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(TRENTON) – Assembly committees on Monday will consider landmark anti-bullying legislation, help for three American Indian tribes, New Jersey coastal evacuation plans and plans for a special license plate for parents who lost a child in combat.
The hearings will be streamed live at:
The Assembly Education Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to consider anti-bullying legislation (A-3466) crafted by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle. The bipartisan legislation is designed to combat harassment, intimidation and bullying among school-age children.
“The truth is that every day there is a student in an elementary school, high school or even a college who feels a sense of fear and emotional dread every time he or she steps foot into the school building or signs onto the internet,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “The negative impacts can be life long. For some students, it will hinder their academic performance. For others, it will mean something unspeakably worse. This bill is about changing the culture that drives these incidents and ensuring that when they do occur, they are properly addressed.”
The bill is also sponsored by Assemblywoman Marty Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth), Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D-Middlesex), Amy Handlin (R-Monmouth/Middlesex), Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden), John McKeon (D-Essex), Pamela R. Lampitt (D-Camden) and Mila M. Jasey (D-Essex).
The Assembly Education panel will also consider legislation (A-2571) sponsored by Assemblywomen Joan M. Quigley (D-Hudson), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) and L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex) to have New Jersey officially recognize the Nanticoke Lenni Lenape Indians, Ramapough Lenape Indians and Powhatan Renape Indians as American Indian Tribes.
The bill would allow the three tribes to establish eligibility for federal education, job training and housing benefits and protection for the sale of artwork, qualify for public and private grants, protect the ability to engage in traditional religious practices, preserve and protect burial sites and artifacts and ensuring that handicrafts made by tribal members may be sold as “Indian made.”
The bill does not allow the tribes to use the recognition to establish gambling facilities.
“This bill has a very specific purpose – to help American Indian tribes in New Jersey improve their lives,” Quigley said.. “It’s simply wrong for New Jersey to continue to stand idle and do nothing when these tribes could be receiving help to improve their education, job training and housing. This bill is quite simply the right thing to do.”
The Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to consider legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matthew W. Milam (both D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland) to improve evacuation plans in preparation for a catastrophic event or natural disaster, such as a hurricane or nor’easter.
“We can’t afford to wait until after a disaster strikes to improve our preparedness,” Albano said.
The measure (A-3224) stems from the final report of the Assembly Coastal New Jersey Evacuation Task Force.
“While our emergency management officials have done a great job, the state can do more to ensure residents have the tools, services and information they need to be protected if and when disaster strikes,” Milam said.
The Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee will consider legislation (A-1958) sponsored by Assemblyman Jack Conners (D-Camden/Burlington), that would create a special license plate for the parents of soldiers killed on active duty.
The bill authorizes a special Gold Star Parent license plate for the parents of servicemen and servicewomen who lost their lives while on active duty for the United States. Stepparents and foster parents could also be among those eligible.
The design would include a gold star and the words “Gold Star Parent.”
“Nothing we can do can help parents overcome the loss of a child, but at the very least we can do this to honor those who lost a child on active duty,” said Conners, chairman of the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. “This is a way to offer our condolences and gratitude to families who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The panel will also hear testimony on assistance for veterans and returning service members that have suffered traumatic brain injuries. It will also hear testimony about a new veterans programs at Rutgers University.
Complete Assembly committee agendas can be found at: