Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has introduced a trio of bills to expand opportunities for craft breweries, microbreweries and brew pubs to open, grow and succeed in New Jersey.
Senator Kean’s S-2910 creates a state permit for local breweries to sell their products at community farm markets in municipalities that do not prohibit alcoholic beverages. Permits would be valid for one full year and issuance and renewal can be no more than $75.
“With warm-weather seasons upon us, this legislation provides countless and timely opportunities to help grow the state’s agriculture and tourism economies,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “It will draw more people to our attractions and eliminate prohibitions that limit how local breweries can develop and expand.”
Senate Passes Kean’s Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism & Rejecting Attempts to Justify Anti-Jewish Hatred
A resolution sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr., Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senate President Steve Sweeney that condemns anti-Semitism and rejects attempts to justify anti-Jewish hatred or violent attacks as acceptable expressions of disapproval over political events in the Middle East or elsewhere, was approved today by the Senate.
“With the rise of anti-Semitism, it is imperative we solidify a united front across political party lines and geographic borders that any acts of hatred and threats against Judaism will not be tolerated,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “The sponsors of this legislation and I are proud to set a strong tone for New Jersey and look forward to working with leaders in other states and nations to make sure we are helping to protect and empower victims of this religious persecution.”
The Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole to protect stalking survivors from being re-victimized.
“Violations of stalking restraining orders are both common and often associated with significant danger to victims,” said O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic). “We need to give survivors all the protection we can to help prevent them from being re-victimized.”
The Senate passed a Superstorm Sandy recovery bill sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco to prohibit municipalities from charging residential development fees on reconstruction after natural disasters.
“There are so many prohibitive costs and duplicative regulations in this state that hurt vulnerable victims and stymie disaster recovery,” said Bucco (R-Morris). “Families still trying to restore normalcy after Sandy and others who will be victims of future storms need this common-sense measure to reduce cost burdens.”
Senate Committee Clears Singer Bill Prohibiting Standardized Testing for Kindergarten Through Second Grade
The Senate Education Committee advanced a bill sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to prohibit commercial standardized testing for students in kindergarten through second grade.
The bill, S-2766, will protect New Jersey’s youngest students from being subjected to identical standardized assessments that are developed and scored by a commercial entity under contract with a board of education.
“While it is vital that teachers and administrators have the resources they need to track a child’s progress and ensure that students are ready for college and careers, many have expressed concern that children are being subjected to rigid, commercial standardized assessments at far too young an age,” said Senator Singer. “By passing legislation that prohibits schools from administering these assessments to students in this age group, we are ensuring that children can learn and grow in a nurturing environment, monitored and organized by the teachers and staff familiar with their individual needs.”
The New Jersey Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean to create criminal offenses for dog fighting and leading dog fighting networks, and amend the RICO statute to include dog fighting.
“As authorities have attested, dog fighting is a barbaric crime that often extends far beyond animal murder or cruelty,” said Senator Kean. “Weapons and narcotics are frequently found at the scene of a fight, posing a threat to the safety and security of the community at large. Amending current racketeering laws to include dog fighting will give law enforcement the tools they need to combat this pervasive underground industry, where dangerous individuals bet tens of thousands of dollars on a single fight, as innocent animals suffer, starve and die in horrifyingly inhuman conditions.”
Kyrillos, Beck Congratulate Hanlon as ‘Right Choice’ for County
Senators Joe Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck (both R-Monmouth) stated the following after the Senate confirmed the governor’s nomination of Christine Giordano Hanlon as Monmouth County Clerk, to fulfill the unexpired term ending this calendar year:
“We congratulate Christine on being affirmed as the county clerk. She is the right choice for the people of Monmouth County, and we are confident that she will continue to excel in executing some of the most vital government services, just as she has in the past in her impressive community and organizational leadership positions.”
Senate Passes Allen, Bateman Bill Increasing Penalties for Assaults Against Certain Law Enforcement Officers
The Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans Diane Allen and Christopher “Kip” Bateman to increase penalties for assaulting a corrections officer, sheriff’s officer and other law enforcement personnel because of their job status.
“These law enforcement officers have some of the most difficult and dangerous jobs that there are,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “Unfortunately, the risk carries over into their personal lives as we were made aware of an instance where a corrections officer was assaulted by a former inmate out in public.”
The Senate today passed two pieces of legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho that would expand opportunities for anglers and bow hunters in New Jersey by creating a discounted fishing license and allowing Sunday bow hunting on military installations in New Jersey.
Senator Oroho’s bipartisan S-2567 would create a discounted state “Fishing Buddy License” for anglers who apply for a fishing license along with a second person who hasn’t applied for a New Jersey fishing license since 2010. Under the fishing buddy initiative, fishing licenses for both the experienced “fishing buddy” and the new applicant would be discounted to half price. The bill would also reduce the fee for an “All Around Sportsman License” by $10 for each “fishing buddy.”
“Many visitors and residents don’t realize the amount of fantastic fishing opportunities there are across New Jersey,” said Oroho. “My hope is that with the fishing buddy program more anglers will encourage a friend or family member to try out fishing in New Jersey and more people will have the opportunity to explore the outdoors here. Fishing is also an important part of the economy for the state and many communities and any increase in participation will be a boost to businesses supporting the industry.”
The Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer that would strengthen and bring transparency to Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements in New Jersey in an effort to expand insurance options for small businesses.
MEWAs are an alternative to traditional commercial insurance that permits employers, especially small- and mid-sized businesses, to band together to obtain economies of scale to help them reduce their health insurance costs by self-insuring as a group and provide a greater range of health benefits to their employees. Senator Singer’s legislation, S2220, is intended to promote the availability of health care by strengthening the ability of MEWAs to compete with traditional health insurance carriers and self insured entities to provide those benefits at a reasonable cost.
“Small and medium-sized employers have been hit extremely hard by the escalation in healthcare costs,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements give these smaller companies a way to join together to purchase a plan at a much lower rate than if they were going it alone.”