NJ Nonprofit Inspires “P.I.C.K. Awareness Act,” to Create New License Plate Design & Combat Addiction Crisis
Legislation sponsored by District 30 lawmakers, Senator Robert Singer and Assemblyman Sean Kean, to authorize the issuance of “Support Recovery” license plates was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee.
Sen. Robert Singer and Asm. Sean Kean’s bill would establish the “P.I.C.K. Awareness Act” which would create “Support Recovery” license plates. (©iStock)
“Addiction does not discriminate. This is a disease that has affected seemingly countless New Jerseyans, regardless of their age, race, religion, or economic status,” Singer (R-30) said. “Giving drivers the ability to purchase a ‘Support Recovery’ license plate will help us fund lifesaving sober living facilities. By raising awareness, the plates will also help us educate local families about the dangers of substance abuse.”
“We are another step closer to creating ‘Support Recovery’ license plates,” Kean (R-30) said. “These license plates will not only provide funding for sober living programs, but will also serve as a sign that New Jerseyans are committed to fighting the opioid crisis.”
The lawmakers introduced this legislation after Parents in Connection for Kids Inc. (P.I.C.K.) Awareness, a New Jersey nonprofit, expressed the need to provide awareness and resources to parents of children with substance abuse. The founder, Donna DeStephano, created the nonprofit after coping with her daughter’s substance use disorder.
“I’m thrilled that ‘N.J. Support Recovery License Plates’ have bipartisan support in both the Assembly and the Senate. It shows that New Jersey is on the forefront of this epidemic, mission-oriented on addiction issues and that they welcome new strategies, solutions, and results,” DeStephano said. “This bill will bring a sorely needed sustainable funding model that will reduce homelessness as a barrier to recovery. It will provide sober living to indigent clients in an emergent or crisis situation suffering from substance use disorders and help this population with its recovery efforts. These License Plates will also raise awareness and reduce the ongoing stigma associated with this disease.”
Nationwide, specialty plates have brought millions in revenue for causes such as cancer research, organ donation, veterans’ programs, and other charitable causes. In Arizona, more than $66 million has been raised by the state’s specialty plate program.
The identical bills, S-469/A-268, would deposit revenue into the “Support Recovery License Plate Fund,” after the deduction of production costs. The “Support Recovery” plate proceeds would fund permanent and temporary sober living housing for recovering New Jersey residents.
The design of the support recovery license plate, as dictated by the legislation, would consist of an image of a compass rose with cardinal direction indicators enclosed in a circle, and the words “SUPPORT RECOVERY” beneath the image.
The “P.I.C.K. Awareness Act” passed the Assembly on Feb. 15, 2018, and the Senate Transportation Committee on March 26, 2018. It now heads to the Senate floor for a full vote. A copy of Senator Singer and Assemblyman Kean’s “P.I.C.K. Awareness Act” (S-469/A-268) can be found here.
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