Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) designed to help small businesses grow and lower costs for taxpayers is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie.
“We have many small businesses that are more than capable of undertaking public projects here in New Jersey, but they aren’t afforded the same opportunities as larger businesses when regulations prevent them from even entering the bidding process,” Senator Pennacchio said. “With this law, we can start to cut away some of that red tape and create new chances for these local companies to grow and create new jobs in areas of need.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) will introduce legislation urging Congress to pass their resolution admonishing the U.N. Security Council for voting to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“The U.N. Security Council’s condemnation of Israeli settlements and the Obama administration’s refusal to speak out against this resolution is a horrific betrayal,” Senator Pennacchio said. “While I am confident that President Elect Trump will right this wrong, we must act now to demonstrate our support for Israel, especially as the nation struggles to defend itself against unprovoked attacks on the West Bank.”
Both houses of the New Jersey Legislature on Monday passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) designating February 3 of each year as “Senator Joseph Palaia Day.” SJR-87 pays tribute to “Senator Joe” Palaia, a beloved Monmouth County legislator and elementary school principal who passed away on August 20, 2016 at the age of 89.
“Senator Joe was a beloved educator and a true statesman, and his name is synonymous with public service in our community,” Senator Beck. “I knew when I was elected to serve Monmouth County that I had big shoes to fill. Joe always put the needs of the people of New Jersey first. He was an exceptionally kind and dedicated school principal who became a champion for children across our state.”
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 is one step closer to becoming law after it was passed by the New Jersey General Assembly.
“Companies are always looking to hire new drivers, but because we have trouble keeping up with that demand because of the long wait to get a CDL,” Senator Oroho said. “When you factor in things like the need for school bus drivers, there are a decent amount of jobs waiting to be had. We just need speed up the process of getting a CDL so we can train enough people to fill those positions.”
Assembly Passes Oroho Bill to Amend Price-Gouging Protections to Safeguard Consumers, Support Businesses
Legislation would put price-gouging protections in place for 30 days after a declaration of state of emergency, unless extended by the governor
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho to protect consumers from price gouging during a natural disaster and support small businesses following a state of emergency declaration is one step closer to becoming law after it was passed by the New Jersey General Assembly.
“The protections we put in place will deter businesses from taking advantage of consumers during a natural disaster by spiking prices for necessities, such as gasoline and groceries,” Senator Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) said. “This bill will ensure business won’t be put at a disadvantage because of the inflexibility of the current protocol, and still protect consumers from price gouging tactics that threaten their welfare and safety.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to reduce costs so limousine services can better compete with ride hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft has passed the New Jersey Senate.
“The last thing we want to do is discourage members of New Jersey’s rapidly evolving transportation industry from owning and operating their business in this state,” Senator Bucco said. “Removing the 7 percent sales tax paid and collected by limousine owners will level the playing field and allow these services to better compete with ride hailing companies, such as Uber and Lyft.”
Legislation Sets Safety Standards, Consumer Protections for Transportation Network Companies
Legislation (S-2179) sponsored by Senator Paul Sarlo and Senator Joseph Kyrillos that will establish statewide standards for the burgeoning ride-sharing business, or transportation network companies, such as Uber, Lyft and Gett in order to provide safety standards and consumer protections was approved by the Senate today with a vote of 29-5.
TNCs are companies that use a digital network to connect drivers and riders.
“We worked with Uber and Lyft and law enforcement officials to create a statewide standard for ensuring the safety and protection of passengers, while maintaining the flexibility that has helped these ridesharing services to become so popular,” said Kyrillos. “Our efforts today will ensure continued economic opportunities for drivers and safe affordable rides for people across the state.”
20 Additional Judges Will Support Criminal Justice Reforms
The Senate approved a plan authored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Kip Bateman that would add 20 new judges to New Jersey’s courts, providing the support for the already-enacted criminal justice reforms that will take effect in January.
“The addition of new judges is a critical component of our effort to reform our critical justice system and support bail reforms that will soon take effect,” said Senator Bateman. “We need fully staffed courts to effectively and efficiently administer justice and enforce the law.”
All family day care providers would be required to undergo state and federal background checks under bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Joe Pennacchio and Shirley Turner and approved by the New Jersey Senate.
Under current law, prospective and current providers only have to undergo a child abuse registry check administered by the Department of Children and Families (DCF.) They are not, however, required to undergo standard state and federal criminal history record background checks.
“It is impossible to know how many child abusers are slipping through the cracks in the system without subjecting every day care employee to a criminal background check,” Senator Pennacchio (R-26) said. “Clearly, a child abuse record check is not sufficient enough to prevent predators from accessing our children. An innocent child who is cared for by a handful of people in a private residence is no less deserving of the State’s protection.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R- Sussex, Warren, Morris) to encourage cost-saving shared services agreements between New Jersey’s military installations and neighboring governments was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
“Forging a strong bond between municipalities and adjacent military bases is so important,” Senator Oroho said. “With this measure, these entities can save a lot of money by working together on things like redevelopment, brownfield remediation and infrastructure expansion.”