Increasing Minimum Wage, Reforming Port Authority, Decriminalizing Marijuana, Teen Tanni Bed Ban & Voiding Christie Anti-Environment Rules Top Thursday Assembly Agenda

Banning Unsolicited Text Ads & Jobs for Veterans Also on Tap
‘Jeans for Troops’ Recognition Also Planned

(TRENTON) – Increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage, reforming the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, decriminalizing possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana, banning teens from using tanning beds and invalidating Christie anti-environment rules, prohibiting unsolicited text message ads and helping veterans find work tops Thursday’s Assembly agenda.
The session is slated to start at 1 p.m. and will be streamed live at:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.
The complete agenda can be found at:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/legcal.asp
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) and Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Chairwoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex) are also urging Assembly members to wear jeans for the voting session to show support for the 3rd Annual Jeans for Troops Fundraising Drive benefitting thousands of New Jersey veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Highlights include:
· Legislation (A-2162) to increase New Jersey’s hourly minimum wage to $8.50 and require the rate to then be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index. The bill, which would boost the minimum wage as of July 1, is sponsored by Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic), Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex), Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), Speaker Pro Tem Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset), Majority Conference Leader Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen), Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) and Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex).
· A 4-bill package (A-699-1011-124) aimed at enhancing legislative oversight and public transparency at the New York/New Jersey Port Authority. A series of increasingly alarming news reports in recent months have drawn sharp criticisms about how the multi-billion dollar agency conducts its business. The bills are sponsored by Ruben Ramos (D-Hudson), Connie Wagner (D-Bergen/Passaic), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden), Matt Milam (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland) and John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex).
· A bill (A-1465) to decriminalize possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana. It’s sponsored by Reed Gusciora, Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hunterdon), Peter Barnes (D-Middlesex) and L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex).
· Legislation (A-2142) sponsored by Ralph Caputo (D-Essex), Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen), Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington), Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. (D-Burlington) and Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) that would help protect teens from an increased risk of skin cancer by banning access to tanning beds for anyone under 18 years old.
· A measure (ACR-37) that determines that proposed Christie administration rules and establishing a procedure for waiving environmental protection regulations are inconsistent with legislative intent. It’s sponsored by Peter Barnes (D-Middlesex), John McKeon (D-Essex/Morris), Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) and L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex).
· Legislation (A-1218) Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden) and Ruben Ramos (D-Hudson) sponsored to prohibit advertisers from sending unwelcome and unsolicited advertisements to consumers via text messaging.
· A bill (A-2882) sponsored by Matthew Milam (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland), Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester/Camden), Timothy Eustace (D-Bergen) and Daniel R. Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex) to help veterans find work.