji and Annette Quijano sponsored to increase the maximum cash assistance benefit for families participating in the Work First New Jersey program gained final legislative approval from the Senate on Monday.
The bill (A-30) is part of efforts by Assembly Democrats to lift people out of poverty and rebuild New Jersey's middle-class. It was approved by the Assembly in March and is part of the Democratic state budget proposal.
Andrzejczak, McKnight & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Ensure Food Assistance Benefits for Residents Struggling to Find Work AdvancesAn Assembly panel recently approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bob Andrzejczak, Angela McKnight and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to help ensure that residents struggling to find work can still receive critical food assistance benefits from the state.
The bill (A-3622) would require the state to pledge to ensure the availability of education, training or workfare opportunities that will permit certain participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, colloquially referred to as "food stamps") to remain eligible for benefits beyond the current three-month time limit.
"The state can help these individuals avoid the loss of SNAP benefits, while simultaneously preparing them for long-term employment, by ensuring the availability of qualifying education, training or workfare opportunities," said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). "This important change will ensure that someone struggling to find employment is able to put food on the table for their family."
Singleton, Conaway, DeAngelo, Benson, Muoio, Houghtaling & Zwicker Bill to Promote Cost-Cutting Small Business Improvements Approved by Assembly PanelLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Herb Conaway, Wayne DeAngelo, Daniel R. Benson, Elizabeth Muoio, Eric Houghtaling and Andrew Zwicker to facilitate cost-effective environmentally friendly improvements for small businesses recently was approved by an Assembly panel.
"Energy efficiency upgrades have the potential to save small businesses thousands of dollars each year," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "Small businesses are not churning out enormous profits. Keeping the costs of lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and other similar expenses at a minimum can make a difference to their bottom line. Helping small businesses thrive not only benefits our business community but also our overall economy."
DeAngelo, Pinkin, Andrzejczak, Tucker, Conaway & Land Bill to Ensure Economic Vitality of N.J. Military Installations Advanced by Assembly PanelBill Would Create Military and Defense Economic Ombudsman
Legislation Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo, Nancy Pinkin, Bob Andrzejczak, Cleopatra Tucker, Herb Conaway and Bruce Land sponsored to create a Military and Defense Economic Ombudsman to ensure the economic vitality of military installations in the state recently was advanced by an Assembly panel.
"Communication is key to fortifying our bond with the military bases," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex), vice-chair of the Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee. "There needs to be an open channel between the installations and all agencies and levels of government necessary to ensure that the needs of everyone connected to them are being met."
McKeon & Zwicker Bill to Limit Use of Environmental Settlement Funds Gains Assembly Panel ApprovalBill Stems From Christie Administration's Decision To Settle With Exxon For $225 Million Despite Asking For $8.9 Billion In Damages
Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen John F. McKeon and Andrew Zwicker to ensure that money received as part of an environmental violation lawsuit is used to fix the damage created by the infraction gained approval from an Assembly panel on Monday.
The bill is in response to Gov. Christie's decision last year to settle with Exxon Mobil for a fraction of what the state asked for in damages for contamination and loss of use of more than 1,500 acres of wetlands, marshes, meadows and waters in northern New Jersey. The decision has been chastised and many critics have accused the governor of quietly settling to use the money to balance the budget.
"Current law allows the administration to use most of the Exxon settlement money to balance the budget. Residents have been terribly shortchanged by this settlement. Using these funds as a short-term budget fix adds insult to injury," said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). "This bill amends the law so that the bulk of money received from environmental lawsuits is reserved for damage restoration."
Gusciora, Singleton, Lagana, Lampitt, Muoio, Caride, Spencer, Mosquera & Tucker Bill to Toughen Penalty for Strangulation in Domestic Violence Cases AdvancesLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Troy Singleton, Joseph Lagana, Pamela Lampitt, Elizabeth Muoio, Marlene Caride, L. Grace Spencer, Gabriela Mosquera and Cleopatra Tucker to raise the penalty for the crime of strangulation in domestic violence cases was advanced by an Assembly panel on Monday.
"This is a violent tactic often used against domestic violence victims by their abusers. It can have a debilitating psychological effect on the victim, and at worst, lead to death," said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "The fact that the harshest punishment for this crime is up to six months in jail and a fine is ludicrous. The risk of serious injury or worse from a strangulation assault warrants a higher penalty."