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Higher Education Affordability Package, Hearing on Water Quality & Lead Contamination, Boosting Minority Law Enforcement Recruitment & Prohibiting Smoking at Parks & Beaches Top Monday Assembly Committees

Raising Smoking Age to 21, Requiring Disclosure of Online Security Breaches, Promoting Business Opportunities for Women & Minorities Also on Tap

Higher education affordability, raising the smoking age to 21, boosting minority law enforcement recruitment and banning smoking at public parks and beaches highlight Monday’s Assembly committee meetings.

The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee will also be receiving testimony from invited guests on the public health consequences of water quality and lead contamination in the wake of the Flint, Michigan disaster. Additionally, the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee has invited representatives from the state’s largest electric utility providers to brief the committee on their preparation and response to Winter Storm Jonas.

Bills to promote business opportunities for women and minorities, banning the scanning of drivers’ licenses by retailers for the purpose of returning merchandise and helping small food retailers purchase fresh and nutritious food are also on tap.

The meetings are slated to begin at 10 a.m. and will be streamed live here.

· A-552 (Pinkin) – Prohibits public institutions of higher education from increasing resident undergrad and graduate tuition and fees by more than 4% over prior year. A-1670 (Schaer & Quijano) – Establishes Office of Student Loan Ombudsman. A-2138 (Diegnan, Egan, Gusciora, Lampitt & Jasey) – Expands Tuition Aid grant program to part-time undergraduates. A-2276 (Vainieri Huttle) – Requires higher education students to complete course on financial literacy. 10 a.m. Higher Education.

· A-311 (Singleton, Caputo, Jasey, Lagana & Quijano) – Requires disclosure of online breaches of security. A-3065 (Moriarty) – Bans scanning of drivers licenses by retailers for purposes of returning merchandise. 10 a.m. Consumer Affairs

· A-893 (Vainieri Huttle, Jimenez & Moriarty) – Prohibits smoking at public parks and beaches. 10 a.m. Tourism, Gaming and the Arts.

· A-2320 (Vainieri Huttle & Conaway) – Raises minimum age for purchase and sale of tobacco products and electronic smoking devices from 19 to 21. 10 a.m. Health and Senior Services.

· A-1877 (Wimberly, Sumter, Diegnan & Jasey) – “Healthy Food Small Retailer Act” provides funding to small food retailers to sell fresh and nutritious food. A-1869 (Wimberly, Vainieri Huttle, Oliver, Tucker & Quijano) – Establishes Division of Minority and Women Business Development and State Chief Disparity Officer. 1 p.m. Commerce & Economic Development.

· A-1887 (Wimberly & Johnson) – Requires law enforcement agencies to establish minority recruitment and selection programs. 2 p.m. Law and Public Safety.