Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) and Senator Jim Whelan (D-2) that would help prevent the abuse, misuse and improper disposal of certain prescription medications was approved by the Senate Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee. The measure was introduced as part of a bipartisan effort to address prescription drug and heroin abuse that is spearheaded by the committee’s chairman, Senator Joe Vitale (D-19).
“Unused or expired prescriptions that are left sitting in medicine cabinets create the potential for intentional or accidental misuse, and the improper disposal of medications can pollute water supplies,” said Kyrillos. “To prevent these dangers, it’s imperative that patients are given information on safe disposal when medications are first prescribed and dispensed.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) and Senator Nicholas Sacco (D-32) that would allow for lower speed limits near parks where children are likely to be playing was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee.
The measure, S-2243, was introduced in response to the death of 11-year-old Drew Keough, who was tragically killed while crossing the street near Keansburg’s Forest Park on April 22, 2014.
“Drew’s Law is a reasonable measure that gives towns and counties the ability to keep kids safe by lowering speed limits around parks at times when they are most likely to be present,” said Kyrillos. “No family or community should have to go through the pain and suffering that Drew’s family and Keansburg have gone through these past few months. Drew’s Law will help ensure that more of these tragedies never happen.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean will be at the Murray Hill headquarters of Bell Labs on Friday to unveil several new bills to foster innovation, and in turn create opportunities for New Jersey families, residents, entrepreneurs and employers.
As announced on October 1, this “Fostering Innovation” event marks the beginning of Senate Republicans’ statewide rollout of a new six-tiered job creation and economic growth package, which will not cost taxpayers extra money and should easily attract bipartisan sponsors and support.
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would strengthen state statutes for heroin offenses was released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Under the delegation’s legislation (A-783/A-2831), penalties would be increased for offenses involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing or possessing or having under one’s control with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense heroin by lowering the threshold quantities for crimes of the first, second, and third degree. Under the legislation the threshold for a first-degree offense would be lowered from five ounces to 2.5 ounces or more of heroin. For a second-degree offense the threshold quantity would be reduced to 0.17 ounces or more but less than 2.5 ounces of heroin. A third-degree offense would require a threshold quantity of less than 0.17 ounces of heroin.
Kean & Singer Seeking Update from State Health Commissioner on New Jersey’s Preparedness to Respond to Ebola
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) and Senator Bob Singer (R-30), the ranking Republican member of the Senate Health Committee, sent the following letter to New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd seeking an update on the preparedness of the Department of Health to effectively respond and protect the public should persons infected with the Ebola virus be identified in the state.
Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Stockton’s National Rankings Even Better, Strengthening Its Role as Regional Leader
Senator Chris Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove of the 9th Legislative District spoke of the impressive rankings of Stockton College in a well-respected national survey:
“For years, our delegation has supported and emphasized the critically important role Stockton College plays in the area, beyond serving as an institution of higher education but also a driving economic force that reaches into several South Jersey counties. Stockton has taken a more prominent role in steadily filling a position once held by the gaming industry that isn’t the dominating economic force it once was due to the closing of several casinos in Atlantic City.
“Not long ago, our delegation issued a statement boasting about Stockton’s national rankings. As Stockton and Galloway Township are in our Legislative District, we take great pride in the College’s achievements in continuing to provide an outstanding education to its students. More recently, we were elated to learn that Stockton’s ranking had improved from our previous statement.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) expressed her sincere appreciation after receiving the New Jersey Food Council’s “Patriot Award.” The Food Council represents New Jersey’s food industry, which is the state’s largest employer.
Phil Scaduto, Chairman of the Board of the Food Council said, “this is only the third time in the history of this event that we have bestowed this recognition on an individual who exemplifies the spirit of democracy, patriotism and solid public policy to benefit society and the common good for all. Senator Jen Beck does the right thing for the right reasons without party line rhetoric and that is a refreshing voice in Trenton. We have only presented this recognition to two other individuals, the late Tom Infusino, chairman of Wakefern and NJFC founder along with the late Assemblyman Joe Azzolina of Food Circus Foodtown whose perseverance created the NJ Food Council.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean announced that the caucus will be touring the state to unveil a new job creation and economic growth package throughout the next couple of months.
“On behalf of the caucus, I am excited to introduce this new set of bills to create New Jersey jobs and grow the state economy without costing taxpayers extra money,” Kean said. “The Republican caucus looks forward to bringing these solutions into the neighborhoods of employers, entrepreneurs, innovators and working families across the state. I am confident that these innovative ideas will attract bipartisan support and sponsorship quickly to pass this legislation.”
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande today joined Governor Christie for the opening of the George L. Catrambone Elementary School in Long Branch.
The new 109,000 square-foot school is designed to educate approximately 790 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grades. The new school is being constructed on the site of the former Elberon Elementary School. The facility will include 41 classrooms, four special education classrooms, a cafetorium with stage, computer room, gymnasium, media center/library, art room and music room.
“This new school will be a great addition to the community,” said Beck. “It also represents Governor Christie’s dedication to improving education around the state by making this project a priority of the School Development Authority construction program. Students in Long Branch will receive cutting edge education that will better prepare them for high school and beyond. I’m proud to be part of today’s ribbon cutting ceremony and help Long Branch make a step towards a brighter future for all its children.”
Senator Bashes Double-Standard for Port Authority Reform Legislation
Senate Transportation Committeeman Joe Pennacchio said the New Jersey Legislature must stop neglecting its responsibility to serve all residents and start passing legislation to ensure accountable and transparent port authorities at both ends of the state.
“The escalating turmoil and troubles at the Delaware River Port Authority clearly show the need for New Jersey’s Senate to join Pennsylvania’s in unanimously passing bipartisan-supported reform bill S-2013,” Pennacchio said. “It’s mind boggling that we could come together here in New Jersey to unanimously pass needed reforms for the similarly troubled Port Authority of New York and New Jersey yet completely fail to act on legislation to bring the same level of accountability and trust to the DRPA.”
The Pennsylvania Senate approved an identical version of Senator Pennacchio’s legislation, S-2013, by a vote of 50-0 on Wednesday.