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Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to include cyber-harassment in New Jersey’s domestic violence statutes was advanced by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“When social media and other online sites are used to harass someone, it can be a real nightmare for the victims,” Senator Allen said. “Their tormentors can use these tools as a way to attack and humiliate them, often in very public ways. We need to extend our domestic violence laws to include cyber-harassment so people are protected from this kind of abuse.”
Bill mandates the currently unrequired Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) check for all public school employees.
The Senate Budget Committee has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to subject all public school employees to a Child Abuse Record Information background check.
“It is appalling that New Jersey does not require background checks that red flag employees with substantiated claims of child abuse,” Senator Bucco said. “A standard criminal background check is simply not enough. Unless we mandate CARI checks for all job candidates and current employees at New Jersey’s public schools, we will fail to protect a number of innocent children from the horrors of child abuse. This dangerous oversight in state law must be corrected immediately.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) authorizing the use of telemedicine in New Jersey has been advanced by the Senate Health Committee.
“Telemedicine is especially vital for patients who suffer from chronic illness, seniors who are homebound, and families who live in rural areas where they would have to travel very far to receive medical care,” Senator Allen said. “No one should have to choose between paying for groceries and traveling to see a doctor. By legalizing telemedicine, we can bring the cost of healthcare down and expand access to a variety of health services for millions of new patients.”
Beck Introduces Resolution Opposing Naval Weapon Station Earle’s Effort to Rent On-Base Housing to General Public
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) filed a Senate Resolution opposing the Department of Defense’s current proposal allowing members of the general public to utilize Naval Weapons Station Earle housing.
“I am opposed, in the strongest possible terms, to the Navy’s plan allowing members of the general public to utilize Naval Weapons Earle housing. The current proposal is a dangerous one, and I will fight tirelessly against it,” said Beck. “The Department of Defense must abandon this proposal and ensure our area’s safety. This resolution serves to put the Department of Defense on notice that the residents of New Jersey do not want this risky plan put into place.”
Bill establishes a pilot program that will allow three third-party vendors to administer the test required to obtain a commercial driver license.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to speed up the process of getting a commercial driver license by using private third-party vendors to administer the test was advanced by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“Drivers with commercial licenses are in huge demand, but New Jersey can’t keep up with new federal guidelines because our reliance on state-administered tests has created a massive backlog of people waiting to get their licenses,” Senator Oroho said. “This is a common sense solution to speed up the process and get these drivers to work.”
Criminal penalties for unlawfully manufacturing or distributing fentanyl – a prescription opioid found to be up to 50 times more powerful than heroin – would be doubled under legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-Ocean.) The bill, S-1026, has been advanced by the Senate Health Committee.
“Fentanyl was first put on the market to help terminal patients cope with severe, end of life pain but now, officials are reporting that it’s in almost every pack of heroin found in Ocean County,” Senator Holzapfel said. “We have to do everything we can to deter criminals from dispensing or manufacturing this deadly drug. The penalties for committing these crimes must, at the very least, match those for dealing heroin or cocaine.”
A resolution sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to urge Congress to act to fund efforts to fight the Zika virus was advanced by the Senate Health Committee.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that women infected with Zika during pregnancy are at risk of having children born with microcephaly and other severe birth defects. Oroho is asking for federal funding to be made available to fight the virus to help stop it from becoming rampant in the United States.
The Senate Transportation Committee has advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) that would provide municipalities with a share of the motor vehicle fines collected through tickets issued by the State Police within their borders.
Currently, all motor vehicle fines, penalties and forfeiture moneys generated through those tickets issued by troopers are paid to the State Treasurer.
“When a local police officer issues a traffic ticket, the municipality collects half of the fine revenues to offset the cost of enforcement and running the local court where the ticket may be contested,” said Doherty. “An identical ticket issued by a state trooper may end up in the same courtroom, but the town doesn’t currently get a share of the fine to help cover expenses, putting the burden on property taxpayers. This legislation addresses that inequity.””
Following a report from a national environmental organization that drinking water in as many as 138 New Jersey municipalities may contain unsafe levels of the chemical compound chromium-6, Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex, Bergen, Morris Passaic) is asking Senate Environment and Energy Committee Chair Robert Smith to schedule public hearings on water safety.
“Reports on water safety, such as the one that is making headlines today, have the potential to cause widespread panic and confusion among our residents. It is yet to be determined at what level hexavalent chromium in our drinking water poses a significant health risk to our population, but I certainly don’t want to sit on the sidelines and wait until that is determined,” Sen. O’Toole said. “That is why I have requested Chairman Smith to convene a special hearing with all stakeholders and experts on this matter.”
In Wake of NJ & NYC Bombings, Singer Bill Would Require Law Enforcement to Develop Security Plans for Large Crowd Events
In the wake of terror attacks in Elizabeth and Seaside Park, Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) will introduce legislation requiring local law enforcement to work with state agencies to develop security plans to preserve public safety during events that attract large crowds.
“In 2003, my daughter Sarri was injured and 16 were killed when a terrorist with a bomb attacked the bus she was riding in Jerusalem, so I understand the lasting impact terrorism can have on innocent people and their families,” Senator Singer said. “Last weekend’s bombing in Seaside Park was a stark reminder that unless we enact proper security protocols here in New Jersey, we may be putting lives at risk. This bill will ensure that procedures are in place to keep residents and spectators safe at large events.”