Category: Press Release

Bramnick says partisan legislative panel needs to stop acting as if governor involved in bridge closing

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick issued the following statement regarding the Bridgegate investigation:

“NBC New York reports governor Christie is not involved. Now it’s time for the panel that prejudged the governor to end its relentless attacks.”

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Bramnick Bill Prevents Vehicle Tracking Devices Without Owner’s Consent

Assembly Republican Press Release -

In New Jersey, it is not illegal if someone such as an ex-husband or ex-wife attaches a tracking device to their former spouse’s car without their knowledge or consent. Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick believes that is wrong and introduced legislation (A-3747) on Thursday that makes such an act a fourth degree crime.

Jon Bramnick

“Tracking someone in their car without their consent is like eavesdropping,” said Bramnick, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “A person who places a tracking device into a vehicle without the owner’s approval is invading their privacy. That act should be illegal. If there’s no family relationship between the parties, that clearly should be a violation of the criminal law.”

A fourth degree crime is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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Handlin Expresses Support for Senate Port Authority Transparency Bill

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Bill is just the beginning of the reform process

Deputy Assembly Republican Leader Amy Handlin testified today regarding a Port Authority bill that increases transparency and accountability at the agency. Also joining Handlin in support of the bipartisan, bicameral, bi-state legislation was New York Assemblyman Jim Brennan (D-Brooklyn), Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Bergen), Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). The legislation, S-2181, won approval from the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

Amy Handlin

“Reforming the Port Authority begins today. It is outrageous that a public agency spending nearly $23 million per day has been able to escape basic operational and financial discipline. How can any citizen trust a governmental body which has no code of ethics? The translation is: ‘anything goes, including the closure of lanes for no reason.’

“Our fundamental responsibility is to take steps to ensure Bridgegate shenanigans do not occur again. I have repeatedly characterized the Port Authority as a circus, replete with clownish acts and high-wire risk-taking. Until we provide protection for whistleblowers, people will be fearful of being thrown to the lions and won’t come forward. There are many more changes needed to fix this dysfunctional agency, but this legislation is an important start.”

Handlin is a sponsor of the identical Assembly bill (A-3417). It gives the authority’s board of commissioners direct oversight of the chief executive, adopts a code of ethics for employees, and puts into place policies to protect employees who disclose acts of wrongdoing at the agency. In addition, the authority’s senior leadership is required to appear before the New Jersey and New York Legislatures to provide periodic updates on the agency’s accomplishments and goals.

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Webber Study of State’s Probation Programs Wins Committee Approval

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jay Webber

Measuring the success and failure of rehabilitating people on probation is the main focus of a bill (A-2417) Assemblyman Jay Webber sponsors that won approval from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee today. Assemblyman Webber’s bill requires the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts to establish a program to record and analyze recidivism rates for adults sentenced to a period of probation.

“Breaking the cycle of those on probation from committing another offense and reentering the correctional system has to be a priority in New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “We should measure the effectiveness of the state’s training and reentry programs to understand what we do well, and what we need to do better.

“Recidivism data is not studied on a regular basis, and the records required by this bill will no doubt give us critical insights on our entire system,” explained Assemblyman Webber. “The goal is to have a first-rate correctional system that spends money wisely and helps certain individuals who have made poor choices lead productive lives and contribute to society instead of sitting in prison.”

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Muñoz ALS Awareness Resolution Clears Committee

Press Release – (Trenton, NJ) – A resolution Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors to increase public awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) received approval today by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Nancy Munoz

“The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge helped bring an enormous amount of attention to this debilitating disease,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “However, as the novelty of the campaign fades, we need to make sure we continue our efforts to educate the public about ALS.

“The disease takes a physical and emotional toll on those who suffer from ALS,” she continued. “While there still is no cure, people who are diagnosed today and their families need to know that recent advancements in research and improved medical care allows many patients to live longer, more productive lives.”

Muñoz’s bipartisan resolution, AJR-67, designates the third Wednesday in May as ALS Awareness Day, and the month of May as ALS Awareness Month in New Jersey. The annual Walk to Defeat ALS, the ALS Association’s national signature event, will be held at various locations in the state during the month of May.

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Rible Bill Requiring 9-1-1 Centers to Accept Emergency Texts Advances

Press Release – (Trenton, NJ) – People will be better able to get help in emergency situations under bipartisan legislation Assembly Republican Conference Leader David Rible sponsors that will allow cell phone users to text 911 emergency messages. The bill, A-3461, today cleared the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.

Dave Rible

“Texting for help could save lives,” said Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean, a former police officer. “There are times when it’s not possible, or even dangerous to make a phone call. If an intruder is in your house, texting for help is probably the safest means of notifying emergency personnel of your situation.”

Rible’s bill ensures that New Jersey’s 911 centers will make the updates needed to receive and respond to text messages. It requires 911 answering centers to be equipped to handle text messages within three years of enactment, requires the system to be consistent with federal law, and increases the monthly 911 System and Emergency Response fee by only nine cents per month to pay for it.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is moving forward with making Text 911 available nationwide by requiring all U.S. wireless carriers to support 911 text messaging by the end of 2014. The wireless carriers must be able to respond to state programs to deliver text messages by June 30, 2015.

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McHose & Space Applaud the House of Representatives on Passage of the ‘Audit the Fed’ Bill

Time for the U.S. Senate to now do the right thing

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose and Assemblyman Parker Space, R-Sussex, Warren, Morris, commended the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 24, the “Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2013.

Alison Littell McHose

“As prime sponsors of a resolution in the New Jersey Assembly urging enactment of the bill, ACR-173, Parker and I are pleased by the overwhelming bipartisan support H.R. 24 received today,” McHose stated. “Only detailed knowledge of the Federal Reserve’s actions will facilitate an intelligent debate on the mission and functions of the Federal Reserve, the policy instruments it ought to be given, and the appropriate level of oversight to which the central bank ought to be subjected.”

H.R. 24, which is also commonly known as the “Audit the Fed” bill, passed the House today by a vote of 333-92. The Senate version of the bill is S. 209.

Parker Space

“I want to congratulate all the New Jersey sponsors of the Audit the Fed bill – Congressmen Garrett, Frelinghuysen, Lance, Smith, Runyan, and LoBiondo – for securing passage of this monumental legislation in the House of Representatives today,” said Space.

“In 2011, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) went through the Fed’s books and discovered international corporations and banks received $16 trillion in ‘financial assistance,’[1] Space continued. “Alison and I call upon New Jersey’s two U.S. Senators to do what is right for taxpayers and work to ensure enactment of his Audit the Fed bill.”

 

[1] “The Fed’s $16 Trillion Bailouts Under-Reported,” September 20, 2011, http://www.forbes.com/sites/traceygreenstein/2011/09/20/the-feds-16-trillion-bailouts-under-reported/

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Rumana Looks Forward to Working on TTF Solutions

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Whip Scott Rumana (R-Passaic), who is the ranking member on the Assembly Transportation Committee, released the following statement regarding today’s press conference held by Forward NJ, a coalition of state-based organizations seeking solutions to fund New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF):

Scott Rumana

“Republicans welcome the opportunity to discuss practical solutions that fix the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. We look forward to working on the best approach that offers long-term, sustainable solutions. We must have a constructive dialogue that recognizes the extent of the problem and realistic suggestions to repair critical parts of our infrastructure while keeping taxpayers’ interests as a top priority.”

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O’Scanlon: New Jersey Hospital Association Sees Through Red-Light Camera Front Group

Association asks to be removed from website.

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon today heaped praise upon the NJHA (New Jersey Hospital Association) for its demand to be removed from the Traffic Safety Coalition’s website as a partner. The Coalition purports to be an organization dedicated to the improvement of traffic safety but is actually created by, run by and wholly funded by one of the red-light camera companies.

Declan O'Scanlon

“This is a classic front organization designed purely to fool the public – and unsuspecting entities like the hospital association – into believing that camera company lies have local, unbiased support and credibility. Like the mob uses a local bar to launder money and make it seem legitimate, these entities are designed to launder a message” said O’Scanlon.

“The Hospital Association has sent an important message to the red-light camera industry,” O’Scanlon explained. “They’re not fooled and they’re not buying what these companies are selling. Groups like the Traffic Safety Coalition attempt to pull the wool over the public’s eyes and sometimes some well meaning associations will jump on board if they don’t do their research. Thankfully, the NJHA has said “no” to these nefarious tactics. This now leaves the Traffic Safety Coalition with one ‘featured partner’, the City of Newark – not much credibility there.”

“Here is another example of their whole cloth creation of an organization whose name is meant to sound as if it is some sort of organic local safety group – when in reality it is nothing more than a wholly-controlled entity of the company itself. If you really want to be honest and open why create such entities? The answer is that these companies aren’t honest at any level. They blatantly lie about the effectiveness of their products to the public and to their clients and they use phony, front organizations like these to appear as independent safety organizations confirming – and thus lending credibility to – their lies.

“If one follows the money one finds that the company managing these sites – there are dozens across the country – is none other than Resolute Consulting – the same company who had hired a former Chicago official who is now under indictment on bribery charges related to the Chicago red light camera contract. It is a blatant front organization designed to build the credibility of the falsehoods put forward by a corrupt industry. Just one more sleazy example of their deceptive tactics” said O’Scanlon. “If their claims were simply true there would be no need for such tactics. Here in New Jersey we have Safe Roads NJ, another front organization also run by Resolute Consulting.”

O’Scanlon went on to say that the examples of the red-light camera companies’ under handed tactics are as plentiful as the tickets their cameras dole out upon unsuspecting motorists. In Florida, the leading red light camera-provider, American Traffic Solutions is battling a citizen-backed referendum on red light cameras from ever reaching a ballot. The city is also fighting the referendum on grounds that it infringes upon city council’s power. ATS has the majority of red-light camera contracts in Florida and is concerned about a possible precedent-setting legal decision and citizen vote.

“These companies will do anything to keep their product on the streets,” O’Scanlon explained. “I feel like a parent talking to a kid about drug dealers when I’m discussing red-light camera companies. They are not your friends and they don’t care a whit about you or safety. They just want your money and they will do just about anything to keep stealing it. The Florida story proves that they don’t even want to hear from the public as long as they have the support of the politicians who, by the way, they are lobbying hard with lots of cash.”

* Related articles below concerning shell group tactics below.

Coalition of Safer Roads a shell group for ATS: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3585.asp

Resolute Consulting’s role in the Chicago scandal: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-red-light-camera-indictments-20140813-story.html#page=1

“Aim of coalition is expanding the firm’s business”: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-13/news/ct-met-resolute-emanuel-speed-cameras-20120313_1_speed-cameras-greg-goldner-red-light-cameras/2

Redflex is the “sole financial supporter” of the Traffic Safety Coalition: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-13/news/ct-met-resolute-emanuel-speed-cameras-20120313_1_speed-cameras-greg-goldner-red-light-cameras/2

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Dancer Bill Increases Penalties for Terroristic Death Threats Against Police Officers

Press Release – Threatening to kill a law enforcement officer will result in increased penalties under legislation Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced. The bill is in response to alleged recent threats made by gang members to target police officers in Jersey City.

Ron Dancer

In July, cops shot and killed a man who murdered Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago, who was responding to a report of an armed robbery at a local Walgreens. According to media accounts, gang members called for retaliation following the gunman’s shooting.

“Whether these threats were real or exaggerated in this particular incident is inconsequential. Any threat to kill a law enforcement officer is a very serious matter and should be treated as such,” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Monmouth, Burlington and Middlesex. “Police officers put their lives on the line every day. They should be afforded every protection under the law. Individuals who seek to threaten them need to know they will face significant jail time and monetary penalties.”

Dancer’s bill, A-3611, extends the definition of terroristic threats under current statute to include threats against law enforcement officers. It upgrades the crime of threatening to kill a law enforcement officer from a third to second degree crime, which calls for a five-to-10-year prison term, a maximum fine of $150,000 or both. Under current law, the penalty is three-to-five years, a $15,000 fine or both.

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