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Senator Jennifer Beck

Senate Democrats Block Beck’s Bill to Protect Victims of Gender-Based Wage Discrimination

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New Jersey Senate Democrats blocked the consideration of legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) that would offer financial protections to the victims of gender-based wage discrimination.

Senate Democrats voted to table Sen. Jennifer Beck’s legislation offering financial protections to the victims of gender-based wage discrimination. (SenateNJ.com)

Beck attempted to move her legislation, S-2458, that would protect from taxation any awards or settlements related to claims of unlawful gender-based wage discrimination.

“New Jersey has one of the most aggressive, progressive wage discrimination statutes in the nation,” said Beck. “When such discrimination has been resolved, either through a trial or settlement agreement, our State furthers the victim’s mistreatment through aggressive income taxation of damages that have been awarded. I’m disappointed that Senate Democrats voted against the interests of women today.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Passes Oroho’s ‘Ralph & David’s Law’ to Up Penalties for Drunk Drivers Who Kill

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The New Jersey Senate has passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) to update the state’s vehicular homicide statutes to increase penalties for deaths caused by drivers who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

Sen. Steven Oroho’s bipartisan “Ralph and David’s Law” establishes harsher punishments for drunk drivers who cause a fatality. (Flickr)

“Ralph and David’s Law” is named in honor of David Heim and Ralph Politi, Jr., innocent victims who lost their lives to drunk drivers.

“The pain of losing a loved one to a drunk driver never goes away. Families never get to walk away from that tragedy, but when a drunk driver does, and only gets a slap on the wrist, it acts as a double tragedy,” Senator Oroho said. “Harsher punishments can act as a deterrent and ensure that reckless drunk drivers who kill receive a punishment that reflects the magnitude of their crime.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bill to Remove Age Restriction for Testifying Via CCTV in Sex Crime Cases Passes Senate

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The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to expand protections for survivors and witnesses, by removing the age restriction for testifying via closed circuit television in certain sex crime, domestic violence, and child abuse cases.

Sen. Steven Oroho’s bill would expand protections for survivors and witnesses, by removing the age restriction to testify via closed-circuit-television, also known as CCTV. (©iStock)

Currently, only those 16-years-of-age or younger are permitted to testify via CCTV.

“It is unconscionable to force someone to confront a violent criminal face-to-face when we know that this will only increase their pain. They shouldn’t have to live with that trauma or cope with a constant fear of retribution,” Senator Oroho said. “No one should be blocked from testifying via closed-circuit television, just because of their age. All survivors and witnesses should be treated with compassion and respect in a court room.”

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Senator Joe Kyrillos

Passed: Kyrillos/Cunningham Resolution to Open 9/11 Museum for All American Families

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A resolution sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) and Senator Sandra Cunningham (R-Hudson) urging Congress to designate the September 11 Memorial and Museum as a national memorial was passed by the New Jersey Senate.

Sen. Joe Kyrillos resolution urges the President and Congress to designate the 9/11 Memorial Museum as a “national memorial.” (Flickr)

“It has been almost 16 years since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the 9/11 Museum honors the memory of those we lost and the heroism of so many on that horrific day,” Senator Kyrillos said. “It can cost upwards of $200 to buy tickets for a family of four, which makes it extremely difficult for many people to visit this solemn place. We must remember those we lost, and making the 9/11 Museum a National Memorial will ensure that everyone can visit and pay their respects.”

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Senator Dawn Addiego

Addiego Bill to Allow Drug Donations Passed by Senate

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Dawn Addiego (R-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic) to help the uninsured or underinsured through the use of donated prescription and over-the-counter drugs was passed by the New Jersey Senate.

Sen. Dawn Addiego’s bill will allow private organizations to establish medication donation programs to help the uninsured and underinsured. (Wikimedia Commons)

“We already have a number of programs in place to collect unused medication so it can be destroyed, but just because it’s unused doesn’t mean it’s not useful,” Senator Addiego said. “Unexpired medication can and should be going to individuals who need it but otherwise might not have access to it because of how much it costs.”

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District 9

Assembly Passes 9th District Delegation Bill to Designate U.S. Constitution Week

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The State General Assembly passed legislation sponsored and supported by the 9th District Legislative Delegation that would designate the week of September 17 through September 23 of each year as “Constitution Week” in order to remember and honor the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America on September 17, 1787.  This would correlate with the national week as established by Congress in 1956.

The General Assembly passed a 9th District bill to establish ‘Constitution Week.’ (National Archives)

The joint resolution (AJR-72) supported by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove passed the Senate in November of last year.  Having passed both Houses of the Legislature, the measure heads to the Governor’s desk.

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Senator Anthony Bucco

Passed: Bucco Concussion Awareness Day Resolution

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A resolution sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) to raise awareness about concussions was passed by the New Jersey Senate.

Sen. Anthony Bucco’s resolution creating Concussion Awareness Day was passed by the Senate. (Flickr)

“Every year, we see more and more evidence about the dangers of concussions and the serious health problems they can cause,” Senator Bucco said. “Professional sports leagues have started taking them more seriously, but youth sports — where concussions can cause even more damage — still lag behind. Spreading knowledge about concussions can go a long way in preventing lifelong brain injuries.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco

Bucco Bill to Prevent Ex-Cons From Running for School Board Passes Senate

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The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to require school board candidates to swear that they have not been convicted of a crime that would disqualify them from office.

Sen. Anthony Bucco’s bill would prevent ex-cons from running for school board, by requiring candidates to swear that they haven’t been convicted of a crime that would disqualify them from serving. (©iStock)

“In the last five years, dozens of school board members have had to give up their seats because they committed a crime that disqualified them from serving. This is a colossal waste of taxpayer time and money,” Senator Bucco said. “All school board candidates should be required to go on the record about their criminal background as soon as they decide to run for office. I really don’t think that is too much to ask.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Scutari/Bateman Bill to End Pet Trafficking Goes to Governor

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Bipartisan Bill Establishes Trafficking Stolen Pets as a New Third-Degree Crime

The New Jersey Senate has passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) and Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-22) that names pet trafficking a third-degree crime.

Bipartisan legislation by Sens. Nicholas Scutari and Kip Bateman would establish pet trafficking as a third-degree crime. (©iStock)

“Anyone who is cruel enough to traffic an innocent animal should be locked up, but the law doesn’t recognize pet trafficking as a crime. Stolen pets are seen as stolen property, and those offenders are punished in the same way,” Senator Bateman explained. “That’s just wrong. Our pets are family; not property. Selling an animal to a medical researcher or a puppy mill is as heartless as it gets. A slap on the wrist isn’t enough. We need a new law, so that pet traffickers get the punishment they deserve.”

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Senator Diane Allen
Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Sam Thompson

Passed: Allen, Bateman, Thompson Bills to Secure $91 Million for Open Space Funding

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Three bills sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington), Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset, Mercer, Hunterdon, Middlesex) and Senator Sam Thompson (R-Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean) to appropriate more than $91 million to go to various open space, recreation and conservation projects were all passed by the New Jersey Senate.

All three bills use money from dedicated corporation business tax revenues to provide grants or other funding to develop or acquire land for use as open space.

A trio of bills to appropriate $91 million in funding for open space projects were passed by the New Jersey Senate. (Morris County Preservation Trust)

“This money will go a long way in helping to develop land for recreation purposes in densely populated areas and counties,” Senator Bateman, sponsor of S-3352 said. “Because of this bill, more than $71 million in grants will go towards worthy projects throughout the state that will ensure our residents can enjoy the beautiful outdoors.”

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Diane Allen

District 7

Kip Bateman

District 16

Jennifer Beck

District 11

Anthony Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Joe Kyrillos

District 13

Steven Oroho

District 24

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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