Assembly Approves Wimberly & Mainor Bill to Create Specialty License Plate for Renowned Organization for African-American MenBill Creates Omega Psi Phi License Plates
- The General Assembly recently approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie E. Wimberly and Charles Mainor to create a New Jersey specialty license plate for the fraternal organization, Omega Psi Phi.
"Specialty license plates allow residents to proudly exhibit their support for a worthy cause, a hobby or an organization," said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). "Omega Psi Phi would be added to the state list of national service organizations that residents can represent with a specialty license plate. Its members who live and work in New Jersey would have another way to show pride in an organization with a long, esteemed presence in America..."
Tucker, Singleton, Eustace, Lampitt, Greenwald & Wisniewski Bill to Allow Temporary Professional Licensure for Qualified Military Spouses Advances
Bill Would Help Professional Licensed Spouses Return to Work Sooner After Relocation(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Cleopatra Tucker, Troy Singleton, Timothy Eustace, Pamela Lampitt, Lou Greenwald and John Wisniewski that would allow nonresident military spouses to seek temporary licensure from certain professional and occupations licensing boards upon moving to New Jersey was released today by a Senate Panel.
The bill (A-3427) would provide a "nonresident military spouse" an opportunity to seek a one-year temporary licensure with option to apply for an extension at the end of the year. Under the bill, a "nonresident military spouse" is defined as a spouse of an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces who has been transferred to the state or has moved to the state on a permanent change-of-station basis. Nine states have passed and signed into law similar legislation.
"This is an opportunity for the state to help military families bridge the employment gap when transferred and see little disruption in earning an income for their family," said Tucker (D-Essex). "In a year or two-year time, if the individual has permanently relocated to New Jersey, this temporary license will give them time to seek permanent licensure while continuing to make a living."
Wagner & Eustace Welcome Reopening of Pascack Valley Hospital as HUMC-North
Bergen Lawmakers Applaud Westwood Mayor's Efforts to Keep Hospital Open for CommunityAssembly Democrats Connie Wagner and Tim Eustace (both D-Bergen/Passaic) on Thursday attended the grand reopening of Pascack Valley Hospital as Hackensack University Medical Center-North and applauded the efforts by Westwood Mayor John Birkner to ensure that the surrounding community still has access to vital, first-rate medical care.
The hospital closed in 2007 and in 2009 eight municipalities, including Oradell in the lawmakers' 38th District, had successful referendums in support of reopening a hospital at the site. At today's grand reopening, HUMC-North announced it plans to begin accepting patients again on June 1.
Jasey, Diegnan, Wagner, Caputo & Jimenez Bill to Benefit Teachers Aspiring Toward Educational Leadership Roles Advances
Measure to Create Advisory Board and Program to Fill Leadership roles in School Districts(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey, Patrick Diegnan, Connie Wagner, Ralph R. Caputo and Angelica M. Jimenez to encourage more of New Jersey's teachers to take part in educational leadership r0.oles recently gained legislative approval by the full Assembly.
The sponsors note the purpose of the legislation is to create a teacher leader endorsement program that would identify the skills, knowl¬edge, and requirements necessary to fulfill leadership roles in school districts. Teacher leaders would serve as coaches, mentors, and facilitators of professional learning.
"Teacher leadership goes beyond the four walls of a classroom," said Jasey (D-Essex, Morris). "We must encourage and support our most dedicated, innovative educators to expand their roles and become professional leaders in their field. Fellow educators, schools, and students will benefit greatly from their expertise."
Assembly Approves Coughlin Bill to Exempt Veterans' Organizations from Certain State Filing Costs(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Craig J. Coughlin to exempt veterans' organizations, which qualify as a corporation under the "New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act," from paying the annual report filing fee cleared a legislative hurdle on Monday with its passage in the state Assembly.
Under current law, nonprofit corporations must pay a $25 annual report filing fee. Under the bill (A-3733), veterans' organizations which organize as nonprofit corporation must still file the annual report required, but are exempted from the fee.
"Veteran organizations' provide valuable services to our military returning home," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). "Removing some of government's red tape is the least we can do to help them help others."
Barnes, Quijano & Gusciora Bill to Ensure Medical Marijuana Patients Receive Needed Care Clears AssemblyThe General Assembly this week approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Peter J. Barnes, III, Annette Quijano and Reed Gusciora to allow patients registered for New Jersey's Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana program to be able to receive needed medical care, including organ transplantation.
"Now that this program is beginning to operate, it's important that we protect patients desperately in need of this assistance," said Barnes (D-Middlesex). "This will help ensure that the law cannot be misconstrued to hold these patients liable so that they receive the care they need."
Barnes & Moriarty Bill to Improve Ethics Disclosure at Independent State Authorities Advanced ForwardLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Peter J. Barnes III and Paul Moriarty to improve ethics disclosure at independent state authorities was approved 78-0 Monday by the Assembly.
"Disclosure is always the best way to ensure good government, and this is a reasonable step forward to ensure taxpayers are protected," said Barnes (D-Middlesex). "This requirement would be similar to that expected of other public officials, and it's the right thing to do..."
Oliver, Bramnick, Benson & Green Bill to Grant College Credit to Students Completing Jersey Boys and Girls State Programs Clears Senate PanelAssembly approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Republican Leader Jon M. Bramnick, Assemblyman Daniel Benson and Assemblyman Jerry Green to give students participating in the American Legion Jersey Boys State or the American Legion Auxiliary Jersey Girls State programs college credit for successfully completing the week-long course in government was released Thursday by a Senate panel.
"These are exemplary students and potential leaders in government," said Oliver (D-Essex). "Chosen for their interest in civics and academic excellence, the students deserve credit for the intensive study and participation that is required of them while in this program. Let's give them a head start as a reward for their hard work..."
Diegnan Calls on Red Bulls to Show Some Garden State Pride as New York Acquires its Own Soccer Team
Assemblyman Says New Jersey-Based Team with Publicly Financed Stadium Should Drop 'New York' From Its NameWith news that New York is adding its own Major League Soccer (MLS) Team,Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan called on Major League Soccer and the Red Bulls soccer team to end the charade of using the name "New York" to refer to a New Jersey-based team.
"A Hudson County-based team in a New Jersey publicly financed stadium calling itself the 'New York Red Bulls' is a slap in the face to New Jersey residents and taxpayers who help support the team.
Fuentes, Mosquera, Riley & Benson Bill Granting Access to Work Leave Time for Domestic Violence Victims Gets Final Legislative ApprovalThe full Assembly this week unanimously granted final legislative approval to a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angel Fuentes, Gabriela Mosquera, Celeste Riley and Daniel Benson that will provide increased protections and financial security for victims of domestic violence.
The bill (A-2919) is known as the "New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act" or the "NJ SAFE Act." The measure would provide 20 days of leave time within one year of an incident of domestic violence or a sexually violent offense of which the employee or the employee's child, parent, spouse, or civil union or domestic partner was a victim.
Assembly Advances Lampitt, Singleton, Mainor, Watson Coleman & Sumter Bill to Increase Teaching Opportunities, Help Boost Failing Schools
Bill to Create Pilot Program to Help Minority Men Take Advantage of New Jersey's Alternate Route Teacher Certification Program(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Troy Singleton, Charles Mainor, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Shavonda E. Sumter to increase teaching opportunities for minority men in order to help provide high quality teachers in chronically challenged schools was recently approved by the full General Assembly.
"If implemented properly, this program could be a win-win to help meet two crucial goals - employing more minority men and providing quality teachers for disadvantaged schools," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington).
Vainieri Huttle & Watson Coleman Bill to Ensure Any Privatization Contract Actually Saves Money Goes to GovernorLegislation Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Bonnie Watson Coleman sponsored to ensure that no public services are privatized unless there is cost savings recently received final legislative approval, having been approved 48-29 Monday by the Assembly.
"Decisions to use private contractors to provide public services must be based on factors that promote the public interest," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "Requiring a thorough review and analysis of potential cost impacts prior to entering into any such privatization contract makes smart fiscal sense..."
Prieto: Budget Worries Persists as Christie Still Cannot Afford Tax Cut Already on the BooksAssembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following statement Tuesday after the committee received a final revenue update:
"New Jersey has still not come close to returning to fiscally sound footing after more than three years of Christie budget policies that benefited the rich over the middle-class and poor. In fact, Gov. Christie still cannot afford the property tax credit/rebate program that currently exists, let alone fund a new one..."
Burzichelli, Greenwald, Ramos, Conaway & Caride Bill Barring Employers from Demanding Facebook Login Info One Step Closer to Law
Assembly Concurs With Gov's Conditional Veto RecommendationsThe full Assembly on Monday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Assemblymen John Burzichelli, Louis Greenwald, Ruben Ramos, Jr., Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. and Marlene Caride that would bar employers and colleges from requiring current or prospective employees or students to turn over their login information for social networking websites as a condition of employment or acceptance.
The bill now incorporates several changes made by Gov. Christie in his conditional veto issued earlier this month while still maintaining protections for current and prospective employees.
Casagrande and Lampitt Bipartisan Bill to Ban Sex Offenders from Working with ChildrenSex offenders who are considered a risk to repeat their crimes would be prohibited from working with children under bipartisan legislation recently introduced by Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande and Pamela R. Lampitt.
"It is outrageous that convicted child abusers can take advantage of loopholes in the law to work in roles giving them direct access to children," said Lampitt...
Singleton, Conaway, Moriarty, Green & Lampitt Bill to Help Small Business "Go Green" Advances(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., Paul D. Moriarty, Jerry Green and Pamela Lampitt to provide loans to small businesses to cover costs recently passed the full Assembly 74-4. The measure will now head to the Senate for further consideration.
"For small businesses, finding ways to keep costs down is important in today's economy," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "Ensuring that small business owners are afforded the tools to conserve energy where they can is a good investment of State resources."
Greenwald & Caride Bill to Help Inform Residents of Places to Fuel Up During Emergencies Approved by AssemblyLegislation Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Assemblywoman Marline Caride sponsored to create a database that will make it easier for the state to communicate locations of gas stations, including those with back-up generators, to the public during a crisis or ongoing emergency was approved 56-20-2 Monday by the Assembly.
"When Sandy hit, residents were scrambling all over the state to locate places to buy fuel," said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). "We were driving miles to find an open gas station. The time spent in long lines and searching was, to say the least, frustrating..."
Burzichelli Bill to Study Impact of Granting Lottery Winners Anonymity on Transparency, Lottery Sales Clears AssemblyLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat John Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem) to study whether granting lottery winners in New Jersey anonymity would negatively impact transparency and lottery sales was approved Monday by the Assembly.
The former version of the bill, which gave lottery winners the option to remain anonymous for a year, was approved by both house, but it was conditionally vetoed by the governor. The current version implements the recommendations made by the governor under his conditional veto...
Wagner on Creation of Task-Force to Evaluate Effectiveness of Full-Day Kindergarten in NJ (A-3972)
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