Category: Press Release

O’Scanlon applauds Pohatcong leadership in sending message to companies peddling speed cameras

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today enthusiastically applauded Pohatcong Township’s stance on speed cameras. Pohatcong Township Mayor James Kern believes that speed cameras would be a mistake given the problems the red-light cameras are already causing. Tonight, he is pushing for an ordinance that would prohibit the cameras for speed-enforcement use within the township.

Recently Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, suggested he would not only consider renewing the red-light camera program but expanding it to include automated speed ticketing cameras.

“Mayor Kern is sending exactly the right message,” said O’Scanlon. “We have been through the red light camera nightmare – which Pohatcong initially embraced. The Pohatcong officials found out what honest host communities invariably find – the cameras provide no safety benefit. They do enrich the companies that operate them. The red light camera program looks like it will die a merciful death in December. Extending it, or even worse expanding it and adding speed cameras, would be a huge mistake. Our taxpayers would be the losers.”

“The comments from Assemblyman Wisniewski about not only continuing the red light pilot program but expanding it to include speeding citations show a major disconnect from reality,” said Mayor James Kern. “The pilot program has showed that aside from all the errors and glitches, driver behavior is not changing. I can only imagine the problems with an automated speed ticketing program.”

In Maryland more than 10 percent of photo-enforcement tickets were issued in error, and 26 percent were deemed “questionable,” according to a Baltimore City audit. While in Philadelphia problems with the camera’s timing caused the refunding or dismissal of over 4,000 tickets. The District of Columbia found issues with inclement weather caused false positives by the camera resulting in more than 400 refunds to drivers. Most comically, in Maryland, a car was issued a speeding ticket for exceeding the limit by 13 mph. The problem? The car was parked at the time it was ticketed.

“Pohatcong, a town that initially embraced red light cameras, sending the ‘no speed camera message’ is particularly significant,” said O’Scanlon. “These folks have had first hand knowledge of the deceptive tactics employed by automated enforcement companies. If the Pohatcong folks say we shouldn’t believe them, that they blatantly misrepresent what their products do, and that other towns shouldn’t get into bed with them, then we all should listen to that message born from experience.”

“In the event this program is extended, I will make sure that Pohatcong will not have cameras issuing speeding tickets,” Mayor Kern stated. “I will be introducing an ordinance tonight to have speed cameras prohibited which should take effect by the end of September. Ultimately, our Township Council will have to approve this proposal but I am optimistic they will.”

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Dancer Bill Aims To Prevent Child Deaths In Hot Cars

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth is protecting young children and preventing tragedies with legislation he introduced that increases penalties for adults who leave a child unattended in a car.

Ron Dancer

“Every summer we hear of more unattended young children dying in overheated cars. These are preventable deaths and people need to be aware of the dangers and new criminal penalties. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a car parked in the sun can increase by 20 degrees in an hour, every hour,” said Dancer.

Dancer noted that in the last two years, almost 70 children died in hot cars, including 44 in 2013 alone.

“My bill is intended to provide a deterrent to parents and care-providers who forget about the life-threatening dangers of leaving young children unsupervised in locked vehicles,” said Dancer. “Law Enforcement Officers will also be authorized to use whatever means are reasonably necessary to protect and remove the child from the vehicle and not be held liable in any civil action.”

Under Dancer’s bill, A-3604, leaving a child under 6 years old unattended in a vehicle would be subject to a $500 fine, and if the child is injured as a result, the charge would be a third degree crime, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

If the child was injured seriously or killed, the charge is a second degree crime, with a fine up to $150,000 and as long as 10 years behind bars.

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Fiocchi, Business Leaders Tackle Red Tape Issues

Press Release – In Vineland today, Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi met with 40 area business owners to discuss way to improve the state’s regulatory environment. Fiocchi was joined by Assembly Republican Whip Scott Rumana, a member of Gov. Christie’s Red Tape Review Commission (RTRC).

The event, which took place at Cumberland County College, featured several business owners concerned about the burdensome red tape and government mandates that hamper job creation and investment.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“Instead of more bureaucracy and more red tape, we need to create an environment that nurtures businesses to grow and thrive,” said Fiocchi, R-Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic. “We don’t want to wait for industries to come to us. We want to go to them and stay connected. Our main goal is to create more jobs and grow South Jersey’s economy.”

Fiocchi said he asked Rumana to join him for today’s meeting because as a RTRC member, he will be able to directly share the business owners’ input with the commission. Rumana has had several bills signed into law that eliminate unnecessary red tape and encourages entrepreneurs to create jobs.

“New Jersey’s regulatory culture is changing,” said Rumana, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris. “We continue to make substantial progress in reducing onerous and burdensome red tape. By streamlining business-to-government interaction, we are creating a more hospitable climate for business. We still have more work to do, but as a small business owner, I know Sam understands the business community’s frustrations. They couldn’t ask for a better advocate in Trenton.”

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Singer, Kean, Rible Statement on Passing of Aaron Sofer

Source: Press Release -

Senator Robert Singer and Assemblymen Sean Kean and David Rible (R-30) issued the following statement today regarding the death of Lakewood’s Aaron Sofer.

“Our thoughts and prayers today are with the Sofer family. Aaron’s tragic death is an unthinkable loss for his family, peers and the entire Lakewood community. Aaron’s dedication to his faith and family should serve as an example to us all. We thank those in the community, across the state and the country who offered their support and prayers for Aaron and his family during these recent difficult days.”

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Fiocchi Says Soccer on Green Grass is Natural, Even in the Pinelands

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi today voiced his support for continuing youth soccer tournaments at farms in the Pinelands.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“What possibly could be more natural than kids playing on lush fields of dense Kentucky bluegrass? I can’t think of anything better and more in keeping with preservation than weekend recreational sports,” said Fiocchi, R-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland. “Teams will come here and play soccer a couple weekends a year.”

At a farm in Hammonton, soccer tournaments were recently hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Soccer Showcase League. The Pinelands Commission contends that soccer games violate the farm’s deed restriction, which allows for “low intensity recreational use.”

“Occasional soccer games have low-impact, or no impact, on the environment,” said Fiocchi, the sponsor of legislation that would classify soccer as one of the recreational activities permitted on agriculture land in the Pinelands. “There’s no reason at all to prohibit these games.”

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O’Scanlon: Collaborative Victory on Electric Meters Demonstrates that Sometimes the System Does Work

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon praised the process that led to the comprehensive and sensible solution to the placement of electric meters in flood zones.

Declan O'Scanlon

“As hard as it is to accept, conflicting concerns will mean we sometimes encounter frustrating rules and regulations” said O’Scanlon. “Sometimes those enshrined rules and regulations can be exceedingly difficult to alter, even in the face of drastically altered conditions. So when we came across the meter height issue a few weeks ago, I was very concerned.”

O’Scanlon was contacted by a constituent, along with local Sea Bright officials regarding the conflicting guidance pertaining to the placement of her electric meter.

“The original guidance directed her to place the meter above the base flood elevation level, which she did. The problem arose when JCP&L representatives showed up and informed the homeowner to move the meter down to 5.5 feet above ground level, well below the future flood level. We almost simultaneously encountered the issue during an inspection of rebuilt neighborhoods in Union Beach. I immediately contacted JCP&L and the Governor’s Office of Rebuilding and Recovery. Everyone’s attitude was immediately open-minded. The JCP&L folks explained the reasoning behind their rules – they must have easy access to meters in case of fire or other emergencies – but understood that a better solution was needed for these flood prone areas and they committed to finding one,” said O’Scanlon

Working with the BPU, and the Governor’s Office of Rebuilding and Recovery, they came up with not just one potential solution but a set of options that provide flexibility for different situations. Meters can now be placed well above likely flood waters, provided there is a permanent, fixed platform with stairs leading to it. Front and rear porches can potentially qualify and the option of a separate platform exists as well. Customers should work with JCP&L to arrive at the best option for their situation and must get approval from JCP&L for potential placements.

Some folks who have already placed their meters will have the added expense of moving them if they want to take advantage of this option, but at least now they have the choice. Those many folks still working on rebuilding will be able to take advantage of these options immediately. We are now helping get this revised guidance out to residents and municipal officials.

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Rible Lauds PSE&G’s Capital Project Creating Jobs

Press Release – Assembly Republican Conference Leader David Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean, issued the following statement regarding the results of a Rutgers Study released today that shows PSE&G’s 10-year, $8.1 billion transmission investment program is an economic engine for New Jersey:

Dave Rible

“PSE&G’s commitment to upgrading its infrastructure will result in better service and reliability for its customers. At the same time, it’s creating thousands of quality jobs from construction to manufacturing to retail and transportation. The many and varied benefits derived from this program will help to continue to drive economic growth for our state for years to come. I commend PSE&G for its role in helping build a better New Jersey.”

The report concludes that the transmission upgrades are responsible for creating 6,000 jobs annually, resulting in more than $4.3 billion in salary and benefits and more than $640 million in state and local government revenue.

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Dancer Bipartisan Bill Brings Common Sense to Gun Ownership

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

The legislation was prompted by the case of Shaneen Allen, a singe mother from Pennsylvania facing a possible 3 ½-year prison sentence

When a law-abiding citizen from another state visits New Jersey and that individual is in total compliance with their home state gun laws, under current New Jersey law, that individual faces a mandatory prison term of no less than 3 ½ years if he or she is not in compliance with N.J. law during the time of their visit.

Ron Dancer

Assemblyman Ron Dancer wants to give courts sentencing discretion when a resident of another state has a legal gun permit in their home state with no known criminal record, behavior or intent and is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm while visiting in New Jersey, provided certain conditions are met .

Dancer believes it is unreasonable to expect citizens to know and be aware of all the various nuances of 50 different States’ gun laws. Dancer introduced bipartisan legislation, A-3608 on August 4 that permits a judge to consider whether there are mitigating circumstances in such cases before deciding on the appropriate punishment, rather than a mandatory, minimum prison term of no less than 42 months with no possibility of parole or even pre-trial intervention, especially for state visitors with no criminal record.

“Each case of an illegal gun possession charge should be judged on the particular facts surrounding that case,” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington , Monmouth and Middlesex. “The court should be able to consider if an out-of-state resident has a valid legal permit where they live. States have their own firearm laws and a person visiting N.J. may not be totally familiar with every aspect of New Jersey’s law. Judges should be allowed to use their discretion if there was no criminal record or intent.”

The bipartisan legislation addresses instances such as the New Jersey man who moved back to the state from Colorado in 2009. After being stopped by law enforcement, the search of his car revealed two locked and unloaded handguns in the trunk, both of which were purchased legally in Colorado. He was sentenced to a seven-year prison term which was eventually commuted by Gov. Chris Christie.

Also, according to National media accounts, a Pennsylvania woman, Shaneen Allen, was recently stopped by New Jersey police and voluntarily told them she had a handgun in her car which was legally purchased and registered in Pennsylvania. Shaneen Allen was quoted as saying she was not aware that her Pennsylvania home state permit was not valid in New Jersey and is now charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. Her trial date is October 6.

Dancer’s bill applies to residents from other states who are visiting N.J. and have a legal permit in their home state to possess the firearm, if required. The legislation applies only to handguns, rifles and shotguns. Under current law, New Jersey courts have no options and must impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 42 months in prison with no discretion or consideration of the facts.

This proposed bipartisan legislation A-3608 gives the court flexibility, depending upon the facts of the case, whether to impose a mandatory sentence or have the defendant enter into a pretrial intervention program if the defendant has no prior criminal record, no association with a criminal street gang and is in compliance with the handgun laws of their home state.

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Students to Enjoy Farm Fresh Meals Courtesy of Dancer-Space-McHose Law

Assembly Republican Press Release -

A multi-bill package that gives children access to healthy school breakfasts and lunches from Jersey grown products was signed into law today. Assembly Republicans Ron Dancer, Parker Space and Alison McHose sponsored the bills that enhance the state’s successful “Farm to School” program. The program is administered by the Dept. of Agriculture and benefits students, food banks and New Jersey’s farmers.

Ron Dancer

“We are proud of our farmers and the fresh food they produce. This helps local schools and farmers find each other,” said Dancer. “Working with schools is a real boost for local farms and we love seeing kids eat fresh fruit and vegetables. We should make every possible effort to maximize nutritious, locally produced foods for students and improve the bottom line of our farmers.”

 

Parker Space

“‘Farm to School’ helps grow the local economy and preserve farmland,” said Space, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “It helps schools offer more fresh fruits and vegetables in their cafeterias and students to appreciate eating fresh, New Jersey grown produce. I hope schools will seriously consider the value of our home-grown products.”

Alison Littell McHose

“New Jersey farmers supply the best quality products in the country,” said McHose, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “Good nutrition is a key to academic success. This program will also help address another issue concerning our youth which is childhood obesity.”


The “Farm to School” package signed today:

• A-2641 provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns to support the “Farm to School” and “School Gardens” programs.

• A-2642 allows the Secretary of Agriculture to solicit and accept private and public money to support the state’s “Farm to School” program.

• A-2643 establishes the “Best in New Jersey ‘Farm to School’ Awards Program,” to annually recognize the outstanding “Farm to School” programs implemented by a school or school district.

• A-2644 creates a website clearinghouse connecting schools, school districts, food banks and farmers.

• A-156 requires the Dept. of Agriculture to post on the homepage of its website a hyperlink that provides visitors with direct access to the “New Jersey Farm to School” program.

Additional sponsors of the bipartisan legislation include: Assembly Democrats Robert Andrzeczak, Gilbert “Whip” Wilson, and Celeste Riley.

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‘Farm to School’ Bill Package Sponsored by Brown, Fiocchi Signed into Law

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Expanding access to nutritious, locally harvested food for school children, a package of five bills sponsored by Assembly Republicans Chris A. Brown and Sam Fiocchi was signed into law today. The bills further strengthen the New Jersey’s successful “Farm to School” program.

Chris A. Brown

“This is an opportunity to improve nutrition and promote healthy eating in our schools. Students can learn to appreciate the benefits and quality of food grown on local farms,” said Assemblyman Brown, R – Atlantic. “At the same time, the local economy gets a boost and we promote agriculture in the Garden State.”

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“Bringing more farm fresh food into school lunchrooms will benefit the local farmers and the economy. We can put just-picked fruits and vegetables in the hands of young children, and help them develop life-long healthy eating habits,” noted Assemblyman Fiocchi, R-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland.

The “Farm to School” package includes:

  • A-156 requires the Dept. of Agriculture to post on the homepage of its website a hyperlink that provides visitors with direct access to the “New Jersey Farm to School” program.
  • A-2641 provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns to support the “Farm to School” and “School Gardens” programs.
  • A-2642 allows the Secretary of Agriculture to solicit and accept private and public money to support the state’s “Farm to School” program.
  • A-2643 establishes the “Best in New Jersey ‘Farm to School’ Awards Program,” to annually recognize the outstanding “Farm to School” programs implemented by a school or school district.
  • A-2644 creates a website clearinghouse connecting schools, school districts, food banks and farmers.

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