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.
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."
Vainieri Huttle, Jimenez & Moriarty to Ban Smoking at Parks & Beaches Heads to Governorís DeskBy 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.
Assembly Approves McKeon, Jasey & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Ensure Stiff Penalties for Vehicular Homicide while Drunk Driving
"Ralph & David's Law" is Named in Honor of Morris County Man & Sussex County Boy Killed by Drunk DriversLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Mila Jasey and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to ensure stiff penalties for anyone who commits vehicular homicide while driving drunk was approved 68-0-1 by the full Assembly on Thursday.
The bill (A-3686), known as "Ralph and David's Law," would establish a new crime of "strict liability vehicular homicide" for killing a person while drunk driving. The bill is named in honor of Ralph Politi, Jr. and David Heim who were both tragically killed by drunk drivers.
Assembly Advances Coughlin, DeAngelo & Vainieri Huttle Legislation Urging Comcast and YES Network to Settle Dispute(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Craig Coughlin, Wayne DeAngelo and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to urge Comcast and YES Network to settle their contract dispute was advanced by the full Assembly, 60-0-6.
The ongoing dispute between the two entities has disrupted nearly 900,000 Comcast subscribers' access to coverage of professional sports games since November.
"Baseball fans - some of whom retain a cable subscription solely to be able to watch these games - ought to receive the service for which they have paid," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). "They shouldn't have to leave the provider they're familiar with because of a schoolyard fight between multi-million dollar companies."
Wimberly, Vainieri Huttle, Oliver, Tucker & Quijano Bill to Ensure Equal Access to State Contracts for Women- & Minority-Owned Businesses Continues to Advance(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie Wimberly, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Sheila Oliver, Cleopatra Tucker and Annette Quijano to ensure that women- and minority-owned businesses in New Jersey have equal access to state contracts cleared a Senate panel on Monday.
"While progress has been made, women- and minority-business owners continue to face challenges that limit their ability to grow," said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). "The provisions in this legislation are necessary to ensure that the equality of opportunity guaranteed by federal and state law are available to minority-owned and women-owned businesses in this state."
Vainieri Huttle, Wisniewski, Lagana & Eustace React to Christie Blocking Port Authority Reforms Once AgainAssembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, John Wisniewski, Joseph Lagana and Tim Eustace on Monday called out Gov. Christie for his latest attempt to block reforms at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) by conditionally vetoing overhaul legislation they sponsored to create transparency and accountability at the embattled agency.
The bill (S-708/A-2184), known as the "Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Transparency and Accountability Act," would have guaranteed legislative oversight of the agency as it undertakes a number of high profile construction projects critical to the region's future.
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 NJLegislation 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."