Joint Senate/Assembly State Government Committee Hearing on Property Taxes
Nicholas P. Scutari
08 Jun: Senator Scutari’s Remarks To The Senate Health Comittee On S-88, ‘The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act’
“Chairman, members of the Committee, good afternoon.
“I would like to open today by thanking you, Mr. Chairman, for scheduling this informational hearing on my bill, S-88, The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. This is not an issue that is bereft of controversy; medical marijuana has both passionate advocates and detractors. Therefore this hearing marks an important opportunity to better educate the public about a subject that is often obscured by the harsh rhetoric, conjecture, and misinformation that attends such heated debate.
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, to appropriating $3 million from a USDA grant to combat the spread of the Asian Longhorn Beetle, was approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“Preventing the further spread of the Asian Longhorn Beetle is of the utmost importance,” said Senator Scutari, D-Somerset and Union. “If they are not checked, these pests could present a significant threat to not only our neighborhoods and parks, but to the entire American hardwood industry.”
TRENTON – A resolution sponsored by Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rescind proposed changes that would weaken the Emergency Community Planning and Right-to-Know Act, was approved today by the Senate Environment Committee.
“The ‘Right-to-Know’ standards have been an essential tool for notifying the public about the pollutants and toxic materials that industrial plants produce since they were adopted twenty years ago,” said Senator Scutari, D-Somerset and Union. “They have caused a substantial and sustained reduction in the amount of toxins these facilities are releasing into the environment.”
TRENTON – On Monday, the Senate Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the findings of the Motor Vehicle Affordability and Fairness Task Force, a panel of experts charged by the Legislature with reviewing the State’s driver’s license suspension laws to study the impact on New Jersey drivers.
Senator Nicholas J. Sacco, the Chair of the Transportation Committee and a prime sponsor of the bill establishing the Task Force as part of the larger Motor Vehicle Commission reform legislation signed into law in January of 2003, noted that the report issued by the Task Force will likely be a stepping off point for future legislation.
TRENTON – Today, legislation sponsored by Senator Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Union) and Senator Joe Kyrillos, Jr. (R-Monmouth) was released from the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee. S 597 requires the disclosure of certain information for donation clothing bins placed by charities.
“People have a right to know that their charitable efforts are benefiting those in need, not those looking for a profit. Right now, contributors will put their donations into a bin bearing the name of a charity and the profits may actually benefit a for-profit organization instead,” said Scutari.
LINDEN — Senator Nicholas P. Scutari (D – Middlesex, Somerset, Union) today announced that he is introducing legislation to prohibit the use of “step-down” clauses in commercial automobile insurance policies to limit protection for employees injured in motor vehicle accidents while on the job. The bill, S-1666, would require that commercial policies provide the maximum uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage available under the policy to all employees of the covered business. Currently, employees not specifically named in a commercial policy are only entitled to coverage equivalent to that provided by their personal automobile liability policies.
“This is a classic bait and switch, and it’s leaving working New Jerseyans out in the cold,” said Senator Scutari. “The pervasive use of step-down clauses allows insurers to dodge responsibility for the well-being of workers, plain and simple. If you are injured on the job, you should be entitled to the maximum protection that your employer’s insurance offers.”
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, to require charitable organizations that place clothing bins in public places to post disclosure information on each bin as a way to discourage clothes-collecting profiteers, was unanimously approved by the full Senate today.
“With charitable donations increasing, for-profit businesses began to realize the financial potential of donation bins,” Said Senator Scutari, D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union. “Profit organizations, claiming to be owned by charities, have started collecting for the needy. These groups then sell the clothing, donate a small portion to charity, and keep the rest. The public has the right to know if their charitable contributions will actually be going to companies looking to make a buck. Posting information on donation bins gives our citizens the opportunity to select what organizations they would like to help.”
Senate Committee Hearings
TRENTON – The Senate today approved Governor Codey’s conditional veto of a bill to reform State and local contracting procedures based on the EZPass scandal during the Whitman Administration. The vote was 39-0 and it now moves to the Assembly.
“This measure will ensure greater integrity and accountability in the state and local contracting process,” said Senator Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, Middlesex and Somerset, and a prime sponsor of the reform legislation, S-2194.