Abigail’s Law Requires Sensors to Alert School Bus Drivers of Children in Blind Spots
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) to protect children from being hit by school buses was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie. The law requires that new school buses be equipped with sensors to alert the bus driver when children walk in front of or behind the school bus.
The bill, S-2011 of the 2014/2015 legislation session, is named “Abigail’s Law” in honor of Abigail Kuberiet, a toddler struck and killed by a school bus as it pulled away from a bus stop in South Plainfield in 2003. The bus driver didn’t see Abigail in front of the bus and didn’t know the accident had happened until contacted by radio after traveling several blocks.
“If a small child walks too closely in front of a large school bus, or stops to tie a shoe or pick up a dropped item while crossing, the bus driver may not be able to see them with tragic results,” said Holzapfel. “Safety sensor technology that could protect children’s lives is now available, affordable, and should be employed in school buses just as it is in many newer passenger cars.”
Legislation sponsored by District 24 legislators Senator Steven Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus to enhance economic viability of certain farming operations was signed into law by Governor Christie.
The legislation, S-2620/A-2839, would allow farmers who did not apply for easements at the time they entered their land into the state’s farmland preservation program and are therefore unable to conduct any non-farming business on the property to apply to the state for a permit to conduct limited rural microenterprise activities on a small portion of the land, such as wood working or farm equipment repair services. The legislation would also allow, within limits, the alternation of existing residential or agricultural structures, such as historic barns, so that they may be preserved.
“With today’s bill signing farmers who sold their entire farms into the state’s preservation program will now have a needed means to supplement their farming operations through limited business activities that continue to protect the integrity of the land,” said Oroho. “These measures will also help make sure historic barns are preserved as a permanent part of New Jersey’s beautiful rural landscape.”
Governor Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) establishing the Office of the Special Education Ombudsman within the state Department of Education in an effort to offer valuable resources and support for parents with children in the special education system.
“For many parents, navigating our state’s complex special education system can be an overwhelming and burdensome process,” Senator Allen said. “Having this office at the state level will be a tremendous asset for parents who are struggling to clear roadblocks and understand the rights and services their children are entitled to receive.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) to assure that any child having an anaphylactic reaction at a New Jersey youth camp will be administered epinephrine was signed into law today by Gov. Chris Christie.
The new law, last legislative session’s S-2201, authorizes youth camps to maintain supply of epinephrine and permit trained employees to administer epinephrine to camp members suffering from anaphylaxis.
“With the enactment of this law, we can now ensure the safety of the growing number of children and young adults with potentially fatal allergies, whether they are at a K-12 school, college campus or, now, at a camp,” O’Toole said. “This law is vital because a child may experience his or her very first insect or food allergic reaction while at camp. Camps can now be prepared to respond immediately in the case any student has an allergic reaction. Receiving an immediate dose of injectable epinephrine for anaphylaxis is a life-saving measure.”
Governor Christie has signed “Christopher’s Law,” legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to increase awareness of the dangers of operating pontoons in New Jersey waterways. The bill was named in honor of 10-year-old Christopher D’Amico, of Mount Arlington, who was tragically killed in a pontoon boating accident on Lake Hopatcong in June of 2015.
“Less than a year ago, our community suffered a heartbreaking loss, and yet out of that tragedy as emerged a legacy that includes Christopher’s Law – my lifesaving legislation that will prevent countless fatal pontoon boating accidents for years to come,” Senator Bucco said. “I am proud to have sponsored this commonsense legislation that ensures all pontoon renters are aware of these dangers and receive the essential instruction they need to safely enjoy New Jersey’s beautiful lakes and waterways.”
Governor Chris Christie has signed “Patrolman Joseph Wargo’s Law,” legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to create of a roadside memorial program honoring New Jersey emergency personnel and law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
“For the friends and family of heroes like Patrolman Joseph Wargo, there is little we can do to ease the pain and heartbreak that endures long after their tragic loss,” Senator Bucco said. “What we can do is offer a longstanding tribute expressing our gratitude for their service and sacrifice. By creating a permanent roadside memorial program, we are ensuring that those who have paid the ultimate price to guard their neighbors from harm are never forgotten by those they died to protect.”
Ahead of Expected Weekend Storm, New Law Cuts Red Tape for Kids Offering Snow Shoveling Services
Legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) ensuring that kids have the right to offer snow shoveling services before storms without municipal approval was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
“It’s incredible that some towns wanted kids to register as businesses or buy expensive solicitation permits before offering to shovel their neighbors’ driveways and sidewalks,” said Doherty. “This new law sends the message that kids looking to make a few bucks on a snow day shouldn’t be subjected to government red tape or fined for shoveling snow.”
Two bills sponsored by District 24 legislators Senator Steven Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus streamlining the process and reducing the financial burden of transferring the assets of modest estates to a beneficiary were signed into law today by Governor Christie.
“I have heard from the Sussex County Surrogate Assemblyman Gary Chiusanohow burdensome it can be for families and counties to settle even modest estates when there is no will or clearly designated beneficiary,” said Oroho. “Both of these measures will ease what is often a costly and lengthy process for families already undergoing a very difficult time and also save time and resources at the county level.”
Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) issued the following statement on the pocket veto of legislation (S3299) establishing a hospital community payment plan.
“I remain committed to finding a solution that ensures for the financial protection of non-profit hospitals while providing some compensation to municipalities for the services they provide,” said Singer. “I look forward to working together with the Governor’s Office, the departments of treasury and taxation, as well as representatives from the hospitals and municipalities to reach a fair solution that eliminates the need for costly litigation. In the wake of the tax ruling against Morristown Medical Center, we need to diligently work together to find a uniform and equitable way forward that works for both hospitals and municipalities.”
Legislation Is Key Part of Senate Republicans’ Jobs & Economic Growth Package
Gov. Chris Christie signed into law legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to create a post-doctoral fellowship program that will enhance cutting-edge industrial research and development in New Jersey.
More specifically, the bill, last legislative session’s S-2442, uses underutilized funds to create a fellowship program to attract the next generation of innovators to New Jersey, helping to enhance technological research and develop an innovative ecosystem and creative network.
“This bill will help make New Jersey a beacon for innovation jobs, technological ingenuity and development opportunities,” Kean said. “It will create greater opportunities for the workforce, develop this state’s future workforce pipeline and open new avenues for success with a top-notch innovation network. New Jersey needs all of these things to be a true economic force once again.”