Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to ensure that members of the United States Armed Forces are protected against discrimination was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
“It takes a special kind of person to sign up for military service,” Senator Oroho said. “They put their lives on hold while they go out to serve our country. They deserve to have every chance to succeed once they return to civilian life.”
Senate Passes 9th District-Supported Bill Requiring Pledge Of Allegiance & U.S. Flag At All Public Meetings
The Senate passed legislation (S-308) sponsored Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would require all public bodies to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and to display the Unites States flag under the Open Public Meetings Act at the beginning of meetings.
The 9th District delegation made the following remarks in response to the Senate’s action:
“The Pledge of Allegiance and the U.S. Flag hold great meaning for many of our constituents, especially those who served and are serving in the Armed Forces as well as their families.
“Concerns were raised that, despite all the laws we have on the books, current law doesn’t require public bodies to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or to display the U.S. flag, although the overwhelming majority of public bodies do both voluntarily.
Bill establishes a pilot program that will allow three third-party vendors to administer the test required to obtain a commercial driver license.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to speed up the process of getting a commercial driver license by using private third-party vendors to administer the test was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
“Drivers with commercial licenses are in huge demand, but New Jersey can’t keep up with new federal guidelines because our reliance on state-administered tests has created a massive backlog of people waiting to get their licenses,” Senator Oroho said. “This is a common sense solution to speed up the process and get these drivers to work.”
Calls for Passage of Ethics & Transparency Reforms
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) renewed his calls for the passage of ethics and transparency reforms he sponsors following published reports in which a candidate for governor said he would ignore certain policies that he doesn’t agree with.
“Elected officials have an obligation to operate within the law,” said Pennacchio. “The insinuation that someone might unilaterally choose to ignore the properly enacted laws of our state or nation as governor is insulting and dangerous to the democratic process.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to protect a greater number of victims by making certain modifications to the “Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015” has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.
S-2601 would ensure New Jersey law recognizes and provides for the enforcement of protective orders originating from other states.
“23 other states have passed laws similar to my ‘Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act,’ which has already started helping people,” Senator Beck said. “This bill will enable us to protect even more survivors, by extending the Act’s protections to apply to people who have obtained protective orders in other states.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passiac) that forbids State Investment Council members from voting on investments that present a financial or familial conflict of interest passed the Senate State Government, Wagering Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.
“In 2008, the State Investment Council invested in Lehman Brothers right before the firm went bankrupt,” Senator Pennacchio recalled. “The Lehman Brothers managers who sat on the council should have been forced to recuse themselves. Instead, they cost the pension system $115 million. This kind of blatant conflict of interest would not be tolerated under my legislation.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Sam Thompson (R-Middlesex, Burlington, Ocean Monmouth) to promote economic growth by expanding the study of trends and opportunities for business in the state was advanced by the Senate State Government Committee.
“This will give us a central collection point for all of this data,” Senator Thompson said. “That will allow us to perform a better analysis of the business climate in the state and find out what we can do to help it.”
Two bills sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to improve benefits and job prospects for returning veterans were advanced by the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
“We should be doing everything we can to show that we are grateful for our veterans,” Senator Allen said. “Service members encounter real struggles when they return home, so we must find ways to make that transition a little easier.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) announced that his legislative office will once again collect toy donations throughout the holiday season to support local organizations. All are encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Senator’s district office in Montville.
“The holiday season is a time for us to come together to support those in need, and teach our own children the value of making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate,” Senator Pennacchio said. “It is truly a privilege to open our doors as a collection site for children in need. I urge my constituents to take the time to make a donation and embrace the spirit of generosity that this season inspires.”
Bill provides free ambulance service for those injured while rendering good faith emergency care
Legislation pioneered by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to ensure people who are injured while rendering emergency care do not have to pay for an ambulance has passed the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. Senator Bateman first authored the bill in 2013 to encourage Good Samaritan acts statewide.
“When a catastrophe strikes, minutes can mean the difference between a life saved and life lost,” Senator Bateman said. “We saw this come to fruition during the recent train crash in Hoboken, where many commuters rushed to aid critically injured passengers in the crucial moments before first responders arrived on the scene. Anyone who demonstrates that kind of selfless courage should not have to pay for an ambulance if they are injured while rendering emergency care.”