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Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck/Sweeney ‘Stephen Komninos’ Law’ to Protect Developmentally Disabled from Abuse and Neglect Passes Committee

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The Senate Health and Human Services Committee has passed “Stephen Komninos’ Law,” bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck and Senate President Steve Sweeney to protect individuals with developmental disabilities from abuse and neglect, by improving transparency and accountability among caregivers and at facilities. The law is named for a 22-year-old man with intellectual disabilities who tragically died in 2007 when he was left unsupervised, against medical orders.

“Stephen Komninos’ Law,” sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck, would protect individuals with developmental disabilities, by improving transparency and accountability among caregivers and at facilities. (SenateNJ.com)

According to published reports, Stephen’s caregiver was only verbally counseled, and was allowed to return to work despite the fact that he had been found by DHS to have neglected not only Stephen, but another client as well.

Senators Beck and Sweeney were the prime sponsor of “Tara’s Law,” (2012) which established protections similar to those proposed under “Stephen Komninos’ Law” for people with developmental disabilities living in adult foster homes.

“When we enacted Tara’s Law more than five years ago, we made a promise that we would fight to extend those protections to group homes, supervised apartments, supported living arrangements, and developmental centers,” Senator Beck (R-Monmouth) explained. “Much like Tara, Stephen suffered through many substantiated incidents of abuse and neglect, and ultimately lost his life because a caregiver recklessly chose to ignore documented medical orders that were meant to keep him safe. There are 2,340 of these facilities in New Jersey. We need a fresh set of eyes in each one on a regular basis to ensure that anyone who commits such atrocities is held accountable for their crimes. This law will strengthen reporting requirements, upgrade penalties, and improve the way investigations are conducted, so that no other family ever has to endure such a tragedy.”

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Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Mike Doherty

Bateman & Doherty Join Lawsuit to Stop $300 Million State House Renovation Project

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Cost to New Jersey Taxpayers Could Reach $750 Million without Legislative or Voter Approval

Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) and Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) joined with Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20) to file a lawsuit today to stop an expensive New Jersey State House renovation project that was initiated without legislative or voter approval.

Sen. Kip Bateman and Sen. Mike Doherty joined on the filing of a lawsuit today to stop an expensive New Jersey State House renovation project that could cost state taxpayers as much as $750 million without legislative or voter approval. (Wikimedia Commons)

The civil complaint filed in New Jersey Superior Court alleges that actions undertaken by the State Capitol Joint Management Commission, Treasury Department, and New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) related to the renovation plan violate the Debt Limitation, Appropriations and Separation of Powers clauses of the New Jersey Constitution.

“While the law is clear that the plan to borrow $300 million to fund the State House renovation must be approved by both voters and the Legislature, the governor’s convoluted and unconstitutional financing arrangement takes that choice away from both taxpayers and their elected representatives,” said Doherty. “Our lawsuit seeks to hold the governor accountable and halt this boondoggle of a project. We’re fighting to ensure that New Jersey taxpayers have both transparency and choice as to how their money is spent.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Advanced: Bateman Bill to Convert Street Lights to LEDs

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon) to replace outdated, conventional street lights with more efficient LED lights was advanced by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

Sen. Kip Bateman’s bill to convert the state’s street lights to LEDs was advanced by a senate panel.(Wikimedia Commons)

“LED lights use less power and last a lot longer than conventional lights,” Senator Bateman said. “The state and our municipalities could save a lot of money in energy and maintenance costs once this change is made.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bills to Aid Farmland Preservation Advanced by Senate Panel

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to allocate more funds to help preserve New Jersey farmland was advanced by the Senate Environment Committee today.

Sen. Steve Oroho’s bill to help preserve more New Jersey farmland was advanced by a senate panel. (SenateNJ.com)

“Our heritage as the ‘Garden State’ goes back hundreds of years, and our farming tradition is still thriving in many families and communities throughout the state, especially in many of the areas that I represent,” said Senator Oroho. “These funding measures will help us continue our mission in saving that rich agricultural legacy.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Proclaims First Ever ‘NJ Public Gardens & Arboretum Day’ at National Historic Landmark

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Elected Officials, Industry Leaders, Advocates Gather in Princeton to Celebrate Bateman Resolution Establishing “New Jersey Public Gardens & Arboretum Day”

On May 11, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon) proclaimed the first annual “New Jersey Public Gardens and Arboretum Day” before a large crowd at Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton, New Jersey.

On Monday, May 11, Sen. Kip Bateman proclaimed ‘New Jersey Public Gardens and Arboretum Day’ before a large crowd at Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton, New Jersey. Pictured: Bob Heitzman, President NJ Nursery & Landscape Association; Senator Bateman; and Jeannie Geremia, VP Garden Club of NJ. (SenateNJ.com)

“As a longtime advocate of environmental protection and historical preservation, I have dedicated much of my time in public service to ensuring our children and grandchildren can continue to call New Jersey the ‘Garden State,’” Senator Bateman said. “This would not be possible without the dedicated conservationists, researchers and educators at public gardens like Morven Museum and Garden. It is our hope that recognizing New Jersey Public Gardens and Arboretum Day will encourage our residents to visit these treasured institutions, and experience firsthand the lasting positive impact they have had on our state.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Now Law: Kean Bill to Support Homeless During Winter

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) to help homeless individuals during severe winter weather events is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie.

Sen. Tom Kean’s bill to help protect homeless individuals during the winter was signed into law. (©iStock)

“Extremely cold weather can put our homeless population in incredible danger,” Senator Kean said. “It’s important that we were able to move this legislation forward with plenty of time in the upcoming warm months to implement these changes and ensure we can help people this winter.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Gov. Signs Bateman Bill Adding School Nurse Certification Requirements

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Governor Christie has signed Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman’s bill requiring the State to institute tougher training and educational standards for securing a school nurse certification, including new clinical experience requirements.

Gov. Christie on May 11 signed Sen. Kip Bateman’s bill to institute tougher requirements for school nurse certification. The new clinical experience education and training requirements are designed to enable school nurses to better serve children Statewide. (Flickr)

“School nurses are often the first people to identify the early signs of a serious behavioral health or physical condition. For a child living below the poverty line, a school nurse may be the only health professional they see,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “The new hands-on training requirements mandated under this law will ensure all school nurses are fully prepared to provide the highest level of care for children with unique and complex needs.”

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: New Open Space Law Includes Areas Throughout 9th Legislative District

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Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove praised the signing of legislation (S-2997) that appropriates nearly $60 million for open space projects.

The 9th District delegation praised new funding for open space. (SenateNJ.com)

Funding for the projects will come from constitutionally dedicated corporation business tax (CBT) revenues for the State acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, including Blue Acres projects, and capital and park development projects.

The 9th District delegation, which supported and voted for the open space law, offered the following remarks:

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Senator Kip Bateman

MEDIA ADVISORY (5/11): Bateman to Proclaim First Ever NJ Public Gardens Day in Princeton

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On May 11, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman will proclaim the first ever “New Jersey Public Gardens and Arboretum Day” at a public ceremony at Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton. The event is open to the public and the media.

Sen. Kip Bateman will proclaim the first ever “NJ Public Gardens and Arboretum Day” at a public ceremony on May 11 at Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton, NJ. (Garden State Gardens)

Who: Senator Kip Bateman, State Officials, Members of the Garden State Gardens Consortium, and Industry Leaders

What: Ceremony Proclaiming the First-Ever NJ Public Gardens and Arboretum Day

When: Thursday, May 11th at 10 a.m.

Where: Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton St, Princeton, NJ 03540 

Availability: Open

Event Contact: Emily Everson, Senate Republican Office, 609-847-3600; Morven Museum & Garden, (609) 924-8144

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Senator Kip Bateman

Media Advisory: Bateman to Host Blood Drive in Somerville on Thursday

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Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) is hosting a blood drive on Thursday to collect much needed donations for the Robert Wood Johnson Steeplechase Cancer Center. Donating is quick and easy, and open to anyone older than 17, or 16 with parental consent.

Sen. Kip Bateman to host blood drive at RWJ Steeplechase Cancer Center on Thursday, May 11. (SenateNJ.com)

“We’ve had many successful drives in the past, with every available appointment filled. I hope we can do that again, but we need your help,” Senator Bateman said. “This blood is desperately needed. By giving just a little blood and a little time you can help save lives.”

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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

Kevin O'Toole

District 40

Steven Oroho

District 24

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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