Tag: Mary Pat Angelini

Angelini on Combating the Surge of Heroin Abuse in New Jersey [video]

Mary Pat Angelini

Source: Assembly Republican Video -

In this week’s Republican Weekly Address, Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini, who is deputy conference leader, talks about the need to fight heroin addiction through legislative action.

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Angelini Commends Governor Christie for Working to Combat Substance Abuse

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Applauds Governor for Addressing Stigma Associated with Addiction, Increasing Awareness of Drug-Related Issues

Mary Pat Angelini

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini commended New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for holding a drug recovery conference focused on reducing the stigma associated with addiction and treatment and to raise broader awareness of drug-related issues.

The conference, co-hosted by Pastor Joe A. Carter, was held on Tuesday, Sept. 30th at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ and brought together advocacy groups, individuals who have battled addiction, and organizations involved in treatment work.

“This call to action by Governor Christie to put an end to the stigma associated with drug addiction is another giant step forward in New Jersey’s battle against an insidious drug abuse epidemic that is affecting so many people in our area,” said Angelini. “I applaud Governor Christie for making it a top priority of his to further educate the public about substance abuse and for focusing on long-term solutions such as recovery and treatment options.”

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Unsafe, filthy boarding homes target of Angelini bill requiring state to post inspection reports

Source: The Star-Ledger -

State and local officials would be given 72 hours to post inspection reports online for boarding homes and shelters that fail inspection for violating health and safety codes, under a bill that passed a state Assembly committee today.

The state Department of Human Services would also be notified of the facilities that rack up of serious offenses, according to the bill, (A3175) so the agency that places homeless people with mental illnesses may make the most informed choice.

Praised by mental health advocates, the passed by a 5-0 vote by the Assembly Human Services Committee.

Barbara Johnson of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey said she hoped posting the report “would be an incentive for the operators” to make repairs. “We don’t want people to be placed in homes that are unsafe.”

The responsibility for posting the reports online would fall to the state Department of Community Affairs, which conducts the inspections for most shelters, residential health care facilities and boarding homes. Municipalities that conduct inspections would be required to file the reports with the DCA, according to the bill.

Mary Pat Angelini

“Providing a window into the living conditions in these homes will expose facility operators to public scrutiny,” said Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, (R-Monmouth), a sponsor of the bill. “No longer can sub-standard conditions continue behind a veil of secrecy. Transparency increases accountability.”

Mary Lynn Reynolds, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Southwestern New Jersey, told the committee she hoped more inspectors would be hired in order to implement the legislation if it is signed into law.

“The Department of Community Services’ division that inspects boarding homes has a total of 6 staff for the entire for the state, (covering) 700 facilities,” she said. “They will tell you up front they triage complaints that are coming in.”

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Angelini’s Push for Hunger Action Month Gets Unanimous Support of Assembly Panel

TRENTON, N.J., Sept. 22, 2014 - The Assembly Human Services committee today unanimously approved a joint resolution sponsored by Assembly Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini making September of each year “Hunger Action Month” in New Jersey. Angelini first introduced the measure (AJR-79) to the Assembly on Sept. 18.

Mary Pat Angelini

“Hunger is a silent, but serious concern in our state,” said Angelini, R – Monmouth. “One in 10 New Jersey residents are concerned about their next meal, and food pantries across the state face a daily struggle to meet demand. Families in every part of the state go hungry at times, but they suffer in silence.

“Poor nutrition can lead to serious medical problems that are costly to treat, and in children, the health dangers are even more threatening,” continued Angelini. “Our goal is to inspire the good people in our state to take an active role combating this problem and help feed the hungry, not only during the month of September, but all year long.”

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Assembly Panel Clears Bucco & Angelini Bill To Improve the Quality of Life in Residential Care Centers

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Republican Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco and Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini are sponsors of legislation intended to improve living conditions at residential health care centers, boarding homes and homeless shelters. Their bill (A-3175) requiring inspection reports from the facilities to be published for public review on the Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) website, was approved today by the Assembly Human Services Committee.

Anthony M. Bucco

“The families of those cared for at these facilities deserve to know about conditions inside, and the level of care being provided. The transparency created by posting the details of inspections online will lead to better care and attention,” said Bucco, R – Morris and Somerset. “Some of these facilities are poorly run. People who need help deserve better, and making the information public will pressure the operators to make improvements.”

DCA officials provide inspections of residential health care facilities, while local officials are responsible for emergency shelters for the homeless and rooming and boarding houses. Under the bill, the commissioner of DCA will establish standard inspection practices.

Mary Pat Angelini

“Providing a window into the living conditions in these homes will expose facility operators to public scrutiny,” said Angelini, R – Monmouth. “No longer can sub-standard conditions continue behind a veil of secrecy. Transparency increases accountability.”

The companion version of the bill, S-1856, passed the Senate unanimously in June.

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Assembly Panel Clears McHose & Angelini Bill Promoting Educational Opportunities for Veterans

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republicans Alison Littell McHose and Mary Pat Angelini’s resolution establishing “Veterans’ Education Awareness Week” won unanimous support today from the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Alison Littell McHose

“Too often we hear about returning veterans who are not aware of the resources available to them to help prepare them for life after the military,” said McHose, R – Sussex, Warren and Morris. “Promoting the beneficial educational opportunities available will help launch hard-working veterans on the successful career path they deserve,” said McHose. Her husband Morgan is serving on active military duty in Afghanistan, and has been deployed to Kosovo and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba with the New Jersey Army National Guard.

The resolution (AJR-17) designates the second full week of every November as “Veterans’ Education Awareness Week,” to spread the word about resources available from the “Post 9/11 GI Bill” to help veterans attend college.

Mary Pat Angelini

“Our veterans have completed military training to prepare them to serve our country in hostile locations. When they leave the service, a college education prepares them to succeed in civilian life,” said Angelini, R – Monmouth. “Vets who are not familiar with these programs can miss out on valuable education that can make them more productive and financially secure. These are the people we need to reach.”

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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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