Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) designating the second full week in November of each year as “Veterans’ Education Awareness Week” was advanced by the Senate Military & Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“Since 9/11, many brave young men and women have dutifully served in the Armed Forces to help defend our nation,” added Bucco. “When they transition back to civilian life, it’s important that they know about the important benefits available to them, including a significant reduction in the cost of a college education.”
Doherty Introduces Legislation Designating Rt. 173 Between Clinton & Phillipsburg as “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway”
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) has introduced legislation that would designate Route 173 between Clinton in Hunterdon County and Phillipsburg in Warren County as the “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway” in honor of the brigade’s many years of heroism and sacrifice in defense of our country’s freedom.
“From service in France during World War I to recent deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ‘Sky Soldiers’ of the 173rd Airborne Brigade have distinguished themselves for nearly a century,” said Doherty. “It is fitting that we honor the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s service and sacrifice by naming part of Rt. 173 in their honor.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen protecting the confidentiality of conversations between emergency services personnel and peer counselors was advanced today by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. The bill, S-2840, also provides that peer counselors are privileged against examination as a witness in civil or criminal proceedings.
“Police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians respond daily to dangerous calls and horrific tragedies that can cause them to suffer high levels of stress, anxiety and depression,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “These brave men and women deserve every opportunity to seek the help they need in dealing with the ill effects of their service. Assuring that conversations with a peer counselor are confidential and protected will go a long way in helping some feel comfortable in taking advantage of help that’s available to them.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho making it illegal to drive under the influence of any amount of a prohibited inhalant, such as glue or aerosol, was advanced today by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
The bill, S2064, is designated as “Kimmie’s Law” in recognition of Kimberly Goupil, a 16-year-old Hampton Township teen who was killed in a car crash on Aug. 10, 2007 by a driver initially suspected by law enforcement of driving under the influence of inhalants.
“Kimmie’s Law should put drivers on notice that there will be zero-tolerance towards this type of irresponsible, reckless behavior,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “No family should have to deal with the tragedy of losing a loved one because of the selfish action of a driver who got behind the wheel while high. This bill now makes it clear that huffing and driving won’t be tolerated at any level.
Senator Jennifer Beck issued a letter to the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Association (“FMERA”) in response to concerns over the housing obligations of the host municipalities. Recent stories in the press have confused the process of changing a participating municipality’s housing requirement. Those towns possessing property contained within the former fort are each included in the redevelopment plan and assigned a housing obligation.
“Each municipality was assigned a specific housing number in the redevelopment plan,” Beck said. “When the FMERA law was crafted, it eventually became obvious the original housing requirements may have to be modified depending on a myriad of circumstances as redevelopment progressed. The law gives host municipality’s zoning boards singular authority over housing issues, FMERA does not have the ability to change a town’s housing obligation.”
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) said that Jersey City’s reported plan to sue the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over what Mayor Steven Fulop has called “unfair and outdated tax agreements” is just the latest hypocrisy from the city when it comes to property taxes.
“Jersey City wants everyone other than its own residents to pay the city’s bills,” said Doherty. “Mayor Fulop claims long-standing tax agreements with the Port Authority have caused a ‘severe negative impact on Jersey City taxpayers,’ yet he makes no mention of the $2 billion of questionable tax exemptions that the city has doled out which shifts the burden of maintaining city services to other Hudson County and state taxpayers.”
A report issued by the Office of the State Comptroller in 2010, “A Programmatic Examination of Municipal Tax Abatements,” notes (page 12) that the use of tax abatements results in Jersey City “not collecting approximately $120 million in property taxes on exempted property.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) prohibiting homeowners’ associations from barring home modifications or additions needed to accommodate a disabled resident was advanced today by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
“Many disabled residents are forced to make home modifications or build a ramp in order to assure they are able to safely move about their home,” said Bucco. “Residents who need to make these types of changes to their home to assure safety and a better quality of life shouldn’t be precluded from doing so because of overly rigid rules by a homeowners association.”
Singer Bill to Establish Procedures and Certification Program for Mold Inspection, Remediation Advanced by Senate Committee
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer that would help assure best practices are utilized in the inspection and cleanup of mold in residential buildings and school facilities was advanced Thursday by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. The measure would also establish a certification program for mold abatement and inspection workers
“In the aftermaths of Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy many property owners have been left to deal with mold after moving back into flooded out homes,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “By establishing clear procedures for mold inspection and remediation, families will be better informed about the safety of their home and can have greater assurance that work performed on their home is done properly.”
The Senate Republican Caucus today re-elected Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Union, Morris) as its leader for the 2014-2015 session.
“I’m honored to again lead the Republican Caucus in the Senate and I thank my colleagues for their overwhelming support,” said Kean. “The responsibility to my caucus and all New Jerseyans is one I hold with great respect. I look forward to working with Governor Christie, Steve, Jon and Vincent.”
The Senate Transportation Committee advanced today a resolution sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) urging commercial airlines to implement and enact policies concerning peanuts on flights to address allergy concerns.
“Peanut allergies can have lethal consequences and are nothing to mess around with,” Kyrillos said. “Airlines have a responsibility to provide basic safeguards for passengers with special health needs. People who report a peanut allergy to an airline should have the comfort of knowing they won’t be served peanuts or put in danger of an allergic attack because of a fellow passenger’s snack.”