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District 9

9th District Delegation Bill Designating U.S. Constitution Week Signed Into Law

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Legislation introduced by the 9th District legislative delegation that designates the week of September 17 through September 23 of each year as “Constitution Week” in order to remember and honor the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America on September 17, 1787 has been signed into law. New Jersey law now correlates with the national week as established by Congress in 1956.

New Jersey will now celebrate ‘Constitution Week’ each year under a bill sponsored by Connors, Rumpf, and Gove that was signed into law. (National Archives)

The joint resolution (AJR-72) supported by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove enjoyed bipartisan sponsorship and was passed unanimously in both houses of the State Legislature. The 9th District delegation issued the following statement on the enactment of their measure:

“In working to establish U.S. Constitution Week in New Jersey, our thoughts were first and foremost with teaching our youth the immensity in which this sacred and living document has impacted not only on our country, but on the entire world.

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Senator Diane Allen

Now Law: Allen Legislation to Improve Access to Addiction and Mental Health Treatment

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to help monitor the availability of beds in New Jersey’s mental health and addiction treatment facilities is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie.

The Governor signed Sen. Diane Allen’s legislation to help improve access to addiction and mental health treatment. (Wikimedia Commons)

“Access to treatment facilities is vital to our mission of combating the opioid epidemic, as well as treating mental health in New Jersey,” Senator Allen said. “This measure will ensure our residents and healthcare professionals have up-to-date access to information on how many beds are available at treatment centers across the state.”

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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck, Tom Komninos & Advocates on Gov. Christie’s CV of ‘Stephen Komninos’ Law’

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) released the following statement on Governor Christie’s conditional veto of “Stephen Komninos’ Law,” her bipartisan bill to improve accountability and transparency at the 2,340 group homes, developmental centers and day programs statewide.

Sen. Jennifer Beck said that she will accept Governor Christie’s recommended revisions to her bill, “Stephen Komninos’ Law,” which protects people with developmental disabilities from abuse and neglect at group homes and other types of care facilities. (SenateNJ.com)

Senator Beck thanked Tom Komninos, Aileen Rivera, Martha Cray, Gus Egizi, Senate President Sweeney, and all those who have advocated for this legislation over the past seven years.

“The advocates and I are ready and willing to accept Governor Christie’s recommended revisions to Stephen Komninos’ Law,” Senator Beck said. “I believe that our lifesaving legislation is so strong, that it could serve as a national model. This was a hard-won victory and I am grateful to the families and Senate President Sweeney for working with me to get this done.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Now Law: Bateman Bill Creating Pet Trafficking Crime

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Governor Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) establishing pet trafficking as a third-degree crime.

Sen. Kip Bateman’s bill establishes pet trafficking as a third-degree crime. (©iStock)

“No one should be able to sell an innocent animal to a medical research facility or a puppy mill and walk away with a slap on the wrist,” Senator Bateman said. “I am pleased to see that the law finally recognizes that our pets are family, not pieces of stolen property. The penalties we have created for pet trafficking will ensure that anyone who is cruel enough to steal and deal a pet gets the punishment they deserve.”

S-332/A-1761, establishes criminal penalties for an increasingly pervasive practice known as “dog flipping,” where pets are stolen and sold for a variety of reasons, including breeding, medical research, and dog fighting.

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Senator Diane Allen

Gov. Signs Allen’s ‘Charlie’s Law’ to Protect Service Dog Access to Public Spaces

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Governor Christie has signed “Charlie’s Law,” legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) that creates civil penalties for preventing a person with a service animal from accessing a public facility.

Sen. Diane Allen’s “Charlie’s Law” creates civil penalties for preventing a person with a service animal from accessing a public facility. (Flickr)

“Charlie’s Law” (S-2662) is named after a service dog who was denied access to an airport while assisting his owner, Ben Shore, a Cherry Hill teen who is on the autism spectrum and suffers from panic attacks.

Charlie was ordered out of the airport by an employee who did not believe that he was a service dog. That is completely unacceptable, not to mention illegal. Just because a disability is ‘invisible’ doesn’t mean it isn’t real,” Senator Allen said. “Charlie’s Law will empower law enforcement to respond immediately, so that people who are discriminated against in this way get the swift justice they deserve.”

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Senator Diane Allen

Gov. Signs Allen Bill to Bring Telemedicine to New Jersey

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Governor Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to authorize healthcare providers who are licensed in the state to practice telemedicine in New Jersey.

Gov. Christie signed a law sponsored by Sen. Diane Allen authorizing the use of telemedicine in New Jersey. It takes effect immediately. (Flickr)

“Telemedicine is revolutionizing the way people access healthcare in other states around the country. It’s time for families here to have the same access to this technology,” Senator Allen said. “Many people live too far away or can’t afford to take time off of work to go see a doctor. That can be life-threatening for someone with a chronic condition. In this time of great uncertainty, bringing telemedicine to New Jersey is a sure-fire way to provide affordable, quality care for our residents.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Dawn Addiego

Gov. Signs Joan’s Law Amendment to Mandate Life Sentence for Murder & Sexual Assault of Minors

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Governor Christie has signed an expansion of “Joan’s Law” sponsored by Senate Republicans Dawn Addiego and Anthony Bucco, to mandate life without parole for murdering a minor, of any age, during the course of a sex crime.

Rosemarie D’Alessandro testifies at a May 31, 2017 Senate Budget Committee hearing in support of Sens. Dawn Addiego and Anthony Bucco’s bill expanding the law named after her daughter. S-607 extends Joan’s Law to mandate life in prison for murdering and raping any minor. (SenateNJ.com)

For the past 20 years, “Joan’s Law” has mandated “no release” in cases involving a minor under age 14. S-607 extends Joan’s Law to protect victims between the ages of 14 and 18.

“This law cannot ease the pain of losing a child, but it can ensure that parents do not have to relive that trauma by having to appear before a parole board time and time again, just to keep a killer locked up where they belong.” Senator Addiego said. “Now, every minor who is brutally raped and murdered will receive equal justice under the law – and so will their family.”

“There is always more we can do to keep our children safe from sexual predators. Anyone who commits such an atrocious crime should, at the very least, spend their life in a jail cell,” Senator Bucco said. “There is no justification for releasing these monsters back into the general population. I am hopeful that this law will act as a deterrent. I believe it will save countless young lives for years to come.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Now Law: Bateman’s ‘Water Quality Accountability Act’

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Act Ensures Public Water Systems Protect Consumers from Unsafe Drinking Water and Cyber-Attacks on Utilities

Governor Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to improve the safety of New Jersey’s drinking water by holding public water systems accountable for making infrastructure improvements and inspections.

Sen. Kip Bateman’s “Water Quality Accountability Act” will protect people from unsafe drinking water by requiring all public water systems to establish a cyber-security program and a plan for making infrastructure improvements and inspections. (Pixabay)

“New Jersey residents are becoming more and more concerned about lead, bacteria and cancer-causing contaminants leeching into our drinking water, and given recent reports, they have every reason to feel this way.” Senator Bateman said. “This legislation demands that public water systems make the improvements necessary to keep our families safe.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Gov. Signs Bateman’s NJ Library Construction Bond Act

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Governor Christie has signed Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman’s “New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act,” ensuring it will appear on the ballot in the upcoming November general election.

Sen. Kip Bateman’s NJ Library Construction Bond Act gives voters the ability to approve funds for the repair, construction or expansion of local libraries. (Abhi Sharma/Flickr)

“Public libraries drive the economy by providing career training and access to technology for people who wouldn’t have it otherwise,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “They are invaluable community centers that everyone should have access to, but 78 percent need repairs and less than half are ADA accessible.”

“Putting this on the ballot allows the public to decide on how their taxpayer dollars are being spent, which is exactly the way it should be done. I have no doubt that people will rise up to support their local library in November. It’s the right thing to do,” Bateman continued.

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Senator Jim Holzapfel
Senator Tom Kean

Sweeney-Greenstein-Kean-Holzapfel Bill To Crack Down on Child Porn Now Law

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Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Linda R. Greenstein, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, and Senator Jim Holzapfel that would strengthen New Jersey’s child pornography laws and establish additional penalties for violators was signed into law by the Governor today.

Legislation sponsored by Sens. Sweeney, Kean, Greenstein, and Holzapfel strengthening New Jersey’s child pornography laws and establishing additional penalties for violators has been signed into law. (©iStock)

“If someone in New Jersey has engaged in the large-scale collection or distribution of pictures of children in sexually suggestive poses, they pose a serious threat to our children and our community,” said Senator Kean. “The Attorney General has highlighted the need to better address this growing problem, including the establishment of new child pornography crimes, tougher punishments, and better monitoring of offenders. There’s a bipartisan consensus that these protections are overdue.”

“We cannot allow the sexual exploitation of children to be tolerated in this state, nor can we turn a blind eye to loopholes in our laws that allow people to engage in this despicable activity in any way,” said Senator Holzapfel. “It’s clear that people who collect child erotica are a threat to public safety and the children of New Jersey, and our laws must be tightened to reflect that.”

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Diane Allen

District 7

Kip Bateman

District 16

Jennifer Beck

District 11

Anthony Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Joe Kyrillos

District 13

Steven Oroho

District 24

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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