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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. said today that he will introduce legislation to criminalize “upskirting,” in order to deter people from taking secret photographs underneath other people’s clothes in New Jersey. On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that “upskirting” was legal, prompting that state to enact a law today to criminalize the practice.
“We must do everything possible to protect women in New Jersey from this sickening act, which like other offensive actions involving photos or videos has the potential to be popularized by the internet if that hasn’t happened here already,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “We need to make it clear that this is an illegal act in New Jersey that will not be tolerated.”
Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf, and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have re-introduced their legislation that would require courts to consider the results of a domestic violence assessment before dissolving a final restraining order when the defendant has two or more restraining orders against him.
The 9th District Delegation’s legislation, S-194/A-753, would establish a “domestic violence assessment” as an assessment performed by a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or licensed professional counselor with the goal of determining the likelihood that the offender will commit future acts of violence, abuse, or other unacceptable behavior that could pose a threat to the victim, the victim’s family, the victim’s property, or other person identified as being at risk.
Delay of Flood Insurance Premium Increases Will Be Relief to Shore Homeowners
The United States House of Representatives passed legislation to curb some of the premium increases in the nation’s flood insurance program that have been a concern to many Sandy affected homeowners. H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, passed 306-91. The measure reverses some of the changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) introduced by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
“This is good news for many residents of coastal Monmouth County,” Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) explained. “The impending premium increases contained in the Biggert Waters Act was going to be a real problem for local homeowners. With the expenses incurred after Sandy, the additional cost incurred through a premium increase would have simply been too much for many to handle. No one doubts that changes need to be made to the NFIP but we must do it in a way that doesn’t bankrupt our homeowners.”
New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris & Passaic Counties) and Assemblyman Scott T. Rumana (R – Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic Counties) today reported having a productive meeting with the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor on March 4, 2014 regarding a delay in hiring needed positions at the port.
“The port of New Jersey is a vital part of our economic engine,” said Senator Pennacchio. “It is imperative that these high paying, quality jobs are filled as soon as possible.”
“It is equally important that the terminals have proper staffing so that they remain competitive and superior to the other regional and national shipping ports,” said Assemblyman Rumana.
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) issued the following statement today on Rutgers faculty’s shameful attack on Condoleezza Rice:
“Rutgers University faculty recently voted to rescind an invitation to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Citing ‘her support’ of the Iraq War, the learned faculty decided that First Amendment rights applied only to themselves and like minded individuals. Others need not apply.
“Secretary Rice has a wonderful life story to tell. She is a dynamic and gifted speaker, a woman, an African American, who rose to the highest levels of our government. Why in the world would we not encourage her to share her story and inspire students on their graduation?
Senator Robert Singer, Assemblyman Sean Kean and Assemblyman David Rible (R-District 30) issued the following statement following the passage of H.R. 3370 – the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 – by the United States House of Representatives on March 4, 2014.
“New Jersey primary homeowners whose lives were disrupted by the devastation of Superstorm Sandy are now closer to reprieve following the House of Representatives passing H.R. 3370 – the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.
Thompson, Rice Announce Bipartisan Initiative for ‘Select Committee’ Investigation into Abuses by City of Newark, Booker
New Jersey Senators Sam Thompson (R-12) and Ron Rice (D-28) held a joint press conference this morning to announce a bipartisan initiative for the “New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation” to open a full inquiry into government abuses of power and cover-ups in The City of Newark, under its former mayor and now U.S. Senator Cory Booker.
“Senator Rice and I are urging this committee to start this investigation on behalf of taxpayers all across New Jersey who give $100 million a year in state tax dollars as well as federal funds to the state’s largest city,” Thompson said. “The City of Newark has a storied history of government issues and state Comptroller reports from December and this month raise deeply troubling concerns for all New Jerseyans who are now represented in the U.S. Senate by the city’s former mayor. Such abuses have no place in any government and beg many questions as to what other abuses of power and tax dollars or cover-ups were done under Newark’s former mayor Booker and council.”
At a press conference today, Senator Jennifer Beck joined with other legislators who will be sleeping outside of the State House on April 11 in an effort to raise money for and awareness of the homeless population in New Jersey.
Beck said: “Those of us sleeping outside on the 11th will be lucky. We only have to do it for one night and it will be during the spring. Hundreds of youths sleep outside every night through the most brutal of seasons and during the harshest of weather.
The Senate today passed legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to allow adults who were adopted to obtain their birth certificates. Birth certificates for residents who were adopted have been sealed in New Jersey for more than 70 years. Since the records were sealed to protect the adoptee and the adoptive family from interference by the biological parents, it is time to remove the impediment so that adoptees can move forward and enjoy the same rights everyone else does.
“Frankly, it’s embarrassing that adoptees in New Jersey have been treated as second class citizens for so many years. Something as uncontrollable as a person’s family history and who they are born to should in no way preclude them from enjoying basic human rights,” said Allen, who has worked to change the state’s law for 17 years. “This legislation at last recognizes that adoptees should have the same right to information we all take for granted, like things as important as finding out information about their family medical history, who their birth parents are and whether they have siblings.”
The Senate today passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to protect homeowners elevating their homes in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The bill, S942, establishes new consumer protection standards for home elevation contractors.
“Many homeowners have already begun the process of elevating their homes to safeguard against future storms and many more will do so in the coming months and years,” said Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex). “This type of work has never been done here at this scale before and we have to take steps to make sure there’s proper oversight and that the work is done safety and correctly. Elevating a home is a serious undertaking that requires experience and proper equipment.”