Category: Press Release

Young Drivers Will Practice More Under Rumana-Russo GDL Bill

Press Release – TRENTON, N.J. – Looking to make New Jersey’s roads safer, Assembly Republican Whip Scott T. Rumana and Assemblyman David Russo sponsor legislation that requires special lerner’s permit holders under the age of 21 to complete at least 50 hours of practice driving. Rumana, the ranking Republican member of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, and Russo introduced the bill Thursday to coincide with “Teen Driving Safety Week” (October 19-25).

Scott Rumana

“Making our roads as safe as possible for all drivers should always be a priority,” said Rumana, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris.“ A good place to start is with young drivers since inexperience, distraction and speeding are the leading causes of teen crashes. Practice doesn’t always make ‘perfect,’ but these additional training hours will better prepare our young citizens for when they get their licenses. Practicing driving after dark should prove especially beneficial since this age group is involved in more accidents late in the day and at night.”

The bill, A-3876, changes the state’s graduated drivers licensing (GDL) law by requiring special lerner’s permit holders under 21 to complete at least 50 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours after dark, in addition to the required six-hour behind-the-wheel driver’s education. Examination permit holders between the ages of 17 and 20 will have the following options:

• Complete an approved six-hour behind-the-wheel course and 50 hours of certified practice driving, including 10 hours after dark or,

• Complete 100 hours of certified practice driving, including 20 hours after dark.

Dave Russo

“The better prepared a young driver is when he or she gets behind the wheel, the safer it makes our roads for everyone,” said Russo, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris. “We know that cell phones, alcohol and speeding all are major causes of teen crashes and deaths. These required extra hours of practice should help save lives.”

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 16 and 20 in New Jersey and across the nation.

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Simon Leads Roundtable Discussion on Autism and Advocates for Her Bill to Require Health Insurance Coverage

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Donna Simon, a strong advocate for autism and the sponsor of legislation to require health insurance coverage for diagnosing and treating autism, will host a roundtable discussion on the myriad of challenges faced by the autism community. The roundtable is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Hunterdon County Freeholders’ Meeting Room, on the 2nd floor at 71 Main Street in Flemington.

Donna Simon

“Autism statistics are stunning. One in 68 children in the United States and one in 45 in New Jersey are being diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Our State has the highest rate in the nation. These numbers should not only increase the dialogue on this issue, but it should mobilize everyone to find ways to reduce this accelerating statistic. This roundtable will be an opportunity for experts, educators and parents to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing New Jersey’s Autism community,” said Simon.

Simon’s bill, A-272, will also be discussed. Her legislation would clarify the intent of New Jersey’s 2009 law guaranteeing insurance coverage for autism treatment, and defines “autism” to include all diagnoses of the autism spectrum, including Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Asperger Syndrome. It will also ensure coverage for speech, behavioral, occupational and physical therapies for a wider range of autism-related disorders including central auditory processing disorder, Rhetts Syndrome, apraxia, sensory integration disorder and social communication disorder.

The roundtable discussion topics will include insurance, housing, education and employment issues. “I look forward to collaborating with the autism community to provide the support and guidance that children and their parents need to be successful. I am confident this will be the first of many productive discussions about autism,” Simon concluded.

The roundtable will include Anthony Ferrera, a member of the Board of Directors of the Organization for Autism Research; Dr. Audrey Mars of the Hunterdon Healthcare Child Development Center; Michael Skoczek, President & CEO of Spring Run School in Flemington; Alice Hunnicutt, Director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services at NJ Department of Labor; Dr. Kevin Brothers, Somerset Hills Learning Institute; Belqui Ortiz Millili, Bella Vida Coaching Services; Ward Sanders, NJ Association of Health Plans; Robert Stack, President & CEO of Community Options; Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, Chair of the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee; and Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman.

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Ciattarelli Agrees with First Responders: Coordinated Response Plan Needed for Possible Oil Tanker Derailments

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli said Bergen County first responders and county fire officials are not alone in their concern that they do not have enough manpower or equipment to deal with an oil tanker derailment. On Monday, officials there called for a countywide strategy for dealing with such an occurrence.
Earlier this month, Ciattarelli introduced legislation (AR-171) urging the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to enact its proposed regulations on the safe transport of crude oil by rail. Ciattarelli said the amount of oil shipped through New Jersey communities warrants modernization of current regulations specific to oil rail car thickness and braking systems.

Jack Ciattarelli

“Many municipalities rely on volunteer firefighters and they do an excellent job,” explained Ciattarelli, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex. “However, like in Bergen County, many towns lack the manpower, expertise and equipment for handling an oil tanker derailment. Coordinated efforts by each county, in partnership with rail freight line companies, including shared knowledge, resources and preparedness plans, would be extremely beneficial.

“The good news is rail freight lines do have their own derailment response brigades,” continued Ciattarelli. “It would be even better news if the U.S. Department of Transportation were to enact its proposed regulations upgrading safety standards for shipments of crude oil by rail.”

Ciattarelli’s resolution urges Congress to support the new regulations proposed by the USDOT in July which require tankers transporting the oil to meet thickness standards and enhance a train’s braking system within two years or risk being phased out.

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Fiocchi Rebuffs Energy Tax “Cap and Trade” Measure

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Sam Fiocchi voiced his strong objections today when legislation (ACR-189) aimed at having New Jersey rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) was released by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee. RGGI is a compact of nine states with the goal of capping carbon dioxide emissions. New Jersey withdrew from RGGI in 2011.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“New Jersey has already met RGGI’s 2020 goal to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions,” said Fiocchi, R-Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic, who is a committee member. “This ‘cap and trade’ program is nothing more than a ‘cap and tax’ scheme that hurts New Jersey consumers and businesses. Where is the environmental benefit, especially when emissions continue to waft in from the west? This legislation will increase costs to ratepayers and drive jobs out of New Jersey without any benefit.”

The South Jersey Republican urged his legislative colleagues to continue the state’s commitment to pursuing clean energy sources, including wind, solar, natural gas and nuclear generation.

“RGGI’s cap and trade system is another anti-consumer tax packaged as a ‘climate control action plan,’” continued Fiocchi. “RGGI is an ineffective and costly boondoggle that hurt our economy while doing nothing for the environment. Its most notable accomplishment is artificially inflating the costs of electricity on every home and business in the state.”


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Muñoz-O’Scanlon Bill Allowing More Responders, Healthcare Professionals to Give Overdose Antidotes Advances

Press Release – Trenton, N.J. – To save lives in cases of a heroin overdose, Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon sponsor legislation that allows more first responders and other healthcare professionals to administer drug overdose antidotes and protects them from liability. The bill today won Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee approval.

Nancy Munoz

“Heroin overdoses can take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes to turn deadly. Every second counts when reacting to an overdose situation,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, who is a registered nurse. “Allowing more first responders and other professionals to administer this critical first aid without fear of legal repercussions will help prevent more unnecessary tragedies.”

Under the current “Overdose Prevention Act,” healthcare practitioners and pharmacists are protected from liability when prescribing, dispensing, or administering an opioid overdose antidote. This bill, A-3720, expands the list of people authorized to administer an opioid antidote and provides them immunity from liability, including sterile syringe access program employees, law enforcement officials, emergency medical technicians, and other emergency responders. In addition to heroin, opioids include drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and codeine.

“Our first responders need the necessary tools to save lives when time is of the essence,” explained O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth. “We don’t want them worried about liability when someone’s life is on the line. This bill will afford them the ability to treat those in need without second guessing themselves and risking catastrophe.”

Declan O'Scanlon

The measure also authorizes needle exchange programs to obtain a standing order permitting their employees to carry/dispense opioid antidotes, and provide overdose prevention information to clients.

A recent national trend of rising heroin overdose deaths across demographic groups has been reflected in New Jersey. Last year, more than 500 residents died from heroin overdoses – nearly double the number reported in 2010.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have implemented laws making it easier for responders to give life saving antidotes to reverse overdoses.

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Space Bill Approved by Assembly Panel Protects Business from Nuisance Lawsuits

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Parker Space’s bill to prevent prevents attorneys from collecting legal fees in frivolous consumer fraud suits earned approval today from the Consumer Affairs Committee. Under Space’s legislation, A-207, the court will not award attorney’s fees or filing fees for technical violations of the Consumer Fraud Act.

Parker Space

“Overly litigious attorneys are filing for technical violations that do no harm to the consumers, and collecting considerable fees. It is an expensive and wasteful practice that cannot be justified,” said Space, R – Sussex, Warren and Morris. “Lawsuits over minor mistakes made when trying to comply with complex regulations can financially ruin companies and drive them out of business. Employees lose their jobs, and the only winners are opportunistic lawyers looking for a pay day,” Space concluded.

Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, R – Sussex, Warren and Morris, is also a sponsor of the job-protecting bipartisan legislation, and voted yes to pass it out of committee today.

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Simon & Ciattarelli to be Commended Taxpayer Advocacy Group’s Luncheon

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republicans Donna Simon and Jack Ciattarelli will be recognized for their tireless efforts to reduce the cost of government and save taxpayers’ money at the Americans for Prosperity New Jersey’s Liberty Luncheon, Wednesday, Oct. 22. The lunch begins at Noon at The Flemington Woman’s Club at 43 Park Avenue, Flemington.

Simon and Ciattarelli, R – Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex, will discuss issues and legislation they are fighting for in Trenton, including Simon’s plan to encourage and expedite cost-saving school consolidations and Ciattarelli’s plan to repeal estate and transfer inheritance taxes. The legislators will also be presented with awards for earning some of the highest performance grades in the state on the AFP’s Taxpayer Scorecard.

Donna Simon

“We can provide better services and make New Jersey affordable again for people who want to raise their families here and retire here,” said Simon. “Since coming to the Assembly two years ago, I have been fighting for a more efficient government that allows taxpayers to hold on to more of their hard-earned money. We need to continue to find opportunities to conserve taxpayer money.”

Jack Ciattarelli

“We need to focus keenly on making New Jersey a place where people can afford to live, work and retire,” Ciattarelli said. “With that in mind, it is an honor to be recognized for working hard to provide residents the tax relief they deserve.”

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Rible: Cyber Attack Attempts Illustrate Need to Protect Student Data

Assembly Republican Press Release -

State Attorney General Says 1 Million Attempts per Month Made to Hack State Info

Assemblyman Dave Rible said a recent report by the state attorney general that New Jersey faces more than a million hacking attempts per month underscores the need to enact legislation he sponsors (A-2724) that safeguards information collected on New Jersey students.

Dave Rible

“As we have seen with celebrity hacking scandals and massive corporate data breaches, no information is totally safe,” said Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean. “This is another reminder that criminals are constantly trying to access our personal data and we need to be extremely careful with all of our sensitive information. This report further illustrates the dangers of collecting sensitive information, especially information on our children, which, in the wrong hands, could cause irreparable damage.”

At a recent conference, the state’s Acting Attorney General John Hoffman noted New Jersey has thwarted millions of attempts to access information and these attempts are on the rise. Rible has advocated for legislation to protect student information and give parents more rights to prevent the release of information about their children.

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Casagrande to Host Blood Drive in Conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Caroline Casagrande

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and one way to help those battling this disease is by donating blood. Monmouth County Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande will be hosting the district’s 6th Annual Blood Drive on Wednesday, October 22. The Central Jersey Blood Center will park their blood donation bus outside the District office at 35 West Main Street in Freehold Borough to make it convenient.

“The Central Jersey Blood Center serves area hospitals as they treat premature babies, trauma victims and cancer patients” says Casagrande. “All the blood donated, stays local and helps a neighbor in need.”

More than a million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment. “Cancer patients are the primary recipients of blood transfusions” says Casagrande. “In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, consider a donation in the name of a loved one fighting that disease.”

“When my husband had a near fatal car accident in February of 2008, he needed over 20 pints of blood to save his life,” says the Assemblywoman. “Since then I have always tried to make sure we do our part to replenish the blood supply.”

The blood drive will run from 2 to 6 p.m.

“We thank our friends at Wegman’s and Delicious Orchards for providing us with sandwiches and doughnuts to share with those donating” says Assemblywoman Casagrande.

“We would love to see as many people as possible come out to give this gift of life” adds Casagrande. Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is encouraged by calling Casagrande’s legislative office at (732) 866-1695.

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Fiocchi Praises Announcement of SBA Loans for South Jersey

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi, R-Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic, said he was pleased to learn of today’s announcement by the U.S. Small Business Association that residents and businesses affected by the storm and flooding that occurred on Aug. 12 are able to apply for low interest loans. The SBA announcement covers Cumberland, Atlantic, Cape May, Gloucester and Salem counties.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“This is encouraging news for people and businesses impacted by the storm last August,” said Fiocchi. “Families and businesses that sustained damage have the opportunity to receive much needed assistance through the SBA program. I appreciate Governor Christie’s support in taking action to help the people in South Jersey who are recovering from the damage caused by this storm.”

Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. SBA’s customer service representatives are available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:

Cumberland County
Millville Fire Department
420 Buck Street – 2nd Floor
Millville, NJ 08332

Opens:Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Hours:Tuesday, Oct. 21, through Monday, Oct. 27, from 10:00 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 25, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (closed Sunday)

Closing:Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at close of business

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