Tag: Mary Pat Angelini

Angelini: Better Treatment, Prevention Needed to Save Young Lives from Opioid Epidemic

Source: NJ Spotlight -

A rising tide of deaths from heroin and prescription-drug overdoses has prompted legislators to introduce a wide-ranging package of bills designed to revamp the way the state treats and tries to prevent drug addiction and abuse.

The widespread sense that heroin and prescription opioid addiction is spiraling out of control in all corners of New Jersey has attracted the attention of legislative leaders from both parties.

In addition, Gov, Chris Christie has already worked with the Legislature on related bills, including legislation expanding access to drug courts for nonviolent offenders and the Overdose Protection Act, which provides legal immunity to people who report overdoses and allows the administration of the heroin antidote naloxone.

Mary Pat Angelini

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth), the CEO of behavioral health provider Prevention First, cited statistics that for every $1 spent on evidence-based prevention efforts, there is a long-term savings of $15 in costs to society, while a similar ratio exists for drug treatment, with $10 in savings for every $1 spent.

“This is an investment that our children — our communities — deserve,” Angelini said.

The 21-bill package includes proposals to require health-insurance plans to cover behavioral healthcare services when a healthcare provider deems it medically necessary; to increase Medicaid reimbursements for some behavioral healthcare; and to require doctors and other prescribers to participate in the state program monitoring opioid prescriptions.

Several of the bills have drawn sponsors from both parties. Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Chairman Joseph F. Vitale (D-Middlesex), who has focused on the opioids issue over the past 18 months, said the Christie administration has expressed interest in the proposals.

But some healthcare providers have said the legislation’s goals can be achieved without adding more mandates.

In addition, at a time of persistent state budget shortfalls, the cost is expected to be “tens of millions” of dollars, Vitale said. That means fiscal realities would make it difficult to implement some of the legislation before the next budget year begins in July 2015.

Patty DiRenzo, a Blackwood resident whose 26-year-old son Salvatore died of an overdose in 2010, said expanded insurance coverage is a necessary step. She said her son was repeatedly turned away from treatment because his insurance wouldn’t cover it.

“New Jersey is facing an epidemic and we are losing a generation of children to this disease,” DiRenzo said.

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Angelini and other lawmakers set to combat heroin, opiate abuse

Asbury Park Press -

State lawmakers unveiled nearly two dozen bills in a sweeping effort to curb heroin and prescription drug abuse, a crisis that has gripped New Jersey and especially the Jersey Shore region.

The 21 bills, formulated over the past year and a half, strike to core weaknesses in New Jersey’s substance abuse and treatment system.

Legislators held up the package of bills as a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to an epidemic that claimed more than 550 lives in New Jersey last year — a fifth from Ocean County. There were 112 heroin-related deaths in Ocean County and 61 in Monmouth last year, authorities have said.

The prescription drug monitoring program, for example, would be changed require pharmacies to update the database once a week rather than once a month to better monitor trends of doctor-shopping, where addicts visit multiple doctors to obtain scripts for narcotics.

Mary Pat Angelini

Legislators hailed the package as a bipartisan effort with wide support, because “this issue has touched every inch of New Jersey,” said Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, R-Monmouth.

But it’s going to cost money. Sen. Joe Vitale estimated an initial cost of $20 million and said he anticipates items in the bills to be included in the next budget discussions.

The Overdose Protection Act, which allows law enforcement to carry the opiate antidote naloxone, would be expanded to include substance abuse workers and volunteers, and would require those who administered the antidote to provide the patient with overdose prevention information.

Other bills include:

• Updating how abuse and addiction are taught in schools by requiring the Department of Education to review its curriculum to include “the most recent evidence-based standards and practice.”

• Allowing medication-based therapies, like Suboxone and methadone, in the drug court system.

• Expanding Project Medicine Drop locations.

• Requiring the state Poison Control Center to establish a clearinghouse of drug overdose information.

Lawmakers made the case on Tuesday that not undertaking these efforts will end up costing taxpayers more money. Multiple studies have shown returns for every dollar spent on prevention saves between $7 and $15 in crime and criminal justice costs.

“This is a health issue,” Angelini said. “And what will it look like if we don’t address it?”

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Angelini bill to curb huffing trend among young people

Source: NJ 101.5 -

A New Jersey lawmaker is concerned that children could be using aerosol dusters, most commonly used to clean computer keyboards, to get high. Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean) sponsors a bill to make it tougher for minors to get their hands on the product.

Mary Pat Angelini

“My bill makes it illegal to sell this type of product to anyone under the age of 18,” said Angelini. “Someone might tell kids, ‘Oh, you can huff this and get high and it’s just air. It can’t hurt you,’ but it’s actually a very complicated chemical mix that is very dangerous and could be deadly if inhaled.”

The legislation has been introduced in part to let parents and teachers know that inhalant abuse is a growing issue Angelini explained.

“According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse inhalants are actually the fourth most abused substance after alcohol, tobacco and marijuana,” Angelini said.

Under the bill, retailers would also have to post signs that state clearly: “Inhalant abuse can cause permanent injury or death. In New Jersey it is illegal to sell or give to a person under 18 years of age any aerosol duster.”

A civil penalty would be imposed on retailers who don’t comply with the requirement and criminal penalties would be imposed on anyone who violates the provisions of the legislation.

For more information on the scary trend of children abusing inhalants, you can go to www.inhalant.org or www.consumered.org. The average age of kids who start using inhalants is 10.

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Suspended driver’s license repeaters: Angelini and Dancer bill jails ‘em

Mary Pat Angelini

Ron Dancer

Asbury Park Press Editorial (8/23/14) -

Undoubtedly, the bill that Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini and Assemblyman Ronald Dancer are drafting that would require mandatory jail time for those convicted more than once of driving with a suspended license should be made into law as quickly as possible.

Not to be overly dramatic, but the law will save lives.

It would require that a person convicted of driving with a suspended license serve 30 days in jail for a second offense, 60 days in jail for a third offense, 90 days in jail for a fourth offense and a year in jail for any additional offense if the second or higher offense occurs within a five-year time frame.

In the first place, by definition, people with suspended licenses should not be driving.

But they do, because all too often the only punishment for being caught driving with a suspended license is … another suspended license. Currently, jail time is ordered only if a driver is involved in an accident that results in an injury while driving with a suspended license. This provides virtually no incentive to stay off the road and every incentive to keep driving and crossing your fingers against the possibility of being pulled over for some other traffic violation.

Apart from the sheer illegality of driving without a valid license is the chance of injuring or killing an innocent person.

Such a tragedy occurred earlier this month in the case of Berkeley resident Patrick Clayton, who is accused of striking and killing a man on Route 9. Clayton has been charged with death by auto, leaving the scene of a crash involving a death and causing a death while having a suspended license.

But Clayton should never have been behind the wheel. He has had his driving privileges suspended 25 times and hasn’t had a valid driver’s license since 2006. Of Clayton’s 25 suspensions, two were for driving while intoxicated, two for violating the Comprehensive Drug Reform Act and four for failing to comply with the mandated drug and alcohol programs. The 17 other suspensions were for failing to appear in court, failing to pay fines and nonpayment of surcharges. Those numbers beggar the imagination.

“Driving while your license is suspended should entail greater penalties than a slap on the wrist,” said Dancer, a Republican whose district includes parts of Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth counties. “By enacting a greater deterrent such as jail time, rather than just another license suspension, we can keep some of these habitual offenders off the road – and hopefully prevent another tragedy.”

Exactly. Le the Legislature say “enough is enough and let them say it loudly by enacting this bill as quickly as possible and finding ways to keep those with such utter disregard and disrespect for the law, and for others’ lives, off the roads. The proposed bill not only would act as a deterrent to those who drive illegally, but keep the roads and those who use them safer.

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Angelini-Dancer Bill targets suspended licenses in NJ

NJ 101.5 -

Two New Jersey lawmakers are drafting legislation to require mandatory jail time for those convicted more than once of driving with a suspended license.

The legislation is in response to an accident earlier this month when a man was struck and killed in Lacey Township. The driver of the van, Patrick Clayton, that hit the pedestrian reportedly had his license privileges taken away over two dozen times, and has not had a valid driver’s license since 2006.

Mary Pat Angelini

“The fact that people are not taking license suspensions seriously is in part why we need to really make the consequences as strong as they should be,” said Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean).

Clayton had his license suspended 25 times for a variety of reasons, according to Angelini.

Under the bill, anyone convicted of driving with a suspended license would serve 30 days in jail for a second offense, 60 days for a third offense, 90 days for a fourth offense and a year in jail for any additional offense, if the second or higher offense occurs within a five-year period.

“Currently jail time is only ordered if a driver is driving with a suspended license and is involved in an accident that results in an injury,” Angelini said.

Angelini is set to introduce the measure in September along with Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-Jackson).

Ron Dancer

“Driving while your license is suspended should entail greater penalties than a slap on the wrist,” said Dancer in an emailed press release on August 20. “By enacting a greater deterrent such as jail time, rather than just another license suspension, we can keep some of these habitual offenders off the road and hopefully prevent another tragedy.”

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Angelini-Dancer Bill Mandates Jail Time for Driving with Suspended License

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini and Assemblyman Ronald Dancer are drafting legislation to require mandatory jail time for those convicted more than once of driving with a suspended license.

The legislation mandates that a person convicted of driving with a suspended license would serve 30 days in jail for a second offense, 60 days in jail for a third offense, 90 days in jail for a fourth offense, and a year in jail for any additional offense, if the second or higher offense occurs within a five-year time frame.

Mary Pat Angelini

“People with suspended licenses should not be on the road, and if they choose to ignore their suspension, they should face stricter penalties,” said Angelini, R-Monmouth. “Our goal is to keep our roads safer by deterring some of these habitual offenders who continue to drive with multiple suspensions.”

Currently, jail time is ordered only if a driver is involved in an accident that results in an injury while driving with a suspended license.

Ron Dancer

“Driving while your license is suspended should entail greater penalties than a slap on the wrist,” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth. “By enacting a greater deterrent such as jail time, rather than just another license suspension, we can keep some of these habitual offenders off the road — and hopefully prevent another tragedy.”

The lawmakers said they were writing the bill in response to a recent case in which a man with multiple license suspensions is accused of striking and killing a Lacey man on Route 9.

According to the Asbury Park Press, the driver of the vehicle, 27-year-old Patrick Clayton, had his driving privileges suspended 25 times and hasn’t had a valid driver’s license since 2006. Clayton was charged with death by auto, leaving the scene of a crash involving death, and causing a death while driving with a suspended license.

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Angelini hosts Heroin roundtable and addresses needs to help fight epidemic

Star Ledger -

Lawmakers, healthcare professionals, members of law enforcement and representatives from behavioral health organizations and insurance companies were among nearly 20 people who sat down to discuss the heroin epidemic during a forum at Jersey Shore University Medical Center on Monday.

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth), who is also the executive director at Prevention First, said she organized the forum to get people from all aspects of professions together to discuss the heroin and opiate problem in Monmouth County.

Mary Pat Angelini

“The one depressing piece that came out of it is just the lack of coordination – we’re all working in our own little areas and I think it’s really important for us to become more coordinated in our efforts,” Angelini said.

She said her goal is to make discussing substance about part of integrated healthcare.

“It’s going to take a concerted effort,” Angelini said, adding that parents also need to have age appropriate conversations with their children.

Angelini said there needs to be an environmental change and it’s not just a public health or law enforcement problem.

“It’s tough work, it’s not easy,” she said. “For the sake of our communities, our children, our families, we have to get involved.”

In 2013, 69 people died from heroin overdoses in Monmouth County and 112 overdose deaths in Ocean County.

A pilot program launched in Monmouth and Ocean counties this year, put the opioid antidote Naloxone, also known as Narcan, in the hands of law enforcement.

To date, there have been 66 opiate overdose reversals in Ocean County since April, and 21 since June in Monmouth County.

Angelini said she hopes to meet quarterly to continue the discussion and ways to address the growing problem.

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Angelini: Open Space Preservation is Essential for Monmouth County

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Mary Pat Angelini

Assembly Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini, R – Monmouth, was gratified after the General Assembly approved SCR-84, a constitutional amendment that will provide a critical funding source to preserve farmland and open space. Voters will consider the amendment in November.

“Passage of this bill is great news for Monmouth County, where preserving open space is crucial to maintaining our high quality of life.

“This measure will establish a dedicated, stable source of funding to help preserve our dwindling open space and farmland. Protecting our remaining undeveloped lands is a wise investment in the future of our state and especially, in Monmouth County.”

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Angelini: Bail Reform is a Critical Step Toward Safer Streets, Neighborhoods

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Mary Pat Angelini

Assembly Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini, R – Monmouth, said the Assembly’s approval of bail reform legislation will help make New Jersey residents safer. Four days after Gov. Christie addressed a Joint Session of the Legislature urging both houses to vote on two pieces of bail reform legislation, Angelini, whose husband is a former detective, voted in favor of both A-1910 and ACR-177.

“We took a big step today toward reforming our bail system so it better protects law abiding New Jerseyans from callous and desperate offenders. By providing judges with an option to deny bail to the most ruthless, dangerous criminals, we can stop a cycle of violence and bloodshed that has become all too common. This will help make New Jersey’s streets and neighborhoods safer for all residents.”

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Angelini: Budget Provides and Incentive for Largest Taxpayers and Job Creators to Take the Next Exit Out of New Jersey

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Mary Pat Angelini

Assembly Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini, R – Monmouth, issued the following statement after the General Assembly voted on the Democrats’ budget increasing taxes in New Jersey by $1.4 billion:

“The Democrats’ tax hikes make New Jersey less competitive with nearby states. This policy will cost New Jersey dearly by providing an incentive for our job creators to flee the state for more affordable locations.

“As our state recovers from the long recession, we should be supporting the taxpayers and businesses that contribute to the economy. Instead, we are once again adding to the burden of people already paying the highest taxes in the country.”

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