The Assembly Appropriations Committee is responsible for reviewing the fiscal impact of legislation on the state. The committee reviews legislation dealing with revenues, taxation, state budget and finance and weigh in on the process of authorizing expenditure of public funds for a specific governmental purpose.
Democratic Research Aide: Jennifer Taylor
Group - B
Green, Sumter, Diegnan, Watson Coleman & Giblin Bill to Help Communities Transform Idle Health Care Facilities into Newly Productive Health Care Centers Continues AdvancingLegislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green and Assembly members Shavonda E. Sumter, Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr., Bonnie Watson Coleman and Thomas P. Giblin to help transform ailing or obsolete health care facilities into productive health care centers once again was released Thursday by a Senate panel.
"Shifts in population, economic pressures and scientific advancement often lead to the construction of new hospital facilities and the closing of older hospitals," said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). "This is unfortunate for the communities that house these once productive hospitals because they often contribute greatly to local employment and tax revenue. This legislation would aid in repurposing former hospitals health in a positive transition to health centers that can still provide much needed support to the community..."
Democratic Bill to Provide Lifetime Workers’ Compensation Benefits to Spouses of Police, Fire Personnel Killed in Line of Duty Signed Into Law
Measure Sponsored by Quijano, Vainieri Huttle, O'Donnell, Ramos & AlbanoLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Jason O'Donnell, Ruben Ramos and Nelson Albano to provide lifetime workers' compensation benefits to surviving spouses of fire and police personnel who die in the line of duty has was signed into law on Thursday.
"These are dangerous professions with potentially deadly consequences," said Quijano (D-Union). "Police and fire personnel should have the peace of mind that their families will be provided for if they are killed in the line of duty. The work that they do and the risks they take warrants it."
Assembly Panel Advances Spencer & Johnson Bill to Help Violators “Do the Time” if They Can’t “Pay the Fine”
Measure Would Give Courts Discretion to Impose Jail Time, Labor or Community Service for Those Who Can't Pay FinesAn Assembly panel on Thursday advanced legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats L. Grace Spencer and Gordon Johnson to help residents who are unable to pay court-imposed financial penalties by giving them credit against the penalties for time served in jail.
"Giving individuals the option to work off the debt owed would be a progressive and more productive approach to justice, particularly for those with limited financial means" said Spencer (D-Essex). "In the long run it may be beneficial to the state as much as it is to the individual."
Assembly Panel Advances Johnson, Vainieri Huttle, Diegnan & Gusciora Mental Health & Substance Abuse Parity Law
Measure Would Ensure Care for Variety of Mental Illnesses & AddictionsAn Assembly panel on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. and Reed Gusciora requiring health insurers to provide the same levels of coverage for a broad array of mental illnesses and substance abuse addictions as they do for treating other diseases.
"Thousands of New Jersey families are impacted by mental illness," said Johnson (D-Bergen). "It is time that health insurers provide the same level of coverage for individuals with mental illness as patients undergoing any other legitimate medical procedure."
Assembly Panel OK's Diegnan, Lampitt, Egan & Quijano Bill to Monitor & Prevent Cardiac Tragedies in ChildrenLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr., Pamela Lampitt, Joseph Egan and Annette Quijano to monitor cardiac tragedies in children in order to help prevent future tragedies was advanced Thursday by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
"Too many children have been taken from us far too soon because of sudden and undetected cardiac conditions," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex), who was a sponsor of Janet's Law, which was enacted last year to require all New Jersey schools to have automated external defibrillators. "By providing schools and communities throughout New Jersey with this information, we can help improve the survival rates of children who experience sudden cardiac events...."
Coughlin, Lampitt, Tucker & Benson Bill to Weigh Merits of Giving Tax Credits to Companies that Offer Internships to College Students Now LawLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Craig J. Coughlin, Pamela R. Lampitt, Cleopatra Tucker and Daniel R. Benson to review the merits of providing tax credits to employers who hire college students for internships as a way to increase the students' potential for long-term employment has been signed into law.
"I believe that making these tax credits available to employers could help create long-term positions. Sometimes all it takes is getting your foot in the door and internships do that. Giving interns a small pay could also allow students who might not be able to afford things like transportation to take an internship they would not be able to take otherwise...," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). For More
Burzichelli Bill to Adjust Interest Rate Allowed to Accrue on Unpaid Municipal & Public Utility Bills, Help Residents in Debt Continues AdvancingLegislation sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli to help residents who have fallen behind on their bills get back on their feet by providing a more consistent approach to setting and assessing interest rates on certain unpaid utility bills, as well as delinquent municipal taxes, assessments and other municipal liens and charges was advanced Thursday by an Assembly panel.
"We have all fallen on hard times every now and then. In some cases, families may struggle to keep up with their bills and have to scramble to pay off a debt that is now higher because of the interest," said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland), who serves as vice-chair of the committee. "The current system has huge variation in interest rates and how they accrue on late payments, which can make paying back a debt difficult. Some rates have remained the same for over forty years and are as high as 18 percent which is unfair given the current economic climate. This bill would create a standard system where interest rates rise and fall based on market conditions..."
Eustace, Singleton, Wagner, Egan & Coughlin Bill to Help Employers Avoid Tax Hike Advanced by Assembly Panel(TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Troy Singleton, Connie Wagner, Joseph Egan and Craig J. Coughlin sponsored to help businesses avoid a pending tax increase was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-4112/3675) reduces the unemployment insurance tax rates that would be imposed on employers during fiscal year 2014. Under current law, employers would be hit with a 10 percent surcharge on July 1, but the bill reduces the tax burden on employers by preventing the surcharge from taking effect in fiscal year 2014.
"The change would save employers $300 million during next fiscal year, allowing them at this difficult time to focus on creating jobs and economic development for our state and its workers," said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). "Creating a good environment for job creation in New Jersey is a top priority, and this is essential ingredient to accomplish that goal."
Mainor, Wilson & Caride Legislation Strengthening State Law, Penalties for Child Pornography Crimes in NJ Advances(TRENTON) - An Assembly panel today released a bipartisan supported measures -- sponsored in part by Assembly Democrats Charles Mainor, Gilbert L. "Whip" Wilson, and Marlene Caride -- that would update New Jersey statutes concerning child pornography crimes and align them with the federal law governing these crimes.
"Crimes against our children are the most despicable and cowardly," said Mainor (D-Hudson). "To effectively prosecute offenders, state statutes must remain current with the times. By harmonizing our statutes with those on the federal level, we give the courts the tools necessary to sentence firmly and appropriately."
Wisniewski & Prieto Legislative Package to Enhance Security When Schools Double as Polling Places on Election Day Continues Advancing(TRENTON) - A two-bill legislative package sponsored by Assembly Democrats John S. Wisniewski and Vincent Prieto to ensure the safety of students when a school is used as a polling place on Election Day was advanced Thursday by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
The first bill (A-1548) would ensure that student safety and the integrity of the voting process are not compromised when a public school doubles as a polling place on Election Day.
"As Newtown showed us, we cannot be too careful about the access we give strangers to our schools and our children," said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), who sponsored the bill. "This bill requires school districts to put in place safety measures to ensure that our students are not put at risk. We want people to exercise their right to vote, but we also want to keep our kids safe."
More Gun Violence Prevention Bills, Tougher Penalties for Child Pornography, Mortgage Assistance & Helping Businesses Avoid Impending Tax Hike Highlight Thursday Assembly Committee MeetingsConsumer Electronics Protection, Relief from Utility Telemarketing, Enhanced Requirements for Utilities During Disasters & Mental Health Parity Also on Tap
More gun violence prevention bills, tougher penalties for child pornography, helping homeowners avoid foreclosure and helping businesses avoid an impending tax increase top Thursday's Assembly committee agendas.
Consumer electronics protections, relief from telemarketing by utilities, enhanced public notice requirements for utilities during emergencies and mental health parity are also on tap...