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.
Wimberly, Sumter, Jasey & Johnson Bill to Bring Healthier Food Options to Urban & Rural Communities Goes to Governor(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie Wimberly, Shavonda Sumter and Mila Jasey to provide fresher and healthier food choices to residents in urban and rural communities where healthy food options are limited was approved 30-3 Thursday by the Senate, giving it final legislative approval.
The bill was approved by the Assembly in April and now goes to the governor.
The measure (A-1877) would require the state Department of Health (DOH) to develop a "Healthy Corner Store Program" to increase the availability and sales of fresh produce and nutritious, healthy food by small food retailers in rural and urban low and moderate income areas.
"Many urban and rural communities lack affordable healthy food options," said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). "This program would provide funds for retailers to increase the availability and sales of fresh and nutritious food, including fresh produce and other healthy foods, at affordable prices to neighborhood residents in an effort to improve the health and wellness of community residents."
Sumter & Wimberly: FY’17 State Budget Includes Relief for City of Paterson Schools
Assembly Panel Releases budget legislation, Includes Expenditure of $19.7 Million for Paterson School DistrictAssembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly (Both D- Bergen and Passaic) on Thursday announced language in the fiscal year 2017 proposed budget includes relief for Paterson taxpayers and school district. The budget bill (A-4000) was approved by the Assembly Budget panel on Thursday.
The 35th District legislators said the aid is crucial to helping relieve overburdened Paterson taxpayers and passage of the bill with this language is a win for the city, its residents and students. Sumter and Wimberly further note that because the school formula is not fully funded, Paterson loses out on $68 million in state school aid each year. In addition, Paterson property tax increased 44 percent over 4 years. There are nearly 4000 properties in the city which are either exempt or vacant.
Sumter & Wimberly Bill to Prioritize Temporary Rental Assistance for Work First New Jersey Recipients Advances(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly to require the Department of Human Services to give priority to temporary rental assistance over use of hotels or motels in emergency assistance to Work First New Jersey recipients recently advanced in the Senate.
"The goal is to get residents in the Work First program into a more secure rental prospect that would provide more stability for families," said Sumter (D-Bergen Passaic). "Hotels and motels were not made for long term living and should be less relied on for temporary rental assistance. We want more permanence for families where they can more efficiently rebuild their lives instead of feeling shuffled into these places without any other option."
Sumter & Wimberly: The 'Fairness Formula' is a Catastrophe in the Making for Urban School Districts(TRENTON) - Assembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly (Both D- Bergen and Passaic) released the following statement on the Governor's proposed "Fairness Formula."
"Imposing the Governor's 'Fairness Formula' is anything but fair.
"For school districts who have suffered for decades due to underfunding, this formula the Governor has concocted would be a catastrophic blow to education in this state and undermine the principles determined and made law by Brown vs. the Board of Education for students in economically challenged communities.
Wimberly: We Cannot Afford to Sit IdleAssemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Passaic) had the following published recently on Politicker NJ:
"Charleston, Columbine, Newtown, Aurora, Tucson and more recently the 42 shootings in Chicago and the deadliest mass shooting on record in Orlando underscores the need for gun reform across the country. Mass violence is a threat to everyone everywhere.
"The state legislature has made repeated attempts to take meaningful action on gun reform. For each measure, the Governor has either vetoed the bill or let the bill expire by not signing it.
"We cannot continue to avoid making the harder decisions. Acts of terrorism, whether by illegal guns in our communities or by mentally ill perpetrators with a vendetta, the threat to our safety and way of life is unquestionable..."
Coughlin, Vainieri Huttle, Danielsen & Wimberly Bill Ensuring Patients with Disabilities Can Physically Access Doctors' Offices Continues Advancing
Measure Would Require Certain Insurance Companies to Include Accessible Doctors for Patients with Physical DisabilitiesLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Craig Coughlin, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Joseph Danielsen ensuring that people with physical disabilities have access to doctors in their insurance network whose offices are physically accessible was released last week by a Senate panel.
"It's important that a critical area like healthcare is fully accessible," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). "While many professional buildings are fully accessible these days, not all of them are. This will help provide another measure of independence for individuals with disabilities."
Johnson, Wimberly & Sumter Bill to Help Protect Witnesses of Violent Crimes Continues AdvancingLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson, Benjie Wimberly and Shavonda Sumter to help protect witnesses of violent crimes continued advancing on Monday, gaining approval from the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
"Being able to ensure the safety of a witness is often key to securing their testimony, and consequently, convicting violent criminals of heinous crimes," said Johnson. "This bill will extend the relocation assistance currently afforded to victims to witnesses as well."
*** Rebuilding NJ's Middle-Class ***
Schaer, Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt, Mosquera, Sumter & Wimberly "Breakfast after the Bell' Bill Continues Advancing
Measure Would Establish an Incentive Fund for the School Breakfast ProgramLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Pamela Lampitt, Gabriela Mosquera, Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly to create an incentive fund to support the Breakfast after the Bell program was released Monday by a Senate committee.
The sponsors said the purpose of the fund is to provide an incentive for the school districts to move to a school breakfast model that will reach more students. They also note in the bill that low- to middle-income school districts face more fiscal challenges in covering the cost of effective breakfast programs.
Wimberly, Spencer & Sumter Bill to Encourage School Districts to Make More Cost-Effective Choices on Property Lease Decisions Advanced by Assembly PanelLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic), L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex) and Shavonda Sumter (D-Bergen/Passaic) to prohibit certain school districts under state intervention from leasing a building if the cost of the lease is greater than the building's purchase price was released Monday by an Assembly committee.
"The intention of the bill is to ensure school districts are employing cost-effective principles when leasing or purchasing buildings for school administration use," said Wimberly, who has taught in the Paterson School District for over 25 years. "We must take a good look at how much we are spending on renting. If we can save money that can be used on other needs such as books computers, recreational programs and infrastructure repairs, then that is what we should be doing."