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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Faults Derella for Dangerous Situation at Cumberland County Jail

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Federal Investigators Troubled by Constitutional Violations that Put Lives at Risk

The Cumberland County Jail, under the leadership of Democrat county commission director Joe Derella, has failed to take necessary precautions to prevent inmate suicides and provide adequate mental health care, a federal civil rights investigation has found.

Sen. Michael Testa blamed the Cumberland County director for continuing problems at the jail after news that federal investigators had identified unconstitutional treatment of inmates. (Flickr)

The development is just the latest black eye for the elected official responsible for the facility, which has been plagued by recent controversies surrounding a large COVID outbreak at the jail, and the refusal to cooperate with federal immigration laws.

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District 10

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano Call on Governor to Make Vaccinations Available at Senior Communities

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The 10th District legislators, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano, are calling on Governor Murphy to allow for COVID-19 vaccinations to be offered at senior communities. The legislators sent a letter to the Governor making that request out of concern for seniors who cannot easily travel to other vaccination sites due to driving restrictions or disabilities.

The 10th District legislators, Sen. Jim Holzapfel, Asm. Greg McGuckin, and Asm. John Catalano, are calling on Gov. Murphy to allow for COVID-19 vaccinations to be offered at senior communities. (©iStock)

“Since the rollout of the vaccine, our office has been inundated with calls from residents of senior communities who have been waiting patiently to receive the vaccine but still do not have clarity on how or when it will happen,” said Senator Holzapfel. “Some elderly residents either do not drive or have a disability that prevents them from traveling easily to other vaccination sites. We could address those concerns and vaccinate as many seniors as possible by sending mobile units directly to each senior community.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Steve Oroho

Pennacchio/Oroho Bill Closes the Lid on Unfair Treatment of Farmers Selling Baked Goods at Roadside Markets

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Farmers selling their own baked goods, pies by the slice, or other edible treats at farm markets will be able to wrap the food for sanitation purposes without weighing the goods and labeling it under legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Steve Oroho and advanced by the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

Farmers selling their own baked goods at farm markets will be able to wrap the food for sanitation purposes without weighing the goods and labeling it under legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Steve Oroho. (Pixabay)

Under the law, S-283, bona fide farmers at a farm market are exempt from requirements to weigh and label articles of food provided the items are sold in open or uncovered containers.

“It is an unusual rule that makes even less sense during this pandemic, when people are super sensitive about preventing the spread of COVID and other viruses and pathogens,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “It doesn’t make sense that you can walk into any pizza shop and order a slice to go and nobody has to weigh it and stamp it with a label. It’s even more puzzling to have a rule that encourages anybody to sell open-air food during an airborne virus emergency.”

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Senator Kristin Corrado

Corrado Bill Raising Reimbursement Rates for Medicaid Private Duty Nurses Advances

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Kristin Corrado that would boost minimum Medicaid reimbursement rates paid for private duty nursing services (PDN) was advanced by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

Sen. Kristin Corrado sponsors bipartisan legislation that would boost minimum Medicaid reimbursement rates paid for private duty nursing services. (©iStock)

PDN services are individualized nursing tasks provided by licensed nurses on a continuous basis in the homes of certain qualifying patients.

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Bill Making Schools Safer for Students with Allergies Clears Education Committee

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The Senate Education Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to ensure that schools develop an individualized health care plan for students with life-threatening allergies.

The Senate Education Committee approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Robert Singer to ensure that schools develop an individualized health care plan for students with life-threatening allergies. (SenateNJ.com)

“This common-sense bill will save lives and allow our K-12 schools to take the necessary steps to ensure the general safety of all students with life-threatening allergies,” said Singer (R-30). “With the proper information and training, teachers and staff will be able to provide immediate care to students who are severely allergic to things such as bee stings, peanuts, and shellfish.”

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District 1

Testa and Simonsen Introduce Bill Requiring Schools to Educate Students on Harmful Effects of Marijuana Use

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In anticipation of an adult-use recreational marijuana market in New Jersey, Senator Michael Testa and Assemblyman Erik Simonsen introduced a bill to educate students in grades 3 through 12 on the risks of cannabis and marijuana use.

In anticipation of an adult-use recreational marijuana market in New Jersey, Sen. Michael Testa and Asm. Erik Simonsen introduced a bill to educate students on the risks of marijuana use. (Pixabay)

The bill (S3360/A5168) specifies schools must include age-appropriate instruction on the use of cannabis and marijuana products in their substance abuse education.

“As soon as the Legislature gets its act together, marijuana will be legal for adult use,” said Testa (R-Cape May). “That will send a dangerous message to school kids of all ages – that cannabis is safe and accepted. It is vital that our schools include instructions about the risks of marijuana use, and its deleterious effects on brain development in young people. This education should be similar to the dangers of alcohol consumption and abuse.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho & Sarlo Bill Targeting New Jersey’s Economy-Strangling Red Tape Advances

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Measure Would Create Commission to Scrutinize Government Efficiency and Regulatory Impact

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho and Senator Paul Sarlo that would bolster government efficiency and reduce damaging regulations was endorsed today by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

The Government Efficiency and Regulatory Review Commission would be established to reduce red tape under a bipartisan bill sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho and Sen. Paul Sarlo. (SenateNJ.com)

The bill, S-441, would establish the Government Efficiency and Regulatory Review Commission, a nine-member body charged with evaluating all proposed and adopted regulations, rules and executive orders to consider their impact on the economy and determine if their benefits outweigh the burdens placed on business and government.

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District 10

10th District Legislators Applaud Judge for Ordering Transparency from NJDOE in School Aid Calculations

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The 10th District Legislators, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano, applauded an important order that will provide clarity to the Brick and Toms River school districts following massive cuts in State aid under the unfair and biased funding formula imposed by S-2.

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano applauded an important order that will provide clarity to the Brick and Toms River school districts following massive cuts in State aid under the unfair and biased funding formula imposed by S-2. (SenateNJ.com)

In a victory in the ongoing fight for transparency in school funding, Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson has ordered the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) to turn over the algorithm used to calculate State aid for public school districts.

“We applaud Judge Jacobson for requiring transparency from the NJDOE on the school funding issue that has been so devastating to our local school districts and property taxpayers. We have repeatedly demanded that the Department of Education reveal their process for calculating Local Fair Share and have even introduced legislation to require them to do so,” said Senator Holzapfel. “It’s appalling that the NJDOE would keep their calculations a secret for so long, which impacts how much our property taxpayers are forced to pay and how many teachers we can keep in our classrooms.”

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Senator Kristin Corrado

Corrado Statement on Weinberg’s Decision to Not Seek Another Term

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Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40) issued the following statement following Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s (D-37) announcement that she will not seek another term in office:

Statement from Sen. Kristin Corrado regarding Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s announcement that she will not seek another term in office. (SenateNJ.com)

“In our short time working together, I have gained great respect for Sen. Weinberg’s dedication to tackling extremely difficult issues, her steadfast advocacy for survivors of rape and domestic abuse, and her fearlessness in standing up to those in power even within her own party.

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on Senator Weinberg’s Pending Retirement

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on Senate Democrat Leader Loretta Weinberg’s decision not to run for reelection after nearly 30 years in the Legislature:

Senate Republic Leader Tom Kean responded to Senate Democrat Leader Loretta Weinberg’s announcement that she would retire at the end of this term. (SenateNJ.com)

“Loretta has been a good friend, a dedicated representative of her constituents, and at times, a worthy adversary. During her tenure in public office, the Senator’s steady, measured demeanor and thoughtful, authoritative voice helped her become an influential Democrat leader. I enjoyed working closely with her on several important bipartisan initiatives as her commitment to helping the people of New Jersey has always been undeniable.  I look forward to continuing to work with her in the year ahead.”

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

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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