News & Releases

14 Feb: Turner Bill To Provide Equity In Mental Care Treatment Passes Senate

TRENTON – The Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner today that would ensure that patients undergoing mental health treatment and their families would see the same level of charity care relief as patients receiving non-mental health treatments.

“When individuals seek medical treatment for an illness, our laws should not discriminate between mental and non-mental illness,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “The State’s charity care formulas currently do not cover both the mentally ill and non-mentally ill equally. We must break down these artificial barriers and making sure that mental illness is seen as what it truly is – a medical condition that often has a known treatment.”

14 Feb: Turner Bill To Extend ‘Animal House’ Provisions Passes Senate

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that would allow all municipalities to require landlords of “animal houses” to post bonds passed the full Senate today.

“When our local police officers must repeatedly break up college parties at these ‘animal houses’, they are distracted from their primary job of protecting the community,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “It’s time for the landlords of these buildings to take responsibility for the irresponsible actions of those they rent to. Requiring bonds has been a proven method in shore communities for reducing disruptions coming from rentals and now it will be an option in all communities.”

14 Feb: Turner Measure To Promote Trenton Revolutionary History Passes Senate

TRENTON – A resolution sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that would recognize a 24-block area of Trenton as the “Trenton Battlefield Historic Heritage Area” received final legislative approval today.

“History students and Revolutionary War buffs know that Trenton played a pivotal role in the military campaigns of the War for Independence,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “We can all identify Emanuel Leutze’s ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’ and recount the victory of George Washington in Trenton on the day after Christmas. What many people do not realize is that many of the places that played a role in those battles are still around today. By creating the ‘Trenton Battlefield Historic Heritage Area’ we hope to draw more people to Trenton to personally experience New Jersey’s history.”

14 Feb: Baer/ Coniglio / Scutari Bill To Promote Voting For The Disabled Passes Senate

TRENTON – Senators Byron Baer, Joseph Coniglio and Nicholas Scutari welcomed today’s approval by the Senate of their bill that would make polling places more accessible to seniors and individuals with disabilities.

“We need to put policies in place that make voting more accessible for everyone rather than put up barriers to voting,” said Senator Baer, D-Bergen. “The bill will make certain that seniors and individuals with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to exercise the right to vote. We need to ensure that all polling locations conform to the standards set forth in the American with Disabilities Act of 1990.”

14 Feb: Bryant Legislation Would Work To Cut Rising Gasoline Prices

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Wayne R. Bryant that would appropriate $1 million in federal funding for the development of the region’s first ethanol plant was approved today in the Senate.

“With gasoline prices steadily increasing, it’s time that we work to decrease our dependence on foreign oil,” said Senator Bryant, D-Camden and Gloucester. “By using existing resources to fill the current need for gasoline, we can save money for taxpayers and the state.”

14 Feb: Scutari/Buono Bill To Eradicate Beetles Approved By Senate

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Nicholas P. Scutari and Barbara Buono which would provide $1.3 million in federal funding to remove thousands of trees that have been infested by Asian Longhorn Beetles. The bill was approved by the full Senate today.

“The Asian Longhorn Beetles first appeared in October, and began destroying the trees of Middlesex and Union counties,” said Senator Scutari, D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union. “While the insects present no threat to public health, they pose a significant risk to New Jersey’s trees and forests. With no known predator to control them the beetles will continue to spread and kill even more hardwood trees, and, therefore, the Asian Longhorn Beetle problem needs to be handled effectively and immediately before the infestation sweeps throughout the rest of the State.”

14 Feb: Rice Bill To Promote African-American Arts Approved By Senate

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ronald L. Rice which would establish a nonprofit organization called the New Jersey Black Cultural and Heritage Initiative Foundation, was approved by the full Senate today.

Senator Rice stated that, “The New Jersey Black Cultural and Heritage Initiative Foundation is a non-profit organization that will boost interest in African-American history, culture and art.”

“The New Jersey Black Cultural and Heritage Initiative Foundation will promote the African-American culture that is full of history to the residents of New Jersey,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “The foundation will be able to enrich the minds and spirits of New Jersey’s youth by increasing opportunities for young people to learn and experience African-American Arts.”

08 Feb: Smith On Diesel Particulate Testimony

TRENTON – Senator Bob Smith, D-Middlesex and Somerset, the Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee and the prime sponsor of legislation which would greatly reduce diesel emissions in New Jersey, issued comments on testimony heard before his Committee yesterday on the dangers and health risks of particulate matter emissions, such as diesel emissions and other pollutants:

“The testimony we heard today from some of the preeminent experts in the field of air pollution and its impact on the health and safety of New Jerseyans, particularly children and senior citizens, should be a warning sign to the direction we could be going in if we take no actions to counteract the effects of particulate matter emissions.

07 Feb: Vitale Public Advocate Bill Cleared By Senate Committee

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale which would reinstate the Public Advocate as a watchdog agency to protect the interests of everyday New Jerseyans was approved by the Senate State Government Committee by a vote of 3-1, with 1 abstention.

“For nearly two decades before its dissolution, the Public Advocate stood up for the residents of New Jersey to protect the best interests of the people,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “In New Jersey today, so often it seems that, whether it’s government corruption or private fraud, those interests are going by the wayside, while corruption and abuse are becoming a much more common phenomenon. We need a strong Public Advocate to again hold government and private interests accountable to the people of this State.”

07 Feb: Doria-Coniglio Bill To Require State Contractors To Provide Health Benefits Approved In Committee

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Joseph V. Doria and Joseph C. Coniglio which would require vendors bidding on or performing a State contract to provide health benefits to their employees was approved by the Senate State Government Committee by a vote of 4-1.

“So many of New Jersey’s working poor, and even the middle class, cannot afford decent, quality health care for themselves and their families,” said Senator Doria, D-Hudson. “Quality health care should not be treated as a luxury in this country — it should be treated as a basic human right. We need to demand a higher standard from our State contractors if we’re ever going to address this class disparity that currently exists in today’s society between those who can afford good health and those who cannot.”