Category: Press Release

Panel Approves Handlin and Simon Bill Revealing Repeat Domestic Violence Offenders

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans Amy Handlin and Donna Simon to prevent domestic violence was approved by the Women and Children’s Committee today.

Amy Handlin

“Domestic abuse is seldom a one-time event. The registry created by this bill will provide critical information that can help people from becoming victims,” said Handlin, R-Monmouth. “Knowledge is power. We don’t want to learn that an abuser has a history after it is too late.”

A-2539 establishes a registry of domestic violence offenders, which would be accessible to the public. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

Donna Simon

“Revealing the identity of convicted violent offenders gives individuals the necessary information to make an informed decision,” said Simon, R – Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex. “Better safe than sorry, this piece of legislation will protect people and aims to decrease victimization.”

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Handlin Statement on Port Authority Legislation

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Amy Handlin

Deputy Assembly Republican Leader Amy Handlin, R-Monmouth, issued the following statement on today’s announcement regarding legislation to reform the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:

“Many of the reforms I support are included in the legislation Governors Christie and Cuomo announced today. The Port Authority is in desperate need of oversight and basic operational and fiscal discipline. New Jersey and New York must come together as quickly as possible and enact the reforms that are long overdue.”

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Webber Bill to Allow Youngsters to Shovel Snow Without a Permit Clears Assembly Panel

Press Release – It’s difficult to think of snow with summer knocking on the door, but Assemblyman Jay Webber wants to ensure the long-time practice of shoveling the white stuff for extra money, especially for enterprising youths, is preserved. Webber sponsors legislation, A-4213, that allows the unregulated solicitation to shovel snow within 24 hours of a predicted snowstorm. The Assembly State and Local Government Committee today advanced the bill.

Jay Webber

The measure is in response to an incident in January in which two Bridgewater teens were distributing fliers advertising their snow shoveling services the night before a snowstorm was forecast to hit. The boys were stopped by police and told they were violating a local law prohibiting unpermitted solicitation.

“Kids have been shoveling snow for extra cash probably since snow shovels have existed,” said Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “Those two young men saw an opportunity to use their time off from school wisely by developing a plan to make money. Instead, they got a lesson in ridiculous government bureaucracy. What they did showed initiative that should have been commended, not punished. Common sense needs to prevail in these situations, and this measure helps ensure that it will.”

Webber’s bill will supersede any municipality’s ordinance that prevents an individual from offering snow shoveling services within 24 hours of a forecasted snowstorm.

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Committee Approves Auth and Clifton Legislation Simplifying Oversight of Local Government

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

The Assembly Local Government Committee today cleared Assemblymen Robert Auth and Rob Clifton’s legislation eliminating non-essential state mandates and streamlining oversight of local governments.

Robert Auth

Robert Auth

“The Division of Local Government’s rules are an unwieldy patchwork created over decades,” said Auth. “Legislative changes and unhelpful mandates have piled up making it impossible for them to focus on improving the delivery of local services at a lower cost to taxpayers. Some of those unnecessary layers are why hardworking families end up paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation.”

The bill, A-3791, refocuses the role of the Division of Local Government Services and the Local Finance Board onto their primary purposes and eliminates several state mandates on towns. Among a long list changes, it transfers approval for changing regional school districts to the Department of Education and repeals the requirement that towns conduct an annual door to door survey of dogs.

Rob Clifton

“By pruning away obligations that are inconsistent with the mission of these agencies, we are helping them better serve their purpose,” said Clifton. “This bill will make it simpler and far less burdensome for the state to oversee local government so towns can operate more efficiently.”

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Angelini Bill Protecting Parenting Time of Noncustodial Parents Wins Panel Support

Press Release – Legislation that ensures parenting time rights of law-abiding noncustodial parents are protected by making it easier to file complaints with a court when those rules are violated, today won Assembly Women and Children Committee approval. The bill is sponsored by Deputy Republican Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini.

Mary Pat Angelini

“Parents with custody sometimes use their children to retaliate against their former spouse after a hostile divorce by denying visits, constantly being late or changing the schedule. Kids should never be used as pawns,” said Angelini, R-Monmouth. “Current law makes it very difficult and costly for noncustodial parents to have their parenting time enforced.

“Even though they pay their support and follow the court’s rules, some of these parents have their rights trampled on simply because they can’t afford to take the other parent back to court after every violation,” she continued. “This legislation will hopefully encourage both parents to act responsibly and, if they don’t, it makes it easier to enforce court orders on visitation.”

Under current law, when a parent with custody denies or interferes with parenting time, a noncustodial parent can file an incident report or a criminal complaint which may be referred to the Family Part Superior Court. Both sides usually have to retain counsel and the process is often costly and lengthy.

Angelini’s bill, A-3865, simplifies the process with a form that noncustodial parents can fill out at their local courthouse or online informing the court that their parenting time rights have been denied by the custodial parent. Courts then must immediately set a hearing no more than 21 days after filing and resolve the case within 45 days of filing.

To ensure that no one’s rights are violated just because they cannot afford to defend themselves, this measure also directs the court to award reasonable attorney fees and court costs to the parent who wins a favorable ruling.

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Angelini-Simon Bill Expanding Safe Haven Locations Advances From Assembly Committee

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

The Assembly Women and Children Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Donna Simon that expands where parents in crisis can give up their newborns legally to also include firehouses and emergency squads. The bill, A-4149, was combined with a Senate version that passed last year.

Mary Pat Angelini

“The goal is to prevent the further loss of innocent lives,” said Angelini, R–Monmouth. “This no-questions-asked approach has helped many parents who see themselves as unable to care for their newborns find an alternative that doesn’t endanger their children. No mother should feel so desperate with no place to turn.”

After high-profile cases involving teen mothers who killed their self-delivered newborns, New Jersey’s Safe Haven Infant Protection Act was passed in 2000. At least 60 infants have been saved under the program and the number of illegal child abandonments has decreased by 60 percent, according to the Department of Children and Families.

Calls to expand the state’s program came in January after a newborn baby died in Pemberton when her 22-year-old mother allegedly killed her by setting her on fire.

Donna Simon

“The terrible tragedy in Pemberton reinforces the need to make mothers aware that there are multiple options for leaving an infant in a place where they will receive proper care,” said Simon, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex. “Expanding the number of authorized facilities increases the chances that a child’s life will be saved. Our goal is to protect babies who would otherwise be abandoned or abused.”

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Webber-Sponsored Bill Helps Find Home for Infants at Safe Haven Locations

 Operation Safe Haven offers alternative for unwanted babies

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jay Webber

A bill co-sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber that increases the “Safe Haven” locations where at-risk newborns may be placed won approval from the Assembly Women and Children Committee today. Under the current “New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act,” safe haven options are limited to emergency departments of general hospitals and state, county and municipal police stations. Webber’s bill, A-4149, expands Safe Haven locations to include fire stations, ambulance, first aid and rescue squad sites that are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The Safe Haven program is an alternative for parents who think they have no place to turn because they can’t care for their newborn,” said Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “New Jersey has been a leader in offering this compassionate outlet for parents, and this legislation builds on that success by expanding the number of facilities where precious infants can receive the hope of leading normal and productive lives.”

Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Donna Simon are also sponsors of the bill.

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Panel Advances Simon Resolution Designating World Autism Awareness Day

Press Release – Legislation that Assemblywoman Donna Simon sponsors designating April 2nd of each year as “World Autism Awareness Day” received approval today from the Assembly Women and Children Committee.

Donna Simon

“We need to increase the dialogue on how to better understand and positively affect this worldwide crisis which has been increasing at an alarming rate,” said Simon, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex, of the joint resolution, AJR-33/SJR-69.

“We are all touched by autism, whether it affects our family, neighbors or friends,” continued Simon, an Honorary Board Member of the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) and strong advocate for autism. “By joining this global effort, we will be better able to stress the importance of early diagnosis, intervention and research and help give people a better understanding of the challenges that are faced.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 68 children nationwide and 1 in 45 children in New Jersey. It’s the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S. While more prevalent in boys, ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Early detection and early intervention are vital to getting children and their families the help and support they need.

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Auth Introduces Bill Sheltering Doctors From Wrongful Obstetrics-Related Malpractice Lawsuits

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Robert Auth

Robert Auth

Assembly Republican Robert Auth introduced legislation to retain practicing obstetricians in New Jersey. The bill, A-4517, establishes conditions for immunity from civil lawsuits for physicians who provide prenatal care when the patient declines to visit the physician during the last two months of the pregnancy.

“Providing this crucial protection from baseless legal action will entice some obstetricians to come back and see patients in our state,” said Auth, R — Bergen and Passaic. “We have had so many professionals close their practices or move out of New Jersey. We want to reverse the exodus and this will be an incentive to return home.”

According to Contemporary Ob/Gyn, New Jersey is ranked among the five worst states to practice obstetrics and gynecology.

“We have one of the highest malpractice payouts per capita, and meaningful tort reform is non-existent,” said Auth. “Between the frequent litigation and the astronomical cost of insurance, nobody wants to practice in this state,” said Auth. “This legislation puts an end to the absurdity of costly, groundless legal actions.”

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Assembly Panel Approves Rodriguez-Gregg Bill Syncing Prescriptions for Chronically Ill Patients

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

The Assembly Financial Institution and Insurance Committee Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Maria Rodriguez-Gregg allowing patients to synchronize the refill dates of all their medications and make fewer trips to the pharmacy. The bill, A-3331 requires insurance companies to cover prescriptions dispensed in less than a one-month’s supply, allowing all the prescriptions to a patient to be renewed at the same time.

“Managing medications is an important part of treatment,” said Rodriquez-Gregg, R – Burlington and Atlantic. “Doctors and pharmacist should really be the ones deciding when prescriptions are refilled and not insurance companies.”

Rodriquez-Gregg noted that synchronization helps improve communication between pharmacists and patients.

“This really is a much better way for everyone to refill medications,” said Rodriguez-Gregg. “It is very common for seniors to juggle 12 or more different medications at once. Because of the long prescription schedules, too often people miss refilling them and end up not taking all their needed dosages.”

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