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(TRENTON) – Assembly committees on Monday will continue the fight to fund women’s health care, revise the Christie administration’s medical marijuana use rules, reform New Jersey’s affordable housing laws and promote job creation.
It will also consider landmark legislation to for the first time confront out-of-network health insurance costs.
Also on the agenda are bills to help working families struggling with college tuition payments, protect consumers from Gov. Chris Christie’s new law allowing the state to escheat unused telephone cards and help residents combat unfair consumer contracts.
The hearings will be streamed live at:
The Assembly Appropriations Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to consider legislation (A-3273-3274) to appropriate $5 million in untapped funds from another account to restore funding cut by Republicans for women’s health programs in New Jersey, while also requiring the state to apply for federal matching dollars for Medicaid-eligible health care consumers.
“This is an issue of paramount importance, one that cannot be treated with casual indifference by those looking to pander to the governor,” said Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Middlesex/ Somerset/Union), who is among the bill sponsors. “We have put two new viable solutions on the table. Anyone unwilling to consider them must accept responsibility for denying women access to crucial medical care and prevention screenings.”
Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer), Celeste Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem) and Pam Lampitt (D-Camden are also sponsoring the legislation.
The Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to consider a bill (ACR-151) sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) to declare the Christie administration’s rules for medical marijuana usage as inconsistent with legislative intent.
The bill would give the state health and senior services commissioner 30 days to revise the proposed rules.
“The name of the law includes the word compassion,” Gusciora said. “I do not believe that these regulations exemplify that word.”
The Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee will meet at noon to consider legislation to abolish the Council on Affordable Housing and revise affordable housing laws.
“This is a reasonable compromise that ensures towns will have a diverse housing stock that takes into account the needs of not only low and moderate income residents, but working class residents too,” said the bill sponsor, Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union).
The Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to consider legislation (A-3143) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), Annette Quijano (D-Union) and Lampitt to create jobs and economic development by expanding the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act and the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009.
It will also consider a bill (A-3389) sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) and Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) to revise the financial assistance available under the Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant Program.
The Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee will meet at 10 a.m. to consider legislation (A-3378) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary S. Schaer and L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex) to bring transparency, disclosure and quality assessments to the health care marketplace and reduce costs for consumers and businesses
“This legislation seeks to give New Jerseyans the information necessary to make informed and financially prudent decisions regarding their own medical care,” said Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen/Essex).
The Assembly Higher Education Committee will meet at 10 a.m. to hear testimony on barriers that prevent more women from entering into science, technology, engineering and math fields.
It will also consider several bills to help working families and students pay tuition and other costs associated with attending college.
The Assembly Consumers Affairs Committee will meet at 10 a.m. to consider three-bills (A-3433-3434-3435) sponsored by Assemblymen Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden), Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. and Peter J. Barnes III (both D-Middlesex) to help consumers combat a system that has given unscrupulous businesses the advantage in contract disputes.
The Appropriations panel will also consider a bill (A-3159) sponsored by Moriarty, Diegnan, Vainieri Huttle to exempt telephone calls from the newly implemented Republican escheatment law.
The bill exempts gift cards or gift certificates usable solely for telephone services from the escheatment processes imposed by the budget signed into law by Gov. Christie in June.
Complete Assembly committee agendas can be found at: