*** MONDAY ADVISORY *** CUTTING STATE HEALTH BENEFIT COSTS, TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR KILLING POLICE DOGS & PROTECTING NEWBORNS TOP ASSEMBLY AGENDAS

(TRENTON) – Testimony on finding ways to control state health benefit costs and legislation to enhance penalties for killing a police dog, toughen penalties for using a hand-held cell phone while driving, protect against unfair towing fees and screen newborns for congenital heart defects highlight Monday’s Assembly committee agendas.
The hearings will be streamed live at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.
The Assembly State Government Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to receive testimony exploring value-based benefit design models for delivering health care through the State Health Benefits Plan that would expand access to care but improve health outcomes and save money.
Other highlights include:
· A bill (A-3602) that stems from a Gloucester County killing of a police dog that would enhance penalties for killing a police dog or a dog engaged in a search and rescue effort. It’s sponsored by Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden), Ruben J. Ramos Jr. (D-Hudson) and Charles Mainor (D-Hudson). It’s being heard by Law and Public Safety at 2 p.m.
· A bill (A-3749) sponsored by Ruben J. Ramos Jr. (D-Hudson) to prohibit towing companies from charging storage fees on days in which they’re closed. It will be heard by the Consumer Affairs Committee at 10 a.m.
· A bill (A-3154) sponsored by Annette Quijano (D-Union), L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex), Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex) and Angel Fuentes (D-Camden) to increase fine and impose a license suspension for talking or texting on a hand-held device while driving. It’s being heard at 2 p.m. by Law and Public Safety.
· A bill (A-3862) sponsored by Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen), Ruben J. Ramos Jr. (D-Hudson) Jack Conners (D-Burlington/Camden) and Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden) to require gas retailer signs to indicate both cash and credit card prices. It’s slated to be heard by the Consumer Affairs Committee at 10 a.m.
· A bill (A-3744) sponsored by Jason O’Donnell (D-Hudson), Connie Wagner (D-Bergen) and Ruben J. Ramos Jr. (D-Hudson) to screen newborns for congenital heart defects. It’s to be heard by Health and Senior Services at 10 a.m.
· A bill (A-2299) sponsored by Connie Wagner (D-Bergen) and Jack Conners (D-Burlington/Camden) to allow municipalities to provide free or reduced beach badges to active military and New Jersey National Guard personnel. It’s to be heard by the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee at 10 a.m.
· A bill (A-3626) sponsored by Upendra Chivukula (D-Somerset/Middlesex), Joe Cryan (D-Union), Pam Lampitt (D-Camden) and Annette Quijano (D-Union) to provide corporate tax incentives for life sciences research. It’s being heard at 2 p.m. by Commerce and Economic Development.
· A 3-bill package (A-3652-AJR-67-AR-112) sponsored by Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) to enact moratoriums against hydraulic fracturing. It’ll be heard by Environment and Solid Waste at 2 p.m.
· A bill (A-3732) sponsored by Annette Quijano (D-Union) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) to establish resident rights for those in assisted living facilities. It’s to be heard by the Health and Senior Services Committee at 10 a.m.
· A bill (A-2042) sponsored by Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex), Matthew Milam and Nelson Albano (both D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland) to increase a credit given to owners using solar equipment made in New Jersey. It’s being heard by Telecommunications and Utilities at 10 a.m.
· A measure (A-3233) sponsored by Ruben J. Ramos Jr. (D-Hudson) and Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) to exempt car-sharing programs from motor vehicle rental fees. It’s being heard at 2 p.m. by Commerce and Economic Development.
The complete agenda can be found at:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/legcal.asp.