Tag: Caroline Casagrande

Assembly Approves Casagrande Measure on Life-Saving Allergy Treatment in Schools

Assembly Republican Press Release -

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

Caroline Casagrande

“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.

“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 those children,” said Casagrande.

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.

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Casagrande/Consumer Advocates Push State to Resolve JCP&L Rate Case

NJ Spotlight -

Angry that a pending rate case has dragged on for more than three years, legislators and consumer advocates yesterday called on state regulators to quickly make a decision on a proposal that could mean significant reductions in bills for customers of Jersey Central Power & Light.

The rate case, initiated by a petition from the state Division of Rate Counsel claiming JCP&L was earning too much from its customers, could reduce bills for ratepayers by up to one-third, if positions taken by the division and by the staff of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities are upheld.

The case has not been decided yet, primarily because an administrative law court judge has repeatedly asked for delays following extensive hearings on the proposal. The court is expected to issue a decision by December 29, but then the matter will have to be reviewed by the BPU, which can reject, modify, or accept the judge’s decision. That ruling may not come before next spring.

Both Rate Counsel and the BPU’s staff have argued the revenues of the state’s second-largest utility should be reduced by at least $200 million. In its initial filing, JCP&L sought a rate increase of $31 million.

Part of the frustration expressed by lawmakers and members of AARP of New Jersey is that both state agencies agree the utility is earning far above what it is entitled to under regulations. At the least, they would like the BPU to approve a separate petition by Rate Counsel to establish provisional rates dating back to last August.

Caroline Casagrande

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Monmouth) agreed. “Nobody is getting their money back,’’ she said. “It’s outrageous.’’

Among other things, Rate Counsel argued in its filings that the utility had cut back spending investments in its infrastructure as well on tree trimming — a major factor in power outages during storms. As a result, over a three year period the utility returned $170 million to its Akron-based parent, FirstEnergy, according to the filing.

The BPU, which discussed the issue in a closed executive session before its monthly meeting, also said little about the issue. BPU President Richard Mroz noted there is a lot of interest in the case, but said the agency would not take any action on the issue at its meeting. He said a decision by the judge is expected soon.

For JCP&L customers, there are some positives in delays in deciding the rate case. Earlier this year, the BPU approved the utility to collect $736 million for storm restoration costs from a variety of extreme weather events in recent years, including Hurricane Sandy. Those costs will not be passed on to ratepayers until the current rate case is decided.

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Casagrande Presented with 2014 Elected Women of Excellence Award by NFWL

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Caroline Casagrande

The National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) is proud to announce Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande as one of its 2014 Elected Women of Excellence Award winners.

This award was established in 2013 as part of NFWL’s 75th Anniversary Celebration in order to honor the hard work and dedication of women leaders from across the country. In all, NFWL has recognized 60 elected women from 37 states.

The awards were presented to the nineteen 2014 honorees at a glamorous Toast to the Women of Excellence ceremony at the Philadelphia Museum of Art during NFWL’s recent 2014 Annual Conference.

“We are thrilled to acknowledge these women,” remarks NFWL Chair and New Jersey Senator, Diane Allen. “They showcase the strong leadership qualities, focused work ethic, and determination that we try to instill in young women across the nation, and deserve to be recognized for their tremendous efforts.”

Assemblywoman Casagrande, nominated by Senator Allen, is currently serving her Fourth term in the New Jersey Assembly and is the Assistant Republican Leader. She represents the 11th Legislative District in Monmouth County. Casagrande is a member of the Appropriations, Financial Institutions and Insurance and the Women and Children Committees.

Assemblywoman Casagrande is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and Rutgers School of Law.

Assemblywoman Casagrande received the 2014 Child Advocate of the Year Award from the New Jersey Alliance for Children, Youth and Families. She was also given the Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the Taxpayer Champion Award by the New Jersey Taxpayers Alliance. The Assemblywoman also received the Today’s Youth Asia Young Achievers Award and was named a 2013 “NJ Rising Star” by Gannett Company, Inc.

The winners were nominated by their colleagues and constituents from their home states and then chosen by NFWL board members.

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INNOVATION HONORED AT EVENT ATTENDED BY SENATOR KEAN AND ASSEMBLYWOMAN CASAGRANDE

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Senator Tom Kean, Jr. and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande praised the importance of innovation to New Jersey as they attended Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs Award ceremony last night in Gladstone. The Bell Labs Fellows award is the highest individual honor awarded in the Alcatel-Lucent technical community and is externally recognized world-wide. The Bell Labs Prize is an international competition for the best new ideas in information and communications technologies.

“The Bell Labs Award Event was truly a celebration of the heritage of innovation that is truly the hallmark of Bell Labs and its rich history in New Jersey” said Kean, R- Union, Somerset, Morris. As the sponsor of legislation, Senate bill 2442, that seeks to create a post-doctoral fellowship program that will enhance cutting-edge industrial research and development in New Jersey, I am hopeful that we can continue to partner with global leaders like Bell Labs to ensure that New Jersey remains at the very forefront of innovation.”

Caroline Casagrande

“Innovation and technology are keys to the growth of our economy” says Assemblywoman Casagrande, R- Monmouth County. “I congratulate the winners of these awards for their extraordinary work that has the potential to change the way we live, work and communicate with each other. New Jersey must partner with tech companies and our great universities to spur economic expansion and job creation.”

The $100,000 first prize was awarded to Princeton Assistant Professor Emmanuel Abbe for a Shannon Theory of Social Networks and Beyond. In addition to the cash prizes, all of the finalists will be offered the chance to continue to collaborate with Bell Labs to further explore and develop their ideas. Since the creation of the Bell Labs Prize six months ago, almost 500 applicants submitted their ideas for consideration.

The Bell Labs Fellows Award was given to six individuals:

Peter Winzer for his pioneering contributions to high-speed advanced optical modulation formats;
Stefan Weisser for his technical leadership and innovation in the field of optical transmission;
Mark M. Clougherty for his contributions to networking technical strategy, product design and architectural vision;
Stephen J. Trowbridge for technical leadership in optical transport and contributions to global standardization efforts;
Thomas M. Marzetta for inventions in multiple antenna wireless communications and leadership in Massive MIMO. He is the architect of 5G, the next generation of cellular communications; and
Danny Van Bruyssel for advancing the state of art in DSL solutions.

These six individuals join at elite group of 250 past Bell Labs Fellows, whose contributions have impacted the way the world communicates.

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Casagrande Recalls JFK’s Influence 51 years after his Assassination

Caroline Casagrande

Source: 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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