Welcome to my Virtual District Office!
This page has been created to make it easier for you to learn how my office can be your advocate in Trenton and to get answers to some common questions about state government. In addition, you can visit the Web page of your town from the links below. You also can click to send me and my staff an e-mail. Whether you have a problem that needs to be solved or just want to send your opinion on a pressing state issue, my office is at your service.
As we move forward, this page will be updated and expanded, so please visit often.
Assembly Dems Bill Forgiving Student Loan Debt in Event of Borrower’s Death or Permanent Disability Heads to Governor’s Desk
Mazzeo, Zwicker, Jasey, Vainieri Huttle, Schaer, Jones, Eustace, Land, Gusciora, Andrzejczak, Downey, Houghtaling & Mukherji Bill would Eliminate Student Loan Debt in the Event of Death or Permanent DisabilityThe Senate granted final legislative approval Thursday to a bill that would forgive certain student loan debt in the event of a borrower's death or total permanent disability, a measure sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Andrew Zwicker, Mila Jasey, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Gary Schaer, Patricia Jones, Tim Eustace, Bruce Land, Reed Gusciora, Bob Andrzejczak, Joann Downey, Eric Houghtaling and Raj Mukherji.
"Imagine you're a family who always pays their bills, has good credit and then you lose a child and in the midst of your grief, you're saddled with tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in their remaining student loan debt," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "That's just something we can't allow to happen on our watch."
Schaer, Tucker, Benson & Caputo Bill to Increase Personal Needs Allowance Under Medicaid, SSI for Vets Clears AssemblyLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Cleopatra Tucker, Daniel R. Benson and Ralph Caputo to ensure that veterans on Medicaid and living in a facility, such as a nursing home or developmental center, have enough money to purchase personal items gained approval from the General Assembly on Thursday.
"This allowance has stayed the same for years while the cost of living in this state has not," said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). "This is an opportunity to help veterans continue to provide for themselves and their families in a changing economy. Requiring cost-of-living adjustments on the allowance is extremely important. New Jersey veterans will not have to wait for another increase in the future."
Schaer & Prieto Bill to Help New Jersey Combat Spread of Zika Virus Gains Assembly ApprovalLegislation sponsored by Assemblyman Gary Schaer and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to help New Jersey ready itself against the encroaching Zika virus was approved unanimously by the full Assembly on Thursday.
"The CDC has warned that a Zika vaccine is likely several years away. Meanwhile, neighboring states like New York and Pennsylvania have already developed action plans," said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). "In June we saw the first baby born in New Jersey with Zika-related microcephaly, the results of which can have a devastating, lifelong impact on both a child and their family. The time to act is now before it's too late and we're left scrambling if the virus continues to spread northward."
Zwicker, Benson, Schaer & Holley Legislation Urging Congress to Ensure Students Access to Debt-Free Higher Education Clears AssemblyLegislation Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker, Daniel Benson, Gary Schaer and Jamel Holley sponsored urging Congress and the President of the United States to enact legislation ensuring students have access to debt-free higher education at public colleges and universities gained approval from the General Assembly on Thursday.
"A college education is one of the most valuable investments a family can make, but it has never been more difficult for families to afford the dream of a college education, as the cost has grown exponentially in decades," said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). "As a result, an increasing number of young Americans, including many from New Jersey, have been forced to assume significant student loan debt to afford the cost of higher education."
Schaer, Singleton, Eustace, Pinkin & Downey Bill to End Revenue Disputes, Create More Accurate Budget Forecasting Process Clears Assembly PanelLegislation Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Troy Singleton, Tim Eustace, Nancy Pinkin and Joann Downey sponsored to end state revenue disputes and improve the budget forecasting process recently was advanced by an Assembly panel.
"This process has the virtue of eliminating controversy and allowing the participants to focus more clearly on the underlying budgetary issues each year," said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). "In addition, the process outlined in this bill will provide greater public input and transparency to the revenue forecast."
Schaer & Singleton Bill to Encourage Pension Fund Investments in In-State Infrastructure Projects Clears Assembly CommitteeLegislation Would Require Preference for In-State Projects Over Similar Out-of-State Projects
Legislation Assemblymen Gary S. Schaer and Troy Singleton sponsored to promote investment in in-state infrastructure projects and strengthen the state's pension funds recently was advanced by an Assembly committee.
"By investing pension assets in in-state infrastructure, New Jersey can achieve two goals simultaneously," said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). "First, using Bergen pension assets to build and enhance infrastructure will improve public safety and make our state more attractive to businesses and families looking to relocate. Secondly, infrastructure can provide a high and reliable rate of return to help strengthen New Jersey's pension funds."