ASSEMBLY COMMITTEES TO CONSIDER BILLS TO HELP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS, UNEMPLOYED RESIDENTS, FARMERS & FAMILIES OF SOLDIERS

(TRENTON) – Assembly committees on Thursday will consider legislation to improve protections for domestic violence victims, help the unemployed, promote and boost New Jersey farming and assist soldiers and their families.
Panels will also take testimony on the impact of women’s health care cuts, the school construction moratorium and job and education services for veterans.
The hearings will be streamed live at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee will meet at 10 a.m. to consider a three-bill package to improve protections for domestic violence victims. The bills would:
· Impose tougher bail restrictions on those charged with violating domestic violence restraining orders. The bill (A-1491) is sponsored by Assemblywoman Celeste Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem).
· Create a self-defense justification for domestic violence victims. The bill (A-2258) is sponsored by Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex).
· Provide rental and lease protections for domestic violence victims. The bill (A-2891) is sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen).
The Assembly Labor Committee will meet at 10 a.m. to consider legislation (A-663) sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer) to establish criminal penalties for failing to pay the minimum wage.
It will also consider legislation (A-3359) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Peter J. Barnes III (D-Middlesex), Elease Evans (D-Passaic/Bergen) and Riley to make it illegal for employers to bar the unemployed from applying for jobs.
The Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee will meet at 10 a.m. to hear testimony on job placement, education and assistance for returning soldiers.
It will also consider a bill (A-2136) sponsored by Assemblyman Jack Conners (D-Camden/Burlington) to provide unemployment benefits to certain spouses of National Guard members.
Also on the agenda is a bill (A-2970) sponsored by Conners and Assemblyman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) to exempt from the sales tax storage facility space given to military personnel.
The Assembly Agriculture and Natural ReDests Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to consider legislation (A-812) sponsored by Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matt Milam (both D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland) to promote agricultural tourism in New Jersey through a sign program.
Another bill (A-2495) sponsored by Riley would allow wineries to participate in tourist-related directional sign programs.
Another Riley bill (A-2665) would increase penalties for falsely labeling produce as “Jersey Fresh.”
The Assembly Education Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to hear testimony on the impact that the moratorium on certain school construction is having on employment and the economy.
The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to hear testimony on the recently issued request for proposals seeking private contractors to handle land use permits.
The Assembly Human Services Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to hear from Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake. It will also take testimony on the impact of budget cuts on women’s health care services in the state.