Top Story - 5/20/2013
Sweeney/Vitale/Beach Bill Prohibiting Discrimination Against Individuals With Developmental Disabilities Clears Assembly
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D – Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem) and Senators Joseph F. Vitale (D – Middlesex) and Jim Beach (D – Camden) that would prohibit discrimination against a potential organ transplant recipient on the basis of a mental or physical disability cleared the full Assembly today.
“People with developmental disabilities should not be treated as second-class citizens,” said Sweeney. “Their disabilities do not make them any less human or worthy of respect and common decency. They should be afforded the same rights as anyone would want when entering a hospital.”
First Of Gun Safety Bills Gain Final Legislative Approval
TRENTON – The first of the gun safety bills from the landmark package already advanced by the Senate gained final legislative approval on Monday when the Assembly passed and sent to the governor legislation that would enhance the tracing of weapons used in crimes, find ways to improve school security and take illegal guns out of circulation. Three bills were sent to the governor and a fourth, that would include mental health records in background checks, was amended, approved and sent back to the Senate. All four were passed by the Senate last Monday.
“This marks more progress on our work to enhance gun safety with a plan that modernizes and improves the permitting process,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney, the plan’s lead sponsor. “We are accomplishing here in New Jersey what they haven’t been able to do in Washington. In fact, we will be a model for the Nation with an electronic system that helps keep weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, laws that crack down on illegal guns and that makes our communities safer and more secure.”
Sweeney Legislation Requiring State-Issued Id Badges For Home Improvement Contractors Clears Assembly
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem) that would revise the “Contractors’ Registration Act” to require state-issued identification badges for home improvement contractors today cleared the full Assembly.
“New Jersey has shown remarkable resilience and caring in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” said Sweeney. “Unfortunately, there are always going to be individuals who will take advantage of times like these for their own personal benefit. By requiring a picture ID, we are adding another layer of protection for storm victims against fraud.”
Madden-Beach Legislation Creating 'Nj Safe Act' Heads To Governor's Desk
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden and Jim Beach that would provide unpaid leave for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault received final legislative approval today in the General Assembly.
“Victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault experience lasting physical and psychological wounds that carry into all aspects of their lives, including the workplace,” said Madden, D-Gloucester and Camden. “This legislation is needed so that the crime victims can pursue medical treatment, obtain necessary counseling and appear in court as required - without fear of losing their jobs. Providing victims and their families the time they need to put their lives back together is a matter of simple, common decency.”
Smith-Whelan-Greenstein ‘Preserve New Jersey Act Of 2013’ Approved By Senate Environment Committee
TRENTON – Two measures sponsored by Senate Environment and Energy Committee members Bob Smith, Jim Whelan and Linda R. Greenstein that would create a stable source of funding to continue the state’s open space programs were approved today by the Committee.
“Because New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, it is important that we protect the open space we have for the enjoyment and health of future generations,” said Senator Smith, D-Middlesex and Somerset, Chairman of the Committee. “Throughout the years, residents have overwhelmingly supported open space bonds that provide money for parks, wetlands and farmland. Rather than going back to the voters time after time, asking for additional funding, we can create a constant stream that will ensure the protection of open spaces for decades.”
Madden Legislation To Require Signage Informing Drivers Of State Law Prohibiting Texting While Driving Clears Committee
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden that would require signage informing drivers of the law that prohibits texting while driving was unanimously approved today by the Senate Transportation Committee.
“In an effort to combat distracted driving, the Legislature has done extensive work to strengthen laws and penalties against offenders of texting while driving. However, motorists continue to use their cell phone behind the wheel, which puts themselves and others on the road at risk,” said Madden, D-Gloucester and Camden. “With tragedies occurring every day, it is clear that more needs to be done to educate the public about the serious and often fatal consequences of texting and driving. These signs will serve as a visual reminder for all drivers to put down their phone while driving and pay attention to the road.”