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Legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to prohibit persons with DUI-related suspended or revoked licenses from operating NJ Transit trains has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
“It’s incomprehensible that people who were prohibited from driving a car due to DUI-related issues were allowed to continue driving trains with hundreds of passengers,” said Beck. “I’m glad that the Legislature and Governor Christie were able to act so quickly to fix this outrageous loophole in state law.”
Governor Chris Christie has signed into law legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe (all R-10) creating a task force to help law enforcement crack down on criminals and return stolen jewelry and other valuables to their rightful owners.
“We are pleased that the Governor has signed this important piece of legislation into law,” said Senator Holzapfel. “This will help track the sales of potentially stolen items and provide a way of cracking down on burglaries that take place to support heroin and other drug addictions.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) to create a task force that will study New Jersey’s biotechnology industry and find ways to expand it has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
The resolution, SJR-57, creates the “New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force” in order to improve communication between state government and the industry and to find ways to help retain and attract biotechnology companies to the state. According to BioNJ, Inc., the industry directly provides more than 60,000 jobs and more than $1.5 billion in tax revenue to the state.
Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex, Bergen, Morris) sent a letter to the FDA calling for the agency to work swiftly to approve generic epinephrine auto-injectors to combat Mylan’s apparent monopoly on the market. O’Toole sponsors a bill to combat Mylan’s EpiPen price hike by providing a tax credit to retailers who keep the drug affordable.
“It is baffling to me that although EpiPens have been on the market for many years, the FDA has yet to approve any generics,” Senator O’Toole said. “It seems that Mylan’s deplorable price hike was, in part, a response to competition from generic EpiPens that were awaiting FDA approval. I strongly urge the FDA to uphold its mission to serve the public health by speeding innovations that make medicine more affordable. We cannot stand by and allow Mylan to put lives at risk. Families need affordable options now.”
Bill would provide tax incentive for retailers who continue to sell EpiPens at the 2009 price of $100 to those without prescription coverage.
Senator O’Toole announced plans to introduce legislation to provide a tax credit incentivizing EpiPen retailers to keep the drug affordable. The bill would allow any retailer who sells an EpiPen at the 2009 price of $100 to qualify for a tax deduction for the difference. Since the purchase by Mylan of EpiPen, the cost has risen to $609 per pair of syringes.
“I am appalled by reports of Mylan’s monopolistic pricing tactics that are forcing retailers and families to pay an astronomical amount of money for one of the only drugs that can save a child’s life during an anaphylactic attack,” Senator O’Toole said. “There is no justification for the manufacturer to raise the price by more than 500 percent in less than 10 years. Especially when the only thing that changed was the name of the company producing the EpiPen. What has happened here under Mylan’s watch is unconscionable. This is not 1987 or the fictitious movie ‘Wall Street,’ greed is not always good.”
Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus stated their support of Governor Christie’s decision to veto A-3689 and S-816, legislation sponsored by Senate and Assembly Democrats that would have placed further unnecessary restrictions on responsible citizens seeking to own, buy or sell guns in New Jersey.
“We applaud Governor Christie’s conditional vetoes issued Thursday, Aug. 24, on A-3689 and S-816 and we urge Democrat legislative leadership to post these changes for a vote when the legislature convenes in September,” Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Space and Assemblywoman Phoebus said. “We have long been supporters of concealed carry and repealing the “smart-gun” mandate.
The following editorial by Senator Samuel Thompson (R-12) on the urgent need to fill vacancies on the Election Law Enforcement Commission board and preserve the public’s trust in the political process was published in The Record on August 25, 2016.
In just over a year, New Jersey voters will decide who will become the next governor and weigh in on a number of other high-profile state and local elections. Unless swift action is taken, the political organizations and lobbyists who control millions of campaign dollars spent to secure those seats may go unregulated. In turn, those who squander or try to hide donations may never be held accountable for their crimes.
The Election Law Enforcement Commission is charged with the critical mission of regulating all campaign financing of state and local elections. Without a fully-operational board, ELEC cannot hold hearings or fully investigate violations of New Jersey’s stringent campaign finance laws.
Three out of the four seats on the ELEC board are still vacant and the agency is woefully understaffed. The resulting backlog of cases has delayed hearings for notorious fundraisers who have shown no qualms about violating the public’s trust in the political process.
Doherty: NJSEA Set to Approve $1 Billion Taxpayer Handout for American Dream Meadowlands in Sweetheart Deal
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) said that the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) is set to approve a billion dollar taxpayer handout to Triple Five Group, the Canadian developer of the decade overdue and billions over-budget American Dream Meadowlands project.
“Triple Five claims this sweetheart bonding deal will have no impact on taxpayers and carries no risk, but that’s a lie,” said Doherty. “Not only will we give up tax revenues to repay bondholders, we’ll also likely lose additional sales tax revenue from the business American Dream siphons from the many nearby malls that do pay the full taxes they owe to the state.”
Warns of Longer Commutes, Higher Fares & Tolls
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Garden State commuters will pay the price for the New Jersey Senate’s continued failure to adopt Port Authority reforms that have languished since May.
“The Port Authority’s search for a new chief executive has stalled due to uncertainty in the agency’s future structure and governance, and plans for a new Manhattan bus terminal to receive New Jersey commuters have begun to fall apart.
“We need an extremely experienced leader to head the Port Authority and direct the tens of billions of bus, rail and airport projects that are on the horizon.
“Until we finish the legislative process of reforming the agency, however, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to hire someone who is capable of getting critical projects like the Manhattan bus terminal back on track.
Law Provides $411 Million for Environmental Infrastructure Projects Statewide
New Jersey will receive up to $411 million for environmental infrastructure projects statewide under legislation co-sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. Nearly $16 million will fund clean water projects in Burlington County.
“This legislation funds important projects that will keep New Jersey’s drinking water clean, safe and contaminant-free without placing an added burden on taxpayers,” Senator Allen said. “Without the $15.6 million awarded to Burlington County, we may not have been able to finance upgrades to local drinking water systems, or purchase a tank system to safely remove groundwater discharged during construction projects across the county.”