Tag: Mary Pat Angelini

Angelini fighting to keep legal pot out of New Jersey

Source: The Star-Ledger -

A New Jersey Assemblywoman said that in light of the formation of a group that launched last week to fight for the legalization of recreational marijuana use in New Jersey, she is planning a group that will actively advocate against it.

Mary Pat Angelini

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth) has been a vocal opponent of the movement to legalize and tax the drug in the state of New Jersey. In response to the official launch of “New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform” in Newark last week, Angelini said she is working with other anti-marijuana activists to form a group of their own.

“The folks that want to legalize appear to be gaining traction,” Angelini said in a phone interview. “It’s a good time to let our voice be heard.”

Angelini said she and some others passionately opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the state plan to hold a conference call this week to “lay out our strategy.”

Angelini said the launch of NJUMR was “not necessarily a bad thing. It starts a dialogue and we need to do a better job educating people (about our position).”

The pro-marijuana coalition, which includes members like the ACLU-NJ and New Jersey’s NAACP chapter, launched with a press conference last week that outlined its position. The group argued that legalizing and taxing marijuana would create revenue for the state, and free up law enforcement officers to focus on other crimes.

Angelini said that some of her group’s arguments will include health and incarceration statistics about marijuana users, and questions about additional costs that might be incurred as a result of legalization. She cited the state’s alcohol tax as an example that brings in revenue. But, she said, the revenue is outweighed by law enforcement and healthcare costs the state must take on to deal with residents who abuse alcohol.

“Look at the tax (dollars) this would garner…the health and society issues we would encounter (as a result of legalization) would far outnumber that,” she said.

Experts last week said they felt the conversation on marijuana in New Jersey will likely be a long-term one that is ultimately decided by the state’s legislators and governor.

Gov. Chris Christie has publicly said that he will not support a legalization bill. NJUMR members said last week that they are not directly targeting Christie, but hoping to spread their message to the public.

Angelini said she felt the pro-marijuana movement was “futile” under Christie’s administration.

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Assembly Republicans on Christie’s FY 2016 Budget Plan

Source: NJ 101.5 -

Shortly after Gov. Chris Christie proposed a $33.8 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, lawmakers commented on the state spending plan.
Assembly Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini (R, Monmouth):

Mary Pat Angelini

“This is another fiscally responsible budget that keeps New Jersey on the right track. The governor has a sustainable plan to fund our priorities – education, property tax relief and pensions – without increasing taxes.

“The Legislature needs to work together to continue the progress to make New Jersey competitive and affordable. We continue to see significant progress. To sustain the momentum, it will take cooperation like we saw today, with the governor and the teacher’s working out a pension solution for the long haul.”

Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, (R-Monmouth):

Declan O'Scanlon

“The governor and the NJEA deserve high praise for working together on a solution to the pension issue. As we have said all along, it is essential we come together to craft solutions that provide long term relief. Gov. Christie and the teachers did just that, coming together to find a realistic, sustainable fix to the pension challenge.

“From a budget-makers perspective, this is a credible first step toward an over-all solution to the serious budget issues facing our state. It will be a work in progress for the next six months as we continue to monitor revenues and work out the details.”

Deputy Assembly Republican Leader Anthony M. Bucco (R-Morris and Somerset), a member of the Assembly Budget Committee:

Anthony M. Bucco

“One doesn’t have to look any further than today’s Budget Address to realize the differences between Republicans and Democrats. When Governor Christie said ‘no new taxes’ in his address, not one member of the Democratic party stood in support.”

“The governor’s budget puts taxpayers first by controlling spending, funding education and making the largest pension payment in state history and sets priorities our residents support. These are challenging times and difficult choices must be made. I look forward to a rigorous and honest debate during the budget process.”

“Promoting a more competitive business tax structure and providing direct property tax relief will make our state a more affordable place to live. I am confident we will be able to work together on a plan that continues to move New Jersey in the right direction.”

Assembly Republican Conference Leader David Rible (R-Monmouth and Ocean):

Dave Rible

“For the sixth year in a row, the governor has proposed a budget that protects taxpayers and businesses by keeping our fiscal commitments on solid ground. He understands that tax hikes are the problem, not the solution. By meeting our fiscal obligations without increasing taxes, we continue to provide the predictable and stable environment businesses require to grow and create jobs.”

Assembly Republican Whip Scott Rumana, (R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris):

“The governor’s budget proposal shows his continued commitment to fiscal discipline and government reform which are paying dividends for taxpayers. Major revenues continue to increase at the same time the state’s unemployment rate continues to decline. Today’s plan again contains no tax increases which has also helped to spur economic growth. People are spending money and our business climate continues to improve. This is the responsible way to fix our fiscal ills.”


Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi (R-Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic):

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“Now the Legislature must work with the governor to solve the state’s fiscal obligations. Increasing educational funding and streamlining the government workforce demonstrates Governor Christie’s commitment to keeping his promises. We now have a responsibility to maintain a budget that’s affordable for taxpayers.”

“We can accomplish much more for the people of New Jersey by working together instead of playing politics. This budget is fiscally responsible and keeps New Jersey on the road to recovery without raising taxes.”


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Angelini Response to Gov. Christie’s Budget Address

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini, R – Monmouth, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Christie’s Budget Address, delivered this afternoon to a Joint Session of the Legislature:

Mary Pat Angelini

“This is another fiscally responsible budget that keeps New Jersey on the right track. The governor has a sustainable plan to fund our priorities – education, property tax relief and pensions – without increasing taxes.

“The Legislature needs to work together to continue the progress to make New Jersey competitive and affordable. We continue to see significant progress. To sustain the momentum, it will take cooperation like we saw today, with the governor and the teacher’s working out a pension solution for the long haul.”

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Angelini Opposes Push for Legal Marijuana

Source: Asbury Park Press -

Five years ago, Jon-Henry Barr said he never imagined he would be standing with a group of people advocating for the legalization of marijuana.

Mary Pat Angelini


“I think it’s a bad idea for all of New Jersey,” Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, a Republican representing the 11th legislative district in Monmouth County, said in a telephone interview. “I just have to look to Colorado to see the issues that they are facing.


Barr, who described himself as a lifelong, fiscally conservative Republican, said his experiences as a municipal prosecutor in Clark have changed his mind.

“The war on marijuana is a government program that does not work and is not needed,” Barr said. “It is time for a new approach to New Jersey’s marijuana laws.”

Barr, president of the New Jersey Municipal Prosecutors Association, was one in a diverse group of people on Wednesday announcing the formation of a coalition to push for legalization of marijuana in New Jersey.

New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform held its launch at a news conference at the Newark Club. Among the coalition’s members are law enforcement officials, medical professionals, as well as representatives of the New Jersey chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,

The group espoused this message: that New Jersey’s prohibition on marijuana has been a failure, and that legalizing, regulating and taxing cannabis is a better idea.

Opponents of marijuana legalization point to problems that have arisen in states that have legalized it.

“I think it’s a bad idea for all of New Jersey,” Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, a Republican representing the 11th legislative district in Monmouth County, said in a telephone interview. “I just have to look to Colorado to see the issues that they are facing.

“There’s a large black market for marijuana because it is cheaper than going through a dispensary,” she said. “There’s a large increase in children exposed to pot by mistake.”

In fact, she said, there have been several cases where young children wound up in emergencies rooms because they mistakenly ingested marijuana.

Angelini is a certified drug prevention specialist and chief executive officer of Preferred Behavioral Health Group, a Lakewood-based provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment.

“Why promote the legalization of marijuana when we know for a fact this can be a stepping stone to other drugs?” Angelini said.



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Angelini: Legalizing Marijuana is a Bad Idea

Source: NJ 101.5 -

Marijuana should be decriminalized in New Jersey because existing laws waste police resources, unfairly target minorities and leave millions of dollars in potential tax revenue unrealized by relegating it to the black market, a coalition said Wednesday in announcing a public education initiative.


Mary Pat Angelini


Assemblyman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean) doesn’t support the plan. “This is a very bad idea for New jersey. It’s a bad idea for our families, our children.  “Everybody that is in rehab for heroin at one point or another I would dare to say smoked marijuana.”


New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform wants to legalize marijuana for people over 21, tax it and regulate its distribution. Among the groups represented at Wednesday’s news conference were the American Civil Liberties Union New Jersey (ACLU), the NAACP State Conference of New Jersey and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

NJUMR is focusing its efforts on educating the public about the issue first, before seeking a solution through the ballot box or the Legislature, said William Caruso, former executive director of the state Assembly. Gov. Chris Christie has been an advocate of changing drug laws to allow for more opportunities for treatment instead of incarceration, but he has consistently opposed marijuana legalization and has said he would veto any such bill that arrived on his desk.

“People change their minds,” Caruso said. “I’m not saying that’s where the governor is or will be, but we can’t just stop because somebody has said, `This is where I am.’ It’s our job to create a responsible debate. Our goal right now is not the statehouse. Our first job is articulate a message to the voting public, the taxpayers of this state, about what we’re trying to accomplish and why.”

Police in New Jersey make more than 21,000 arrests for marijuana possession annually, the group said. Those offenses cost about $127 million to prosecute, according to Richard Smith, president of the NAACP New Jersey State Conference.

Marijuana prosecutions affect blacks disproportionately, Smith said: Black New Jerseyans are three times more likely than whites to be arrested, with potential far-ranging consequences including loss of jobs and benefits, loss of student loans and difficulty obtaining future employment. Pot arrests also clog courts and distract law enforcement officials from more serious crimes, coalition members said.

Assemblyman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean) doesn’t support the plan. “This is a very bad idea for New jersey. It’s a bad idea for our families, our children.  “Everybody that is in rehab for heroin at one point or another I would dare to say smoked marijuana.”

ACLU New Jersey Director Udi Ofer said that based on comparisons to Colorado, which he said reaped between $60 million and $70 million in revenue from legal pot sales in that state’s first full year of legalization, New Jersey could expect $100 million or more.

“To say that this is going to help us get out of our fiscal crisis is a cop out,” Angelini said.

David Nathan, a Princeton-based psychiatrist and clinical associate professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, compared some of the group’s goals to previous efforts to educate children about smoking cigarettes — efforts, he said, that have decreased tobacco use.

“That campaign worked, not by making tobacco illegal for adults,” he said. “It worked by giving kids realistic, evidence-based, scientific and appropriate education about the harms of smoking and, frankly, making it a lot less cool. That’s what we have to do with marijuana.”

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Angelini Offers Congratulations to Departing Dept. of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Deputy Republican Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini, R-Monmouth, offered her congratulations and thanks to departing Commissioner Jennifer Velez after Governor Christie announced she will be leaving her position at the Dept. of Human Services. Angelini is a member of the Assembly Dept. of Human Services Committee:

Mary Pat Angelini

“I have worked with Commissioner Velez for a number of years on many issues relating to mental health and addictions. Her proactive approach to helping those in need and advocating on their behalf set an example for her department and all elected officials. She has always been a stalwart advocate for those most vulnerable in our society. Her tenure at the department spans several administrations and is testimony that her main priority has always been what is best for the people of this state. Her departure is bittersweet and I wish her much success.”

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Angelini looking to give addicts the information they need

Source: NJ 101.5 -

Mary Pat Angelini

Health experts have said drug addiction, particularly heroin addiction, is an epidemic in New Jersey’s cities, suburbs and rural areas. To help address the crisis, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean) has introduced a bill that would require the state’s substance abuse treatment facilities to post information about their services on county and state websites.

Angelini said it would give addicts the information they need in order to seek the proper help.

“The addiction epidemic is startling. This is something that we have not seen ever in the state of New Jersey,” Angelini said.

Under the legislation, substance abuse treatment centers in the Garden State would have to post online information about the services they provide, their total capacity, the average waiting time for an opening and the number of expected openings on a daily basis.

“All 21 counties in the state of New Jersey have to have a list on their websites, as well as the New Jersey State Department of Human Services (DHS),” Angelini explained. “This gives the person seeking treatment an opportunity to see what’s near him and what’s available.”

Counties and DHS have Internet technology personnel so there should be no cost attached to the bill should it become law, according to Angelini.

The goal of her legislation is simply to help those struggling with addiction, and their loved ones, find the services they need in the easiest way possible.

“When the family is in throes of trying to find help for their loved one it can be very, very overwhelming,” Angelini said.

The measure passed the Assembly Human Services Committee on Feb. 12.

Click below to read the first in our series on New Jersey’s Heroin Epidemic:

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Angelini Bill to Improve Mental Health & Drug Treatment In Prisons is Signed Into Law by Gov. Christie

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Mary Pat Angelini

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini to improve the quality of mental health and substance abuse treatment for inmates was signed today by Gov. Christ Christie.

“Mental health issues and drugs are huge contributors to violence and crime in our neighborhoods,” said Angelini, R – Monmouth. “Inmates suffering from addiction or mental health issues will eventually serve their time and return to society. Better treatment can help prepare inmates for a crime-free life and make our streets safer.”

The bill, A-3722, requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) to share the authority over prison-based treatment centers.

The measure, by establishing interagency oversight in the prisons, ensures that treatment standards and protocols are consistent so when prisoners get out, their treatment can continue on the same path, noted Angelini, R – Monmouth.

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Angelini Resolution Establishing Addiction Task Force

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Continuing her efforts to combat the destruction or heroin and other drug addictions, Assembly Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini sponsors a resolution establishing an Assembly Task Force on Addiction and Behavioral Health. The measure, AR-210, today earned the approval of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

Mary Pat Angelini

“Every day, families in New Jersey are struggling with the horrors of addiction,” said Angelini, R – Monmouth. “This week, two more overdose deaths were attributed to lethally potent ‘brands’ of heroin in Atlantic County. This is an epidemic, and we need action.”

The resolution creates a six-person task force to study and make recommendations for controlling the drug scourge that has invaded every county in New Jersey.

“The disastrous impact of drugs in our neighborhoods – all our neighborhoods – demands it,” Angelini continued. “We need to ask some hard questions, make some tough decisions, and help save lives.”

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Angelini bill would expand Safe Haven locations in NJ

NJ 101.5 -

A shocking tragedy that took place earlier this month in New Jersey has one lawmaker calling on her colleagues to approve a measure that would expand the state’s safe haven locations.

On Jan. 16, 22-year-old Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier allegedly set her baby on fire in the middle of a Pemberton Township road. When police arrived, they found a neighbor holding Dorvilier down on the ground and the baby wrapped in a smoldering towel and paper, according to court documents released by Burlington County prosecutors on Jan. 20. The baby was alive and breathing when she was flown to a hospital in Philadelphia, but died two hours later, according to authorities.

Dorvilier has been charged with murder.

Mary Pat Angelini

“The tragic situation in Burlington County really led to me thinking we need to expand the number of safe havens that we have in New Jersey,” said Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth). “Currently anybody can take an infant to hospitals and to police stations, but I felt very strongly that there needs to be an expansion of sites where distraught people can take an infant before another tragedy occurs.”

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 where someone can leave a baby – no questions asked.

“I want to expand the law to include first aid squads, fire stations, any place that is manned 24 hours by emergency personnel,” Angelini explained.

The legislation was first introduced in 2006. It has been approved by committees in the past, but never passed by the full Legislature. Angelini has been a sponsor for the last two years and said she is very surprised that the latest version of the bill has not even been considered by a committee.

“So many times we are legislating through reaction to an occurrence, but this is something that I’ve been working on for the last couple of years,” Angelini said.

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