Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) reestablishing certain driving privileges for teenagers working on a farm in New Jersey was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
Under the legislation, A-535/S-2547, 16-year-olds working on a farm will again be eligible to obtain a special agricultural driver’s license allowing them to drive by themselves during daylight hours while operating a farm vehicle and doing farm-related business. To be eligible the teen would need to complete an approved behind-the-wheel driver training course.
“Teenagers growing up on a farm are often heavily involved in the family business from an early age and their ability to operate farm equipment and vehicles is a key part of the farming operation,” said Oroho. “Today’s bill signing reinstates important driving privileges that for decades were a great benefit to many farm families. Allowing 16-year-olds to again be able to operate a farm vehicle by themselves to drive from one field to another or deliver produce or pick up supplies will increase the role they can play on the farm and the productivity of the business as a whole.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho designed to protect and grow the state’s commercial and recreational bee industry was signed into law by Acting Governor Kim Guadagno.
“Bees play a crucial role in the food chain and New Jersey’s agriculture industry as a whole,” said Oroho. “With honey bee populations hit hard by disease in recent years, beekeepers’ efforts to manage and maintain bee populations have become increasingly important. These new laws recognize that importance by making it easier for commercial and hobbyist beekeepers to operate throughout New Jersey.”
One of the bills signed into law today, S-1328/A-1294, extends “Right to Farm” protections to commercial beekeepers to protect them from restrictive municipal ordinances and public and private nuisance complaints. Under the “Right to Farm Act” complaints against agricultural operations are referred to county agricultural boards rather than municipal courts, eliminating the burden of lengthy and expensive litigation.
Assistant Senate Republican Leader Joe Pennacchio stated the following about a troubling unilateral appointment by Pennsylvania’s governor to the Delaware River Port Authority board, which was exposed by the Philadelphia Daily News:
“This Daily News exposé is yet another example of why the DRPA, with its continuing history of corruption, cronyism, waste, abuse and billions of dollars in debt, simply cannot operate unchecked. Our bi-state, bipartisan reform legislation would prevent unilateral DRPA appointments by Pennsylvania’s governor, just as any DRPA commissioner nominees by New Jersey’s governor must be approved in public by New Jersey’s Senate before being allowed on the board.
Heroin dealers must face harsher sentencing in light of the devastating consequences of their criminality activity, says the 9th District Legislative Delegation. Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove want the New Jersey Legislature to follow through on enhancing penalties for heroin possession as a direct measure to curb New Jersey’s deadly heroin epidemic.
Connors, Rumpf and Gove have worked closely with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office on heroin-related policy matters, including the drafting of legislation. The 9th District legislators pointed to two recent major announcements regarding the deadly consequences and costs related to heroin use in their call for legislative action to go on the offensive with heroin dealers:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that, nationwide, heroin-related deaths have nearly quadrupled from 2002 to 2013. Confirming what many already suspected, our own state statistics show that New Jersey’s death rates are higher than the national average which was 2.7 per 100,000 people for that time period whereas the death rate in our state for 2013 was 8.3 deaths per 100,000. The number of heroin deaths in New Jersey was 781 in 2014, including those in which morphine was found to be present according to the New Jersey Office of the State Medical Examiner.”
Following the announced closure of one of the state’s preeminent horse racing training facilities, Senator Oroho today reiterated his call for a referendum to expand gaming beyond Atlantic City. Last week it was announced that after 36 years in business Showplace Farms in Millstone would be closing in October.
“It’s no secret the equine industry in New Jersey has been struggling as racetracks here have to compete with larger purses in neighboring states that are fueled by casinos,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “To give the breeders, trainers and boarding facilities across New Jersey a fighting chance we have to even the playing field and that starts by opening up gaming across the state. The fact that the announced closure of Showplace Farms came soon after it became clear the legislature had run out of time to put the referendum on the ballot this November should be a wake up call.
Senator Dawn Addiego has signed on as a co-prime sponsor of a resolution (SCR-175) opposing the New Jersey Fish and Game Council’s proposal to allow the use of enclosed foothold traps, as the new policy is in violation of the plain language and legislative intent of a 1984 New Jersey law banning animal steel-jaw leghold traps and similar types.
“These traps can snare household pets as well as local wildlife, causing serious injury, trauma and death,” said Senator Addiego. “The 1984 legislation is absolute and unambiguous in its intention to protect animals languishing in this type of trap.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio today issued the following statement today regarding the release of a second video apparently depicting a Planned Parenthood representative discussing the procedure and price for providing body parts from aborted fetuses to medical research centers.
“This latest troubling video of a Planned Parenthood representative discussing the price of fetal tissue from aborted fetuses and apparent suggestions that abortion procedures can be altered to better harvest organs or tissue only adds to the concern surrounding the agency’s practices and true motives,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “For this high-level Planned Parenthood director to say that she wants a Lamborghini during the same conversation as naming prices for the cost of harvesting organs from aborted fetuses is at best a disturbing representation of the agency’s greed and complete disregard for human decency. At worst, the selling of aborted body parts is not only despicable but flat out illegal.”
Senate Republicans Diane Allen and Tom Kean are introducing legislation to protect manicurists and cosmetologists from dangerous health hazards and exploitative labor practices in nail salons across the state.
The bill would amend the Cosmetology Act of 1984 by requiring the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling to enforce safety and health standards for all workers in licensed nail salons, conduct random inspections, ensure that salon workers are aware of their rights to a fair wage, and mandate that employers provide protective equipment.
“We know that working with toxic chemicals for long hours, day after day, often in poorly ventilated areas can cause long-term damage to a person’s health,” said Senator Allen. “Across our state, women and men are forced to live in fear and put their lives at risk – often for little or no compensation. It is our responsibility to ensure that all workers in New Jersey have access to safe working conditions and that their basic rights are upheld, regardless of what language they speak.”
Addiego & Rodriguez-Gregg Bill Allowing Amusement Games in Bars and Restaurants Clears Senate, Moves to Governor’s Desk
Senator Dawn Marie Addiego and Assembly Republican Maria Rodriguez-Gregg’s bill to allow Dave & Buster’s-style restaurant and entertainment venues in New Jersey earned the approval of the Senate. The measure (A-4143), which passed the General Assembly last month, permits issuing an amusement game license to qualifying bars and restaurants.
“We’re finally leveling the playing field,” said Addiego, R — Burlington, Atlantic and Camden. “Competing states have been enjoying a monopoly on this entertainment. Allowing food, drink and amusements in the same building will provide an economic boost for New Jersey.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin, all R-Ocean, to protect pet owners and their boarded animals was approved by the New Jersey Senate. The bill now heads to Gov. Christie for his consideration.
“Betsy’s Law” was drafted in response to the death of a dog following a minor veterinary procedure. Betsy was boarded overnight and hanged herself in her crate as a result of a lack of animal supervision.