Tag: Caroline Casagrande

Casagrande Recalls JFK’s Influence 51 years after his Assassination

Caroline Casagrande

WOBM Radio -

Saturday, November 22, was the anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and 51-years after his death, his principles continue to cross party lines, influencing elected officials at the Jersey Shore.

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande noted how Kennedy’s command to ask what you can do for your country an inspiration and template for all leaders.

“It can still give me chills to think I need to make sure I am part of this movement of Idealism of this great nation and working to build it,” said Casagrande.

Casagrande added Kennedy’s daughter Caroline carries her father’s vision as the United States Ambassador to Japan.

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Senate Panel Approves Casagrande Measure on Life-Saving Allergy Treatment in Schools

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Caroline Casagrande

Assembly Republican Caroline Casagrande’s legislation to increase access to life-saving medicine for children with sever allergies in school earned approval today from the Senate Education Committee. The bill, A-304, approved by the General Assembly in May, authorizes school nurses and trained personnel to administer epinephrine to any student having an anaphylactic reaction.

“As many as two children in every classroom have at least one food allergy,” said Casagrande, R – Monmouth. “Schools should be able to respond quickly and appropriately to help children with a serious allergic reaction.”

Recent studies suggest that one in 13 children are affected by food allergies. More than 15 percent of school aged children with food allergies have had a reaction at school.

Current law requires that parents provide written authorization for the school to administer an injection. However, Casagrande said “a student with an undiagnosed allergy can have a reaction for the first time in the school.”

The bill also requires that schools maintain a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors, and amends the law to provide immunity to school employees and agents for good faith acts or omissions concerning the emergency administration of epinephrine to specifically include a physician providing a prescription under a standing protocol for school epinephrine. In response to the rise in child food allergies, a number of states have enacted laws allowing schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine that can be used for any student in an anaphylactic emergency.

“While many parents of children with serious food allergies supply a prescription to the school nurse or teacher, not all kids have an epinephrine auto-injector prescribed specifically for them. This helps these children,” said Casagrande.

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Casagrande bills reduces deer herd by letting hunters sell meat

Asbury Park Press -

There is no shortage of tips for drivers on how to avoid a collision with a deer. Drive slowly. Drive defensively. Make sure your brakes are in good working order.

Here’s a new one: Pay a hunter to put Bambi on the dinner table before it gets hit on the road.

A New Jersey lawmaker wants the state’s ban on commercial deer hunting lifted. Hunters motivated more by profit than by sport would be relied on to reduce deer populations and could sell their keep to butchers, supermarkets and restaurants.

The sale of wild game has been restricted in all 50 states for more than a century, which explains why the venison on the menu at your favorite restaurant is most likely imported from New Zealand (or else the product of a U.S. deer farm).

In New Jersey it is is illegal for hunters to sell deer meat, deer antlers or any part of a deer except deer hides, tails and the lower portion of the legs.

Caroline Casagrande

Monmouth County Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande said the time has come to take additional steps to reduce the number of deer because of the health and safety risks from deer-vehicle collisions and Lyme disease.

“I have a personal interest in this. I have a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old and I live in a town, Colts Neck, where deer are prevalent,’’ Casagrande said.

Municipal officials in Colts Neck recently enacted a controversial ordinance to allow bow hunting within 150 feet of buildings to cull a rising white-tail deer population.

Casagrande says the animals are also inflicting damage on the ecosytem, browsing on shrubs and saplings and diminishing the number of young trees to fill the canopy of forests, a contention shared by environmentalists.

“Anybody who lives in Monmouth County and is driving around is able to see a deer population that has exploded,’’ Casagrande said. “I’m concerned about the high number of Lyme cases and I’m also very concerned about the car accidents, half of which occur between October and December.’’

There are some alarming numbers:

There were 2,785 confirmed cases of Lyme and 981 probable cases in New Jersey last year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Deer were involved in 26,860 motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey in 2013, says the state Department of Environmental Protection, citing research by State Farm Insurance.

Stephen Schapiro, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the department has spent $230,000 per year to remove an average 6,350 deer carcasses from state highways each year over the last three years. In 2013, Monmouth County topped the counties with 853 deer carcasses removed and Ocean County had 215 removals. The data doesn’t include the deer removed by counties and municipalities on roadways under their respective jurisdiction.

Casagrande, a Republican, introduced Assembly bill A3039 in March but it still hasn’t been posted for a hearing in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee after eight months.

The committee chairman, Bob Andrzejczak, a Democrat from Cape May County, didn’t return a call to explain what the holdup is, but conservationists say pursuing commercial hunt legislation could become politically explosive, with pressure from animal rights groups as well as sportsmen who don’t want to compete with commercial hunters.

There were 2,785 confirmed cases of Lyme and 981 probable cases in New Jersey last year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Casagrande, Munoz urge caution before spending money NJ does not have

Source: NJ Spotlight -

Studies have shown a link between early brain trauma and criminal activity later in life. That’s why some state legislators are proposing a bill that would create a program to work with children who show signs of brain injury or have committed crimes.

One study has found that jail and prison inmates report having had a head or traumatic brain injury at three to 10 times the general population. This has prompted groups that provide services to those who have suffered brain injuries to say that criminal activity and serious psychiatric problems could be reduced if young people at risk of crime were diagnosed and treated sooner.

Caroline Casagrande

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Monmouth) said she had “grave” concerns about the potential cost of the program at a time when the state is struggling with its budget. DCF officials estimate that the $10 million would result from hiring additional staff members to review youth records to identify and evaluate teenagers and young adults for potential treatment; adding training for teachers and school officials; and further costs to healthcare providers to screen individuals.

While the bill doesn’t specify exactly which youths would undergo screening, it said that the state Department of Children and Families would develop and implement a reliable screening tool to identify brain injuries among those between the ages of five and 21 who are involved, or who may be at risk of involvement, with the state’s mental-health or juvenile justice systems.

Nancy Munoz

 

“It’s hard for me to want to vote for legislation that would mandate something that we didn’t have the money for, because we would have to get grants” from the federal government to cover the cost, said Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz (R-Morris, Somerset, and Union).

 

A broad group of professionals and advocates would be given basic training about how to identify, evaluate, and treat those with brain injuries, including teachers, judges, law enforcement officials, and healthcare providers. Also on the list are workers at state and county psychiatric facilities, state and county juvenile detention facilities, county probation departments, children’s crisis intervention units, and the Division of Children and Families.

The bill, A-3453 is picking up support, but a major question remains: How much will it cost? The state Department of Children and Families has given an initial estimate of $10 million annually, making it unlikely that the legislation will be signed by Gov. Chris Christie outside of the annual budget process.

Supporters of the measure argue that it’s still not known exactly how much it would cost, considering that federal grants may offset part of the funding needed for the program. In addition, they argue that the cost would lead to long-term savings, as the state reduced the number of crimes that are committed.

The legislation was developed with input from members of the New Jersey Special Education and Brain Injury Task Force, which was created five years ago with the goal of addressing the needs of students with traumatic brain injuries and developing recommendations for the governor and Legislature.

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Monmouth) said she had “grave” concerns about the potential cost of the program at a time when the state is struggling with its budget. DCF officials estimate that the $10 million would result from hiring additional staff members to review youth records to identify and evaluate teenagers and young adults for potential treatment; adding training for teachers and school officials; and further costs to healthcare providers to screen individuals.

Supporters said the true cost of the bill wouldn’t be known the state determines the details of how the screenings would be done. They said a similar program in Colorado costs much less and draws on federal funding. In addition, some of the training could be provided at little cost by the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey and medical screenings would be covered by health insurance, they said.

But the argument did not sway Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz (R-Morris, Somerset, and Union).

“It’s hard for me to want to vote for legislation that would mandate something that we didn’t have the money for, because we would have to get grants” from the federal government to cover the cost, she said.

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Editorial: Support for Casagrande’s Bill Creating Domestic Violence Courts

Source: Star-Ledger -

In the wake of Ray Rice’s brutal punch to his fiancée, a number of New Jersey lawmakers have come forward with ideas to help victims of domestic violence.

Caroline Casagrande

The latest is to create new courts devoted exclusively to these cases. State Assemblywomen Carolina Casagrande (R-Monmouth) and Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden) recently introduced a bill that would establish a three-year pilot program in their two counties.

Much like the proposal to track the worst abusers with GPS devises, this idea looks promising. Casagrande, who has served as a municipal attorney, says that of the majority of domestic violence cases — around 40,000 a year in New Jersey — currently go through our municipal courts.

Imagine a terrified victim, forced to sit nearby her angry abuser, with minimal or no security. Their case may have no public defender, maybe just a prosecutor, and will be handled by a judge who gets only 90 minutes of training in handling domestic violence.

These appearances are often for a charge of simple assault. But by the time that first police call happens, there’s often been a pattern of abuse. We’re missing the opportunity to pull these women out the second we learn of their situation, before it escalates to aggravated assault, serious bodily injuries, or even murder.

Washington D.C. became one of the first places in the country to have specialized domestic violence courts back in 1996. Experts say it substantially increased criminal prosecutions, by making it easier for victims to navigate the system. They could go to one place to get a restraining order — a civil matter — and pursue a criminal prosecution.

That integrated system also prevented judges from issuing overlapping orders, such as a restraining order in civil court, and child visitation rights in criminal court that require an abuser to see the victim.

That complexity makes domestic violence cases different. This is why one stop shopping for victims may be the right answer to help close dangerous loopholes in New Jersey’s system, too.

These proposals are good first steps, but let’s not squander this Ray Rice moment. The Legislature should take the long view on this and hold hearings on a more comprehensive approach to fighting domestic violence, one that sorts out the best way to use precious resources.

More services are needed. Victims need counseling, and legal representation. The state needs more supervised visitation centers where victims can feel safe when abusers are allowed to see their children. And so on.

Still, this bill deserves support. Our hope is that it’s the beginning of a larger conversation.

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Casagrande’s Plan for Domestic Violence Courts [video]

Source: NJTV Online [video] -

Caroline Casagrande

“What I’m proposing … is a new court that really deals with domestic violence, comprehensively, that allows for a courtroom that will have the resources and the support network we need for these victims, and the perpetrators, as well as judges and prosecutors and defenders who are specially trained in this.” – Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande


Casagrande’s interview appears on the video at the 1:10 mark.

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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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Ray Rice assault video prompts Casagrande to Propose Domestic Violence Courts

Source: Star-Ledger -

Appalled that NFL star Ray Rice was not given prison time for punching out his fiancée, two state lawmakers have proposed creating new courts in New Jersey devoted exclusively to domestic violence cases.

State Assemblywomen Carolina Casagrande (R-Monmouth) last week introduced a bill (A3801) that would establish a three-year Domestic Violence Court pilot program limited to their two counties.

The domestic violence courts would be part of the state’s Superior Court system. Cases involving alleged domestic violence could be referred to the new courts, and the judges assigned to them would have expertise on the topic.

Caroline Casagrande

Casagrande said she came up with the idea in response to the release of a video showing Rice, a former Rutgers University star, punching out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City hotel elevator, and after a committee hearing in which state court officials said many cases of domestic violence are handled in municipal courts.

“Right now, as it stands, we have these victims going into a courtroom where the people have minimal training,” Casagrande said. “Also, they’re sitting next to people who have minor traffic violations or may have a summons for not mowing their lawns. It’s really not an appropriate environment.”

The decision to allow Rice to enter a pre-trial invention program rather than serve prison time was approved by a Superior Court judge. But Casagrande said they still don’t have enough training in domestic violence cases.

Under the bill’s proposal for a pilot project, two new judges would be assigned to the domestic violence courts — one in Monmouth County and one in Camden County. And any court within the two counties could refer domestic violence cases to the new court.

The bill does not specify what kind of training the judges would have to undergo, but says they would be “knowledgeable in criminal law and procedure, particularly in relation to intimate partner violence.”

“It’s really an attempt to get these victims and perpetrators into a court that really understands the problem,” Casagrande said.

There is no estimate as to how much the new court system would cost. Superior Court judges makes $165,000 a year, and there would be two more under the new system. But Casagrande said increased costs could be offset by fewer domestic violence cases clogging municipal courts.

Under the bill, the Administrative Office of the Courts would evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program and monitor its effect on criminal sentencing, the court’s calendar and workload. It would then make recommendations on whether to continue or even expand it. To become law, the bill would need to pass the full Assembly and Senate and then be signed by the governor.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) decides what bills advance in the lower house. His spokesman, Tom Hester, Jr., said the bill will be “reviewed.”

In addition to the legislation to create domestic violence courts, Casagrande also introduced bills to upgrade domestic violence crimes and include a mandatory three years of imprisonment for offenders who injure their victims (A3002), and to require that all judges receive at least three hours of domestic violence training (A3803).

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Casagrande Bill Establishes State Medal for Cold War Veterans

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assistant Assembly Republican Leader Caroline Casagrande honors New Jersey veterans who served during the Cold War period with her bill that won approval today from the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill, A-1899, cleared the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee in June.

Caroline Casagrande

“More than 120,000 New Jersey veterans served during the pivotal Cold War era,” said Casagrande, R – Monmouth. “Their patriotic service helped win the Cold War, returning freedom to millions of people around the world.”

“The Cold War Medal recognizes their contributions to the Free World’s stance against totalitarianism in a time marked by increasing military tension, incendiary diplomatic rhetoric, and the threat of a nuclear first strike,” continued Casagrande.

Under Casagrande’s bipartisan measure, the governor may present a Cold War medal to any state resident honorably discharged from service after serving at least 180 days during the Cold War. The Cold War started after World War II, on September 2, 1945. It continued until the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991.

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Casagrande:Handling of Rice case shows more work needs to be done [video]

Source: Assembly Republican Video -

Caroline Casagrande

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande spoke on the Assembly Floor Monday, Sept. 15, to establish New Jersey’s Task Force on Domestic Violence and Abuse. Casagrande referred victim advocates’ testimony before the Assembly Women and Children Committee that prosecutors handling of Ray Rice is too often common and urged legislators to do more to support victims.

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande: “I rise to support my colleagues across the aisle as well as my colleagues on this side of the aisle who have all, in a bipartisan manner, come together to let domestic violence victims here in New Jersey know that they are not alone.

“Our chairwoman of Women and Children put together a very aggressive agenda this week and our vice-chair. And we took a holistic approach. One of those things that perhaps those of you who don’t have the benefit of sitting on Women and Children heard this week from domestic violence advocates we directly asked, ‘was the Ray Rice case rare? Is it rare you can knock a woman unconscious in the State of New Jersey and not get a day of jail time?’ And, the answer came back a resounding, ‘No.’

“So while we have a lot to congratulate ourselves on – improving the lives of these victims today, I suggest humbly as a legislator that we have a long way to go on the connecting of the intensions of this House – because I assure you everyone in this House believes that if you knock a woman unconscious and drag her out of an elevator you belong in prison – and what is actually going on in the courthouses across New Jersey.

“We found out that 40,000 cases of domestic violence cases go through municipal courts and judges have an hour and a half of training, and that’s unacceptable.

“So thank you for these bills. Thank you for my colleagues who helped move them, but we have a long way to go to protect these victims.”

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