Assembly Health and Senior Services

The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee is responsible for the oversight of health care policy. Its focus is legislation that works to prevent disease, promote well-being at all life stages and encourage informed choices that enrich the quality of life for residents and communities.
Democratic Research Aide:  Nicole A. Brown   
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Schaer, Vainieri Huttle, Pinkin, Holley, McKnight & Quijano Measure to Help Spur Cure for Zika Virus Gains Approval by the Assembly

(TRENTON) - The General Assembly on Thursday cleared a measure sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Nancy Pinkin, Jamel Holley, Angela McKnight and Annette Quijano backing the federal government's recent move to prioritize a cure for the Zika virus, which has caused widespread concern because of the devastating impact it has on children born to infected pregnant women. The measure passed 64-0-1.

The resolution (AR-142) applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for recently adding the Zika virus to the list of eligible Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) under the FDA's Tropical Disease Priority Review Voucher Program, which incentivizes drug companies to develop a cure for such diseases.

"With the spread of Zika in Latin America and its arrival in the United States, this was an important move on the part of the FDA to add Zika to the list of diseases eligible under the voucher program," said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). "Incentivizing drug companies to put their ingenuity to work could save countless lives and prevent thousands of children from being born with devastating health consequences that could impair them for the rest of their lives."

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Vainieri Huttle, Jimenez & Moriarty to Ban Smoking at Parks & Beaches Heads to Governorís Desk

By a vote of 51-6-4, the General Assembly on Thursday granted final legislative approval to a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Angelica Jimenez and Paul Moriarty to protect public health by prohibiting smoking at public parks and beaches.

The bill (A-893) would extend the provisions of the "New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act," which generally prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces, to apply to public parks and beaches throughout the state.

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Jimenez, Green, Mukherji & Sumter Bill to Establish Rules for Handling of Hazardous Drugs, Protect Health Care Personnel that Administer them Approved by Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angelica Jimenez (D-Bergen/Hudson), Jerry Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union), Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) and Shavonda Sumter (D-Bergen/Passaic) to adopt regulations concerning the handling of hazardous drugs that could be harmful to health care personnel was approved Thursday by the full Assembly.

"These hazardous drugs pose a real risk to health care personnel who may be exposed to them in the air, and through contact with work surfaces, clothing, medical equipment and patients," said Jimenez (D-Bergen/Hudson). "This bill would help ensure that all necessary precautions are taken so that health care professionals who must work with these drugs are well protected."

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Caride, Singleton, Jasey & Wimberly Bill to Boost Certification Requirements for School Nurses, Ensure they are Well-Qualified Continues to Advance

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Marlene Caride, Troy Singleton, Mila Jasey and Benjie Wimberly to restore previous certification requirements for school nurses to ensure they are aptly qualified to care for students was approved Monday by the Senate Education Committee.

The bill (A-1256) was prompted by the State Board of Education's decision in 2013 to reduce the minimum requirements to apparently address the shortage in nurses. However, the New Jersey State Nurses Association contends the reason for the change was to reduce costs for school districts by hiring less qualified applicants at lower salaries. The bill would restore the previous requirements.

"Lowering these requirements reduces salaries by using lesser skilled nurses, and jeopardizes the health of our students..," said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic).

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Oliver, Handlin, Vainieri Huttle & Quijano Bipartisan Bill to Combat Abuse against the Elderly & Disabled Now Law

Measure is Result of Ongoing Meetings between Oliver, Handlin & Stakeholders throughout NJ
Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Sheila Oliver, Amy Handlin, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Annette Quijano to combat abuse and fraud against the elderly and disabled in New Jersey has been signed into law.

The law is the result of ongoing discussions between former Speaker Oliver, Deputy Republican Leader Handlin and more than a dozen prominent stakeholder agencies and corporations from throughout the state to help senior citizens avoid being swindled by unscrupulous scammers.

Specifically, the law (A-1120) will establish the "New Jersey Task Force on Abuse Against the Elderly and Disabled."

"This type of abuse is particularly heartbreaking because it violates some of our most vulnerable and innocent populations," said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). "As a compassionate society, we can and should be doing more to prevent this exploitation. That requires a concerted and continual effort by a wide variety of agencies and organizations, which this bill will bring together."

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