The Senate unanimously adopted legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to designate October 9 of each year as “Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus (PANDAS)/Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome Awareness Day (PANS).”
PANDAS and PANS most commonly refer to a condition in children characterized by the abrupt, dramatic onset of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). SJR58 was passed unanimously.
The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) that increases penalties for leaving a loaded firearm within easy access of a minor, resulting in injury or death.
“In my hometown of Toms River, a four-year-old shot and killed his six-year-old neighbor with one of the many loaded firearms his father left unsecured around his home within reach of the young child,” said Holzapfel. “As a former prosecutor, gun owner and supporter of the Second Amendment, I find it unconscionable that some gun owners could be so irresponsible. As long as the penalty remains a virtual slap on the wrist for gun owners in these instances, we will continue to read about these tragedies.”
Senator Jennifer Beck is reminding everyone that September is Hunger Action Awareness month. The Monmouth County legislator is working with the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties to promote awareness of Hunger in her district and throughout the state.
“Often, hunger is an unspoken plague that can affect anyone,” said Beck (R-Monmouth). “Thanks to organizations like the FoodBank, we are working hard to defeat the terrible effects of hunger. A lack of nutritious food can be devastating and can impact families who may be living right next door. We really need to get the word out so families affected by hunger know that there is help available and where they can go to get assistance.”
The following editorial by Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) urging the legislature to reform New Jersey’s onerous “death taxes” was published in Sunday’s New Jersey Herald.
Here is the full text of the editorial as published:
Now that the Senate and Assembly are back in Trenton, it is critical there be a unified effort to move New Jersey forward. This state and our communities will truly thrive when local businesses are given the opportunity to grow and more companies view New Jersey as a desirable place to invest and create jobs.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) issued the following statement asking the owners of the T. Thomas Fortune house to hold off on demolition while fundraising efforts are underway to save the home of African-American journalist and human rights activist. This week, the current owners of the home filed a formal application to demolish the building.
“This house has an incredibly rich and important legacy, it’s a significant part of Red Bank’s history,” said Beck. “I implore the owners to delay demolition long enough to allow the fundraising efforts to culminate.”
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) issued the following statement in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.
“National Hispanic Heritage Month commemorates the many important contributions of people of Hispanic decent and celebrates the rich Hispanic culture. My district has a vibrant and active Hispanic community. I hope my constituents will take some time to learn more about the history of their Hispanic neighbors. I’ve always felt that it is in our diversity where we find our greatest strength.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to allocate funding for the preservation of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst advanced from the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
“The Joint Base contributes billions of dollars to the state’s economy and employs tens of thousands of people in Burlington County and the surrounding area,” said Allen, a member of the Council on Armed Forces and Veterans’ Affairs “We have to make sure resources are made available to show Washington and the nation how important this base is to our families who serve, to our communities and to the state as a whole.”
Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) said that the New Jersey Senate is sending conflicting messages regarding its concern for the safety of children riding on Garden State roads and highways.
The Senator commended the Law & Public Safety Committee’s passage of legislation (S-2026) sponsored by Senator James Beach (D-6) that updates state laws regarding the use of child safety seats in passenger vehicles to match current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), but questioned the Senate Education Committee’s refusal to hear similar legislation (S-632) that addresses the AAP’s recommendations regarding the need for seat belts in school buses.
“Our kids deserve to be safely secured in age- and size-appropriate seats and restraints regardless of the type of vehicle they are riding in,” said Thompson. “Injuries caused by school bus accidents are not uncommon, but they are preventable. It is mind boggling that the Senate has not taken action yet.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) that seeks to keep loaded firearms out of the hands of unsupervised minors was approved by the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee.
“We’ve seen too many instances where children with access to a parent’s firearms engage in planned attacks harming others, and too many tragedies where children living in or visiting a home with unlocked and loaded firearms end up accidentally harming themselves,” said Holzapfel, a member of the committee. “This legislation balances the rights of responsible gun owners with the public interest of reducing preventable deaths from planned and accidental shootings.”
The Senate Higher Education Committee unanimously advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale requiring all colleges and universities in New Jersey adopt policies providing greater support to students with military obligations.
“These requirements will make sure professors and universities are providing appropriate supports to military members who have to miss time in the class room because of the sacrifices they make outside of it in serving our country,” said Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic). “Service members should be given opportunities to make up the class work they have to miss due to service obligations like training or enactment.”