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Senator Steve Oroho

Committee Advances Oroho Legislation Simplifying Process of Adding a Veteran’s Status on Driver’s License

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho simplifying the process for veterans to receive a veteran designation on their driver’s license was advanced by the Senate Transportation Committee.

Sen. Oroho’s legislation would simplify the process for those with military service to add their their status as a veteran to their New Jersey driver’s license. (NJMVC)

Senator Oroho’s S-2508 would allow veterans to use their county-issued veteran ID card as proof of their status as a veteran when applying to the state Motor Vehicle Commission for a veteran designation on their license. Under the law, a county ID could only be used if the county that issued it required veterans to show their discharge papers in applying for the ID.

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Senator Gerald Cardinale

Cardinale Bill Renaming Portion of Route 17 as “Staff Sergeant Timothy R. McGill Memorial Highway” Advanced

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale designating a portion of State Highway Route 17 in the Borough of Ramsey as “Staff Sergeant Timothy R. McGill Memorial Highway” was advanced by the Senate Transportation Committee.

Army Staff Sgt. Timothy R. McGill (The American Red Cross)

“Timothy McGill lived a life of courage, honor and service,” said Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic). “”Timothy’s love for his country and his local community is an example of service and heroism that will not be forgotten. Designating a portion of Route 17 in his name will serve as a permanent reminder of his commitment to protecting others and is a fitting tribute to a true local hero.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls for Dormant SCI Committee to Act for Public Good, Reform DRPA

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Senator Joe Pennacchio called for the now dormant New Jersey Select Committee on Investigation to turn its attention to reforming the troubled Delaware River Port Authority.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio called for the New Jersey Select Committee on Investigation to turn its attention to reforming the troubled Delaware River Port Authority. (Kevin Burkett/Flickr)

“It’s abundantly clear that Democrats have used the legislature’s joint Select Committee on Investigation as a political tool to advance their own agendas, not to enact reforms for the people of New Jersey,” said Pennacchio, (R-Morris). “With the committee effectively put into recess today, Democrats have a last chance to put its broad powers to use for the good of taxpayers and commuters by turning its focus to bringing needed changes to the DRPA.”

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Steve Oroho

Bateman, Oroho Reintroduce Legislation Reforming Affordable Housing Laws

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Senators Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer) and Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) announced today they have reintroduced legislation reforming the state’s affordable housing laws as result of the Council on Affordable Housing’s failure to adopt new rules.

The legislation is identical to a bipartisan COAH reform bill that the Senate passed with strong support in 2011 but was then severely amended by the Assembly and conditionally vetoed back to its original intent by Governor Christie. The legislation, S-2629, would eliminate the Council on Affordable Housing and create a common-sense affordable housing program giving municipalities far more control over how much housing they will build in the locations best suited for development.

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove Request Status Update on Soil Restoration Standards Required Under Barnegat Bay Initiative

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As part of their continuing efforts to protect the Barnegat Bay, the 9th District legislative delegation has requested of the State Secretary of Agriculture a status update on the development of new soil restoration standards that are required under a state law enacted in 2010. Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove sponsored the soil restoration law, along with the fertilizer restriction law, which stands as the strictest in the nation.

A view of the shore of Barnegat Bay from Island Beach State Park. (Famartin/Wikimedia Commons)

The pressing need for legislative action on soil restoration and fertilizer restriction laws were conceptualized during the first joint legislative environmental meeting on the Barnegat Bay in 2009 that was held in Ocean County at the request of the 9th District delegation which was working in a unified effort with the Barnegat Bay Partnership. In all, 19 of the 9th Legislative District’s 24 constituent municipalities are located within the Watershed.

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District 8

REMINDER: Holiday Cookie/Treats Drive for Troops on Saturday

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The 8th Legislative District office is again partnering with Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey (OYRSJ) in a Holiday Cookie Drive for our troops.

This year, as you finalize plans for the busy holiday season, please take a moment to remember our military men and women who will not have the chance to be home for the holidays.

Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey and the 8th District Office will collect cookies and treats to send to troops serving overseas on Saturday, December 6. (D Sharon Pruitt/Flickr)

If your plans include some quality time baking goodies for loved ones and friends, we hope you will consider making an extra tray of cookies to share with our heroes serving abroad.

Cookies will be collected on ONE DAY ONLY, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 6, at our 8th District Office at 176 Route 70 East, Suite 13, Medford, NJ — behind the Dunkin Donuts at Jones Road.

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District 8

Addiego, Brown & Rodriguez-Gregg Bill Requires Public Utilities to Provide Priority Service to Schools & Public Safety Agencies

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Senator Dawn Marie Addiego, Assemblyman Christopher J. Brown and Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (all R-8) have announced legislation that would protect schools and public safety agencies from preventable telephone outages and require all public utilities to maintain dedicated support staff to provide those organizations with priority service.

A prolonged and preventable utility outage beginning on May 12, 2014 that left Southampton Township Schools without telephone service or the ability to communicate was met with an inadequate response by service providers. (Southampton Township School District)

The legislation (S-2594/Assembly version pending introduction) was prompted by a telephone service outage lasting more than a day that left the Southampton Township Board of Education and its schools with “minimal capability to communicate with parents, law enforcement, and emergency responders if necessary.”

“With so many children gathered together for so much of the time, it’s crucial that schools have priority access to resolve utility issues,” said Addiego. “Given recent events at Newtown and elsewhere, we can all understand the importance of school officials having access to working phones should they need to call for help.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman, Ciattarelli & Simon Oppose Natural Gas Pipeline Plan

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16th District legislators Sen. Kip Bateman, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Assemblywoman Donna Simon voiced their strong opposition to the proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline project that would extend from Luzerne County, Pa. through Hunterdon and Mercer counties in New Jersey. In a letter (attached) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the legislators stated, “To the very best of our knowledge, no pipeline has ever been developed in a more bucolic, previously preserved, and historically significant and designated area.”

A section of the proposed route of the PennEast Pipeline is marked in green in this close-up view of the New Jersey portion of the proposed pipeline. (PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC)

“Running a pipeline through numerous parcels of preserved land in some of the most beautiful places in the state poses far too many environmental risks,” said Bateman. “There’s certainly a need to plan for the future to make sure the state can meet its energy demands, but constructing a pipeline in a way that would lower property values, impact quality of life for residents and damage the state’s dwindling open spaces is not the way to go. We must be vigilant in ensuring that human health and safety and environmental impacts are unequivocally first and foremost in considering any pipeline proposal.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Passes Oroho Legislation Ensuring Highlands Landowners Receive Fair Value

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho to continue the special appraisal process for Green Acres and Farmland Preservation programs for lands in the Highlands area was adopted by the full Senate.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Steven Oroho would continue a special appraisal process for open space and farmland preservation programs to ensure fairness for property owners whose homes and farms were devalued by the Highlands Act in 2004. Pictured is the Long Valley preservation area. (Morris County Preservation Trust)

The special appraisal process, which sunset June 30, 2014, is designed to ensure fairness for property owners whose homes and farms were devalued by the 2004 Highlands Act that banned most development in the 860,000 acre area. The legislation, S1050, renews the appraisal process until 2019.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Grateful for Democrat Sponsorship of DRPA Reform Legislation

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Senator Joe Pennacchio announced that State Senator Sandra Cunningham has agreed to co-sponsor Senate Bill 2013 to reform and bring accountability to the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA).

Senator Pennacchio announced today that Senator Sandra Cunningham has signed on as a sponsor of DRPA reform legislation. The DRPA operates four bridges, including the Ben Franklin Bridge, and a commuter rail line.

“I welcome Senator Cunningham’s strong support of this vital issue,” said Pennacchio.  “As a respected leader within her caucus, she brings additional energy and welcomed transparency to this issue.”

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