Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) congratulated local advocates for securing the restoration of the T. Thomas Fortune House. One of only two national historic landmarks in New Jersey with a role in African American history, the house will now be transformed into a cultural center dedicated to advocating for social justice.
“I am so grateful to the concerned citizens who rescued T. Thomas Fortune House from permanent destruction,” Senator Beck said. “This landmark was home to one of the most influential social justice advocates in our nation’s history. I cannot think of a better way to honor that legacy than to use the newly-restored landmark as a cultural and educational center dedicated to continuing Thomas’s lifelong mission to teach tolerance and secure equal rights for all.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) to allow current and retired Administrative Law Judges to perform marriages and civil unions has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
“Nearly every judge and local public official in New Jersey had the ability to perform marriages except for administrative law judges, until now,” Senator Cardinale said. “This law will give these professionals the same ability, as well as the ability to perform civil unions, and give New Jerseyans even more options when they want to get married.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to speed up the processing of workers’ compensation claims was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
“By standardizing procedures and setting a hard deadline, we can streamline this process for everyone involved,” Senator Oroho said. “This will ensure no money is tied up for too long, whether it’s the party making the claim or the one paying it out.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) has been officially inducted into the Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Class of 2017. Senator Allen is among just 25 elected women leaders selected from a national pool of candidates. Class members are honored for demonstrating continued leadership, personal integrity and outstanding performance as an elected official.
“I have been honored to serve in the legislature for nearly two decades and in that time, I have seen the tremendous impact women leaders can have on improving the lives of the people they serve,” Senator Allen said. “Women make up the majority of this nation, but barely a quarter of state legislatures. It is in the best interest of our country to empower a greater number of women to pursue elected office, and there is no shortage of qualified female candidates to lead in our communities. Now is the time to come together as mentors and create opportunities to accomplish that goal.”
The Senate approved a four-bill package sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, Senator Steven Oroho, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, and Senator Brian Stack, Senator Shirley K. Turner to strengthen crime victims’ rights laws in New Jersey. The passage of the legislation took place as the Senate marked the 25th Anniversary of enactment of the New Jersey Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment to the state Constitution, which cemented the right of crime victims to be treated fairly and their ability to be present at certain court proceedings.
“We can do much more to support survivors as they work to rebuild, recover and seek out the justice they deserve. This legislation will end discriminatory practices that have long prevented crime victims from securing housing and stable employment, and provide opportunities for survivors of any age to confront their abusers without fear,” said Bateman. “We must remain vigilant in our efforts to uphold and expand the strong laws we have in place to protect victims of violent crime. I am proud to have worked on a bipartisan basis with my colleague Senator Weinberg to advance these compassionate, commonsense measures and I hope to see all three bills signed into law as swiftly as possible.”
A resolution sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) to establish “Constitution Week” was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
The resolution, SJR-31, designates Sept. 17-23 of each year as Constitution Week and calls for special activities that will raise public awareness about the important role the Constitution plays in everyday life.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) to give more rights to residents of common interest communities, like homeowner associations, was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
“Residents of these communities deserve to have a voice,” Senator O’Toole said. “Boards that are supposed to represent the interests of homeowners should be run by rules similar to those of an elected government.”
The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck expanding the “Move Over Law” to prevent sanitation worker deaths. “Michael Massey’s Law” is named for a Freehold resident who was killed when he was hit by a car while loading a garbage truck as part of his public works duties in Ocean Township.
“Drivers know they have to slow down and move over when approaching an ambulance or police car because the ‘Move Over Law’ has been so effective at raising awareness and saving lives,” Senator Beck (R-Monmouth) said. “Michael Massey’s death is a tragic reminder that emergency responders are not the only public workers at risk of being hit by a car on the job. Those who operate sanitation vehicles should receive the same protections.”
Senate Passes Oroho Bill to Amend Price-Gouging Protections to Safeguard Consumers, Support Businesses
Legislation would put price-gouging protections in place for 30 days after a declaration of state of emergency, unless extended by the governor
The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho to protect consumers from price gouging during a natural disaster and support small businesses following a state of emergency declaration.
“The protections we put in place will deter businesses from taking advantage of consumers during a natural disaster by spiking prices for necessities, such as gasoline and groceries,” Senator Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) said. “However, many reputable small businesses have been negatively impacted because of the inflexibility of the 30-day time period. This bill will ensure business have the ability to be competitive following the end of an emergency declaration, while still protecting consumers from price gouging tactics that threaten their welfare and safety.”
Jewelers who violate New Jersey’s secondhand jewelry and precious metals record keeping laws would face much stricter penalties under legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and approved by the New Jersey Senate.
“Under my legislation, jewelers who pawn off illegally obtained valuables on innocent consumers could no longer claim ignorance as a defense for buying and selling stolen goods,” Senator Bateman said. “Sellers who try and hide the fact that they received stolen property and are putting it up for sale must be held accountable for breaking the law.”