Category: Press Release

Dancer bill extends senior freeze property tax benefits to the disabled

Ron Dancer

Press Release – In an effort to help residents with disabilities currently not eligible for the state’s senior freeze property tax reimbursement program because they receive disability retirement benefits from the federal government, Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced legislation
(A-4130) to extend the program to disabled former federal employees.

“Just because these residents receive retirement benefits from a system other than Social Security, that should not preclude them from receiving property tax relief,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “People with disabilities face challenges most of us cannot comprehend. New Jersey’s highest in the nation property taxes shouldn’t be yet another challenge they face. Closing this loophole will give them the same tax relief that’s available to other disabled individuals.”

The homestead property tax program, known as the senior freeze program, is available only to disabled persons who receive Social Security disability payments. Since disabled former federal employees, hired before January 1, 1984, did not pay into Social Security but rather into a federal retirement system, they are not eligible for the state’s senior freeze program. Dancer’s bill extends senior freeze benefits to these employees.

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Ciattarelli to shave head for cancer research

Assembly Republican Press Release - Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli announced today that for the third straight year he will shave his head to benefit childhood cancer research.

Ciattarelli will join 28 other “shavees” on the Rays of Hope team at the Sergeantsville Volunteer Fire Company on Sunday, Sept. 25 at noon.   The team has raised $162,829 since 2013 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancers research.

“The goal is to raise awareness and more money for children’s cancer research,” said Ciattarelli (R-Somerset).   “This is the least I can do to further that goal and honor the memory of Rayanna Marerro.”

The event is held in honor of Rayanna Marrero, a Sergeantsville resident known as Ray, who succumbed to cancer in 2012 at the age of eight.  Sergeantsville is part of Delaware Township, one of 14 municipalities in the 16th Legislative District that Mr. Ciattarelli represents.


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Bramnick to meet with Irvington and Paterson mayors

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick announced Tuesday that he is planning to meet with the mayors of Irvington and Paterson to discuss solutions on the persistent problems within their communities.

“An urban tour is important to understand the issues facing our cities,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “I look forward to meeting with mayors Tony Vauss and Joey Torres and working together to find solutions.”

Bramnick, who is originally from Plainfield and served 6 years on the Plainfield City Council, has experience and interest in working with New Jersey’s cities.

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Panel endorses four Dancer-Space-Phoebus bills bolstering Farm to School program

Assembly Republican Press Release -

New Jersey’s Farm to School program, already a model being followed by other states, is further strengthened by a package of legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Parker Space and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus. Four farm-friendly bills were advanced today by the agriculture committee.

Ron Dancer

“We are the Garden State, and nothing identifies New Jersey more than our farms, orchards and vineyards,” said Dancer (R—Ocean), a long-time member of the agriculture panel. “The Farm to School initiative provides a bridge connecting a new generation with our state’s farms, introducing students to the nutritional value of locally sourced, freshly harvested produce.”

Parker Space

“The program benefits New Jersey farmers with new customers and a fresh source of revenue,” said Space (R—Sussex), another member of the agriculture committee. “It benefits school children of all ages, expanding their access to, and taste for, nutritious Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables that taste better than anything shipped here by boxcars or trucks.”

The four bills voted on today include:

  • A3058, sponsored by Space and Dancer, establishes a Farm to School Coordinating Council to help develop and expand the program to more farms and schools.
  • A3059 expands Farm to School to public institutions of higher education. Dancer and Space are the sponsors.
  • A3060, introduced by Dancer, Space and Phoebus, encourages schools to use more locally grown food in cafeterias. Under the bill, schools sourcing at least 20 percent of the food served in the cafeteria from farm products grown in the state qualify as New Jersey Farm Fresh Schools.
  • A3061, from Space, Dancer and Phoebus, calls on the Department of Agriculture to post on their website recipes, submitted by participating schools. The “electronic cookbook” will include recipes with at least one food item from a Farm to School product.
Gail Phoebus

Gail Phoebus

“When students think of food, we want them to think of items fresh off our farms, not processed and packaged food that has lost its nutritional value,” said Phoebus (R—Sussex). “Farm to School is a critical first-step to a new, healthier, more physically fit generation, and at the same time, it helps ensure the survival of New Jersey’s farms and farmers.”

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Muñoz bill to ensure delivery of oxygen to patient homes during public emergencies advances

Nancy Munoz

Press Release – Legislation Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors that requires pharmacies to have an emergency plan to delivery oxygen to patients’ homes during a public health emergency today received approval from the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee.

“Anxiety is a constant companion for patients who have emphysema and other chronic pulmonary diseases. It’s very frightening to be unable to breathe without assistance,” said Muñoz (R-Union).
“People who require oxygen at home don’t need the added burden of worrying whether they will have access to it during a public emergency such as Superstorm Sandy when most of the state was virtually shut down. This measure ensures that providers have a plan to deliver life-sustaining oxygen when such a situation occurs.”

The bill (A-680) requires pharmacies and other providers to adopt an emergency action plan to deliver oxygen to a patient’s residence during a public health emergency.

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Rible statement on capture of bombing suspect

Press Release – Assembly Republican Conference Leader Dave Rible, a former police officer, released the following statement regarding the capture of Ahmad Khan Rahami who is a suspect in the weekend’s bombings.

“I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to all of the law enforcement officers involved in this manhunt and especially to the Linden police officers who were injured while taking this suspect into custody. I hope these brave officers are able to make a full recovery from the injuries they sustained in this shoot-out with Ahmad Khan Rahami.

Dave Rible

“Getting this suspect off the streets in a matter of hours is a testament to the cooperation and great police work utilized by all of the law enforcement agencies that help to keep us safe in an increasingly dangerous world.

“While we cannot be certain of Rahami’s role in these bombings, apprehending this suspect is an important step toward bringing to justice everyone who had a hand in these cowardly attacks. I am hopeful that taking down this suspected terrorist will help prevent similar attempts to cause death and destruction.

“The past few days have provided a stark reminder that terrorism can strike anywhere and we
must remain vigilant in our efforts to combat terrorism around the world and here on our shores.”

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Panel approves DiMaio bill safeguarding young concussion victims

Assembly Republican Press Release -

John DiMaio

A pair of bills sponsored by Assemblyman John DiMaio ensure adequate precautions for students who have suffered a concussion today cleared the Education Committee. A-2481 requires a medical evaluation by licensed health professionals before returning to school after a concussion, and A-3799 expands New Jersey’s student-athlete head injury safety program to include intramural student athletes.

“The frequency and severity of concussion-related brain injuries in the NFL serves as a valuable wake-up-call to our schools and parents,” said DiMaio (R— Warren). “’Concussions are more than a bump on the head that you can rub dirt on, and get back in the game. High school-age students require more time to recover from a brain injury, and suffer more severe symptoms and neurological disturbances. It is critical that students are fully recovered before returning to a normal daily regimen.”

The CDC estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occur each year, and as many as 30 percent are sports related. Statistics indicate 10 percent of athletes experience a concussion during any given sport season. Football players have a 75 percent chance of concussion, the highest risk for males. Female soccer players have a 50 percent chance of a brain injury.

“Concussion damage becomes worse with subsequent injuries,” said DiMaio. “Multiple incidents can lead to learning and memory problems, and more serious long-term issues. These bills will help prevent repeat concussions in young people who can least afford permanent cognitive damage.”

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Panel clears DiMaio-Webber bill providing free access to state parks for disabled veterans

John DiMaio

Press Release – Legislation Assemblymen John DiMaio and Jay Webber sponsor providing disabled state veterans with free admission to state parks and forests received approval today from the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“Many of our veterans suffer from a multitude of debilitating health issues. Some have lost a limb or limbs while for others the wounds of war sometimes go beyond what the eyes can see,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “Regardless of whether a veteran has a physical or psychological disability, they have paid a steep price preserving the freedoms of our nation. It’s a debt we can never repay, but we can show our thanks through small efforts such as this.”

“Many veterans have debilitating physical or mental health issues that leave them unable to work,” said Webber (R-Morris). “As a result, many face tremendous challenges, including financial difficulties. We can never repay the huge debt we owe to these courageous soldiers. This small gesture, however, will allow our men and women who were disabled in service to our country an opportunity to visit our state’s 50 plus state parks where they can enjoy the beautiful scenery, beaches and fishing.”

Jay Webber

The bill (A-717) provides free admission to New Jersey’s state parks and forests to honorably discharged members of the U.S. armed forces who have a service-connected disability. It allows free access to state park beaches by motor vehicle in order to fish there, including an exemption for mobile sport fishing vehicle permits.

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Panel clears Muñoz measure to help military members secure grants to purchase houses

Nancy Munoz

Press Release – A bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz helping military members secure grants to purchase a home was advanced today by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“The men and women who selflessly serve our country deserve our support and assistance,” said Munoz. “They willingly put their lives on the line to protect us and our nation. Their families make tremendous sacrifices as well. Most people don’t realize how difficult it is for the husbands, wives and children of soldiers who serve. They also don’t realize how little our military are paid for the vital service they provide. The least we can do is help then in their efforts to buy a house.”

The bill (A-666) creates a matching grant program to assist active and reserve U.S. armed forces and New Jersey National Guard members in purchasing a house. Eligible members can receive grants up to a maximum of $10,000 on a dollar for dollar matching fund basis. Recipients do not have to meet eligibility criteria of other homebuyer programs in order to participate in the matching grant program. The program will be administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency in coordination with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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Brown bill giving mortgage and property tax relief to active duty service members goes to governor’s desk

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Chris A. Brown

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Chris A. Brown, to ease the financial burden on New Jersey’s citizen soldiers on federal active duty, today earned approval from the General Assembly. The bill (A766) allows members of the National Guard and the United States Reserve to defer mortgage and property tax payments while on active duty.

“Our military men and women, in active defense of our country, shouldn’t have to worry about being late with a mortgage payment, or missing a tax bill,” said Brown (R—Atlantic), an Army veteran of Desert Shield/Storm. “While they are away, their priorities should be the mission, the safety of themselves and their colleagues, and the defense of the United States.”

Under the bill, the deferment remains in effect for 60 days beyond the termination of active duty status. The mortgage deferment extends the length of the loan by the number of months on active duty, plus 60 days.

The legislation, approved by the Senate in February, now goes to the governor for consideration.

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