Welcome to my Virtual District Office!
This page has been created to make it easier for you to learn how my office can be your advocate in Trenton and to get answers to some common questions about state government. In addition, you can visit the Web page of your town from the links below. You also can click to send me and my staff an e-mail. Whether you have a problem that needs to be solved or just want to send your opinion on a pressing state issue, my office is at your service.
As we move forward, this page will be updated and expanded, so please visit often.
Benson, Vainieri Huttle, Mazzeo, Mukherji, Downey & Wimberly Opioid Antidote Bill Gains Assembly Approval
Measure Will Allow Pharmacies to Dispense Antidote without RxLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Vince Mazzeo, Raj Mukherji, Joann Downey and Benjie Wimberly to ensure that opioid antidotes are available to help prevent overdoses was approved unanimously by the full Assembly on Thursday.
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 allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone to any person, without a prescription, pursuant to a standing order issued by a prescriber or, upon request by the pharmacist, pursuant to a standing order issued by the Commissioner of Health or the Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Services.
Assembly Signs Off on McKeon, Quijano, Benson, Houghtaling & Downey Bill Barring Public Agencies from Settling Whistleblower Suits Confidentially
Bill Stems from Christie Administration's Secret $1.5M Corruption Allegation Settlement that Cost the State an Additional $4M in Legal Fees(TRENTON) - The General Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Annette Quijano, Daniel Benson, Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey that would bar public entities from entering into confidential settlements of whistleblower lawsuits with public employees and mandate that such settlements are part of open public records.
McKeon first introduced the bill in response to the settlement reached with former Hunterdon County Assistant Prosecutor Bennett Barlyn, who testified extensively on the bill during a hearing this week before McKeon's Judiciary Committee. Barlyn filed a lawsuit against the state in 2012 alleging he had been fired in 2010 after complaining to a superior that an indictment brought by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office had been dismissed by then Attorney General Paula Dow for political reasons.
Eustace, Zwicker, Benson & Mazzeo Legislation Urging Resident Participation in "Earth Hour 2017" Approved by Assembly(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Timothy Eustace, Andrew Zwicker, Daniel Benson and Vincent Mazzeo to encourage resident participation in Earth Hour, a worldwide movement to raise awareness of the effects of climate change was approved by the full Assembly, 62-9-1, on Thursday.
Specifically, the Assembly Resolution urges statewide participation in Earth Hour 2017, an annual event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, during which people from all walks of life, in communities large and small, dim their lights for one hour in order to "cast a vote in favor of action" to combat climate change.
"Since its inception in 2007 as a single-city initiative, Earth Hour has become a global phenomenon," said Eustace (D-Bergen, Passaic). "It has raised worldwide environmental awareness. The effects of climate change are expected to continue and worsen in future years. Coastal communities, like our towns along the New Jersey shore are projected to lose up to $7 trillion in buildings, transportation, and other assets by mid-century if climate change is not properly addressed."
Singleton, Vainieri Huttle, Downey, Mosquera, Lampitt & Benson Bill to Boost Domestic Violence Training at Local Level AdvancesLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joann Downey, Gabriela Mosquera, Pamela Lampitt and Daniel Benson to enhance domestic violence training at the local level gained unanimous approval Thursday from the full Assembly.
The bill (A-2185) would establish mandatory domestic violence training for municipal prosecutors.
Mazzeo, Lagana, Andrzejczak, Zwicker, Land, Benson & Downey Bill to Require Schools to Maintain Narcan Supply Clears PanelBill Would Allow School Nurses to Administer Opioid Antidote During an Emergency
Legislation Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Joseph Lagana, Bob Andrzejczak, Andrew Zwicker, Bruce Land, Daniel Benson and Joann Downey sponsored to require schools to maintain a supply of an opioid antidote was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.
"Narcan has been proven to save lives," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "Having it readily available in schools can help ensure that our schools are ready to respond in every emergency situation."
Eustace, Karabinchak, McKeon, Vainieri Huttle & Benson Bill to Create "Water Quality Accountability Act" Clears Assembly Panel
Measure Enhances the Reliability and Safety of the State's Drinking Water, Would Apply to All Water Purveyors(TRENTON) - An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Timothy Eustace, Robert Karabinchak, John McKeon, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Daniel Benson to establish a proactive cybersecurity policy for all water purveyors in order to enhance the reliability and safety of the state's drinking water systems.
In March of 2016, the BPU adopted cybersecurity requirements applicable to the electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater utilities that it regulates. This bill would apply those requirements to all water purveyors.
"We have seen many cybersecurity threats in recent years," said Eustace (D-Bergen, Passaic). "Whether it is attacking our personal information online or threatening critical resources, the state must take steps to protect residents from cybersecurity breaches. This legislation would codify present cybersecurity requirements established by the BPU and strengthen protections of our water resources by extending these requirements to all water suppliers. "
Downey, Houghtaling, Holley & Benson Bill to Connect More Who Served to Programs, Benefits for Veterans Advances13-Member Commission on Veterans' Benefits Would Help Support Veterans & Their Families
Legislation Assembly Democrats Joann Downey, Eric Houghtaling, Jamel Holley and Daniel Benson sponsored to more effectively deliver services to veterans in New Jersey was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.
"Many veterans are aware of how they can benefit from resources the federal government offers, but they're sometimes uncertain about what they and their families may qualify for at the state level," said Downey (D-Monmouth). "A commission dedicated to making sure veterans have access to the programs and benefits they're eligible for and deserve will help New Jersey honor its obligation to those who have served this nation."
McKeon, Quijano, Benson, Houghtaling & Downey Bill Barring Public Entities from Entering into Confidential Lawsuit Settlements Advances
Bill Stems from Christie Administration's Secret $1.5M Corruption Allegation SettlementAn Assembly panel on Monday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Annette Quijano, Daniel Benson, Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey that would bar public entities from entering into confidential settlements of whistleblower lawsuits with public employees and mandate that such settlements are part of open public records.
McKeon first introduced the bill in response to the settlement reached with former Hunterdon County Assistant Prosecutor Bennett Barlyn, who testified extensively on the bill during today's hearing. Archived audio from today's hearing will be posted here after the hearing concludes, with Barlyn's testimony beginning around the 20 minute mark.