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.

Eustace, Lagana, Mosquera, Vainieri Huttle & Wimberly Bill to Protect Against Flooding & Boost Smart Development Goes to Governor's Desk

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Joseph Lagana, Gabriela Mosquera, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Benjie Wimberly to help protect the public against flooding and facilitate smart development was recently given final legislative approval in the Senate.

The legislation (A-1726) directs the Department of Environmental Protection to update its delineations of flood hazard areas when the Federal Emergency Management Agency issues changes based upon flood risk or at least once every 15 years.

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Conaway, Benson, Pinkin & Wimberly Bill Requiring Health Insurers to Cover New Abuse-Deterrent Pain Medications Clears Assembly

Legislation is Aimed at Reducing Opiate Addictions & Overdoses
(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., Daniel Benson Nancy Pinkin and Benjie Wimberly requiring health insurers to cover prescription pain relief medications designed to decrease abuse and addiction was recently released by the General Assembly, 60-13-5.

Specifically, the bill (A-4271) would require health insurers to provide health benefits coverage for prescribed abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drugs.

"As it stands now, deaths from opioid addiction are at epidemic proportions," said Conaway (D-Burlington), a practicing physician. "Pain treatment, similar to other courses of treatment, can have side effects - including the risk of addiction. As a doctor, my goal is to reduce those risks and make the patient well. Removing the cost barrier to abuse-deterrent opiates will increase the prescribing and use of these high-tech drugs, which have significant potential to reduce dependency and overdoses. We as policymakers should be encouraging the widespread use of abuse-deterrent formulations to protect consumers and lower costs to the health care system. That's exactly what this bill achieves." For More             

Gusciora, Eustace, Jasey, Quijano & Wimberly Bill to Encourage Police, Firefighters, Teachers, Sanitation & Corrections Workers to Buy Homes in Towns Where They Work Clears Legislature

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Tim Eustace, Mila Jasey, Annette Quijano and Benjie Wimberly to provide financial incentives to let police officers, firefighters, public school teachers, corrections and sanitation workers to live where they work cleared the Legislature on Monday.

"There is an advantage to having these workers living in the communities they serve. We have very dedicated public employees, but the commitment is even greater when your work directly impacts the neighborhood where you live and raise your family," said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon)...

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Johnson, Mainor, Wilson & Wimberly Bill to Expand Access to DNA Testing & Exonerate the Wrongfully Convicted Gains Final Legislative Approval

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson, Charles Mainor, Whip Wilson and Benjie Wimberly to help clear the wrongfully convicted by allowing anyone convicted of a crime to request DNA testing gained final legislative approval on Monday.

"Thanks to DNA testing, we have seen a number of individuals exonerated after years, sometimes decades, spent behind bars for crimes they did not commit," said Johnson (D-Bergen). "Sadly, under current state law, an innocent person who is on probation or parole does not have the same access to the technology that can help clear their name and restore their dignity. This bill would open access to DNA testing to these individuals so they can stop living under the shadow of guilt and finally be free."

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Schaer, Prieto, Caride, Lagana, Giblin & Wimberly Bill to Require Carbon Monoxide Detectors in More Public Buildings Gains Final OK

Bill Stems from Tragic Incident in Passaic
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Marlene Caride, Joseph Lagana, Thomas Giblin and Benjie E. Wimberly to require more buildings to have carbon monoxide detectors received final legislative approval from the Senate on Monday.

The bill (A-4073) is designated as Korman and Park's Law after Noel Korman and Alice Park, who lost their lives while several others were sickened and hospitalized due to carbon monoxide exposure in a multi-use commercial structure in Passaic. The building is home to nearly 20 rehearsal spaces and small recording studios rented monthly by a variety of local musicians and bands and part of an industrial complex off Van Houten Avenue.

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Diegnan, Jasey & Wimberly Bill to Prevent School Districts from Having State Aid Withheld Based on Student PARCC Participation Gets Final Legislative OK

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex), Mila Jasey (D-Essex/Morris) and Benjie Wimberly (D-Passaic/Bergen) to prevent the state from unjustly punishing school districts by withholding state aid because the majority of the district's students refuse to take the PARCC test is headed to the governor's desk.

"Threatening to cut state aid to districts for a decision made entirely by parents - a decision they believe is in the best interest of their children - is unreasonable," said Diegnan, who chairs the Assembly Education Committee and sponsored the Assembly bill to allow parents to opt their children out of the PARCC test...

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Moriarty, Diegnan, Wimberly, Vainieri Huttle, Gusciora & Sumter Bill to Help Prevent Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse Gains Final Legislative Approval

Measure Would Penalize Sale of DXM-Containing Products to Minors

Legislation Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty, Patrick Diegnan, Benjie Wimberly, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Reed Gusciora and Shavonda Sumter sponsored to help address the prescription drug and opioid abuse epidemic plaguing New Jersey gained final legislative approval on Monday.

"DXM abuse is becoming increasingly worrisome for law enforcement, parents and health care officials across the country," said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). "It's a scary thought, but adolescents are the primary abusers, mainly because it's cheap and easy to obtain and many parents simply don't know about its potential abuse. With a few simple steps like the ones outlined in this bill, we can combat the risk and ensure this medicine is used properly."

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McKeon, Mainor, Jasey, Wimberly & Sumter Bill to Emphasize Traffic Safety to Young Drivers Heads to Gov's Desk

Measure to Be Named "Nikhil's Law" After 11-Year-Old Killed by Driver Who Ran Stop Sign
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Charles Mainor, Mila Jasey, Benjie Wimberly and Shavonda Sumter to emphasize to new drivers the importance of following the state's motor vehicle traffic laws received final legislative approval Monday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"This is a simple step we can take to emphasize to our young people that driving comes with responsibility," said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). "The more we can highlight that point, hopefully the more our young drivers will put safety first."

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***MULTIMEDIA PACKAGE*** Singleton, Burzichelli, Prieto, Schaer, McKeon, Johnson & Wimberly Respond to Christie's Vetoes of the FY 2016 Democratic Budget

Assembly Education Committee Vice-Chairman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Assembly Appropriations Committee Chairman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman John F. McKeon (D-Essex), Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chairman Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen) and Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Passaic) issued a multimedia package Friday on Governor Christie's vetoes of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Democratic budget plan for New Jersey.

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Sumter & Wimberly: Veto Decision, No Surprise

(TRENTON) - Assembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly (Both D- Bergen and Passaic) on Thursday said Governor's budget line item veto of additional Paterson school state aid comes as no surprise.

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Jasey, Diegnan, Mainor, Wimberly & Oliver Bill to Restrict Use of Standardized Testing for Young Students in NJ Schools Heads to Gov's Desk

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey, Patrick Diegnan, Charles Mainor, Benjie Wimberly and Sheila Oliver to prohibit the administration of commercially developed standardized assessments to students in grades K-2 received final legislative approval on Thursday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"The pressure put on students and teachers by these assessments is counterproductive to learning," said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris), who sits on the Assembly Education Committee. "There are already state and federally mandated tests that our students are required to take. There is no need to overburden students with yet another test, which takes time away from actual classroom instruction."

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***MULTIMEDIA PACKAGE*** Prieto, Schaer, Burzichelli, McKeon, Singleton, Pintor Marin & Wimberly on Assembly Passage of Democratic Budget

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), Assembly Appropriations Committee Chairman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman John F. McKeon (D-Essex), Assembly Education Committee Vice-Chairman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex) and Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Passaic) issued a multimedia package Thursday on the Assembly passage of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Democratic budget plan for New Jersey.

The plan, which passed 47 to 31 would fully fund the legally required pension payment, restore the Earned Income Tax Credit and invest in higher education, healthcare, social services, schools and cities.

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Schaer, Mukherji, Mazzeo, Jimenez & Wimberly Bill to Establish Criminal Firearms Recovery Clearinghouse Advances

Legislation Would Track Flow of Guns From Other States Into New Jersey
(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary S. Schaer, Raj Mukherji, Vincent Mazzeo, Angelica Jimenez and Benjie Wimberly to establish a criminal firearms recovery clearinghouse in New Jersey was approved, 46-26-1, by the full Assembly on Thursday.

The bill (A-3330) directs the attorney general to create a central repository of information regarding all firearms that were seized, forfeited, found or otherwise attained by law enforcement and believed to have been used in a crime. The purpose of the program is to identify the origins of firearms used to commission crimes in New Jersey.

"With this legislation, we will be better able to determine the source of each weapon associated with criminal activity," said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). "Once we know where the guns are coming from, we will be in a position to stem the flow of dangerous weapons flooding our communities."

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Tucker, Vainieri Huttle, Quijano, Wimberly & Mosquera Bill Criminalizing ‘Upskirting’ Gains Assembly Approval

Measure Cracking Down on Illegally Photographing Under Someone's Clothing also Strengthens New Jersey's Right to Privacy Statute
The full Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Cleopatra G. Tucker, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Annette Quijano, Benjie Wimberly and Gabriela Mosquera to criminalize the act of secretly photographing or recording under a person's clothing - commonly referred to as "upskirting."

"With today's level of technology, most people with cell phones are essentially walking around with an Internet linked video camera in their pocket at all times," said Tucker (D-Essex). "This can lead certain people to assume it is acceptable to 'document' whatever they choose, even if it violates someone else's privacy. We are here today to say that should not, cannot and will not be the case in New Jersey."

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Gusciora, Eustace, Jasey, Quijano & Wimberly: Encourage Police, Firefighters, Teachers, Sanitation & Corrections Workers to Buy Homes in Towns Where They Work

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Tim Eustace, Mila Jasey, Annette Quijano and Benjie Wimberly to provide financial incentives to enable qualified police officers, firefighters, public school teachers, corrections and sanitation workers to live where they work was advanced by the full Assembly on Thursday.

"There is an advantage to having these workers living in the communities they serve. We have very dedicated public employees, but the commitment is even greater when your work directly impacts the neighborhood where you live and raise your family," said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "This financial incentive can help encourage more of our public servants to live in the communities where they work, which provides a benefit not just to those communities, but also the state as a whole." ...

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Eustace, Sumter, Wimberly, Danielsen & Jimenez Bill to Keep Guns Away from Serious Criminal Offenders Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Shavonda Sumter, Benjie Wimberly, Joe Danielsen and Angelica Jimenez to prohibit individuals convicted of carjacking, gang criminality, racketeering and terroristic threat from purchasing or owning a firearm in New Jersey was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.

"Guns are fatal when in the wrong hands," said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). "This bill can help keep guns away from individuals who have shown a clear disregard for their fellow man and the law."

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Diegnan, Jasey & Wimberly Bill to Prevent School Districts from Having State Aid Withheld Based on Student PARCC Participation Approved by Assembly

The General Assembly on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex), Mila Jasey (D-Essex/Morris) and Benjie Wimberly (D-Passaic/Bergen) to prevent the state from unjustly punishing school districts by withholding state aid because the majority of the district's students refuse to take the PARCC test.

According to recent news articles, the state commissioner of education has suggested the possibility of withholding state aid if a significant number of students in a district do not take an assessment. This bill would prevent districts from being penalized for matters beyond their control.

"Threatening to cut state aid to districts for a decision made entirely by parents - a decision they believe is in the best interest of their children - is unreasonable,.." said Diegnan, who chairs the Assembly Education Committee and sponsored the Assembly bill to allow parents to opt their children out of the PARCC test. For More             

Wimberly & Lagana Bill to Require Quarterly State Pension Payments Heads to Gov's Desk

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic) and Joe Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic) requiring the state to make quarterly pension contributions received final legislative approval Thursday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"The governor cannot continue to treat New Jersey's public employees like playthings when it comes to the budget," said Wimberly. "Once again, his only plan involves cutting the state's pension contribution in an attempt to cover up his administration's mismanagement. Our state's public workers who kept their part of the deal deserve better than the broken promises of this administration."

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