Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) today issued the following statement on the third anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.
“Three years ago today, the lives of far too many New Jerseyans were changed forever. The worst storm in this state’s history hit the Jersey Shore and immediately we began dealing with the devastation left in the storm’s wake. Declan and I, along with our staff, helped with Fort Monmouth emergency housing, worked with homeowners in the HMGP and RREM programs, dealt with any energy issues, and just listened when homeowners just wanted someone to talk to. We have come a long way, but much still needs to be done” said Beck.
Legislation requires warning signs; pre-rental safety instruction to increase awareness of the dangers of operating pontoons in New Jersey waterways
Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) has introduced “Christopher’s Law,” 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.
“Christopher’s Law” requires the owner of a pontoon rental business to alert customers to the dangers of operating the water vessel, by posting prominent warning signs at entrances and ensuring that renters complete pre-rental instruction before setting sail.
“In the wake of this heart-breaking tragedy, we must do everything we can to make sure that all renters are aware of the dangers of operating pontoons. Passing this simple legislation is the least we can do to honor Christopher’s legacy, by protecting our children and families from falling victim to boating accidents on waterways across our state,” Senator Bucco said.
Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to create a state contract set-aside program for disabled veterans to help them grow their businesses.
The Senator’s law, formerly S-1353, requires contracting agencies to establish a goal of setting aside at least 3 percent of their contracts for disabled veterans who independently own at least 51 percent of a business operating in New Jersey. This includes bidding for contracts to complete construction projects, provide goods, equipment or various services.
“Recent reports reveal more than 6 percent of New Jersey veterans are unemployed – that’s higher than the national average,” said Senator Bucco. “This law creates economic opportunities for disabled veterans, we are recognizing their service and sacrifice while helping them contribute to our state’s growing economy and enhancing innovation in New Jersey.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) creating a council to study and identify solutions for issues surrounding pedestrian and bicycle safety in New Jersey was adopted by the full Senate.
“Compared to the rest of the country a disproportionate number of fatal crashes in New Jersey involve a pedestrian,” said Allen. “This problem is especially clear in Burlington County, where Route 130 has held the unfortunate title of being the state’s most dangerous road for pedestrians for several years in a row. We need to make sure there is a thorough understanding of the factors contributing to tragic crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists on this and other roads in communities across the state. If there are feasible infrastructure, design or traffic law changes we can make to improve safety we need to identify what those items are and implement them as soon as possible.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean introduced the “Association Homeowners’ Protection Act of 2015,” to empower more than a million New Jersey residents in homeowners’ associations.
“This vital legislation will protect and empower the more than one million New Jersey residents in condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes who each pay several hundred to several thousand dollars per year in homeowners’ association dues,” Kean said. “Too many hardworking, middle-class homeowners have endured costly, time-consuming and stressful conflicts with obstructionist or nontransparent association administrators or management companies, simply because a 22-year-old state law isn’t as strong or clear as it should be.”
The full Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to lower the cost of college for New Jersey members of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces through an expansion of the same tuition benefits already granted to members of the New Jersey National Guard.
“We expect reservists to be ready at a moment’s notice to drop everything and jump into action to support our military in very dangerous and difficult circumstances,” said Allen. “It is only fitting that they be eligible to receive the same education benefits as those already granted to members of the National Guard. This legislation provides an avenue for reservists, who often have to put their lives on hold to help protect this country, to pursue a degree and a career outside of their service.”
Senate Passes Singer Bills to Protect Consumers, Establish Standards for Third-Party Energy Suppliers
Two bills sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to increase consumer protections for customers of third-party energy suppliers were passed today by the full Senate.
“The deregulated energy market has brought with it a host of third-party energy suppliers and the opportunity for consumers to shop for providers offering lower rates,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “However, a lack of transparency and oversight has led to confusion and misleading contracts that have left too many customers who switched to third-party suppliers in hopes of lowering costs with astronomical gas or electric bills due to variable-rate plans and changing energy costs. These bills ensure a greater level of transparency and establishes clear standards to better protect consumers in the third-party energy supplier marketplace.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen) to support individuals or groups temporarily caring for dogs who are training to be service animals passed the Senate. S-2281 exempts these caregivers from procuring a license and registration tag while the service-animal-in-training is placed in a foster home. The bill will allow “foster parents” to spend more time training service animals – a time-consuming, specialized and often costly process.
“These devoted volunteers dedicate years of their lives to training service animals to be faithful, steadfast companions to some of our state’s most vulnerable residents,” Senator O’Toole said. “For the hundreds of thousands of disabled individuals nationwide who rely on service animals to function independently, these foster parents provide an invaluable source of aid.”
“This exemption is a simple solution to allow foster parents to focus on training dogs to be lifesaving companions. Passing this legislation is a clear expression of our support for these caregivers – a message I hope will inspire others to take up the task of training loving and loyal service animals,” Senator O’Toole added.
Senate Passes Bateman Bill Giving Eco-Friendly Energy Star Homeowners Incentives for Installing Solar Panels
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman’s (R-Somerset) bill to provide Energy Star-certified homeowners with financial incentives to install solar panels passed the Senate. S-1413 requires the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to give preference to these homeowners when awarding financial incentives for installing solar panels. New Jersey is one of the largest and fastest growing solar energy producers in the country, producing enough solar energy to power more than 240,000 homes.
“As a national leader in solar energy, we are working diligently to develop innovative strategies to encourage more New Jersey residents to embrace this technology,” Senator Bateman said. “This legislation targets a core, environmentally-friendly audience that is ready and willing to go above and beyond, by investing in energy-efficient technology throughout their entire home.”
The New Jersey Senate will hold a voting session on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in the New Jersey State House to consider the following bills:
|A617||Text messaging, unsolicited ads-proh.||2RSG||12/18/2014|
|A625||Unsolicited checks, cert.-proh.||2RSG||12/18/2014|
|A2327||E-mail notification sys. alert-create||2RS||6/29/2015|
|A3502||Svc. dog in foster home-exemp. lic./reg.||2RS||9/24/2015|
|A3849||BPU customers-prov links to pricing info||2RS||9/24/2015|
|A3851||Customer & gas suppliers-impose standard||2RS||9/24/2015|
|A4156||Campus Sexual Assault Task Force-estab.||2RS||10/19/2015|
|A4307||Spill Comp and Control Act-settlements||2RS||6/8/2015|
|A4413||Econ. devel. subsidies, cert.-concerns||2RS||6/29/2015|
|S854||Health care fac.-req. generator ready||2RSG||6/25/2015|
|S1336||Wheelchair ramps, resid.-permit req.||2RSC||6/29/2015|
|S1341||Anti-freeze, bittering agent-concern use||2RSC||2/5/2015|
|S1413||Photovoltaic equip.-concern incentives||2RS||9/24/2015|
|S1770||TDI-estab. partial return to work prog.||2RSG||6/29/2015|
|S1946||MV records-verify student’s enrollment||2RSC||12/15/2014|
|S2281||Svc. dog in foster home-exemp. lic./reg.||2RS||9/24/2015|
|S2284||Medicaid managed care org.-concerns||2RSG||6/29/2015|
|S2360||Mental health record-concern expungement||R/S||8/10/2015|
|S2466||Consumer info 3rd party gas supplier-req||2RS||9/24/2015|
|S2468||Customer & gas suppliers-impose standard||2RS||9/24/2015|
|S2521||Pedestrian, Bike Safety Advisory Council||2RS||6/15/2015|
|S2523||Sr. Cit. Priority Parking Prog.-create||2RS||6/8/2015|
|S2524||Mun. Vol. Prop. Tax Reduction Act||2RS||6/8/2015|
|S2784||Boats-prov partial exemp, max. sales tax||2RSG||9/24/2015|
|S2812||Campus Sexual Assault Task Force-estab.||2RS||10/19/2015|
|S2885||Ice skates, roller skates-helmet req.||2RS||6/11/2015|
|S2896||Econ. devel. subsidies, cert.-concerns||2RS||6/11/2015|
|S2919||Spill Comp and Control Act-settlements||2RS||6/8/2015|
|S2965||E-mail notification sys. alert-create||2RS||6/11/2015|
|S3021||Armed Forces reserve-prov. tuition benf.||2RS||6/29/2015|
|S3024||Real estate brokers-revise laws||2RS||10/19/2015|
|S3071||Aphasia Task Force-established||2RS||10/19/2015|
|S3076||Victim legal representation-incr max fee||2RS||10/19/2015|
|SCR156||John Matthew Shippen, Jr.-commem. stamp||2RS||5/7/2015|
|SCR180||Dept. of Env. reg.-concerns leg. review||2RS||10/19/2015|
|SJR87||Genocide Awareness Mo.-desig. April||2RS||10/19/2015|
|SJR96||Pregnancy/Infant Loss Remembrance Mo.||2RS||10/19/2015|
|SR139||Healthy Maternity, Obstetic Medicine Act||2RS||10/19/2015|