Category: Press Release

Governor signs Bucco-Rible-Schepisi school security bill

Anthony M. Bucco

Press Release – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans Anthony M. Bucco, Dave Rible and Holly Schepisi that will allow public and non-public schools and county colleges to hire retired law enforcement officers on a part-time basis to provide security on school grounds was signed into law today by the governor.

“This is a common sense measure that benefits students and taxpayers,” said Bucco (R-Morris). “School officials will have a larger pool of experienced retired police officers to hire to protect students on school property. At the same time, it will save taxpayers a lot of money by allowing school districts and municipalities to hire these officers at a much lower rate and without the need for pension and health benefit contributions. This is government at its best.”

Boards of Education are currently authorized to hire law enforcement officers and public school resource officers. This measure implicitly allows the hiring of retired law enforcement officers.

Dave Rible

“Our schools have implemented enhanced security measures due to the mass shootings that have occurred in recent years, but now school officials will be able to hire trained, experienced retired officers to provide another avenue of protection,” said Rible (R-Monmouth). “Students and their parents shouldn’t have to worry about their safety or their children’s safety while sitting in a classroom. School officials agree. They want a police presence in their schools. This new law will greatly assist them in their efforts to provide a safe, secure learning environment.”

“Today’s reality is that students are vulnerable to attack just sitting in a classroom,” said Schepisi (R-Bergen). “Giving schools the option to hire retired police officers to protect students, teachers and staff is not only logical, it’s cost effective as well. These officers are already well trained and cost to taxpayers will be minimal. It’s a perfect fit.”

The bill (S-86/A-3629) establishes an additional category of special law enforcement officers, specifically, retired officers who are less than 65 years old. They will be authorized to provide security while on school or college premises during hours when the school or college is normally in session or when occupied by students or their teachers or professors. These Officers will not replace regular law enforcement officers or school resource officers currently employed in schools.

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

They will have the same authority and duties as regular, full-time police officers while providing school security and will be under the authority of the local chief of police.

There are currently two categories of law enforcement officers. “Class One” special officers are permitted to perform routine traffic detail, spectator control, and similar duties, but are not authorized to carry a firearm while on duty. “Class Two” officers are permanent, regularly appointed full-time police officers. They are authorized to carry a firearm.

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Bramnick extends best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving

Assembly Republican Press Release – Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Union) issued the following statement as our nation prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving:

Jon Bramnick

“We are blessed to live in a free nation and grateful to the men and women in uniform who protect our freedom at home and abroad. Happy Thanksgiving to all. I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day with family and friends.”

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Bramnick on special prosecutor: Even Trump not pursuing Clinton investigation

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick responded to news that Sen. Ray Lesniak has sponsored legislation requiring the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the governor’s involvement in Bridgegate.

“After three years of investigations by the United States attorney, appointed by President Barack Obama, and multiple legislative investigations, any further investigations are political in nature,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “The Democrats in the legislature should focus on the reform agenda to lower taxes and attract jobs to New Jersey. Even Donald Trump has indicated that he will not pursue further criminal investigations against Hillary Clinton. Let’s get back to the people’s business in Trenton.”

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Gov. Christie signs O’Scanlon bill saving taxpayer money on prescription coverage for public employees

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Declan O'Scanlon

A bill sponsored by Declan O’Scanlon to reduce the cost of public employee health benefits was approved by the Assembly and immediately signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie. The bill (S2749/A4328) expedites the process in which the state selects contracts and controls costs for state worker prescription drugs.

“Gov. Christie has called on the legislature and unions to work together to save $250 million from the state budget, and this is a solid step in that direction,” said O’Scanlon (R—Monmouth), the Assembly Republican budget officer. “Increasing efficiencies and eliminating costly duplication will produce significant taxpayer savings without any effect on the care or benefits of workers and their families, a true win/win.”

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Schepisi applauds passage of quarterly pension payments

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi today applauded the final passage of legislation that would commit the state to a schedule of quarterly pension payments, rather than a one year-end lump contribution in June. Schepisi is a prime sponsor of the bill.

“Although I was adamantly against a constitutional amendment that removed the financial flexibility lawmakers must have to manage the state’s finances, I have always supported a flexible solution that protects taxpayers,” said Schepisi (R-Bergen). “This bipartisan legislation will provide fiscal stability to our underfunded pension system and save billions of dollars in future costs for state taxpayers. I am proud to sponsor this legislation providing that stability for public retirees.”

The bill (A-4) amends state law to require the quarterly pension payments by Sept. 30, Dec. 31, March 31 and June 31 of each year. It was previously proposed as a constitutional amendment to mandate payments.

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Assembly advances Bucco-Rible-Schepisi school security bill

Anthony M. Bucco

Press Release – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans Anthony M. Bucco, Dave Rible and Holly Schepisi that will allow public and non-public schools and county colleges to hire retired law enforcement officers on a part-time basis to provide security on school grounds today received approval from the General Assembly.

“Protecting our children and young adults is paramount today in light of the many incidents that have occurred around the country. This bill serves two purposes,” said Bucco (R-Morris). “First, and most important, it provides school officials with a larger pool of experienced retired police officers to hire to protect students on school property, but it will also save taxpayers a lot of money by allowing school districts and municipalities to hire these officers at a much lower rate and without the need for pension and health benefit contributions. It’s a perfect fit.”

Dave Rible

Boards of Education are currently authorized to hire law enforcement officers and public school resource officers. This measure implicitly allows the hiring of retired law enforcement officers.

“School officials want a police presence in their schools due to the mass shootings that have occurred in recent years,” said Rible (R-Monmouth). “Students and their parents shouldn’t have to worry about their safety or their children’s safety while sitting in a classroom. While our schools have implemented enhanced security measures, allowing school officials to hire trained, experienced retired officers provide another avenue of protection.”

“There’s no doubt students today are vulnerable to attack just sitting in a classroom,” said Schepisi (R-Bergen). This bill provides an additional pool of well-trained officers towns can draw from to protect our students, teachers and staff with little cost to taxpayers.”

The bill (S-86/A-3629) establishes an additional category of special law enforcement officers, specifically, retired officers who are less than 65 years old. They will be authorized to provide security while on school or college premises during hours when the school or college is normally in session or when occupied by students or their teachers or professors. These Officers will not replace regular law enforcement officers or school resource officers currently employed in schools.

They will have the same authority and duties as regular, full-time police officers while providing school security and will be under the authority of the local chief of police.

There are currently two categories of law enforcement officers. “Class One” special officers are permitted to perform routine traffic detail, spectator control, and similar duties, but are not authorized to carry a firearm while on duty. “Class Two” officers are permanent, regularly appointed full-time police officers. They are authorized to carry a firearm.

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

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Space & Phoebus resolution encouraging donations to food banks earns Assembly approval

Assembly Republican Press Release -

A resolution sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus to boost contributions to food banks and pantries for the critical winter season was approved by the Assembly today. AJR-51 designates November as Food Pantry Donation Month in New Jersey.

Parker Space

“For the 10 percent of New Jerseyans struggling to keep food on the table, food pantries can be their last option,” said Space (R—Sussex). “Pantries are dependent on donations throughout the year, but the need becomes even greater in November as winter and the holidays get closer.”

Under the resolution, an annual proclamation by the governor will appeal to government officials and state residents to support Food Pantry Donation Month with contributions to help the needy.

Gail Phoebus

Gail Phoebus

“This campaign will serve as a reminder that many families, seniors and others are in need of food,” said Phoebus (R—Sussex). “Increasing public awareness is the first step toward filling food bank shelves. Hopefully, those who are able will continue their generosity year round.”

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Assembly OKs Russo bill protecting intellectual property rights for inventors

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Dave Russo

Legislation revising New Jersey’s inventor-rights laws, sponsored by Assemblyman David Russo, was approved today by the General Assembly.

The legislation (A492) protects an employee’s rights to their own inventions when it is unrelated to their job and created without using their employer’s resources. Employment contracts can allow an employer to acquire the rights of any employee invention.

“New Jersey’s standing as a leader of innovation is galvanized by improved intellectual property rights for inventors,” said Russo (R—Bergen). “Scientists and engineers may be reluctant to pursue some projects, fearing an employer will claim ownership.”

The bill also limits how long a company can consider an employee’s voluntary offer to acquire the rights to only nine months. According to a survey of electrical engineers, 70 percent report their ideas have been rejected by employers who hold the rights, effectively locking them away forever under burdensome employment pacts.

““Inventions don’t put people to work until they are fully developed and implemented,” Russo said. “Innovation required to compete in today’s global environment cannot happen if ideas can be smothered by companies that lack the interest or capital to develop them.”

Similar inventor-rights laws have been adopted in four states: California, Washington, Delaware and North Carolina.

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O’Scanlon bill preventing marriage by minors earns General Assembly approval

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Declan O'Scanlon

The Assembly today cleared legislation by Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon prohibiting marriage or civil unions for anyone under the age of 18.

“Marriage is a life-long commitment, and this bill makes sense given the financial and emotional cost of failed unions. In love or not, people should be old enough to understand the commitment and its ramifications,” said O’Scanlon (R—Monmouth). “Even more important, this legislation addresses the ‘forced marriages’ that continue to occur in current-day society.”

State law permits anyone under the age of 18 to marry with a parent’s or guardian’s consent. A Superior Court judge must also approve if the person is younger than 16 years of age. O’Scanlon’s measure (A3091) prohibits issuing a marriage or civil union license to anyone under the age of 18, regardless of parental or judicial consent.

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Phoebus’ Night of Conversation resolution about drug abuse wins Assembly approval

Press Release – A joint resolution Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus sponsors to encourage conversation and public discourse about the state’s and nation’s drug and alcohol addiction epidemic today received General Assembly approval.

Gail Phoebus

Gail Phoebus

“When it comes to drug and alcohol abuse, an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure,” said Phoebus (R-Sussex). “Since drug use and abuse is so prevalent today, it’s vital that parents and their children have open, honest discussion about the seriousness and dire consequences of using drugs and alcohol. Most students don’t even realize that prescription drugs can be as addictive as illegal drugs. That’s problematic. This is a conversation we all need to have – with our children and with each other.”

The measure (SJR-29/AJR-58) designates November 19th of each year as a “Night of Conversation.”

Last November, Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and professor at Columbia University introduced the idea of a National Night of Conversation to encourage parents to have an open conversation with their children about drugs.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem and has been classified as an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly 27 million people in the U.S. use illegal drugs or prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. Research suggests that four out of five heroin users started with prescription drugs.

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