Tag: Caroline Casagrande

Casagrande-Handlin Law bans specific type of bonus for superintendents

Source: Tri-Town News -

Legislation sponsored by state Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande and Amy Handlin (R-Monmouth) regarding certain superintendent bonuses was recently signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.

The law bans bonuses from being given to school superintendents based on reducing the number of special needs students who are placed in out-of-district educational facilities.

Caroline Casagrande

“It is inappropriate to ever tie a superintendent’s compensation to where a child attends school,” Casagrande said. “I am proud that New Jersey is taking a stand on behalf of our special needs students and their families.”

The bill, A3997 (S3076), was introduced after officials in some school districts had begun awarding bonuses for reducing the number of students being placed in out-ofdistrict facilities. The bill received unanimous support in the Assembly on June 20, 2013, according to a press release.

Amy Handlin

“Exploring constructive and achievable approaches to educating youngsters with special needs should be what motivates an educator, not figuring out a way to obtain an additional perk,” Handlin said.

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Gov. Christie Signs DeCroce and Casagrande’s ‘Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research Act’

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

The “Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act,” sponsored by Assemblywomen BettyLou DeCroce and Caroline Casagrande, has been signed into law by Gov. Christie.

BettyLou DeCroce

“With the guidelines that will be established, we will provide effective tools to help medical professionals and staff provide sensitive and compassionate care following the loss of a child in stillbirth,” said DeCroce, R-Essex, Morris and Passaic. “Families grieving and struggling after a stillborn loss are especially vulnerable, and skilled care is crucial.”

The new law calls on the Department of Health to create a database for stillbirth research and to develop protocols for stillbirths and to create a database for stillbirth research. It requires the development of policies to ensure that families experiencing a stillbirth receive psychological and emotional support.

Caroline Casagrande

“An entire family is impacted by the stillbirth loss of a child,” says Casagrande, R-Monmouth. “This new law will better prepare medical workers to care for, and comfort, mothers and fathers struggling with the emotional and psychological trauma of that loss. In addition, establishing a comprehensive research database could ultimately provide clues for the prevention of stillbirths in the future.”

DeCroce and Casagrande’s bill is named in honor of Autumn Joy Vijayvergiya, a baby who was stillborn in New Jersey in 2011.

Approximately one in every 160 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth, or 26,000 each year.

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NJ law bars some bonuses

Source: The Daily Journal -

No more tying money to school placement

Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that bans bonuses to school superintendents for reducing the number of special-needs students who are placed in out-of-district programs.

Caroline Casagrande

“It is inappropriate to ever tie a superintendent’s compensation to where a child attends school,” bill sponsor Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande, R-Monmouth, said. “I am proud that New Jersey is taking a stand on behalf of our special-needs students and their families.”

Freehold Regional High School District paid its superintendent, Charles Sampson, a bonus of $5,910 in the 2011-12 school year for reducing the number of students sent to out-of-district special education programs. The bonus was on top of Sampson’s $177,500 annual salary. Middletown Schools Superintendent William George received a bonus of $899 for the 2011-12 school year for reducing tuition costs for out-of-district placement of special-needs students, and $3,080 for the 2012-13 school year for improving in-district special-education programs and services. The bonuses were on top of his $187,500 annual salary.

Christie signed the legislation Monday.

Amy Handlin

“Exploring constructive and achievable approaches to educating youngsters with special needs should be what motivates an educator, not figuring out a way to obtain an additional perk,” said another bill sponsor, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, R-Monmouth.

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New law bans superintendent bonuses for not sending special ed students out of districts

Source: Asbury Park Press -

Gov. Chris Christie on Monday signed into law a bill that bans bonuses to schools superintendents for reducing the number of special needs students who are placed in out-of-district programs.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande and Amy Handlin, both R-Monmouth, was passed by the Assembly in June, but the Senate didn’t consider it until after the Asbury Park Press reported on it in November. The Senate approved the bill Dec. 19.

Caroline Casagrande

“It is inappropriate to ever tie a superintendent’s compensation to where a child attends school,” Casagrande said. “I am proud that New Jersey is taking a stand on behalf of our special needs students and their families.”

The Press reported that the Freehold Regional High School District paid its superintendent, Charles Sampson, a bonus of $5,910 in the 2011-12 school year for reducing the number of students sent to out-of-district special education programs. The bonus was on top of Sampson’s $177,500 annual salary.

The Press also reported that Middletown Schools Superintendent William George received a bonus of $899 for the 2011-12 school year for reducing tuition costs for out-of-district placement of special-needs students, and $3,080 for the 2012-13 school year for improving in-district special-education programs and services. The bonuses were on top of his $187,500 annual salary.

Amy Handlin

“Exploring constructive and achievable approaches to educating youngsters with special needs should be what motivates an educator, not figuring out a way to obtain an additional perk,” Handlin said.

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Casagrande-Handlin Bill Banning Bonuses Tied to Special Education Placements Signed into Law

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande and Amy Handlin that bans bonuses given to school superintendents based on reducing the number of special needs students placed out-of-the-district was signed into law today by Gov. Christie.

Caroline Casagrande

“It is inappropriate to ever tie a superintendent’s compensation to where a child attends
school,” said Casagrande, R-Monmouth, said. “I am proud that New Jersey is taking a stand on behalf of our special needs students and their families.”

The bill, A-3997 (S-3076) was introduced after some districts had begun awarding bonuses for reducing the number of students placed out-of-district. It received unanimous support in the General Assembly on June 20, 2013.

Amy Handlin

“Exploring constructive and achievable approaches to educating youngsters with special
needs should be what motivates an educator, not figuring out a way to obtain an additional perk,” said Handlin, R-Monmouth. “This legislation makes it clear that teaching special needs students is an important component of a school district’s policies and curriculum and there is no reward for placing them in an outside district.”

The bipartisan legislation bars bonuses to schools superintendents for reducing the number of special education students enrolled in out-of-district programs.

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Casagrande, Handlin legislation to curb state doctor shortage moves to Assembly floor

Source: The Star-Ledger -

Legislation pushed by two Monmouth County legislators to address New Jersey’s shortage of doctors will move to the Assembly floor.

The Physician Loan Redemption Program, sponsored by assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande (R-Monmouth) and Amy Handlin (R-Monmouth, was released by the Assembly Budget Committee.

The Physician Loan Redemption Program, redeems qualifying loan expenses over a four year period for physicians in specialties that experience a significant shortage in the state, if they work in New Jersey for that same amount of time in designated medically underserved areas.

Caroline Casagrande

“This legislation addresses one of the biggest concerns expressed by medical students by offering them reimbursement for their loan expenses in return for a commitment to practice in our state’s underserviced areas,” Casagrande said. “We have learned much about this issue over the last year and we have listened to testimony from administrators, teachers and medical students. Now we can do something that provides a tangible benefit to our newest doctors while providing help in underserved areas which lack physicians.”

The program is a response to estimates one million additional people will seek medical care in New Jersey under the Affordable Care Act, the landmark 2010 federal health care reform legislation, and reports that New Jersey is already training too few while exporting too many doctors.

“We know from the report issued by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals that only about one-third of medical school graduates are opting to stay in New Jersey.” Casagrande said. “After speaking directly with stakeholders, repaying loans for their education is a major concern when they are ready to practice medicine. With an acute shortage of doctors expected in the near future, retaining new doctors in our state is a public policy challenge.

In return for their commitment, the participants’ eligible qualifying loan expenses will be reimbursed, subject to the maximum amount authorized by federal law.

Amy Handlin

“There is no magic pill that will cure this crisis. The medical profession is a noble one that provides essential services,” Handlin, R-Monmouth, said. “Our goal is to improve and implement public policies that encourage doctors to stay in our state and treat patients who need, and depend on their expertise. Working out a financial arrangement that addresses one of the primary concerns of medical students and locates physicians in underserved areas is a step in the right direction.”
The same bill was unanimously released by the Assembly Higher Education Committee on Dec. 12.

Casagrande and Handlin said their roundtable discussion held at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in September to discuss the physician shortage was extremely helpful in understanding the problems facing medical students.

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Casagrande-Handlin Physician Loan Redemption Program Bill Released by Budget Committee

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

The effort to address the projected shortage of doctors in New Jersey continued to progress today as bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Policy Co-Chair Caroline Casagrande and Deputy Republican Leader Amy Handlin, which creates the Physician Loan Redemption Program, was released by the Assembly Budget Committee. The same bill was unanimously released by the Assembly Higher Education Committee on Dec. 12.

The Physician Loan Redemption Program, A-1269/4507, provides for redemption of qualifying loan expenses over a four year period for physicians in specialties that are projected to experience a significant shortage in the state, if they work in New Jersey for that same amount of time in designated medically underserved areas.

Caroline Casagrande

“We know from the report issued by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals that only about one-third of medical school graduates are opting to stay in New Jersey. After speaking directly with stakeholders, repaying loans for their education is a major concern when they are ready to practice medicine,” said Casagrande, R-Monmouth. “With an acute shortage of doctors expected in the near future, retaining new doctors in our state is a public policy challenge.

“This legislation addresses one of the biggest concerns expressed by medical students by offering them reimbursement for their loan expenses in return for a commitment to practice in our state’s underserviced areas,” stated Casagrande. “We have learned much about this issue over the last year and we have listened to testimony from administrators, teachers and medical students. Now we can do something that provides a tangible benefit to our newest doctors while providing help in underserved areas which lack physicians.”

In return for their commitment, the participants’ eligible qualifying loan expenses will be reimbursed, subject to the maximum amount authorized by federal law.

Amy Handlin

“There is no magic pill that will cure this crisis. The medical profession is a noble one that provides essential services,” explained Handlin, R-Monmouth. “Our goal is to improve and implement public policies that encourage doctors to stay in our state and treat patients who need, and depend on their expertise. Working out a financial arrangement that addresses one of the primary concerns of medical students and locates physicians in underserved areas is a step in the right direction.”

Casagrande and Handlin said their roundtable discussion held at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in September to discuss the physician shortage was extremely helpful in understanding the problems facing medical students. Under the Affordable Care Act, it is estimated that an additional one million people will seek some type of medical care in New Jersey.

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DeCroce and Casagrande’s ‘Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research Act’ Approved by Assembly

Caroline Casagrande

BettyLou DeCroce

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

The General Assembly today approved the “Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act,” sponsored by Assemblywomen BettyLou DeCroce and Caroline Casagrande.

Assembly bill 4280 calls on the Department of Health to create a database for stillbirth research and to develop protocols for stillbirths and to create a database for stillbirth research.

“By establishing guidelines, we are providing medical professionals and staff with tools to ensure grief-stricken families receive sensitive and compassionate care following the loss of a child in stillbirth,” said DeCroce, R-Essex, Morris and Passaic. “For a family coping with a horrific loss, appropriate and skilled care is crucial.”

DeCroce and Casagrande’s bill is named in honor of Autumn Joy Vijayvergiya, a baby who was stillborn in New Jersey in 2011. It requires the development of policies to ensure that families experiencing a stillbirth receive psychological and emotional support.

“A stillbirth is an emotionally devastating event for the mother, father and the entire family. Our bill will better prepare medical care-givers to provide sensitive, proficient treatment for the emotional, and psychological trauma of the loss,” said Casagrande, R-Monmouth.

Approximately one in every 160 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth, or 26,000 each year.

By directing the Department of Health to establish a database to serve as a comprehensive resource for stillbirth research, the bill could ultimately provide valuable information for the prevention of stillbirths.

The “Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act” now moves to the Governor. Companion bill S-2843 passed the Senate, 39-0-1.

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What Didn’t Get Done in 2013?

Source: NJ 101.5 -

The new state legislature in New Jersey won’t be sworn in until Jan. 14 and that means that theoretically more bills can be passed before then, but it also appears many important measures will die. The list includes several bills that could lower property taxes.

Jon Bramnick

“How about Steve Sweeney’s bill which ties in an income tax reduction with property taxes, which was an alternative to a 10 percent across the board income tax reduction,” asked Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield). “That’d be a great message.”

A 10 percent across-the-board income tax cut was first proposed by Gov. Chris Christie. State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) countered with his plan that would lower income taxes for people based on the amount of property taxes they pay. Christie said he will push for a tax cut again in 2014.

Caroline Casagrande

“It’s hasn’t been a mystery that we need to end sick and vacation payouts,” said Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Freehold). “What about consolidation? Some form of meaningful, forced consolidation that would actually lower property taxes.”

The governor wants to eliminate end-of-career payouts to public workers for their unused sick and vacation days, but the Democrat-controlled legislature has yet to come to a concensus.

There is a shared services bill and it’s also sponsored by Sweeney. It would force towns to share services where it makes sense or risk losing state aid. The bill has already passed the full upper house and Sweeney said if the Assembly doesn’t approve it this session, he’ll reintroduce it as Senate Bill Number One.

Another issue left unresolved is fully restoring a tax credit for the working poor that Christie had previously cut.

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NJ Republicans Call on Democrats to End ‘Boat Checks’

Source:NJ 101.5 -

For years Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been demanding the elimination of huge end-of-career payouts to public employees for their unused sick and vacation days.

Some of the payouts are so huge that Christie has taken to calling them, “boat checks.” Assembly Republicans are demanding that the Democrat-controlled legislature take up the issue in the current lame duck session.

Caroline Casagrande

“The governor has come to affectionately call them boat checks, the giant payouts for sick and vacation days for departing municipal employees that can tank a municipal budget,” said Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Freehold). “I guarantee you’d be hard pressed to find a Democrat who ran on the platform of maintaining boat checks.”

In 2011, State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) introduced a bill to cap the cash-outs at $7,500. He called it a compromise, but Christie called it a joke.

Amy Handlin

“These payouts cost taxpayers between $800 and $900 million per year,” said Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Belford) last week. “Almost a billion dollars is going out the door. It’s going into the Atlantic Ocean.”

Sarlo’s bill from 2011 would end the huge six-figure payouts that are doled out to some retiring public employees and at the time he said his measure would discourage public workers from using up all of their sick time every single year. Those arguments didn’t resonate with Christie.

“Let’s just get down to it, okay?” said Christie in late December of 2011. “Zero should mean zero and I don’t see myself compromising on this……Everybody understands that sick leave should be when you’re sick and their argument is; Well, people may use it otherwise in a fraudulent way therefore we have to pay them not to commit fraud.”

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