Assembly Democrats

Taliaferro, Eustace, Benson & Mazzeo Legislation to Ban 'Flakka' Possession Clears Assembly Committee

Asm. Adam Taliaferro Synthetic Drug Associated with Cases of Hallucination, Attacks on Police

Legislation Assembly Democrats Adam Taliaferro, Tim Eustace, Daniel Benson and Vince Mazzeo sponsored to help curb the use of a street drug often associated with violent and self-destructive behavior was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.

"Flakka has been linked to a number of psychotic symptoms and violent attacks, threatening the safety of communities across the nation," said Taliaferro (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). "With this legislation, New Jersey will be proactive about preventing this dangerous drug from taking over in our state."

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Wimberly, Singleton, Holley & Tucker Bill to Require Racial, Ethnic Impact Statements in Proposed Legislation Clears Panel

Asm. Benjie Wimberly Measure Aimed at Reducing Disparities in Criminal Justice System

Legislation Assembly Democrats Benjie Wimberly, Troy Singleton, Jamel Holley and Cleopatra Tucker sponsored to encourage lawmakers to consider the impact proposed legislation would have on racial and ethnic minorities was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.

"The disparity between the number of minorities in the general population and the number of minorities in the prison population is a civil rights issue that warrants far more attention," said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). "In a state where black people are 15 percent of the general population but 60 percent of the prison population - a statistic largely due to a failed and misguided war on drugs - we have a responsibility to give closer scrutiny to how the policies the state enacts affect racial and ethnic minorities."

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Video: Oliver on Her Bill to Combat Fraudulent Deed Recordings

Assembly Speaker Emeritus Sheila Oliver Assembly Speaker Emeritus Sheila Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) discusses her legislation (A-3828) to enhance protections against fraudulent deed recordings. Oliver introduced the bill after a report by The Star-Ledger last year on deed fraud. The bill was released Monday by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

Watch the video here.

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Prieto Bill to Crack Down on Plumbing, HVAC Contractors Practicing Without a License Clears First Legislative Hurdle

(TRENTON) - An Assembly panel on Monday released legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto that would make it a fourth degree crime to advertise or perform plumbing or HVAC services without proper credentials.

"Through increased penalties, we aim to better protect the public interest and safety by deterring unscrupulous and unqualified contractors from swindling residents out of time and money," said Prieto (D-Hudson).

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Benson Measure to Protect Health of First Responders Who Administer Opioid Antidote Clears Assembly Committee

Asm. Daniel Benson Bill Aims to Help Emergency Personnel Assess Risk for HIV, Hepatitis

Legislation Assemblyman Daniel Benson sponsored to protect first responders who administer naloxone to save the lives of individuals experiencing an opioid overdose was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.

"Opioid antidotes have helped many people in New Jersey, giving those who struggle with addiction a second chance at life," said Benson (D-Middlesex/Mercer). "We must do all that we can to protect New Jersey's first responders as they do the difficult work of assisting these men and women during an emergency."

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Greenwald & Lampitt Condemn JCC Bomb Threats in Cherry Hill & Across Country

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (both D-Camden/Burlington) released the following statement on the bomb threat Monday that forced the evacuation of a Jewish community center in their legislative district and numerous others across the country:

"This morning bomb threats were reported at the Katz JCC here in Cherry Hill and at Jewish community centers in eight states across the nation. These threats were taken seriously, as entire centers were evacuated and police were brought to the scene.

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Downey, Houghtaling, Jasey, Singleton, Holley & Caride Bill to Require State to Provide Education for Students Living in Homeless Shelters Outside of School District Advances

Asw. Downey Assembly-approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joann Downey, Eric Houghtaling, Mila Jasey, Troy Singleton, James Holley and Marlene Caride to require the state to pay the educational costs for certain students who reside in a homeless shelter outside of their district of residence was advanced Monday by the Senate budget panel.

"Children and youth who experience homelessness face many barriers to education," said Downey (D-Monmouth County). "School can be a source of stability for a young person and family who have lost their housing..."

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Vainieri Huttle Calls for Details on Report that Funds Earmarked for Anti-Poverty Program are Being Used for Christie Ad Campaign

Assembly Human Services Committee Chair Valerie Vainieri Huttle on Monday called on the Christie administration to provide details as to how the state is funding a drug treatment television and radio ad campaign featuring the Governor after a report surfaced that the campaign is being paid for by funds previously earmarked to promote anti-poverty programs for women and children.

"There's no denying that the opioid crisis deserves the state's attention, but if this report holds true, robbing Peter to pay Paul when our poverty rate is at a 50-year high, seems like a questionable decision at best.

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Wimberly, Vainieri Huttle, Oliver, Tucker & Quijano Bill to Ensure Equal Access to State Contracts for Women- & Minority-Owned Businesses Continues to Advance

Asm. Benjie Wimberly Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie Wimberly, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Sheila Oliver, Cleopatra Tucker and Annette Quijano to ensure that women- and minority-owned businesses in New Jersey have equal access to state contracts cleared a Senate panel on Monday.

"While progress has been made, women- and minority-business owners continue to face challenges that limit their ability to grow," said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). "The provisions in this legislation are necessary to ensure that the equality of opportunity guaranteed by federal and state law are available to minority-owned and women-owned businesses in this state..."

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Video: Lampitt on Protecting Students by Improving Tuition and Fee Transparency

Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) discusses her legislation (A-3847) to better protect students by requiring institutions of higher education and proprietary degree-granting institutions to improve the transparency of tuition and fees. The bill was released Monday by the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

Watch the video here.

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Video: Mazzeo on His Bill to Save Lives by Improving the Overdose Protection Act

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) discusses his legislation (A-4467) to save lives by making clear that authorized persons and entities may administer multiple doses of any FDA-approved opioid antidote to an overdose victim, regardless of dosage amount or administration method. The life-saving bill was advanced Monday by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

Watch the video here.

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Quijano, Benson Bill to Create the Consumer ATM and Credit Card Act Clears Assembly Panel

Measure Requires Certain Operators of Publicly Accessible Payment or Withdrawal Systems to Take Certain Actions to Protect Customer Information
(Trenton) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Annette Quijano and Daniel Benson aiming to confront the problem of "skimmers," or devices used to steal customer's personal information when they use their credit or debit cards at an ATM or other card payment machines cleared an Assembly panel on Monday.

"The unscrupulous use of these devices compromise residents' personal information," said Quijano (D-Union). "If a customer's credit or debit card information is stolen in this fashion, it can lead to financial disaster; there are reports of thieves using skimmers to empty entire bank accounts."

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Lampitt, Barclay & Jones Bill to Ensure Self-Driving Motor Vehicle Owners Comply with Insurance Requirements Approved by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Arthur Barclay and Patricia Egan Jones to clarify that owners of self-driving motor vehicles must comply with existing insurance requirements was approved on Monday by an Assembly panel.

Specifically, the bill clarifies that, for the purposes of insurance, a self-driving car must comply with compulsory automobile and motor vehicle insurance requirements.

"As autonomous vehicles become more popular, we must ensure that insurance requirements continue to be met by drivers," said Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington). "These vehicles are still new to the market and should be treated the same as any other vehicle on the road when it comes to insurance."

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DeAngelo Bill to Require Live Broadcasting of BPU Public Hearing Held in State Buildings Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo to increase public access to Board of Public Utilities public hearings held in state buildings was approved on Monday by an Assembly panel.

"The public should be aware of the action taking place during BPU meetings," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). "This legislation will improve access and transparency of public meetings. It will also give residents the opportunity to be informed even when they cannot attend the meetings in person."

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Conaway & Benson Bill to Ban Flavored Electronic Smoking Devices in New Jersey Advances

Separate Measure Would also Prohibit Use of Coupons & Promotional Offers on Tobacco & Vapor Products to Make Them Less Enticing
An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. and Daniel Benson to outlaw the sale of flavored electronic smoking products in New Jersey in an effort to prevent the products from being targeted to young people.
A separate measure approved by the panel would also prohibit the use of coupons and promotional offers for both tobacco and vapor products.

"Going back to the days of 'Joe Camel,' we've seen how nicotine companies carefully market their products to young, impressionable consumers in the hopes of attracting life-long customers," said Conaway (D-Burlington), a practicing physician. "The appeal of electronic smoking devices is just as bad, if not worse, because the products are available in almost every candy-like flavor imaginable. From a public health perspective, it makes sense to extend the ban on flavored tobacco products to electronic smoking devices, as well."

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Lampitt & Mukherji Bill to Require Increased Transparency on Mandatory Student Fees at Colleges Clears Committee

Asw. Pamela Lampitt Measure Would Require Governing Boards to Specify How Student Fees Are Spent

Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt and Raj Mukherji sponsored to increase transparency surrounding the collection and use of student fees at New Jersey colleges and universities was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.

"Too often, a term bill will just say 'campus fee' or 'school fee' without any explanation of how the money will be used, and there's an expectation that students will just pay," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "When many students are taking on unbearable debt in order to pay for higher education, they at least deserve to know how these fees are spent."

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Muoio, Schaer, Coughlin, Benson, Holley, Wisniewski & Gusciora Bill to Protect Local Governments from Costs of Last Year's TTF Shutdown Advanced by Senate Committee

Asw. Muoio Legislation Assembly Democrats Elizabeth Maher Muoio, Gary Schaer, Craig Coughlin, Daniel Benson, Jamel Holley, John Wisniewski and Reed Gusciora sponsored to ensure local governments don't get hit with costs from Gov. Christie's transportation project shutdown was released Monday by a Senate panel.

"Local governments were not to blame for the lack of a TTF plan, yet they could be on the hook for potential costs resulting from the governor's executive order. That means local property taxpayers, who fund the bulk of local government spending, will have to bear these costs," stated Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "This is not fair, and it is not in the best interest of our state..."

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Mazzeo Bill to Supersede Outdated Bureaucratic EMS Protocols, Help Save Lives Gains Assembly Panel Approval

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) to supersede overbearing local EMS protocols mired in bureaucratic red tape that are putting the well-being of New Jersey residents in danger was approved Monday by the Assembly Health & Senior Services Committee.

The bill's (A-4467) two-pronged approach would allow first responders to more quickly deploy additional doses of naloxone - the life-saving anti-overdose medication - without an additional and unnecessary approval of their EMS Director and allow first responder departments to use any FDA-approved naloxone product, regardless of dosage.

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Benson, Vainieri Huttle, Mazzeo, Mukherji & Downey Opioid Antidote Bill Advances

Measure Will Allow Pharmacies to Dispense Antidote without Rx
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Vince Mazzeo, Raj Mukherji and Joann Downey designed to ensure that opioid antidotes are available to help prevent overdoses was approved by an Assembly panel on Monday.

The bill (A-2334) would expand public access to opioid antidotes, such as naloxone hydrochloride, by amending the provisions of the "Overdose Prevention Act" (OPA) in order to authorize pharmacists to supply opioid antidotes to patients without prescriptions under a standing order that would be required to be issued by the Department of Health.

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Vainieri Huttle "Airbnb" Bill to Address Municipal Concerns over Short-Term Rentals Clears Assembly Panel

Bill addresses concerns about impact of short-term rentals on quality of life and public safety
Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle to address the lack of regulation in short-term rentals made popular by online marketplaces like Airbnb and the impact they have on residential neighborhoods was released Monday by an Assembly panel.

Currently, short-term rentals made available through transient space marketplaces like Airbnb are not regulated. Some municipalities have expressed concern about this lack of regulation, the inability to know who may be staying in their communities and the impact on quality of life.

In response, several Bergen County municipalities have passed ordinances requiring a minimum stay of 30 days, effectively banning transient rentals. The bill would codify that municipalities are authorized to pass such ordinances, while also creating a licensing and regulatory scheme.

"The current practices of short-term rental businesses lack the necessary safety precautions for our municipalities..," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen).

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Quijano & Vainieri Huttle "Airbnb" Bill to Ensure Level Playing Field among Lodging Businesses Clears Assembly Panel

Bills would bring tax fairness to short-term rentals made popular by sites like Airbnb
Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Annette Quijano and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to ensure fairness among all hospitality providers in the state and provide a much needed revenue boost to the state was released Monday by an Assembly panel.

The bill (A-4587) would impose the same taxes and fees that hotels and motels must currently pay to the state.

"Our laws need to be updated to keep up with changes brought about by new technology," said Quijano (D-Union). "The fact that taxes are not paid for stays at locations rented through sites like Airbnb but are applied to stays in hotels is an unfair advantage that hurts the hospitality industry and takes funding away from municipalities for important programs. This bill levels the playing field and provides tax fairness for the entire hospitality industry in New Jersey."
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Vainieri Huttle Bill Opposing President Trump's Proposal to Eliminate National Endowment for the Arts Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) opposing the Trump administration's proposal to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, and calling on the president, his administration, and Congress to instead increase support for the arts was released Monday by the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts committee.

"The National Endowment for the Arts has been essential to the survival and continued existence of local artists and arts organizations in every state through grant funding," said Vainieri Huttle. "This proposal not only betrays the nation's long-standing efforts to foster artistic expression, which is vital to our spirit and democracy, it also threatens our local communities that currently benefit from the economic activity generated by the funded arts and entertainment programs."
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Oliver, Giblin, Tucker, Caputo & Chiaravalloti Bill to Protect Property Owners from Deed Fraud Clears Assembly Panel

An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Sheila Oliver, Thomas Giblin, Cleopatra Tucker, Ralph Caputo and Nicholas Chiaravalloti to help prevent deed fraud and protect property owners from losing their homes to scammers.

Oliver spearheaded the bill after being notified by the Essex County Register of Deeds and Mortgages about how prevalent and simple it was for scammers to steal someone else's property using public records.

"These individuals are taking advantage of public information to steal people's homes right out from under them," said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). "This notification requirement provides an additional safeguard to help prevent fraud and protect property owners from becoming victims."

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Quijano & Chaparro Bill to Create Pilot Program to Assist Certain Low Income Renters with Security Deposits Approved by Assembly Panel

The pilot program would run in Union, Essex, Hudson & Gloucester counties
Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Annette Quijano (D-Union) and Annette Chaparro (D-Hudson) to create a pilot program in select counties to help low-income renters with their security deposits was released Monday by an Assembly panel.

By law the amount of a security deposit on a residential lease may not exceed 150 percent of the amount of the monthly rent, but this initial payment is still cost-prohibitive for many residents.

"Paying the initial month's rent, plus the security deposit, can make moving into a new apartment cost-prohibitive for residents who live paycheck to paycheck," said Quijano. "This allows residents to spread out their security deposit payment instead of paying for it upfront."

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Singleton, Green, Mukherji & Lampitt Bill to Help Create more Affordable Housing in NJ Approved by Assembly Panel

An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Jerry Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union), Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) and Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) to help create more affordable housing.

The poor and middle class in particular have seen their incomes fall between 1990 and 2014. New Jersey is among the states where inequality has grown the most. This growing income disparity, combined with the effects of the Great Recession and the burst of the housing bubble in the last decade, have created systematic disincentives to financing low and very low income housing when the need for this type of housing is increasing. This bill hopes to address this imbalance.

"Affordable housing options in the state are limited and this proposal seeks to allow people to have a fair shot to live in a thriving community," said Singleton. "This can help incentivize developers to create housing to help accommodate some of our most vulnerable residents."

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Singleton & Lampitt Bill to Help First-Time Home Buyers Realize Dream of Home Ownership Clears Assembly Committee

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) and Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) to help first-time home buyers better prepare for the financial obligations that come with purchasing a home was released Monday by an Assembly panel.

"The biggest challenge that most first-time home buyers face is coming up with enough money for a down payment," said Singleton. "This would help residents interested in buying a home save up the funds needed over time so they can comfortably reach their goal of home ownership."

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Mazzeo on His Bill to Save Lives by Improving the Overdose Protection Act

Mazzeo on His Bill to Save Lives by Improving the Overdose Protection Act

Lampitt bill to increase transparency in mandatory student fees at colleges

Lampitt bill to increase transparency in mandatory student fees at colleges

Gusicora on Trump Immigration ban: “America was given a black eye”

Gusicora on Trump Immigration ban: “America was given a black eye”

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