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Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Panel Clears O’Scanlon Resolution Calling for Review of Police Chase Policy

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon’s resolution urging the State attorney general to launch a study of New Jersey’s guidelines for police pursuits cleared the Law and Public Safety Committee today.

A resolution sponsored by Sen. O’Scanlon calling for a review of the State’s outdated police pursuit policy and study of the proper utilization of emergency lights and sirens advanced today. (Flickr)

The measure (SR153) seeks a review of the vehicular pursuit policy, most recently revised in 2009.

“High speed chases are extremely dangerous, risking the lives of police officers, fleeing suspects, and the innocent, unsuspecting public,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “We need to establish best practices for police to follow to keep our highways and roads safe without allowing criminals to ignore the laws.”

Under the resolution, the study would prompt recommendations regarding the use of emergency vehicle lights and sirens, and speeding not involving a police chase, important considerations not addressed in the current 10-year-old policy.

“Law enforcement and responders are given a lot of autonomy, and it is well worth considering rules to increase consistency and safety,” O’Scanlon said. “With this study, we can save lives and help the police do their jobs safely and effectively.”

A New Jersey corrections officer died in August when a vehicle driven by a fleeing suspect crashed into his car in Newark. In 2006, a police chase in Cape May County led to a crash that killed two teen-age sisters.

A newspaper report on police chase fatalities, published four years ago, said 187 people died in pursuits in New Jersey since 1979. The statistic was attributed to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System maintained by the National Highway Safety Administration.

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Vindicated After Meeting with Governor & State Officials About Response to Algal Blooms on NJ Lakes

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Senator Joe Pennacchio said he felt vindicated after meeting today with Governor Phil Murphy, officials from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and other elected state and federal officeholders to discuss the State’s response to algal blooms on New Jersey lakes.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio said he felt vindicated after meeting with Gov. Phil Murphy, officials from the NJDEP, and other elected state and federal officeholders to discuss the State’s response to algal blooms on New Jersey lakes. (SenateNJ.com)

“New Jersey lakes were closed this summer I believe due to faulty NJDEP protocols that were based on political science rather than actual science,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Governor Murphy’s commitment to us today to reevaluate the State’s approach to preventing, monitoring, and communicating with the public about harmful algal blooms is welcomed and represents a total validation of the concerns we raised on behalf of families and businesses that were devastated by this summer’s unnecessary lake closures.”

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Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Tom Kean

Kean & Corrado Measure to Detect Deadly Fentanyl in Street Drugs Clears Committee

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Kristin Corrado sponsor legislation that would establish a program to detect fentanyl in the illegal drug supply. The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee today approved the measure (A5445/S3909).

Senators Kean and Corrado sponsor a bill to establish a program to detect the presence of deadly fentanyl in the illegal drug supply.

The bill would require the attorney general to establish a program to test for fentanyl in all controlled dangerous substances seized by police in the state.

“The severity of this crisis demands action, and I am pleased the committee took up this bill today,” said Kean (R-24). “With the information we learn from this program, we can better understand where fentanyl is most common and which neighborhoods and towns face the greatest risks. The testing could help police track the sources of the deadly drugs and get them off the streets.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid up to 25 times more potent and dangerous than heroin. Fentanyl-related deaths in New Jersey have increased dramatically in recent years, and fatal overdoses involving synthetic opioids have exploded from 38 in 2012 to 1,376 in 2017, when there were almost 2,000 overdose deaths in the state.

“Fentanyl is a killer. People are dying on the streets because they aren’t aware fentanyl is in the drugs they are using,” said Corrado (R-40). “Fatal opioid overdoses in the State are 50 percent higher than the national average, and the prevalence of fentanyl is largely responsible. The data we learn from this program will help save lives.”

The information received from testing will be compiled and continually updated in a database accessible to law enforcement agencies across the state.

Senator Kristin Corrado

Corrado Bills to Assist Military Personnel Advances

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A series of bills sponsored by Senator Kristin Corrado to benefit military members in New Jersey has advanced.

A series of bill sponsored by Sen. Kristin Corrado to benefit military members in New Jersey has advanced. (©iStock)

The first bill, S-3830, would allow New Jersey state employees who serve in the Reserves or National Guard to use paid military leave for their required inactive duty training or any other regularly scheduled required training. Inactive duty training refers to the “one weekend a month” drill training for members of the National Guard and Reserve.

“Members of our Armed Forces can be beckoned to serve our country at a moment’s notice,” said Corrado (R-40). “Reservists and National Guard personnel with civilian jobs work hard to keep their military skills sharp through monthly weekend drills with their unit. Ensuring public employees can use their paid military leave for all required military training is the right and patriotic thing to do.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Bill to Boost Career Opportunities for Military Spouses Advances

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Senator Robert Singer’s legislation to waive occupational licensing fees for active-duty military spouses has unanimously advanced in the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Sen. Robert Singer’s legislation to waive occupational licensing fees for active-duty military spouses has unanimously advanced. (Wikimedia Commons)

“The transient nature of military life creates many career-building obstacles for active-duty spouses,” said Singer (R-30). “Licensing costs alone can be a barrier to job entry, especially for spouses who are repeatedly relocated between duty stations across the nation and across the world. Waiving fees for occupational licensure will help spouses secure meaningful employment and make life a little easier for military families in New Jersey.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho’s Initiative to Help Prevent Police Suicide Advances

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Senator Steven Oroho’s legislation to help prevent law enforcement suicide has advanced in the Law and Public Safety Committee.

Senator Steven Oroho’s legislation to help prevent law enforcement suicide has advanced. (Flickr)

“Just as the public often needs the help of the police, our brave police officers need our help, too,” said Oroho (R-24). “Our nation’s law enforcement run to confront danger as others flee, often being put in physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging situations. Prioritizing their psychological health and well-being by providing resiliency training is an important step to ensure we are there for our law enforcement community when they need it most.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Panel Clears Bateman Bill to Give Judiciary Seat on State Investment Council

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The Judicial Retirement System would have a representative on the State Investment Council under a bill sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman and advanced today by the Senate State Government Committee.

The Judicial Retirement System, under legislation sponsored by Sen. Kip Bateman, would be represented on the State Investment Council. (SenateNJ.com)

Bateman’s bill (S3871) would increase the council to 16 members with the addition of a board of trustees member from the judicial system (JRS). The council includes one member each from the boards of the Public Employees’ Retirement System and the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund.

“It just makes sense for the judiciary to have a seat at the table,” said Bateman (R-16). “JRS is one of the three major public pension systems in New Jersey, and they should have input on discussions about how the money will be invested. Transparency and accountability is essential, especially now with so much pressure on the investments to meet or exceed market performance.”

Under the bill, the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court will designate the JRS representative.

Created by the Legislature in 1950, the State Investment Council formulates policies to be followed for investing the State’s pension funds, including the judiciary funds.

Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Bill Targeting Ozone-Depleting HFCs Advances

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Legislation banning the sale or installation of equipment containing greenhouse gases, sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman, passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today.

Sen. Bateman sponsors legislation to prohibit hydrofluorocarbons and other gases that threaten the ozone and transition the State to less harmful alternatives. (©iStock)

The bipartisan bill (S3919) prohibits hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and other gases that threaten the ozone, transitioning the State to less harmful alternatives.

“Replacements are available so it’s time to end our dependency on these dangerous gases,” said Bateman (R-16). “Moving to more environmentally benign refrigerants benefits the climate and reduces health risks to the public. I am confident this bill will move swiftly through the Legislature and soon be signed into law.”

Hydrofluorocarbons are a form of greenhouse gases that contain hydrogen, fluorine and carbon. They are commonly used in various commercial and industrial applications.

Bateman’s bill requires a phase-out of HFCs beginning on July 1, 2020, becoming more restrictive each year through 2024.

Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Measure to Rescue Recycling from Landfills Clears Environment Panel

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The Senate Environment Committee approved legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman that would establish a council to make recommendations for the future of recycling in New Jersey.

The Recycling Market Development Council would be created by Sen. Bateman’s legislation to analyze the market and make recommendations for the future of recycling in New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)

The bill (S3939/S3944) would establish a Recycling Market Development Council to analyze the market for recycling and consider strategies to increase the use of collected recyclables in the manufacture of new products.

“There have been significant changes in the recycling market around the globe, and the impact is being felt here throughout our counties and towns,” said Bateman (R-16). “The public has been so effective and committed to recycling that supply now exceeds demand. The imbalance results in warehouses overflowing with paper, cans, bottles and plastic. Eventually, material once saved from landfills eventually ends up going there anyway. We need to find a solution.”

China has been the world’s largest market for recycling, and until recently, much of the state’s material was shipped there. However, the Chinese have dramatically limited the amount of foreign recyclables they will accept.

“Recycling is only sustainable if there is a market for it and it can generate enough money to cover the costs of collection and processing. Local governments are struggling to maintain recycling without the outside revenue,” Bateman said. “We need to take a close look at recycling streams and consider options to salvage this crucial environmental program.”

The Recycling Market Development Council established by Bateman’s bill would operate within the State Department of Environmental Protection.

Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Measure Providing Loans for Clean Water Infrastructure Advances

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More than 180 clean water projects would receive low-interest funding in legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman. The Senate Environment and Energy Committee today approved the bill (S4202).

Sen. Bateman’s legislation authorizes $1.5 billion in low-interest loans for more than 180 clean water projects. (Pixabay)

The measure authorizes the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB) to expend more than $1.5 billion for loans for projects on the Storm Sandy and State Fiscal Year 2020 Clean Water Project Eligibility List and the Storm Sandy and State Fiscal Year 2020 Drinking Water Project Eligibility List.

“This funding will help ensure the safety of water in our communities with updated and more robust water pipes, and better sewer systems and storm water processes,” said Bateman (R-16). “Affordable financing for essential upgrades will protect public health and benefit the State environment.”

The bipartisan bill updates the list of environmental projects eligible for NJIB financing.

Sixty-two projects are on the drinking water list will get funding, as well as 122 are clean-water projects.

Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony M. 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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