Protecting Taxpayers from Lax Public Contractors Following Sandy, Creating Voluntary Registry to Help Avoid Problems Between Law Enforcement and the Disabled, Permitting Community Service in Lieu of Court Fines & Green and Blue Acres Funding Top Monday Assembly Agendas

(TRENTON) – Timely legislation to protect taxpayers from lax public contractors and bills to create a voluntary registry for individuals with mental illness or developmental disability to help avoid problems with law enforcement, appropriate Green and Blue Acres funding and permit community service in lieu of Municipal Court fines are among bills to be heard Monday by Assembly committees.
Also on tap are bills to delete pejorative language used in state statutes when referring to persons with disabilities, better protect vital public records, protect the rights of active military parents in custody cases, expand indigent veteran burial eligibility and establish a standard operating procedure for 9-1-1 dispatchers requiring them to call for mutual aid assistance within 10 minutes if the ambulance service provider initially called does not respond.
Hearings are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. They will be streamed live at:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.
Highlights include:
· Timely legislation sponsored by Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Daniel R. Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex) and Nelson Albano (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland) to prohibit contractor or subcontractors convicted in any of the three previous years of three or more violations of state wage, benefit and tax laws from registering as a public works contractor. It will be heard at 10 a.m. by the Assembly Labor Committee.
The bill is particularly timely in light of the large amount of rebuilding that will be required after the devastation of Sandy. The recovery will require substantial investment in public works, and this bill would be an essential tool in safeguarding the quality of that work.
· Legislation (A-3043) creating a Voluntary Registry for Individuals with a Mental Illness or Developmental Disability to provide law enforcement agencies with information to help assist such individuals. It’s sponsored by Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) and will be heard at 1 p.m. by the Assembly Human Services Committee.
The bill stems from a June Star Ledger report on state troopers found guilty by the State Police of using unreasonable force against a disabled Hackettstown resident during a traffic stop in 2009.
· A bill (A-3357) sponsored by Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) to delete pejorative and archaic language used in state statute when referring to persons with developmental, cognitive or psychiatric disabilities. Terms such as “lunatic,” “insane,” “unsound mind” and “incompetent” will be replaced with more respectful language. It will be heard at 1 p.m. by the Assembly Human Services Committee.
· A bill (A-3254) sponsored by Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) to permit Municipal Courts to order offenders to perform community service in lieu of payment of penalty. It will be heard at 10 a.m. by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
· The Assembly Appropriations Committee will meet at 10 a.m. to consider three bills (A-3368-3369-3370) to appropriate 2009 Green Acres funding.
· Legislation (A-465) to require criminal history record background checks for public employees handling vital records. It’s sponsored by Angelica Jimenez (D-Hudson/Bergen) and will be heard at 2 p.m. by the Assembly homeland security panel.
· Legislation (A-2164) to establish that in cases involving custody of a minor child, if a motion for a change of custody is filed during a time a parent is in active military duty, the court shall not modify or amend a previous judgment or order, or enter a new order that permanently changes the custody arrangement. It’s sponsored by Herb Conaway M.D. and Troy Singleton (both D-Burlington) and will be heard at 10 a.m. by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
· A measure (A-1898) to extend burial of indigent veterans to those who did not serve in time of war. It’s sponsored by Matt Milam (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) and will be heard at 10 a.m. by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
· A bill (A-3361) that adds the Vietnam Veterans of America to the list of organizations the state and national conventions of which state, county and municipal employees will be given leave of absence to attend. It’s sponsored by Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex) and Matt Milam (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland) and will be heard at 10 a.m. by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
· A bill (A-1098) that establishes a standard operating procedure for 9-1-1 dispatchers that requires them to call for mutual aid assistance within 10 minutes if the basic life support ambulance service provider initially called does not respond. It’s sponsored by Annette Quijano (D-Union) and will be heard at 2 p.m. by the Assembly homeland security panel.
· Legislation (A-2431) to permit a person with developmental disability and legal guardian to audio record sessions of interdisciplinary team in which person or guardian participates. It’s sponsored by Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) and Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) and will be heard at 10 a.m. by the Assembly Women and Children Committee.