Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) stated that the signing of a law she co-sponsored to establish a permanent syringe access program is the right thing to do for residents across the state struggling with addiction.
“As a longtime advocate for those struggling with addiction, I was proud to work with Senator Vitale and the Governor to ensure the passage of this law,” Senator Diane Allen said. “Establishing a permanent needle-exchange program does far more than prevent the spread of fatal diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis. For many addicts, visiting a syringe access center may be their only opportunity to access lifesaving medical testing, counseling and a variety of other health services that forge a pathway to recovery.”
Senator Kip Bateman and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (both R-16) have called on Governor Chris Christie and the Department of Transportation to declare the replacement of the Route 518 bridge over the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Franklin an essential project to allow work to resume immediately.
The Department of Transportation was ordered to halt work in early July on the $2.75 million project and other transportation projects across New Jersey that were deemed non-essential, pending an agreement to refund the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.
“The Rt. 518 bridge over the Delaware and Raritan Canal is a critical transportation link that residents and emergency and shared services depend upon,” said Bateman. “It’s imperative for the safety and well-being of our community that work be resumed on this project immediately. Governor Christie should use his authority to declare this an ‘essential’ project allowing the bridge replacement to move forward.”
Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senators Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Michael Doherty establishing a task force to address Raritan and Delaware River flooding in Somerset and Hunterdon counties.
“We took great strides last month in Bound Brook by moving forward Green Brook Flood Risk Management Project,” Senator Doherty said. “However, we still need a comprehensive plan to ensure all communities along the Raritan and Delaware Rivers have the tools and information needed to prepare for severe flooding. I look forward to reviewing the task force’s findings and finally implementing longterm solutions for our residents.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to prohibit persons with DUI-related suspended or revoked licenses from operating NJ Transit trains has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
“It’s incomprehensible that people who were prohibited from driving a car due to DUI-related issues were allowed to continue driving trains with hundreds of passengers,” said Beck. “I’m glad that the Legislature and Governor Christie were able to act so quickly to fix this outrageous loophole in state law.”
Governor Chris Christie has signed into law legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe (all R-10) creating a task force to help law enforcement crack down on criminals and return stolen jewelry and other valuables to their rightful owners.
“We are pleased that the Governor has signed this important piece of legislation into law,” said Senator Holzapfel. “This will help track the sales of potentially stolen items and provide a way of cracking down on burglaries that take place to support heroin and other drug addictions.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) to create a task force that will study New Jersey’s biotechnology industry and find ways to expand it has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
The resolution, SJR-57, creates the “New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force” in order to improve communication between state government and the industry and to find ways to help retain and attract biotechnology companies to the state. According to BioNJ, Inc., the industry directly provides more than 60,000 jobs and more than $1.5 billion in tax revenue to the state.
Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex, Bergen, Morris) sent a letter to the FDA calling for the agency to work swiftly to approve generic epinephrine auto-injectors to combat Mylan’s apparent monopoly on the market. O’Toole sponsors a bill to combat Mylan’s EpiPen price hike by providing a tax credit to retailers who keep the drug affordable.
“It is baffling to me that although EpiPens have been on the market for many years, the FDA has yet to approve any generics,” Senator O’Toole said. “It seems that Mylan’s deplorable price hike was, in part, a response to competition from generic EpiPens that were awaiting FDA approval. I strongly urge the FDA to uphold its mission to serve the public health by speeding innovations that make medicine more affordable. We cannot stand by and allow Mylan to put lives at risk. Families need affordable options now.”
Bill would provide tax incentive for retailers who continue to sell EpiPens at the 2009 price of $100 to those without prescription coverage.
Senator O’Toole announced plans to introduce legislation to provide a tax credit incentivizing EpiPen retailers to keep the drug affordable. The bill would allow any retailer who sells an EpiPen at the 2009 price of $100 to qualify for a tax deduction for the difference. Since the purchase by Mylan of EpiPen, the cost has risen to $609 per pair of syringes.
“I am appalled by reports of Mylan’s monopolistic pricing tactics that are forcing retailers and families to pay an astronomical amount of money for one of the only drugs that can save a child’s life during an anaphylactic attack,” Senator O’Toole said. “There is no justification for the manufacturer to raise the price by more than 500 percent in less than 10 years. Especially when the only thing that changed was the name of the company producing the EpiPen. What has happened here under Mylan’s watch is unconscionable. This is not 1987 or the fictitious movie ‘Wall Street,’ greed is not always good.”
Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus stated their support of Governor Christie’s decision to veto A-3689 and S-816, legislation sponsored by Senate and Assembly Democrats that would have placed further unnecessary restrictions on responsible citizens seeking to own, buy or sell guns in New Jersey.
“We applaud Governor Christie’s conditional vetoes issued Thursday, Aug. 24, on A-3689 and S-816 and we urge Democrat legislative leadership to post these changes for a vote when the legislature convenes in September,” Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Space and Assemblywoman Phoebus said. “We have long been supporters of concealed carry and repealing the “smart-gun” mandate.
The following editorial by Senator Samuel Thompson (R-12) on the urgent need to fill vacancies on the Election Law Enforcement Commission board and preserve the public’s trust in the political process was published in The Record on August 25, 2016.
In just over a year, New Jersey voters will decide who will become the next governor and weigh in on a number of other high-profile state and local elections. Unless swift action is taken, the political organizations and lobbyists who control millions of campaign dollars spent to secure those seats may go unregulated. In turn, those who squander or try to hide donations may never be held accountable for their crimes.