Author: NJ Assembly Republicans

Dancer introduces bill for common sense in gun law enforcement

Source: Burlington County Times -

Ron Dancer

New Jersey Assemblyman Ronald Dancer has introduced legislation intended to give state judges more discretion when sentencing out-of-state residents found in violation of New Jersey’s strict laws against carrying or transporting guns.

Dancer, R-12th of Plumsted, authored the bill earlier this month in response to the case of Shaneen Allen, a Philadelphia woman who was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and hollow-point bullets last year after she told New Jersey State Police troopers she was carrying a handgun during a traffic stop in Atlantic County.

Allen was issued a concealed-carry permit in Pennsylvania but the license is not recognized by New Jersey, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.
Furthermore, New Jersey law mandates that she receive a minimum of 3½ years in prison if she is convicted of the charges.

Dancer’s bill, named “Shaneen’s Law,” seeks to address the latter issue by permitting judges to consider mitigating circumstances in sentencing weapons possession violations involving residents of another state who have legal gun permits in their home state and no known criminal history or criminal intent.

The bill would allow judges to impose either the mandatory sentence or have the defendant enter a pretrial intervention program provided the defendant has no prior criminal record, no association with a criminal street gang and is in compliance with the handgun laws of their home state.

“Each case of an illegal gun possession charge should be judged on the particular facts surrounding that case,” Dancer said this week. “The courts should be able to consider if an out-of-state resident has a valid legal permit where they live. States have their own firearm laws and a person visiting New Jersey may not be totally familiar with every aspect of New Jersey’s law.”

Dancer cites the case of Brian Aitken as another example in which judges should be permitted to have more discretion. The former Mount Laurel resident was arrested in January 2009 after Mount Laurel officers found three handguns and 39 hollow-point bullets in the trunk of his car.

Aitken claimed he purchased the guns legally in Colorado and was in the process of moving back to New Jersey when he was arrested. Like with Allen, the case garnered national attention from gun rights groups and Gov. Chris Christie wound up commuting his seven-year prison sentence.

“Judges should be allowed to use their discretion if there was no criminal record or intent,” Dancer said.

Gun rights groups appear supportive. Earlier this month, the National Rifle Association created a Web video about Dancer’s bill and the Allen case (http://www.nranews.com/ginny/video/shaneen-s-law-restoring-justice-in-new-jersey).

Gun right groups also have lobbied for New Jersey to loosen the state’s narrow conceal-carry laws and to grant reciprocity for other states’ gun permits. In the NRA video, Dancer said he supports reciprocity.

Gun control groups are opposed to reciprocity, arguing that New Jersey’s strict gun laws promote greater public safety and responsible gun owners from other states should be required to obey them.

Still, one of New Jersey’s leading advocates said the group was interested in learning more about Dancer’s bill and possibly meeting with him to discuss it and other “common-sense” gun legislation.

“We’re amendable to things that help clarify (gun laws) or are common-sense pieces of legislation,” said Nicola Bocour, project and legislative director for Ceasefire NJ. “If this isn’t reciprocity for concealed-carry, we’d certainly be interested in learning more.”

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Fiocchi Business Round Table Aims to Cut Down on Red Tape [video]

Source: NBC 40 [video] -

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

After literally cutting through red tape, Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi, members of the governor’s Red Tape Commission and over 35 business leaders went to work.

“A lot of businesses have a lot of issues, they want to get business started or need to continue with their business and they have a hard time cutting through the red tape,” said Fiocchi.

The red tape business round–table was especially important to Victor LaTorre of LaTorre Hardware and Garden Center.

“When we win a state bid for selling, its 20 or 30 pages of paperwork before you can actually sell the product item,” said LaTorre. “The paper work to just get one single bid award for a couple hundred dollars is all kinds of paper work involved.”

NBC40.net

LaTorre says this excessive regulation actually discourages small business and even gets in the way of hiring new employees and taking advantage of government tax breaks.

“When we hire employees off the unemployment ranks, there’s some funding available, but the paper work is immense and almost out of control to the point you end up not submitting the paper work to get the savings.”

 

In addition to the countless government regulations, the economic downturn around the state and especially in Cumberland County is not making things any easier for LaTorre.

“You think you make a couple steps forward then another company closes or some more bad news hit’s the area,” said LaTorre.

But with the state guiding small businesses, rather than standing in the way, LaTorre hopes roundtable discussions like this lead to economic stability.

“That’s the only way we’re going to cure unemployment is for small businesses to start hiring one person at a time.”

“We’re looking to establish these businesses here,” said Fiocchi. “We have high unemployment here so anytime we can get a business to settle here and get thru the red tape of getting a business going, its certainly highly relevant.”

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Rible: PSE&G transmission investment program sparks economic growth

Source: Times of Trenton Letter to the Editor by Dave Rible -

Dave Rible

The results of a Rutgers University study released this week shows PSE&G’s 10-year, $8.1 billion transmission investment program, which began in 2011, is an “economic engine” for New Jersey.

According to the study, the transmission upgrades are responsible for creating 6,000 jobs annually, resulting in more than $4.3 billion in salary and benefits and more than $640 million in state and local government revenue.

PSE&G’s commitment to upgrading its infrastructure will result in better service and reliability for its customers. At the same time, it’s creating thousands of quality jobs, from construction to manufacturing to retail and transportation. The many and varied benefits derived from the program will help to continue to drive economic growth for our state for years to come.

I commend PSE&G for its role in helping build a better New Jersey.

– Dave Rible, Wall
The writer, a Republican, represents the 30th District in the New Jersey General Assembly.

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Fiocchi, Business Leaders Tackle Red Tape Issues

Press Release – In Vineland today, Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi met with 40 area business owners to discuss way to improve the state’s regulatory environment. Fiocchi was joined by Assembly Republican Whip Scott Rumana, a member of Gov. Christie’s Red Tape Review Commission (RTRC).

The event, which took place at Cumberland County College, featured several business owners concerned about the burdensome red tape and government mandates that hamper job creation and investment.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“Instead of more bureaucracy and more red tape, we need to create an environment that nurtures businesses to grow and thrive,” said Fiocchi, R-Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic. “We don’t want to wait for industries to come to us. We want to go to them and stay connected. Our main goal is to create more jobs and grow South Jersey’s economy.”

Fiocchi said he asked Rumana to join him for today’s meeting because as a RTRC member, he will be able to directly share the business owners’ input with the commission. Rumana has had several bills signed into law that eliminate unnecessary red tape and encourages entrepreneurs to create jobs.

“New Jersey’s regulatory culture is changing,” said Rumana, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris. “We continue to make substantial progress in reducing onerous and burdensome red tape. By streamlining business-to-government interaction, we are creating a more hospitable climate for business. We still have more work to do, but as a small business owner, I know Sam understands the business community’s frustrations. They couldn’t ask for a better advocate in Trenton.”

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Singer, Kean, Rible Statement on Passing of Aaron Sofer

Source: Press Release -

Senator Robert Singer and Assemblymen Sean Kean and David Rible (R-30) issued the following statement today regarding the death of Lakewood’s Aaron Sofer.

“Our thoughts and prayers today are with the Sofer family. Aaron’s tragic death is an unthinkable loss for his family, peers and the entire Lakewood community. Aaron’s dedication to his faith and family should serve as an example to us all. We thank those in the community, across the state and the country who offered their support and prayers for Aaron and his family during these recent difficult days.”

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Angelini bill to curb huffing trend among young people

Source: NJ 101.5 -

A New Jersey lawmaker is concerned that children could be using aerosol dusters, most commonly used to clean computer keyboards, to get high. Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean) sponsors a bill to make it tougher for minors to get their hands on the product.

Mary Pat Angelini

“My bill makes it illegal to sell this type of product to anyone under the age of 18,” said Angelini. “Someone might tell kids, ‘Oh, you can huff this and get high and it’s just air. It can’t hurt you,’ but it’s actually a very complicated chemical mix that is very dangerous and could be deadly if inhaled.”

The legislation has been introduced in part to let parents and teachers know that inhalant abuse is a growing issue Angelini explained.

“According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse inhalants are actually the fourth most abused substance after alcohol, tobacco and marijuana,” Angelini said.

Under the bill, retailers would also have to post signs that state clearly: “Inhalant abuse can cause permanent injury or death. In New Jersey it is illegal to sell or give to a person under 18 years of age any aerosol duster.”

A civil penalty would be imposed on retailers who don’t comply with the requirement and criminal penalties would be imposed on anyone who violates the provisions of the legislation.

For more information on the scary trend of children abusing inhalants, you can go to www.inhalant.org or www.consumered.org. The average age of kids who start using inhalants is 10.

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Dancer letter: PokerStars would harm Atlantic City market

Source: Asbury Park Press / Letter to the Editor by Ron Dancer -

Ron Dancer

When Atlantic City’s gaming industry was established in 1977, it was done with the goal of keeping casinos free from the bad actors who had become synonymous with gambling.

As a result of the diligence of state regulators, the city’s casinos flourished, untarnished by the kinds of distasteful players that plagued the industry in its early days.

That is why I was so disturbed to hear that the state Division of Gaming Enforcement is in talks once again with the controversial online gambling giant, PokerStars.

PokerStars is a well-known bad actor in the online casino industry. Last year, regulators denied PokerStars a license to do business with Atlantic City casinos. But now PokerStars is making another bid to take advantage of the market while online gaming revenues are lagging.

PokerStars was recently purchased by Amaya Gaming Group, a Canadian online gambling company, which has reapplied for a vendor’s license. A decision is expected any day.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement will make that decision without even a public hearing or virtually any transparency to the process.

But merely changing ownership does not absolve PokerStars of its troubling past. In 2011, its leadership was accused by the Department of Justice of presiding over an “elaborate criminal fraud scheme” and had to pay over $730 million to settle the claim.

Now is not the time to allow PokerStars to enter the Atlantic City market — no matter how much money they promise to deliver. The immediate benefits may seem appealing, but they do not outweigh PokerStars’ checkered past.

Assemblyman Ron Dancer

Dancer, a Republican, represents the 12th Legislative District and is a member of the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee.

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Fiocchi Says Soccer on Green Grass is Natural, Even in the Pinelands

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi today voiced his support for continuing youth soccer tournaments at farms in the Pinelands.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“What possibly could be more natural than kids playing on lush fields of dense Kentucky bluegrass? I can’t think of anything better and more in keeping with preservation than weekend recreational sports,” said Fiocchi, R-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland. “Teams will come here and play soccer a couple weekends a year.”

At a farm in Hammonton, soccer tournaments were recently hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Soccer Showcase League. The Pinelands Commission contends that soccer games violate the farm’s deed restriction, which allows for “low intensity recreational use.”

“Occasional soccer games have low-impact, or no impact, on the environment,” said Fiocchi, the sponsor of legislation that would classify soccer as one of the recreational activities permitted on agriculture land in the Pinelands. “There’s no reason at all to prohibit these games.”

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O’Scanlon: Collaborative Victory on Electric Meters Demonstrates that Sometimes the System Does Work

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon praised the process that led to the comprehensive and sensible solution to the placement of electric meters in flood zones.

Declan O'Scanlon

“As hard as it is to accept, conflicting concerns will mean we sometimes encounter frustrating rules and regulations” said O’Scanlon. “Sometimes those enshrined rules and regulations can be exceedingly difficult to alter, even in the face of drastically altered conditions. So when we came across the meter height issue a few weeks ago, I was very concerned.”

O’Scanlon was contacted by a constituent, along with local Sea Bright officials regarding the conflicting guidance pertaining to the placement of her electric meter.

“The original guidance directed her to place the meter above the base flood elevation level, which she did. The problem arose when JCP&L representatives showed up and informed the homeowner to move the meter down to 5.5 feet above ground level, well below the future flood level. We almost simultaneously encountered the issue during an inspection of rebuilt neighborhoods in Union Beach. I immediately contacted JCP&L and the Governor’s Office of Rebuilding and Recovery. Everyone’s attitude was immediately open-minded. The JCP&L folks explained the reasoning behind their rules – they must have easy access to meters in case of fire or other emergencies – but understood that a better solution was needed for these flood prone areas and they committed to finding one,” said O’Scanlon

Working with the BPU, and the Governor’s Office of Rebuilding and Recovery, they came up with not just one potential solution but a set of options that provide flexibility for different situations. Meters can now be placed well above likely flood waters, provided there is a permanent, fixed platform with stairs leading to it. Front and rear porches can potentially qualify and the option of a separate platform exists as well. Customers should work with JCP&L to arrive at the best option for their situation and must get approval from JCP&L for potential placements.

Some folks who have already placed their meters will have the added expense of moving them if they want to take advantage of this option, but at least now they have the choice. Those many folks still working on rebuilding will be able to take advantage of these options immediately. We are now helping get this revised guidance out to residents and municipal officials.

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Rible Lauds PSE&G’s Capital Project Creating Jobs

Press Release – Assembly Republican Conference Leader David Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean, issued the following statement regarding the results of a Rutgers Study released today that shows PSE&G’s 10-year, $8.1 billion transmission investment program is an economic engine for New Jersey:

Dave Rible

“PSE&G’s commitment to upgrading its infrastructure will result in better service and reliability for its customers. At the same time, it’s creating thousands of quality jobs from construction to manufacturing to retail and transportation. The many and varied benefits derived from this program will help to continue to drive economic growth for our state for years to come. I commend PSE&G for its role in helping build a better New Jersey.”

The report concludes that the transmission upgrades are responsible for creating 6,000 jobs annually, resulting in more than $4.3 billion in salary and benefits and more than $640 million in state and local government revenue.

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