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Senator Anthony Bucco

Erin’s Law Hits Gov’s Desk: Bucco Bill Would Bring Child Sex Abuse Prevention Education to Every NJ Classroom

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Senate sponsor, survivors, & advocates laud final Legislative passage of bill inspired by child sex abuse survivor & national advocate, Erin Merryn.

The New Jersey General Assembly has passed “Erin’s Law,” legislation long-sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco to require all school districts to incorporate age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention and awareness education into the NJ Student Learning Standards, formerly known as the core curriculum, for students in grades Pre-K through 12. S-1130/A-769 passed the State Senate on March 25, 2019 and now heads to the Governor’s desk for final approval. If signed, Erin’s Law would take effect in the first school year following the date the law is enacted.

Today’s advancement of  the bill follows a years-long effort by Senator Bucco, Erin Merryn – the survivor for whom the bill is named– and a number of other local advocates, who have worked together to ensure every child in New Jersey has the tools they need to recognize and report sexual abuse.

Erin’s Law, sponsored by Sen. Bucco, would require NJ schools to teach kids in grades Pre-k through 12 about sexual assault. The bill is named for Erin Merryn, a survivor and national advocate. (Photo Courtesy of Erin Merryn)

“Every child should understand how to recognize and report sexual abuse. Teaching kids not to talk to strangers isn’t enough when their abuser could be hiding in plain sight. 93 percent of kids know their attacker. They need age-appropriate safe-touch education,” Senator Bucco said. “We have spent years fighting for Erin’s Law, and we won’t stop until every child, in every New Jersey classroom, has access to this lifesaving information. Governor Murphy – please do not let another school year go by without helping us get this signed into law.”

Some private schools in New Jersey are already voluntarily providing safe-touch educational resources that are similar to those that would be mandatory under Senator Bucco’s Erin’s Law. In one New Jersey case, the availability of this critically-important knowledge is already having an impact.

“What makes me feel good about this law getting passed is that other kids, like me, can speak up about what is happening to them by any unsafe adult, or anyone. This law being passed will allow all children in New Jersey to see, and more likely to help them understand the importance of where it is safe & unsafe to touch. This will help kids going through abuse not be afraid to say something about it. Thank you Senator Bucco for helping all New Jersey children,” a child, who after receiving a “safe-touch” lesson at a New Jersey private school subsequently reported her abuser, said. (The child is choosing to remain anonymous in this statement, due to their status as a minor and a survivor of sexual assault.)

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on Port Authority Bus Terminal Expansion Plans

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, a member of the Port Authority Bus Terminal Bi-State Elected Officials Working Group, released the following statement on today’s announcement regarding plans to expand the Port Authority Bus Terminal:

Sen. Tom Kean, a member of the Port Authority Bus Terminal Bi-State Elected Officials Working Group, reacts to news of plans to expand the terminal. (Flickr)

“After years of advocacy, I am relieved to finally see plans for an expansion of the Port Authority Bus Terminal move forward today. It’s the right and essential thing to do for the tens of thousands of commuters who rely on the terminal to get to and from work safely.

“We will continue to fight for the infrastructure upgrades that are critical to keeping our region a beacon of opportunity and a national engine of economic growth, including this long overdue expansion, and the Gateway Tunnel.

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridge Project is the Remarkable Engineering Achievement that Ocean County Deserves

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Manahawkin: Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove today joined in a celebration of the successful completion of the reconstruction of the Old Causeway Bridge and the rehabilitation of Hilliards Thorofare Bridge – part of the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges project, by marking the historic occasion with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.

District 9 lawmakers celebrate the completion of the reconstruction of the Old Causeway Bridge and the rehabilitation of Hilliards Thorofare Bridge – part of the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges project, at a ribbon cutting ceremony led by NJDOT Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti. (SenateNJ.com)

Connors, Rumpf and Gove made the following remarks regarding the significant announcement:

“This project is a long time coming for many Ocean County residents and tourists, especially those living on Long Beach Island for whom the Causeway is the only means of egress and ingress to and from the mainland.

“More than a decade ago, our Delegation introduced legislation, at the request of a former NJDOT Commissioner, to appropriate $150 million to get the Route 72 Causeway Bridges Project moving. The catastrophic damage caused by Superstorm Sandy underscored, in graphic detail, how the Causeway is a critical infrastructure lifeline, especially in the event that a coastal evacuation order is issued.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

TOMORROW 5/23: Senator Pennacchio to Hold a Fusion Energy Symposium

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Sen. Joe Pennacchio will hold a symposium on fusion energy with leaders from academia and industry TOMORROW, Thursday, May 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the State House Annex, Committee Room 6.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio will hold a symposium on fusion energy with leaders from academia and industry at the State House Annex TOMORROW, May 23. (SenateNJ.com)

Pennacchio is a long-time advocate of the development of fusion as an energy source and has sponsored legislation in the New Jersey State Senate encouraging the support and development of fusion power.

Achieving commercial development of fusion energy would revolutionize the world economy. It would signal a new era of economic and scientific development worldwide. July 20th is the anniversary of the American achievement of landing men on the moon. What better time to assess the needs and funding for a new great achievement – by the United States, and now with other countries around the world?

Who: Senator Joe Pennacchio; experts from national laboratories, businesses, and researchers in the field who will present their work, and share their knowledge of what is being undertaken, and what lies ahead.

What: Fusion Energy Symposium – Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) will sponsor a hearing on the topic: “What are the Prospects and Requirements for the Early Development of Fusion Energy, and what are the Implications for the U.S., New Jersey, and the World?”

Where: State House Annex, Committee Room 6

When: TOMORROW, Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: Pharmaceuticals are poisoning NJ’s water supply, putting families at risk. We must act now.

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In response to reports demonstrating that the water supply is awash with pharmaceutical pollutants, Senator Michael Doherty (R-Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset) is renewing his call for action on legislation he has long-sponsored to protect families statewide from the harmful effects of consuming contaminated water.

The United States EPA, in a conjunction with Riverkeeper and Cornell University, have confirmed that the Hudson River is heavily-polluted by commonly-prescribed pharmaceuticals such as anti-depressants, blood pressure, and cholesterol medications.

Pharmaceutical pollution is severely impacting all manner of water ecosystems and resources, according to a May 2019 report by The Atlantic. The resulting contamination of marine life also poses a threat to the commercial fishing industry.

Sen. Mike Doherty is calling for action on legislation he has sponsored for more than a decade to combat pharmaceutical water contamination, in response to mounting reports of polluted waterways. (Pixabay)

“Everyone, regardless of where they live, should have the right to clean water,” Senator Doherty (R-23) said. “I’ve sponsored a bill for at least 10 years to study and combat pharmaceutical pollution, and although it passed out of committee last year, it has never reached the Senate floor.

“It is incredibly disappointing that so few environmental groups have joined the effort to remove pharmaceutical pollutants from our water. The consequences for further delays are dire.

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer’s Bill to Provide Job Protection for NJ’s National Guard Members Advances

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Senator Bob Singer’s (R-30) legislation to ensure New Jersey National Guard members retain their civilian jobs throughout and after a State emergency has passed the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs committee.

Sen. Bob Singer’s legislation to ensure New Jersey National Guard members retain their civilian jobs throughout and after a State emergency unanimously has passed the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs committee. (WikiMedia)

“No employer, especially the State of New Jersey, should discriminate against an employee if they are called to serve during a State emergency,” Singer said. “Our National Guard members should never have to choose between serving their country, and maintaining their civilian career. These heroes should come home to their job, and we should be proud and thankful for their sacrifices.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Statement on Princeton Dinky Line Reopening

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Senator Kip Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset) released the following statement on the reopening of NJ Transit’s Dinky Line in Princeton.

Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery at a May 14 ceremony marking the reopening of the line.

Sen. Kip Bateman joins fellow local leaders to mark the May 14th reopening of the Dinky Line in Princeton. (SenateNJ.com)

 Hello and thank you for having me. I am so glad to see the Princeton Dinky Line reopen today.

NJ Transit’s three month hiatus should never have turned into an eight month halt. It was incredibly unfair to the people who utilize the Dinky on a daily basis. There is no doubt that this has been a very frustrating time for commuters and travelers in our area.

I commend the “Save the Dinky” group for their advocacy and determination to have the line restored as soon as possible. Please give yourselves a round of applause! My colleagues and I also worked together on a bipartisan basis, alongside your amazing local leaders, to support your efforts to end the shut down and get this train back on track – but we couldn’t have done it without you.

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Senator Bob Singer

New Singer Bill Creates Penalties for Road Rage Crimes Committed Against School Buses

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Senator Takes Action Following Report of Man Who Shattered School Bus Window While Kids Were on Board

In response to a disturbing report of road rage in Howell, Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) has introduced legislation to create a new criminal mischief charge applicable to cases of road rage where a person damages a school bus in the presence of a child under the age of 16-years-old.

Following a disturbing report in Howell, Sen. Singer has introduced S-3703 to create a new criminal mischief charge applicable to cases of road rage where a person damages a school bus in the presence of a child under the age of 16. (SenateNJ.com)

“Even in a high-traffic state like New Jersey, it is hard to believe that any driver could get so angry that they would put innocent children in harm’s way,” Senator Singer said. “There is no excuse for attacking a school bus filled with kids. What happened in Howell is every parent’s worst nightmare. We need to take action now, so that drivers know that this type of reckless behavior is completely unacceptable.”

Senator Singer chose to take action after reading a May 1 New Jersey 101.5 report detailing the trauma children in Howell endured when a man shattered the window of their school bus during an April 16 road rage incident. See the video here.

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer’s “New Jersey Economic Development Day” Signed Into Law

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Legislation Inspired by Local Orthodox Jewish Chamber Of Commerce

Senator Robert Singer’s resolution to name the second Monday of May as “New Jersey Economic Development Day” was signed into law.

Senator Robert Singer’s resolution to name the second Monday of May as “New Jersey Economic Development Day” was signed into law. (SenateNJ.com)

“The designation of a statewide ‘Economic Development Day’ honors and inspires our youth to create, build, and dream of a better New Jersey,” Senator Singer (R-30) said. “The Garden State is blessed with a well-educated workforce, an ideal location, easy-to-access public transportation, and the best schools in the nation. That is why our economy will continue to grow and thrive.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Senate Approves Sweeney/Kean Resolution Establishing Special Committee for Economic Growth

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The Senate today approved a Senate resolution sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean establishing the “Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies” to identify the best strategies, policies and practices to create jobs, attract investments and generate long-term economic opportunities throughout the state.

The Senate approved a Sweeney/Kean resolution establishing the Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies to identify the best strategies, policies and practices to create jobs, attract investments and generate long-term economic opportunities throughout the state.  (Pixabay)

The Senate Resolution, SR-139, creates a bipartisan, seven-member committee to evaluate the state’s economic development programs to ensure their continued effectiveness. The Senate President will appoint the committee members from the Senate, comprised of four Democrats and three Republicans.

“With a highly educated workforce and favorable location, there is no reason that New Jersey should struggle with economic development,” said Senator Kean. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many headlines of employers large and small leaving the Garden State for other places. It’s clear that we need to understand what the problems are if we are to offer effective and long-term fixes.”

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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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