Nicholas P. Scutari

12 Aug: Scutari Calls For Review Of Prison Closing

TRENTON – Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) today asked the state Treasurer’s office for additional information regarding the closing and proposed demolition of Riverfront State Prison in Camden.

Riverfront, a medium-security facility that was opened in 1985, is the state’s third-newest prison. Scutari questioned the wisdom of closing the facility and demolishing it to make way for development along the Camden waterfront.

25 Jun: Scutari Lieutenant Governor Bill Receives Final Legislative Approval

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Nicholas P. Scutari which would establish campaign finance and disclosure standards and debate rules for New Jersey’s new Lieutenant Governor position was approved by the Assembly today by a vote of 66-12, with one abstention, receiving final legislative approval.

“This November, voters in New Jersey will go to the polls for the first time to vote for a leadership team, not just a Governor,” said Senator Scutari, D-Union, Middlesex and Somerset. “While past acting Governors have done an exemplary job to serve the people of New Jersey, the new Lieutenant Governor position will ensure consistency and predictability in the path of succession, and whoever’s elected will hopefully play a major role in shaping the direction of the State. We need to ensure that the candidates running under the Governor, this November and into the future, are subject to the same reporting, spending and contribution limits as other candidates for office in the Garden State.”

10 Jun: Scutari Calls For End To Traffic Light Camera Pilot Program

TRENTON – Citing a Middlesex County municipality’s recent decision to withdraw from a pilot program that uses traffic signal surveillance cameras to catch people who run red lights, Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union, Middlesex, and Somerset) today called for an end to the program.

Sen. Scutari said though the program purports to be focused on increasing traffic safety, it is really a revenue-raiser for towns and, in fact, could compromise safety for motorists and pedestrians.

04 Jun: Scutari-Whelan ‘New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act’ Advances In Assembly

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Nicholas P. Scutari and Jim Whelan to legalize medical marijuana for those suffering from chronic and terminal diseases was approved by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee today by a vote of 8-1, with 2 abstentions.

“Through this bill, New Jersey is sending a message that compassion for the sick and dying is of paramount importance,” said Senator Scutari, D-Union, Middlesex and Somerset. “For those people suffering from chronic and terminal illnesses, who live in constant pain or are at death’s door, we must provide access to medical marijuana if it will help relieve their symptoms or give them a measure of comfort in their final hours. New Jersey gains no benefit from going after sick and dying people, who have run out of options and are otherwise law-abiding citizens.”

Returning members of the State Senate are sworn in

23 Feb: Scutari-Whelan ‘New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act’ Approved By Senate

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Nicholas P. Scutari and Jim Whelan to create an avenue of legality for medical marijuana for those suffering from chronic and terminal diseases was approved by the Senate today by a vote of 22-16.

“If medical marijuana can ease some of the suffering of a patient who’s dying from a chronic, severe or terminal disease, state government should not stand in the way of that relief,” said Senator Scutari (D-Union, Middlesex and Somerset). “This bill is about giving health care professionals options in treating their patients’ pain and suffering, and giving those patients a measure of dignity and comfort in facing a terminal disease. While we should rightfully maintain a tough stance on the recreational abuse of drugs, we must take a compassionate and humane approach to bringing relief to those patients who have nowhere else to turn.”

“A number of healthcare studies have highlighted the benefits of marijuana use in treating severe and potentially fatal diseases, and the side effects associated with the treatment of those diseases,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic, and a member of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “If this drug can bring relief where established methods of pain management have failed, we need to give doctors in this State the authority to prescribe it. We’re not talking about the legalization of pot, but rather about giving suffering New Jerseyans a small bit of comfort in what could be their final days.”

Senator Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

15 Dec: Scutari-Whelan ‘New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act’ Approved In Senate Health Committee

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Nicholas P. Scutari and Jim Whelan to create an avenue of legality for medical marijuana for those suffering from chronic and terminal diseases was approved by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today by a vote of 6-1, with 2 abstentions.

“It is the definition of basic human decency that we do whatever we can to ease the pain and suffering of people living with severe chronic and terminal diseases,” said Senator Scutari, D-Union, Middlesex and Somerset. “When all other avenues of currently-approved pain relief have been exhausted, we need to give doctors the freedom to prescribe medical marijuana to give their patients a measure of comfort and dignity in the face of their debilitating diseases. This bill is about the most humane, compassionate option for those State residents who have nowhere else to turn in managing their illnesses.”

Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union) speaking at the bill signing for Pension and Benefits Reform as co-sponsors Senator Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex), Senate Majority Leader, Stephen Sweeney (D-Salem, Cumberland, Gloucester), Senator Tom Kean (R-Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union) look on.

29 Sep: Scutari’s Pension Reform Bill Becomes Law

TRENTON – Legislation, sponsored by Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, co-chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Public Employee Benefits Reform, to reform the State’s pension system by addressing pension abuse and ensuring sustainability, became law today.

“Last Summer, we held a special session of the State Legislature to address New Jersey’s property tax crisis,” said Senator Scutari, D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union. “We were asked to look at the State employee benefits and produce a plan to create a system that cut expenses and eliminated the potential for abuse. At the same time, we needed to be certain that any changes to the benison and benefits system would not penalize our dedicated workforce.”

21 May: Preview – Senate To Consider Bills To Bolster Unemployment Fund, Certify Voting Machines And Limit Hospital Charges

TRENTON – New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin will be in attendance at Thursday’s Senate meeting before the Senate considers a range of bills, including legislation that will strengthen the State’s unemployment insurance fund, provide for the certification of voting machines and prohibit hospitals from charging uninsured individuals more than 15% above Medicare rates.

The Senate will be honoring Coughlin and the rest of the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants at the beginning of the voting session.

Bill S-1698, sponsored by Senator Barbara Buono, would appropriate $260 million dollars to the State’s unemployment compensation fund from the FY08 Budget surplus. The bill would also temporarily change the date on which the fund’s balance is calculated from March 31 to June 30 for 2008 only. The bill’s aim is to prevent an automatic increase in employer payroll taxes triggered by a low balance in the fund.