Job creating legislation originally introduced in 2013 by Senator Joe Kyrillos to allow New Jersey residents to invest in New Jersey-based companies, startups, innovators and entrepreneurs received final legislative approval.
The bill, S-712/A-2073, would allow people to engage in online crowdfunding within the state of New Jersey. It heads to Gov. Chris Christie for consideration.
“At a time when conventional sources of financing are scarce, this legislation will help New Jersey’s innovators seek private capital from the investing public to develop their products or services right here in our state,” Kyrillos said. “Crowdfunding will level the playing field for future employers, giving those without access to Wall Street a chance to gain startup capital quickly and grow their business with the support of the community.”
The New Jersey Senate advanced a trio of healthcare bills sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to raise awareness, encourage prevention efforts, and support New Jersey residents coping with Skin Cancer, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS,) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Senator Singer’s bill, S-2459, ignites an aggressive effort to fight COPD by creating an 11-member task force to investigate strategies to promote awareness on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. The task force will also study the resources that are used statewide to combat COPD and determine the best way to improve the quality and accessibility of community-based services for those living with this disease. Nearly 451,000 people – 5.1 percent of New Jersey’s population – are living with COPD, according to the most recent statistics available from the CDC.
“We need to do more to help the hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents struggling with COPD – the third leading cause of death in the U.S.,” said Senator Singer. “By establishing a task force to evaluate how we can raise awareness and expand community resources, we are helping countless New Jerseyans with COPD live fuller, happier lives.”
Senate Adopts Oroho Measure Supporting Establishment of First Outpatient Clinic for Veterans in Sussex County
The full Senate adopted legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho supporting the establishment of the first Sussex County-based outpatient medical clinic for veterans.
“Sussex and Warren counties are the only two counties in the state without a veterans’ outpatient clinic and for many veterans living in this area the closest in-state clinic is more than 40 miles away in Morris Plains,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “The lack of access to local medical care for veterans is a major obstacle and a serious concern. Establishing a local clinic in Sussex County will make it far easier for the tens of thousands of veterans living here to get the care that they need and deserve.”
The full Senate voted to adopt bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen establishing a program to reimburse veterans for the cost of driving or taking public transportation to medical counseling appointments for service-connected conditions.
“The challenges of military service and the difficulty in adjusting back into civilian life after returning from combat are well known and long lasting,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “It can’t be overstated how critically important it is that we make sure veterans have full access to medical counseling services. Sadly, for many unemployed or retired veterans the cost of traveling to frequent appointments can be a burden and obstacle to receiving the treatment that they need. Waiting hours or even days for some of the shuttle services that are currently provided isn’t always an option. This legislation will eliminate a significant cost and time barrier to seeking out treatment, allowing more veterans to get the help that they need.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean stated the following regarding a New York Times editorial urging Trenton Democrats who control the New Jersey Legislature to “step aside” and allow a vote to pass Senator Kean’s bipartisan, bi-state, comprehensive and “fair” legislation to reform the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey:
“I hope today’s New York Times editorial is the final wake-up call prompting New Jersey legislative Democrats to allow my hybrid legislation to prevent an abusive Port Authority.
“With New York’s passage of this bill and Gov. Christie’s commitment to sign it into law, Trenton Democrats are the lone obstructers of this reform bill that would stop the Port Authority from wasting or wantonly increasing the billions of dollars the public agency takes each year from hard-working commuters and taxpayers. It’s past time for them to join us bipartisan, bi-state reformers and seize the opportunity we now have to enact workable, comprehensive Port Authority reform for all of the people we represent.”
Holzapfel-Wolfe-McGuckin Bill Protects Homeowners from Utility Infrastructure Replacement Costs Following Natural Disasters
To protect residents from being billed directly for utility infrastructure replacement costs when their homes or property are damaged by a natural disaster, Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin have introduced legislation (S-3064) prohibiting utility companies from charging customers for the cost of such upgrades.
“Recovery from Sandy has been a long, drawn out process for so many who live at the Shore, especially those on the barrier islands who had to elevate their houses,” said Holzapfel. “It’s unfathomable that these homeowners are being charged for utility infrastructure work.”
Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are calling for action on a legislative initiative that would create the new offense of theft by financial exploitation of a vulnerable person.
Under the 9th District delegation’s legislation (S-925/A-738), a newly established offense of financial exploitation would be established for a person who, when being in a position of trust, commits a theft against a senior citizen or a person with a disability.
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Senator Bob Gordon and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced they have reached an agreement with the Christie Administration to end the state’s ‘Return Home’ policy as it currently exists.
Under new legislation sponsored by the senators and agreed upon by the administration, the state Division of Developmental Disabilities would be prohibited from transferring an individual with a developmental disability currently residing out-of-state to a placement in New Jersey if the individual or their guardian objects in writing.
“Throughout this process I’ve heard heart-wrenching stories from many families concerned about the disruption and change in the level of care that will occur if their loved ones who had spent the majority of their life at one facility were suddenly uprooted and moved back to New Jersey,” said Senator Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer). “This legislation recognizes those concerns by giving families and guardians the option to determine what’s best for the treatment of their loved one.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer protecting consumers who fall victim to identity theft from debt collection was advanced by the Senate Commerce Committee.
“Identity theft is a serious crime and one that can unfortunately bury even the most cautious consumer under a mountain of debt,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “This bill gives those who fall victim to identity theft a means to restore their lives and avoid the financial ruin of wrongly being tied to debt caused by fraud and no fault of their own.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement regarding the announced departure of Chief Counsel Chris Porrino from the Governor’s Office:
“Chris is a very solutions-oriented person who added incredible value to the Administration. We worked together frequently. He has always focused on what was in the best interests of the people of New Jersey. I thank Chris for his service and wish him well in all his future endeavors.”