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Senator Anthony Bucco

Bucco & Advocates Fight for ‘Erin’s Law’ to Require NJ Schools to Teach Kids about Sexual Assault

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After Years of Advocacy, Senate Committee Passes Erin’s Law to Require ‘Safe Touch’ Education in NJ School Districts

The Senate Education Committee has passed “Erin’s Law” legislation long-sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) to require school districts to incorporate sexual abuse prevention and awareness education into the NJ Student Learning Standards, formerly known as the core curriculum.

Senator Bucco is working with local advocates and child sexual abuse survivor Erin Merryn, for whom the law is named, to swiftly advance the measure. Merryn has successfully advocated to enact Erin’s Law in more than two dozen other states.

A copy of Erin’s testimony, as submitted to the Senate Committee, can be found here.

Erin’s Law, legislation long-sponsored by Sen. Anthony Bucco, would require NJ schools to teach kids about sexual assault. The bill is named for Erin Merryn, (pictured above) a survivor who has become a national advocate. (Photo courtesy of Erin Merryn)

93 percent of kids who are sexually abused know their attacker – it could be family-friend, a sibling, or even a parent. Teaching our children not to talk to strangers just isn’t enough when their abuser could be hiding in plain sight,” Senator Bucco said. “The ‘safe touch’ education that Erin’s Law will require can empower kids to recognize the signs of abuse and speak out the moment it occurs.”

“We have spent years fighting for Erin’s Law and we will not stop until every child, in every New Jersey classroom, has access to this education,” Senator Bucco added. “No child should feel ashamed or suffer in silence. As a father, a grandfather, and a longtime advocate for all kids in my state, I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this law passed this session. For the sake of our children, we simply cannot afford to let this bill die again.”

“Without Erin’s Law kids are often only going to be educated to be quiet on this matter and those are the kids that are being abused,” Erin Merryn said. “Had this law existed when I was a child, I could have spoken up. Instead I stayed silent. I am thrilled that Senator Bucco is sponsoring this bill and understands the importance of protecting kids from abuse. 35 states have already passed Erin’s Law. New Jersey should be next.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Responds to Appointment to Senate Select Committee on Investigation

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Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) issued the following statement in response to his appointment to a newly formed Senate Select Committee on Investigation:

Sen. Steven Oroho responded to his appointment to a newly formed Senate Select Committee on Investigation, saying it’s a great responsibility that he takes very seriously. (SenateNJ.com)

“The important matters that will be investigated by the select committee will help us to protect our institutions of government and improve the ability of our state to provide justice to the victims of sexual assault.

“I thank the Senate President for the confidence he has expressed in me through this appointment. It’s a great responsibility that I take very seriously.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Commends Creation of Senate Select Committee on Investigation

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Following his calls for the Legislature to conduct a bipartisan investigation into the Governor’s hiring practices and a review of New Jersey’s criminal and civil statutes regarding sexual assault, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean commended the creation of a special Senate Select Committee on Investigation to address these matters:

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean commended the creation of a special Senate Select Committee on Investigation. (©iStock)

“The Senate is taking the right step in forming a select committee to investigate government hiring practices, review the handling of the allegations raised by Ms. Brennan, and examine how our criminal justice system handles cases like hers,” said Kean. “I sincerely hope our colleagues in the General Assembly will demonstrate their understanding of the importance of this effort and make this a joint effort by the full Legislature.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bill to Modernize Public Contracting Passes Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) that would enable local entities to acquire goods and services using electronic bidding passed the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Sen Steven Oroho’s legislation would enable local entities to acquire goods and services using electronic bidding. (SenateNJ.com)

“In this day and age, electronic procurement is a must in helping local governments conduct bidding in the most efficient manner possible, thereby saving money and valuable resources,” said Oroho. “This is an idea that’s really past due.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco

Bucco Bill Designating NJ State Dog Passes Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) that would designate the Seeing Eye® dog as the official New Jersey State Dog has passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

The Seeing Eye® headquarters is located in Morristown. The organization has trained and matched more than 17,000 visually-impaired individuals with service animals.

Senator Anthony Bucco’s bill would designate the Seeing Eye® dog as the official New Jersey State Dog. (SenateNJ.com)

“For decades now, Seeing Eye has been placing loving service dogs into homes all around the country,” Bucco said. “It is an honor to be able to sponsor a bill that pays tribute to this organization’s legacy of uplifting our visually-impaired residents, by allowing them to live as independently as possible. These dogs are miracle-workers, plain and simple, and we are so grateful to have a group like Seeing Eye making a difference in our community, day in and day out.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco

Bucco Bill to Improve Access to Emergency Prescriptions Passes Committee

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The Senate Health and Human Services Committee has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) that would provide a pharmacist the ability to dispense medication in an emergency without a prescription.

Senator Anthony Bucco’s bill would provide a pharmacist the ability to dispense medication in an emergency without a prescription. (WikiMedia)

“In the time it takes to refill a prescription, people with serious medical conditions, such as allergies, can lose their lives,” Senator Bucco said. “Current law legally bars pharmacies from dispensing 30-day supplies of certain lifesaving drugs.

“When a woman reached out to my office to share how her son almost died because of this dangerous over regulation, I knew we had to push for this bill. By easing access to emergency medications, we can ensure that no mother ever has to go through the fear of losing her child like that ever again.”

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Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Tom Kean

Kean & Corrado: Sexual Assault Detailed in WSJ Story Should Serve As a Call to Action for the NJ Legislature

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Kristin Corrado said new details of an alleged sexual assault by a former campaign worker of Governor Phil Murphy reinforce the need for legislative hearings into the administration’s hiring practices, and said the difficulties experienced by the victim in seeking justice should prompt a review of New Jersey’s criminal and civil statutes regarding sexual assault.

Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Kristin Corrado said new details of an alleged sexual assault by a former campaign worker of Gov. Phil Murphy reinforce the need for legislative hearings, and called for a review of New Jersey’s criminal and civil statutes regarding sexual assault. (©iStock)

“The sexual assault alleged by Ms. Brennan was just the beginning of a story that is both heartbreaking and all too common among the victims of sex crimes,” said Kean. “Despite taking every reasonable step that a person subject to such a traumatic assault could be expected to take, Ms. Brennan was unable to find justice in either a court of law or with her employer. This should serve as a call to action for the Legislature to address these issues immediately.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Supports Call for Investigation of Murphy Administration’s Hiring Practices

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, who also serves as a member of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, expressed support for a call by Republican women legislators for an investigation into the hiring practices of the Murphy Administration:

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean expressed support for a call by Republican women legislators for an investigation into the hiring practices of the Murphy Administration. (SenateNJ.com)

“We’ve seen a number of recent instances where it’s clear that the Murphy Administration hasn’t properly vetted candidates for employment in important positions in our New Jersey government, including an individual convicted of corruption and another who was under investigation for criminal sexual misconduct.

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Hiring of Convicted Public Official Typifies NJ’s Extremist Policies

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Calling it a clear betrayal of the public trust, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove questioned how the Murphy Administration could rationalize, legally and morally, hiring a corruption-convicted ex-public official for a $70,000-a-year job with the New Jersey Department of Education.

Calling it a clear betrayal of the public trust, 9th District Legislators question how the Murphy Administration could rationalize hiring a corruption-convicted ex-public official for a $70,000-a-year job with the NJ DOE. (SenateNJ.com)

The 9th District Delegation’s comments were in response to the controversy surrounding the state’s hiring of former Passaic councilman Marcellus Jackson who pled guilty to bribery charges in 2007. Amid a recent firestorm of criticism, the individual has since resigned from his state position.

Connors, Rumpf and Gove issued the following statement in response to constituent outreach regarding the controversy:

“State law already disqualifies a convicted public official from any public office. How, then, was this individual hired, let alone determined to be more qualified than persons who haven’t been convicted of betraying their oath of office and the public trust?

“Governor Murphy contends that the hiring was about second chances. What about denying a qualified person, who’s never broken the law, their chance at an employment opportunity? Aside from the legal questions, there is also the issue of the alarming precedent that would be set for the hiring of government employees.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Audit Demonstrates Need for Reform of New Jersey Transit

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement after joining Governor Phil Murphy at an event this morning to discuss the results of a comprehensive independent audit of the finances and operations of New Jersey Transit:

Sen. Tom Kean said an independent audit of NJ Transit’s finances and operations left no doubt that legislative reforms are needed to ensure reliable, affordable service for commuters. (SenateNJ.com)

“It’s imperative that commuters who rely on New Jersey Transit get the reliable, affordable service they deserve. When buses run late or trains are canceled, there is a real impact on the lives, jobs, and families of millions of New Jerseyans.

“This audit has left zero doubt that legislative reforms are needed to help New Jersey Transit improve service and increase responsiveness to customer concerns.

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Steven Oroho

District 24

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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