Tougher Texting-While-Driving Penalties, Combating Metal Theft Scourge,
Residential Mold Abatement, ID Theft Protections, Encouraging Private Investment in Health Care Initiatives, Medical Marijuana Patient Protections & Edison Internal Affairs Reform Also on Tap
(TRENTON) – Measures to allow early voting in New Jersey, combat human trafficking, strengthen oversight of Hurricane Sandy relief funding, require senior citizen housing to devise emergency plans and social media privacy for prospective employees and college students top Thursday’s Assembly voting session agenda.
Bills to establish mold hazard standards in residential buildings, toughen penalties for texting while driving, combat metal theft, require debt collectors to cease collections against victims of identity theft, create a five-year pilot program that encourages private entities to fund public health care policy initiatives, medical marijuana patient protections and create a two-year pilot program in which the Attorney General performs internal affairs functions for Edison Township are also on tap.
The session is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and will be streamed live at:
Copies of the full board lists are attached. Highlights include:
· A bill (A-3553) to allow early voting in New Jersey. It’s sponsored by John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic), Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D-Middlesex), Daniel R. Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex), Herb Conaway M.D. (D-Burlington) and Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex).
· Sweeping legislation (A-3352) by Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex), Peter Barnes III (D-Middlesex), Angel Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester), Linda Stender (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset) and Shavonda Sumter (D-Passaic/Bergen) to crackdown on human trafficking. The Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection and Treatment Act, builds upon nearly a year’s worth of research and consultations with experts and advocates to tackle a growing crime that is estimated to claim up to 20 million victims worldwide.
· A bill (A-60) sponsored by Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) to create monitors and oversight to oversee the spending of Sandy relief money to ensure it’s allocated properly.
· Legislation (A-3625) to require senior citizen housing facilities to submit emergency operations plans for services such as adequate heat, water, hot water, electricity, gas or telephone services. It’s sponsored by Tim Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic), Daniel R. Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex), Angelica Jimenez (D-Hudson/Bergen) and Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset).
· A bill (A-2878) sponsored by John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland), Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington), Ruben Ramos, Jr. (D-Hudson), Herb Conaway M.D. (D-Burlington) and Marlene Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic) that would bar employers and colleges from requiring current or prospective employees or students to turn over their login information for social networking websites as a condition of employment or acceptance.
· Legislation (A-1588) to establish standards concerning mold hazards in residential building interiors, and certification programs for mold inspectors and mold hazard abatement workers. It’s sponsored by Daniel R. Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex), Celeste Riley (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland) and Connie Wagner (D-Bergen/Passaic).
· A bill (A-3005) to require debt collectors to cease collections against victims of identity theft. It’s sponsored by Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) and Tim Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic).
· Legislation (A-3708) sponsored by Peter Barnes (D-Middlesex) and Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) to create a two-year pilot program in which the Attorney General performs internal affairs functions for Edison Township. The sponsors note the bill was proposed in response to the allegations of misconduct in Edison Police Department’s internal affairs unit late last year.
· A bill (A-765) sponsored by Peter Barnes (D-Middlesex), Annette Quijano (D-Union) and Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) to make clear that a patient’s use of medical marijuana is to be considered equivalent to the use of any other prescribed medication.
· An innovative measure (A-3289) sponsored by Angel Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester) and Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) to create a five-year pilot program that encourages private entities to fund public health care policy initiatives.
· Legislation (A-1640-3066) sponsored by Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hunterdon), Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) and Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) to increase the amount of compensation awarded to those who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned and provide for additional services for such persons.
· A bill (A-2061) sponsored by Wayne DeAngelo and Daniel R. Benson (both D-Mercer/Middlesex) to encourage nursing schools to give academic credit to students for training received in the U.S. military as corpsmen and medics.
· A measure sponsored by Annette Quijano (D-Union), L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex), Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex), Angel Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester) and Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden) to crack down on the dangerous use of cell phones while driving. The bill (A-1080) would stiffen penalties for motorists who get caught driving while talking on a hand-held device or texting, particularly repeat offenders.
· A bill (A-3222) sponsored by Angel Fuentes, Gilbert “Whip” Wilson (both D-Camden/Gloucester), Celeste Riley (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland), Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly (both D-Passaic/Bergen) to strengthen regulations at scrap metal businesses to stymie scrap metal thieves amid growing reports of scrap metal thefts throughout the state.