Category: Press Release

Rumana: We Need a Better Expungement Bill

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Whip Scott Rumana said today he will sponsor a new bill in the Assembly regarding the expungement of mental health records. Rumana’s bill is identical to Sen. Tom Kean’s legislation (S-3218) which was introduced last month.

Scott Rumana

“This override is an attempt by the Democrats to claim a political victory over the governor at the expense of good public policy,” said Rumana, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris. “The Democrats are pushing a bill which has a loophole that allows the mentally ill to expunge their records then turn around and apply for a gun permit later. My legislation involves law enforcement for all mental health expungements and strengthens the burden for applicants with prior mental health commitments from obtaining an identification card to purchase a firearm.”

The current bill, which Governor Christie vetoed, requires law enforcement to be consulted only when individuals seek to buy a gun. Rumana’s bill requires law enforcement to be consulted on all mental health expungements.

“A more comprehensive approach is needed that protects the public by preventing people with mental health issues from obtaining a firearm,” concluded Rumana.

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Auth Resolution Aims to Allow Service Members to Carry Firearms on Military Installations

Assembly Republican Press Release -

A resolution (AR-265) introduced by Assembly Republican Robert Auth calls on President Obama and Congress to allow military personnel to carry loaded firearms on military bases and facilities.

Robert Auth

Robert Auth

“The United States has enemies who have sworn to attack those who defend freedom, and our disarmed servicemen are sitting ducks,” said Auth, R — Bergen and Passaic. “After the attacks at Fort Hood and in Chattanooga, it is time arm our troops so they can defend themselves.”

Earlier this year, a terrorist shot and killed four Marines and a Navy petty officer at two military recruitment centers. Fort Hood, in Texas, was attacked twice in five years, with 17 soldiers killed and more than 45 injured.

“Our soldiers, sailors and Marines are well-trained and proficient with their firearms,” said Auth. “We trust them to defend our freedom around the globe, but leave them defenseless against a very real threat on our home soil. Allowing them to carry weapons will ensure a different outcome the next time a terrorist opens fire at a military installation.”

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Peterson Bill Requiring Recess Released by Committee

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Erik Peterson, R-Hunterdon, Warren and Somerset, that requires public schools to provide a 20 minute daily recess period for students between kindergarten and 5th grade was passed by the Assembly Education Committee today.

Erik Peterson

“There are multiple health and developmental benefits from allowing students recess,” said Peterson. “Many of the country’s children are overweight, and an increasing number are developing cardiovascular risk factors and Type 2 diabetes. Children should have an opportunity and be encouraged to engage in physical exercise while at school.

“Not only does recess provide kids with a chance to let off some energy so they can better concentrate on their academics, it also allows them to develop their social skills and learn valuable life lessons by teaching them how to be good sports while playing a game,” explained Peterson. “Ultimately, my hope is that by providing this opportunity to play during the school day our kids will come to enjoy getting outside and playing with classmates more than sitting around and watching TV.

“Today’s students have other outlets, like the internet, to distract them from physical activity or getting to know their classmates,” stated Peterson. “In many cases, the pressure to succeed begins at an early age. This stress can be reduced by letting kids be kids and enjoy a brief break from their school day and to be kids.”

The bill, A-4044, also provides that recess will not be permitted to meet the current statutory requirements regarding physical education courses in public schools.

Currently, New Jersey has is no law mandating recess.

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Webber Down Syndrome Information Bill Released by Committee

Assembly Republican Press Release -

The Assembly Women and Children Committee today passed Assemblyman Jay Webber’s Down Syndrome Information bill, which is modeled after legislation supported by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). It requires health care workers provide parents accurate, professionally-recognized materials with referrals to local support organizations when delivering a positive prenatal or postnatal test result for Down syndrome.

Jay Webber

“This bill allows more parents to plan and educate themselves on the essentials of raising a special needs child,” said Assemblyman Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “People with Down syndrome lead lives worth living and are loved by their families, friends, and communities. This bill helps welcome them into the world from the very beginning.”

The legislation (A-3233) directs the New Jersey Department of Health to create an information sheet that includes all of the following:
•A description of Down syndrome, including its effects on development, education and physical outcomes, and life expectancy;
•Options for treatment and therapy;
•Contact information for local, state, and national organizations that provide Down syndrome educational and support services and programs.

“By providing family support and the latest medical information, parents will have a more accurate idea of what to expect, and how to get ready to bring the newest member of their family home,” said Assemblyman Webber.

Other states that have recently passed similar legislation include: Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

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Space Resolution Supporting a Sussex County Veterans Clinic Advances

Press Release –  An Assembly panel today advanced a resolution Assemblyman Parker Space sponsors supporting the expansion of access to healthcare to veterans residing in Sussex County. The bill, AR-213, which supports the establishment of a federal Department of Veterans Affairs community-based clinic in Sussex County, was approved by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Parker Space

“Nearly 50,000 veterans reside in Sussex County and its neighboring counties, but because Sussex and Warren counties do not have a VA outpatient clinic, our veterans have to travel unreasonable distances to receive the healthcare they have earned,” said Space, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “Many men and women who served and sacrificed suffer from PTSD or have debilitating injuries and do not have the means to travel.

“Access to high-quality healthcare shouldn’t be a burden. There’s no question there is a need for a clinic in Northwest Jersey,” he continued. “I am privileged and honored to support this effort.”

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs New Jersey Health Care System (VANJHCS) provides veterans with access to medical care, with an emphasis on primary care, surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology and physical therapy. Its two main campuses are in East Orange (the corporate office), and Lyons. Satellite outpatient clinics are located in Brick Township, Elizabeth, Hackensack, Hamilton, Jersey City, Morristown, Paterson, Piscataway and Tinton Falls.

“I would like to thank Assemblyman Space for introducing this important resolution. Veterans in Sussex County need access to basic primary care medical services and the Assemblyman understands that,” said Michael J. DeVilliers, who, along with local veterans, asked Space and Senator Steve Oroho to introduce resolutions calling for a VA clinic in Sussex County. “Providing medical services to veterans is primarily the federal government’s responsibility, but it’s a tremendous support to know that our state elected representatives are behind our veterans in Sussex County.”

DeVilliers serves as Veteran Services Coordinator at Sussex County Community College.

The U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administers nearly 1,400 outpatient clinics and other services for nearly nine million veterans nationwide.

The Senate passed Oroho’s resolution, SR-114, in July. Former Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose is also a resolution sponsor.



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DeCroce Bill to Study Feasibility of Full-Day Kindergarten Clears Committee

Press Release – Legislation Assembly Republican BettyLou DeCroce sponsors to create a task force to study the feasibility of full-day kindergarten programs throughout the state today received Assembly Education approval.

BettyLou DeCroce

BettyLou DeCroce

“Effective early childhood education can provide a rock-solid foundation for later academic and career success,” said DeCroce, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “Efficient and productive full-day kindergarten programs can be critical in launching our students to higher achievement, making them competitive with high-performing students from around the world and making New Jersey more competitive in the global marketplace.”

The bill, A-477, establishes a 21-member task force to study and evaluate issues related to implementing full-time kindergarten. It will review existing research; implementation issues, including staffing needs and facility space availability; funding concerns; and curriculum comparisons between full- and half-day programs.

“A five-year-old in a dynamic all-day session benefits from social interaction and skill-building, but the most important dividends are educational,” said DeCroce. “It is a springboard to sufficient learning. A longer school day and a more ambitious curriculum can enable kindergartners with exposure to core verbal and reading principals, and develop a solid foundation in mathematics.”

Under current law, a board of education is permitted, but not required to establish a kindergarten program for five-year old students, except in districts in which 40 percent or more of students are considered “at risk.” Each school district determines the date by which a child must attain the age of five years in order to enroll in kindergarten. Districts are also allowed to enroll a child who is not yet five years old.

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Dancer Legislation Prohibits “Sanctuary City” Policies

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation prohibiting “sanctuary city” policies that pose a threat to public safety will be introduced by Assemblyman Ron Dancer. The bill protects New Jersey residents, mandating state and local officials to fully cooperate with federal authorities with respect to immigration and customs enforcement requests, including turning over illegal immigrants to federal agents for deportation.

Numerous jurisdictions in California and elsewhere have established policies sharply limiting cooperation with federal authorities regarding illegal immigrants. In San Francisco, a city well-known as a “sanctuary city,” 32-year-old Kate Steinle was shot to death on July 1 while walking on a pier with her father by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times for multiple felonies. The suspect had been released from a San Francisco jail despite a request from federal immigration authorities that they be given the opportunity to take him into custody.

Dancer noted that other jurisdictions, such as certain municipalities in New Jersey, presently have an informal practice of not cooperating with requests from the Federal Government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to detain or hold illegal immigrants.

Ron Dancer

“There is no safe sanctuary law in New Jersey and officials who look the other way are negligent in their duty,” said Dancer. “Law enforcement officials take an oath to enforce rules and regulations. The consequences of ignoring illegal immigration can be tragic. Kate Steinle’s killer had no business being in this country. He blatantly flaunted the law without fear of being deported. We cannot tolerate officials adhering to an unspoken code that permits illegal immigrants to remain here once they have been identified. Law enforcement should be upholding our laws, not looking the other way.”

Under Dancer’s legislation (A-4740), a state or local official who fails to cooperate with the ICE with respect to immigration law enforcement will be charged with violation of state law, and will be subject to public officials’ ethics violation with the imposition of fines, penalties and possible imprisonment.

The legislation requires procedures to be implemented that make sure illegal immigrants for whom ICE has issued a detainer request, remain in custody up to 48 hours to allow ICE authorities to take custody.

Authorities may determine under their Priority Enforcement Program that probable cause exits for an illegal immigrant to be detained and, ultimately, deported. Illegal immigrants subject to the ICE Priority Enforcement Program and local law enforcement detainer policy are those convicted of committing a felony; participation in street and organized criminal gang activities; domestic violence; sexual abuse; burglary; unlawful use or possession of firearm; and drug distribution.

Any illegal immigrant engaged in or suspected of terrorism, or who poses a danger to national security would also be subject to the ICE Priority Enforcement Program.

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Bramnick Statement on Observance of Veterans Day

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, issued the following statement on Veterans Day, as the United States remembers those who served our country:

Jon Bramnick

“Today, we honor those who answered the call to serve in defense of our freedom. The sacrifices made by these brave men and women are the reason we continue to enjoy the liberties we hold so dear. We owe all our veterans a debt of gratitude. Thank you for your service and patriotism.”

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Assemblyman Rible Named Guardian of Small Business

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Dave Rible has been named a Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business.

Dave Rible

“It is an honor to receive this award from such a dedicated organization whose mission is to advocate for the small business community across our state and nation,” said Rible, R – Monmouth and Ocean. “I share the same goal of the National Federation of Independent Business to improve the economic climate in our state to give small businesses the chance to grow and create much needed jobs.”

Laurie Ehlbeck, the New Jersey State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, commended Assemblyman Rible for his support of the small business community.

“Assemblyman Rible is one of the most consistent defenders of small business in the New Jersey Legislature and he’s been there with us on every key issue,” Ehlbeck said. “He understands the importance of small business as the backbone of New Jersey’s economy. Unlike a lot of other politicians who pay lip service to small business, Rible has a record to match his rhetoric.”

Recipients of the Guardian of Small Business Award have an exemplary record of supporting small businesses by working to reduce the burden placed on these businesses and improving the state’s economic climate.

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Governor Signs Space and McHose Bill Increasing Funding Options for Small Business

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Parker Space

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space and former Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose to help new and expanding small businesses access funding was signed into law today by Gov. Christie.

Small businesses, under the new law, can utilize online “crowdfunding” to locate capital investors. The new statute is a version of the federal Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, commonly referred to as the JOBS Act. Parts of this law have yet to be implemented, necessitating the New Jersey action. State-sponsored crowdfunding initiatives have proven successful in several states, including Georgia and Kansas.

“One of the biggest hurdles for new businesses is accessing adequate funding. This law will help entrepreneurs open their own business, create jobs and achieve the American Dream,” said Space, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “Crowdfunding is a new source in the funding toolbox for business. It is a valuable way for the community to invest in local technology breakthroughs.

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