Continuing their efforts to prevent the cruel treatment of animals, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin (all R-Ocean) have introduced legislation to prohibit the inhumane tethering of dogs.
“As legislators and pet owners, we have always been passionate about protecting animals from abusive pet owners,” said Holzapfel. “It’s difficult to understand why someone would chain or restrain their ‘pet’ for long periods of time to the point where the dog cannot care for itself. It’s deplorable.”
The bill, S-3061/A-4628, makes it unlawful to tether a dog that poses a risk of entanglement, strangulation, drowning or other harm to the health or safety of the dog. It also prohibits the tethering of a dog during severe weather conditions. Dogs at risk of imminent harm may be seized by authorities. Violators face fines and jail time.
9th District legislators Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove voted against a common interest community (A-469) legislative measure that would modify State laws which regulate homeowners’ associations. Senator Christopher J. Connors, also representing the 9th Legislative District, has pledged to oppose the legislation should it be considered in the Senate.
The 9th District delegation issued the following statement on its opposition to the latest version of common interest community legislation considered by the Legislature:
“On the surface, this common interest community bill seems to have the best intentions by calling for homeowners’ rights to common property, establishing standards for elections and access to records as well as providing for a recall procedure for board members. However, our extensive past experience with common interest community legislation has taught us that, inevitably, the devil is in the details.
Governor’s Executive Order Implements Addiego/Allen Call for Expedited Gun Permit Applications for Victims of Domestic Violence
Senate Republicans Dawn Addiego and Diane Allen stated the following after Governor Chris Christie announced he had signed an Executive Order expediting firearms applications for victims of domestic violence:
“We’re glad to see Governor Christie agrees with our approach to ensuring victims of domestic violence have their firearms applications processed quickly and without delay.
Senator: People in South Jersey Deserve Same Protections with DRPA
Bipartisan legislation (S-2183) sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris) to subject the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to the public records laws of both states is now law after being signed today by Governor Chris Christie.
“This bill signing marks an important step in making the troubled PANYNJ more transparent and accountable to the people,” said Pennacchio. “Ensuring access to public records is a fundamental part of having a government that is accountable to those it serves. For too long the Port Authority was able to operate in the dark and spends billions and billions of commuter and taxpayer dollars each year. This legislation gives the public the ability to change that.”
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean opposing the proposed route of an oil pipeline that would run from Albany, New York to Linden, New Jersey was approved by the Senate.
“If tragedy strikes, this pipeline – which could carry as much as 16.8 million gallons of highly explosive crude and refined fuel through my district a day – could damage the water supplies used by millions of people,” said Senator Tom Kean (R-Morris, Somerset, Union). “The Pilgrim Pipeline would travel through areas as diverse as our most densely developed towns, to environmentally protected lands in the Highlands. As an advocate for the safety and health of the constituents I serve, I stand with the 35 towns across four counties who have spoken out in clear opposition to the pipeline. I urge the Department of Environmental Protection and United States Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a thorough environmental impact report before allowing a potentially catastrophic pipeline to run through the communities we serve.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho making it easier for religious, veterans’, civic and charity organizations to hold raffle fundraisers will go to the Governor’s desk for approval after being passed by the full Senate.
“Many charity and veterans’ organizations hold raffles to help raise the funds needed to pay for the valuable public services they offer,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Under New Jersey’s outdated regulations, however, it is nearly impossible to hold a raffle without having to go through the hassle and expense of applying for a special license. Raising the threshold for the types of door prizes that can be offered will go a long way in helping these organizations raise more funds for the programs and services they provide.”
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Kyrillos that would provide small businesses in a shore municipality with a tax credit to offset money spent on rebuilding or repairing due to Hurricane Sandy was approved by the Senate.
“Thousands of New Jersey families and employers are still suffering the wait for aid to return to normalcy,” said Kyrillos (R-Monmouth). “With this third and pivotal summer-season upon us, we must immediately enact this creative solution to provide these residents and taxpayers with the financial assistance they need to finally return home and re-open their doors to hire and attract tourists who are vital to our recovery.”
The state Senate advanced a trio of bills sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to protect natural disaster victims, guarantee full housing for disabled persons and their retired service dogs and legalize new all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in New Jersey.
The Senate passed bipartisan S-1090 that would prohibit municipalities from charging interest on unpaid property taxes for 30 days after payment is due following hurricane or other catastrophic weather event.
“Natural disaster victims have much more important things to worry about and address than taxes,” Bucco said. “Government needs to be reasonable and flexible, and this bill will protect people trying to scrap together pieces of their lives, in their toughest times, by providing them additional time to pay property taxes without penalty.”
The Senate voted to pass “Michael Massey’s Law,” a bill sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck to help prevent sanitation workers from being injured or killed in automobile accidents. Senator Beck’s District 11 colleagues Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande sponsor identical legislation in the Assembly.
The bill, S-951, was named for 39-year-old Michael Massey, a Freehold Township man who was killed after being hit by a vehicle while he was loading a garbage truck as part of his public works duties in Ocean Township.
“Michael Massey’s death is a tragic reminder of the risks that sanitation workers face as a part of their daily duties,” said Beck (R-Monmouth). “Requiring motorists to slow down and move over when approaching sanitation vehicles will help to create a safety buffer for workers. I think we are all aware of the need to give extra space when approaching an emergency vehicle along the road. This legislation will make sure that same type of precaution is taken when approaching a sanitation vehicle.”
Senate Advances Kean Anti-Bullying Bill Urging Publishers to Include ‘Upstander’ Definition In Dictionaries
The New Jersey Senate passed Senator Tom Kean’s resolution urging Merriam-Webster Inc. and the Oxford University Press to include the word “upstander” in the dictionary. According to Pulitzer-Prize winner Samantha Power, who coined the term in 2002, an upstander is a person who chooses to take positive action in the face of injustice.
Senator Kean’s bill (SR-105) applies this definition to the robust anti-bullying efforts across the state. In Watchung Borough, students such as Watchung Hills High School graduates Monica Mahal and Sarah Decker have committed to fighting bullying in their school district and around the world by encouraging their peers to be upstanders and working to raise awareness by joining Senator Kean’s effort to add “upstander” to the dictionary.
“The students I met with in Watchung have shown me what a powerful difference upstanders can make in the face of bullying in the classroom and on the web,” said Senator Kean. “We live in a world where 71 percent of students witness bullying in their schools, with one in three identifying as a victim of bullying. By passing this resolution, we are bringing national attention to this issue and giving countless New Jersey students the information and motivation they need to become allies for their peers instead of bystanders to bullying.”