Category: Press Release

Assembly Advances Muñoz Bill to Protect Health Care Personnel Who Work With Chemo Drugs

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Republican Deputy Conference Leader Nancy F. Muñoz, the “Hazardous Drug Safe Handling Act,” received General Assembly approval today.

The bill (A837) requires the state Commissioner of Health and the Director of Consumer Affairs to establish rules and regulations for the safe handling of chemotherapy drugs by health care personnel in a health care setting, including pharmacies and veterinary facilities.

Nancy Munoz

“The development and use of chemotherapy has exploded since it was first used in the 1940s. Treatment often consists of a combination of chemo drugs, which are very potent,” said Muñoz, (R-Union, Morris and Somerset). “These powerful drugs may expose workers to a number of serious short-term and chronic effects. While providing potentially lifesaving medicine and comfort to cancer patients is very rewarding, it can be emotionally stressful. Health care professionals don’t need the added burden of worrying about adverse effects from the drugs they are administering. They deserve a safe work environment.”

The regulations will provide guidelines on necessary precautions and controls to eliminate or minimize exposure; use of protective equipment; safe handling practices, including handling, receiving, storage, preparing, administering, waste handling, cleaning, housekeeping, labeling and signage, and spill control and response procedures. Employers will also be required to provide hazardous drug training to all employees who have or are likely to have occupational exposure to hazardous drugs.

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Rible “Blue Alert” Bill Protects Police Officers with Statewide Cooperation

Assembly Republican Press Release -

A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Dave Rible enabling statewide cooperation to find missing police officers and suspects of harming an officer will be voted on Thursday. The bill (A2674) establishes the “Blue Alert System” to rapidly release information statewide to catch suspects of assaulting or killing law enforcement officials.

Dave Rible

“Unfortunately we have seen on-duty police officers become targets of careless, violent action,” said Rible, R-Monmouth. “Statewide cooperation between state and local law enforcement, with help from the media, will ensure that these criminals are brought to swift justice.”

The Blue Alert System will be a voluntary program for state and local law enforcement to share suspect information with the inclusion of media outlets. The alert will be activated by the investigating agency when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed and the suspect is at large.

“Just like an Amber Alert for kidnappings and Silver Alerts for stolen cars, a Blue Alert will bring statewide attention to the crime and help apprehend the suspect,” continued Rible. “Cooperation is critical to bringing justice in any investigation. When I was a police officer, getting information quickly was paramount to solving crimes. Protecting our police officers and citizens is always a priority.”

Assemblyman Rible was a patrolman, detective and crime prevention officer amongst other positions during his public safety tenure in Belmar and Wall Township.

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Leader Bramnick to Receive NJ’s Highest Arts Education Award Today

The Governor’s Award for Lifetime Contribution in Arts Education

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick has been selected as a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Contribution in Arts Education for his efforts in promoting the importance of the arts in New Jersey’s school system. The award is presented by the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership.

Bramnick, R-Union, will receive the award during a 4:30 p.m. ceremony held in Patriots Theater at the Trenton War Memorial on Thursday, May 26. The event is a partnership of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the N.J. State Council on the Arts.

Bramnick sponsored the law signed by Gov. Christie in January that requires school districts to weigh visual and performing arts courses equally to other subjects. The classes now receive the same level of importance in determining a student’s grade point average (GPA).

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Dancer honors hardworking women with ‘Equal Pay Day’ resolution

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Ron Dancer

Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced an Assembly joint resolution (AJR99) establishing an “Equal Pay Day” on the second Tuesday of April annually.

The second Tuesday in April represents the number (102) of extra days a typical woman working full time would have to work into the current year just to make the same amount of wages as a typical man did in the previous year.

“It is disheartening that after 53 years since the passage of the Federal Equal Pay Act there is still a gender wage gap,” said Dancer. “Nearly 4 in 10 mothers are primary breadwinners in their households, making pay equity critical to economic security. I am hopeful this day will heighten awareness to recognize the full value of women’s skills and significant contributions to the labor force.”

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Ciattarelli Commends Sen. Greenstein for Introducing Identical Highway Worker Safety Bill

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli was happy Monday to see Senator Linda Greenstein introduce a bill identical to one he dropped in mid-April. The bill (A3643/S2215), “The Highway Worker Safety Act,” increases penalties for vehicular assault and homicide of highway workers and increases the fines for highway working zone penalties.

Jack Ciattarelli

“I thank Senator Greenstein for introducing this legislation in the Senate,” said Ciattarelli, R-Somerset. “Highway workers are often in high-traffic areas with little visibility as they work at night. It is important that we mitigate their risk and try to make drivers more aware of their surroundings and take proper precautions.”

The bill creates a new offense – assault by auto – if a worker is injured by a motorist who was driving aggressively. It also revises the state law to require drivers to move over when approaching highway construction, maintenance or incident zones. The law currently requires motorists to reduce their speed and change lanes when authorized vehicles are displaying flashing lights. Violators face a $100 to $500 fine. Penalties would increase to $500 to $1,000.

“It is a sad fact that over half of on-site fatalities are the result of reckless driving. Passing this legislation is important for the protection of highway construction workers. People need to be aware that these workers are in harm’s way when driving carelessly by them.”

The Senate bill is on the Law and Public Safety committee agenda for Monday, May 23 in room 10 at 10:30 a.m.

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Bucco advocates for an affordable New Jersey

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Deputy Assembly Minority Leader Anthony M. Bucco Thursday joined guest host Steve Lonegan on The Voice of Liberty, a radio program on WNJE-AM.

Bucco shared the results of a report he received from the Office of Legislative Services on outmigration.

Anthony M. Bucco

“Essentially what the data shows is that young people, who are just starting out in low income levels and just starting to have families, they are leaving the state in record numbers,” reported Bucco (R-Morris). “Then on the opposite end, those high wage earners who are approaching retirement are leaving in record numbers as well.”

Similarly the N.J. Business and Industry Association released a study in February 2016, which concluded that the state had a net loss of 682,062 residents between 2005 and 2014. And from 2004 to 2013, New Jersey lost $18 billion in net adjusted gross income. NJBIA also reported a net loss of 57,566 millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 between 2007 and 2014.

“And that just goes to prove what we have been saying for the last decade now,” continued Bucco. “People can’t afford to live here and they certainly can’t afford to die here. So if we don’t do something to correct the situation and to make New Jersey more affordable, those numbers are just going to continue to grow, and as a result the revenue goes with them.”

Bucco proposed a number of corrections including eliminating the estate tax, expanding the charitable deduction, freezing the senior tax bracket for retirement income, and a bill he recently introduced (A3536) to adjust state income tax brackets with inflation.

“By the way this has support from the left all the way to the right,” explained Bucco. “OLS has suggested that will put $200 to $400 a year back into people’s pockets. That will go a long way for people in New Jersey that are struggling.”

The bill is designed to stop what accountants and economist call “bracket creep,” which happens as increased wages push taxpayers into a higher income tax bracket. This can be costly for individuals and families who rely on every dollar they earn.

# # #

You can listen to the whole May 19 interview here:

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Phoebus-Space bill allows voter registration when purchasing hunting, fishing and trapper licenses

Assembly Republican Press Release -

An Assembly panel today advanced legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus that will make it convenient to register to vote when purchasing hunting, fishing and trapping licenses.

The bill (A1387) requires voter registration forms to be made available when applying for hunting, fishing or trapping licenses.

Gail Phoebus

Gail Phoebus

“Less than 22 percent of voters turned out in last November’s general election, the fewest since 1947,” said Phoebus (R-Sussex). “While the reasons vary, it’s important that people register so they have the opportunity to vote. New Jersey has a lot of hunters and people who fish from young adults to senior citizens. This bill makes easier to register to vote while buying a license.”

Parker Space

“New Jersey’s population exceeds 8 million people yet only 5.4 million are registered to vote,” said Space (R-Sussex). “Federal law requires that people be given the change to register when applying for driver’s license. Since fishing and hunting are very popular in the Garden State, this is an opportunity to reach out to folks on the state level.”

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Assembly Republican Press Release -

Today Assemblyman Parker Space (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) voted against a massive hike in the minimum wage (A-15) in the Assembly Labor Committee:

Parker Space

Raising the minimum wage will keep New Jersey uncompetitive as we try to attract new capital and create long-term job prosperity.

Small business owners put in long hard hours in their businesses just to keep things going in today’s fragile economy. Well-paid “progressive” organizers should put themselves in the shoes of a small business owner. I know with so many regulations already controlling us, it’s hard to think of adding a minimum wage increase on top of this. Did they ever lay awake at night wondering how they are going to cover their next payroll?

I know a lot of businesses are going to employ less people because they have to stay competitive with what they do and can’t raise the cost of their goods. I have learned from my dad and grandfather many years ago that when you have a good employee you should give them a raise to show that you see all the hard work he or she is doing. And on the other hand if they don’t produce they don’t get one. This should be a management decision, not the government telling us we should do!

We already have one of the highest income tax rates in the country; the highest property taxes in America, which is the single biggest burden for small businesses in New Jersey; the highest combined taxes of any state in America; and one of the worst regulatory environments of any state in the nation. Adding an increase to the minimum wage on top of this will continue to stifle small businesses and new job opportunities.

In addition to increase costs of hourly wages, a huge hike in the minimum wage will also increase the amount of payroll taxes that businesses have to pay: unemployment insurance, workers compensation, temporary disability, etc.

I will continue to advocate to my colleagues that we halt anti-job endeavors like this one.

A 2014 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimated job losses of 500,000 or .3% of the US labor force if the minimum wage were to be increased to $10 per hour. A study using the CBO data found New Jersey could lose between 4,802 and 42,739 due to an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

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Muñoz bill to protect healthcare workers who provide Medicaid personal care sevices advances

Press Release – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz to ensure healthcare workers who provide Medicaid personal care services through managed care delivery organizations (MCOs) are fairly compensated today cleared the Human Services Committee.

Nancy Munoz

Historically, the standard delivery system for Medicaid is fee for service (fees paid separately), but states are increasingly moving to the use of managed care systems, such as healthcare maintenance organizations (HMOs).

“As Medicaid personal care services have shifted to managed care delivery organizations, the workers who actually deliver the care have seen their salaries decrease or remain stagnant for the past 15 years,” said Muñoz, R-Union. “As the cost of living increases, it’s extremely difficult for them to make ends meet. This measure will make sure current employees are justly compensated and will help attract and maintain an adequate workforce going forward so that residents have access to care.”

The bill (A320) requires the MCO to pay the providers at a rate that is no less than the state fee-for-service rate. It will increase every five years based on the Consumer Price Indices average for all urban wage earners in the New York and Philadelphia metro areas.

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Bucco bill allowing municipal utility authorities to defer or reduce rates for deployed military personnel approved by committee

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Anthony M. Bucco

Legislation to help ease the burden on deployed members of the military sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco was approved today by the State and Local Government Committee. The bill (A3534) permits county and municipal sewer and water authorities to waive, defer, or reduce charges for deployed military personnel.

“When our military men and women are serving overseas, they have enough to worry about. They should not be worrying about keeping the water on at home. They should be concentrating on keeping themselves and their fellow soldiers safe and completing their mission.” said Bucco (R—Morris), the Deputy Republican Leader. “This permissive legislation allows taxpayer-owned utilities to make it more affordable to keep the utilities on back home. It’s the right thing to do for those soldiers that are risking their lives to keep us safe and ensure our freedom.”

Under the bill, the relief is available for a primary residence owned in full or part by an enlisted member of the United States Armed Forces for the duration of their war-time deployment.

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