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.
Coughlin, Lampitt, Singleton, Benson, Vainieri Huttle & Mosquera Bill to Add Cyber-Harassment to Domestic Violence Statutes Continues to AdvanceLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Craig Coughlin, Pamela Lampitt, Troy Singleton, Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Gabriela Mosquera to bolster protections against cyber-harassment for domestic violence victims in New Jersey gained approval from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday.
The bill (A-1946) would add cyber-harassment to the list of crimes considered domestic violence under the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991."
"The internet is being used as another way for domestic violence predators to stalk and harass their victims," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). "It's time to put cyber-stalking and harassment on the books to continue to protect domestic violence victims under the law."
Pinkin, Sumter, Vainieri Huttle, Gusciora & Muoio Bill to Restrict Use of Solitary Confinement in N.J. Prisons Clears CommitteeMeasure Follows Recent White House Action to Reform Solitary Confinement in Federal Prisons
Legislation Assembly Democrats Nancy Pinkin, Shavonda Sumter, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Reed Gusciora and Elizabeth Muoio sponsored to restrict the use of solitary confinement in New Jersey's prisons was advanced Thursday by an Assembly committee.
"There is significant proof that solitary confinement can have a severe, long-term negative impact on an inmate's mental health," said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). "While solitary confinement is necessary in some cases, the use of isolation in New Jersey's correctional facilities does irreparable psychological damage that affects people while they are in prison and detracts from former inmates' ability to make positive contributions to their communities thereafter."
Vainieri Huttle, Lagana, Eustace & Caride Bill to Provide Better Oversight at Bergen Regional Medical Center Now Law
Legislation Prompted by Reports of Violence against Patients and Staff; Weak Oversight at New Jersey's Largest HospitalLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joseph Lagana, Tim Eustace and Marlene Caride to allow Bergen County to create a hospital authority to ensure proper oversight and quality of care at Bergen Regional Medical Center, which has been besieged by allegations of violence against patients and staff, has been signed into law.
The bill (A-3951) came in response to a media report that revealed hundreds of alleged assaults logged by Bergen County Police and a federal investigation prompted by attacks on eight workers at the Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus. The hospital, which provides long-term care, psychiatric and substance-abuse treatment and acute care, is owned by Bergen County but operated by a private for-profit company. The hospital is the largest hospital in the state with 1,000 beds.
Vainieri Huttle Bill to Ensure Safe Transition to Community Housing for Individuals with Development Disabilities AdvancesLegislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle to overhaul the procedures that are used to transition an individual with a developmental disability from a state developmental center to a community placement gained approval from an Assembly panel on Monday.
"Moving can be stressful for anyone, but for someone with developmental disabilities the transition can be detrimental at times," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "The State Auditor has identified a number of concerns related to the high volume of transitions due to the closure of several developmental centers. Based on these recommendations, we've developed a comprehensive plan to ensure a safer transition for some of our most vulnerable."
Vainieri Huttle & Mosquera Bill to Protect Children & Adults with Developmental Disabilities OK’d by Assembly Panel
Stephen Komninos' Law will put Measures in Place to Better Address Reports of Abuse and Neglect in State Licensed FacilitiesLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Gabriela Mosquera to better protect children and adults with development disabilities from potential abuse and neglect from caregivers was unanimously released Monday by an Assembly committee.
The bill (A-2503), known as "Stephen Komninos' Law," honors the memory of Stephen, an individual with developmental disabilities who died at the age of 22 while under the care of a private state-licensed facility for individuals with developmental disabilities. Stephen was a non-verbal, young man who suffered through many substantiated incidents of abuse and neglect by caregivers. Tragically, the last incident resulted in his death.
Caride, Jasey, Eustace & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Eliminate Standardized Tests as Measuring Stick for Teacher Effectiveness Approved by Assembly PanelLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Marlene Caride, Mila Jasey, Tim Eustace and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to eliminate the use of standardized assessments as a measure of student growth or progress in evaluations of teachers, principals, assistant principals, and vice-principals was approved Monday by the Assembly Education Committee.
"There is broad agreement among statisticians, psychometricians, and economists that student test scores alone are not sufficiently reliable and valid indicators of teacher effectiveness," said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic), who chairs the committee. "Teachers should be held accountable via a rigorous evaluation system, but standardized testing should not be included in that system."