Assembly Democrats

Jasey Honored to Participate in Food Stamp Challenge

(TRENTON) - Assemblywoman Mila Jasey joined fellow legislators and various community leaders last week in the Food Stamp Challenge to underscore the difficulties many New Jersey families on state assistance face and the importance of programs such as SNAP are to ensuring healthy meals for families on a fixed income:
"I am honored to have been asked to participate in the Food Stamp Challenge. Last week proved to be an eye-opening experience.

"On such a stringent, meager budget of $4.20 a day, an individual's options are limited.

"There is also the issue of access to transportation for many who must travel outside of their communities because there are no supermarkets. Families have to plan not only what they can afford to buy by shopping around for sales but also how they will get to the market. Shopping trips must be disheartening for parents wanting to provide the best for their children.
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Wimberly, Jasey & Benson 'Reader Privacy Act' To Upgrade NJ Book Privacy Laws Continues Advancing

Measure Would Extend Library Privacy Protections to Book Purchases, Including E-Books
(TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Democrats Benjie E. Wimberly, Mila M. Jasey and Daniel R. Benson sponsored to place readers and purchases of books and electronic books under similar protections as library records by expanding New Jersey's reader privacy law was released by a Senate panel on Monday.

The sponsors note the invention of digital books and e-readers has raised questions around the country about privacy and broadening protections to include these new literary mediums. California and Arizona enacted similar legislation in 2011 extending library privacy laws to include digital book records.

"E-books and online purchases have redefined the way we read, buy and borrow books," said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). "These new methods raise questions regarding privacy and disclosure of personal information. Current law is simply too antiquated to adequately provide for confidentiality in the digital age. Individuals should be allowed to read, shop without fear of intrusion. Just as with books you borrow at the library, your e-book preferences should also remain private."

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Assembly Approves Mainor, Sumter, Wilson & Riley Bill to Create Task Force to Review, Make Safety Recommendations for NJ Halfway Houses

Asm. Charles Mainor Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Charles Mainor, Shavonda Sumter, Whip Wilson and Celeste Riley to create a task force charged with reviewing the state's privately run halfway houses and making recommendations to enhance oversight and security was approved Monday by the General Assembly.

"It is mind-boggling that facilities tasked with protecting the public against criminals would make it so easy for these very same individuals to get out and commit more crimes," said Mainor (D-Hudson). "Thousands have escaped from the state's privately run halfway houses since 2005. We owe it to our residents to spend state funds wisely, but certainly not by jeopardizing their safety..."

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Eustace, Lagana, Mosquera, Vainieri Huttle & Wimberly Bill to Protect Against Flooding & Boost Smart Development Advances in Senate

Asm. Tim Eustace Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Joseph Lagana, Gabriela Mosquera, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Benjie Wimberly to help protect the public against flooding and facilitate smart development was released by a Senate panel on Monday.

"Accurate and up-to-date delineations of floodplains and flood hazard areas are essential to inform state and local officials and property owners of changing flood risks," said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). "The ever-changing landscape of our state requires that we stay on top of these patterns to help residents and business owners avoid flood traps."

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Prieto, Lagana, Andrzejczak, Benson & Mazzeo Bill to Boost After-Hospital Care for Patients Continues Advancing

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Speaker Vincent Prieto, Joseph Lagana, Bob Andrzejczak, Daniel Benson and Vincent Mazzeo to help boost the quality of care delivered to patients at home after they leave the hospital was advanced Monday by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

"The follow-up care required after a hospital stay can be incredibly complicated and overwhelming for the average person," said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). "By having hospitals work cooperatively with a patient's preferred caregiver, we can ensure that they're getting the level of care they need from the person they feel most comfortable with..."

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Cryan, Benson, Singleton, Lampitt, Riley & Pinkin Bill to Boost Participation in School Breakfast Program Advances in Senate

Bill Would Create "Breakfast after the Bell" Program
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph Cryan, Daniel Benson, Troy Singleton, Pamela Lampitt, Celeste Riley and Nancy Pinkin to boost breakfast programs in schools, particularly for underprivileged children, in order to help give them a leg up on academics advanced in the Senate on Monday.

The bill (A-ญญญ679/2186) would require the state to make every effort to assist school districts and nonpublic schools in increasing the participation rate of students, particularly low-income students, in the federal School Breakfast Program by establishing a "breakfast after the bell" program in the first-period classroom or during the first few minutes of the day.

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Quijano, Eustace Bill to Ensure Proper Training and Use of Defibrillators In New Jersey Schools Passes Assembly

(TRENTON) - The General Assembly approved on Monday bipartisan legislation sponsored in part by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano and Timothy Eustace to require the board of education of any school district that maintains an automated external defibrillator to adopt a policy concerning the use of the device.

"Used responsibly and properly, defibrillators can save lives," said Quijano (D-Union). "Staff and students should be fully aware of a defibrillator in the school and its proper use. This legislation helps to do just that."

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Mukherji, Quijano & Pinkin Bill to Promote Public Awareness and Education About Parkinson's Disease Continues to Advance

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly members Raj Mukherji, Annette Quijano and Nancy Pinkin that would create a public awareness and education program about Parkinson's disease was approved by the full Assembly on Monday.

According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, as many as one million Americans live with Parkinson's disease, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig's disease. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year, and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected. An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson's disease. Incidence of Parkinson's increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before the age of 50. Men are one and a half times more likely to have Parkinson's than women.

"An estimated 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease," said Mukherji (D-Hudson). "This is a disease that affects too many New Jersey families. The more we know about Parkinson's, the more we can help residents identify symptoms and find the resources they need to help themselves and their loved ones."

Designated the "Parkinson's Disease Public Awareness and Education Act," the bill (A-2576) establishes a Parkinson's disease public awareness and education program in the Department of Health (DOH).

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Moriarty, Benson & Wimberly Bill Outlawing Unsolicited Text Message Ads Continues Advancing

Assembly approved legislation Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty, Daniel R. Benson and Benjie Wimberly sponsored to prohibit advertisers from sending unwelcome and unsolicited advertisements to consumers via text messaging was released Monday by the Senate Commerce Committee.

"Unwanted text messages not only tax consumers' patience, but they are a drain on cell minutes and bank accounts," said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). "Just as telephone customers have been able to close their homes to unwanted telemarketing calls, cell customers should be able to be free of unwanted text ads..."

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Moriarty & Vainieri Huttle Bill Targeting Unsolicited Checks Advanced by Senate Panel

Asm. Paul Moriarty Bars Sending Checks to Consumers That Once Cashed Enroll Them in Costly Programs

Assembly approved legislation Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty and Valerie Vainieri Huttle sponsored to make it illegal to mail unsolicited checks that once cashed enroll consumers in costly programs was advanced Monday by the Senate Commerce Committee.

"These so-called free money offers are at their best deceptive and, at their worst, downright dishonest," Moriarty said. "Right now, consumers are at their most vulnerable to fall for a scheme that appears to offer them instant cash but would end up costing them much more in the long-run..."

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Mukherji, Watson Coleman & Gusciora Bill to Allocate Funds for Infrastructure Repair Loans Gains Unanimous Assembly Approval

Asm. Raj Mukherji Legislation Would Allot $22.5 Million in Bond Funds for Dam Restoration

Bipartisan legislation Assembly Democrats Raj Mukherji, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Reed Gusciora sponsored to appropriate approximately $22.5 million in 2003 bond act monies for loans to fund dam restoration projects Monday passed by a vote of 80-0 in the Assembly.

"Given the increasing number of small dam failures due to the lack of maintenance and inspection in our state, it's critical that we prioritize investing in infrastructure to avoid more damage in the future, or - God forbid - the devastation of a major dam failure, which New Jersey is lucky enough to have never experienced," said Mukherji (D-Hudson).

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General Assembly Unanimously Approves Comprehensive Legislative Strategy to Combat Domestic Violence

Six-bill Package is Sponsored by Vainieri Huttle, Quijano, Mosquera, Garcia, Gusciora, Spencer, Tucker, Caputo, Riley, Burzichelli
The General Assembly on Monday unanimously approved a comprehensive legislative strategy sponsored by Assembly Democrats to combat domestic violence by expanding protections for victims and providing law enforcement with better tools to deal with offenders.

The six-bill package is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Annette Quijano, Gabriela Mosquera, Carmelo Garcia, Reed Gusciora, L. Grace Spencer, Cleopatra Tucker, Ralph Caputo, Celeste Riley and John Burzichelli.

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McKeon: Buying Back Our Safety

Assemblyman John F. McKeon Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex) had the following published recently in the Newark Star-Ledger:

"...why is it that three out of every 100,000 Americans will die of a gun-related act each year, when 0.2 per every 100,000 citizens of the remaining 22 industrialized nations will have a similar fate? Why is it that the rate of American gun-related homicides are 15 times higher than any large wealthy nation?

"New Jersey is a progressive state as it relates to regulating weapons that are most likely to inflict mass casualties. We are one of seven States to ban assault weapons and limit ammunition clips, and one of 11 States that mandate a seven-day waiting period before making legal firearm purchases. Yet, recently outlawing 50-caliber rifles capable of shooting a helicopter out of the sky could not escape a veto or muster any votes for an override.

"We know from experience that amnesty -- the return of illegal guns and buyback programs -- is effective at taking thousands of weapons off our streets. In the period between December 2012 and April 2013, State officials and local authorities collected a record 9,000 firearms, including rocket launchers, assault weapons, and submachine guns.

"However, the frequency and scope of these programs are neither mandated nor permanently funded. Legislation which would substantially increase these buyback programs was unanimously approved in a bipartisan vote by the Assembly Judiciary Committee earlier this year..."

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McKeon, Prieto, Greenwald, Mainor, Jasey & Schaer Bill to Create Statewide Gun Buyback Program Approved by Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman John McKeon, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Charles Mainor, Mila Jasey and Gary Schaer to create a statewide gun buyback program to cut back on the number of firearms out in communities throughout the state was approved 53-22-5 Monday by the Assembly.

"Gun violence claims lives every day. In some communities, it is an-all too common reality," said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). "We realize a gun buyback program alone will not eliminate gun violence, but it can help enhance public safety by reducing the number of firearms in circulation."

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Mainor, Johnson, Wimberly & Mukherji "Marc Anthony's Law" Bill to Protect Police Officers Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) - The Assembly on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Charles Mainor, Gordon Johnson, Benjie Wimberly and Raj Mukherji to make the use of a defaced or stolen firearm to injure a police officer a crime, and toughen the penalties for defacing a firearm.

The bill, designated Marc Anthony's Law, is named after Jersey City Police Detective Marc Anthony DiNardo who died from injuries sustained during a shootout with suspected robbers in 2009.

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Mosquera, Lampitt, Gusciora, Vainieri Huttle & Johnson on Comprehensive Domestic Violence Prevention Bill Package

Mosquera, Lampitt, Gusciora, Vainieri Huttle & Johnson on Comprehensive Domestic Violence Prevention Bill Package from NJ Assembly Democratic Office on Vimeo.

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