09 Mar: Smith Response To Diesel Critics-‘Regulation Will Save Lives’

TRENTON – Senator Bob Smith, D-Middlesex and Somerset, the Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee and prime sponsor of a legislative package designed to reduce diesel emissions in New Jersey, issued the following statement today regarding critics’ claims, most notably Senator Henry McNamara, R-Bergen, that diesel emissions reduction efforts before the Legislature are flawed:

“I’ve worked with Senator McNamara for a number of years on issues affecting the environmental health of New Jersey. Sometimes we’re on the same page, and sometimes we’re not. When it comes to diesel emissions reductions, it seems we are most definitely not on the same page.

09 Mar: Turner To Trenton: ‘Community Involvement The Key To Better Schools’

TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner joined Commissioner William L. Librera, Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer and Trenton Superintendent of Schools James Lytle today to discuss potential ways in which to improve overall achievement in the Trenton School District.

“Trenton City School District has a lot to be proud of. In just the last few years, the district has seen a considerable amount of improvement in its students,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer and Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “But we all know that Trenton still has a lot of work to do. Test scores remain among the lowest of the Abbott districts – 26th out of 31 in Language Arts and 28th out of 31 in Math for fourth graders. Now is the time for us to come together and map out a path toward further success.”

07 Mar: Turner Measure To Establish Lieutenant Governor’s Passes Committee

TRENTON – New Jersey voters are one step closer to choosing a Lieutenant Governor as a measure sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner to create the Office of Lieutenant Governor received Senate committee approval today.

“It is clearly time for New Jersey to bring its gubernatorial line of succession up to date,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “Given the fact that in the last five years we have more Acting Governors than Governors elected by the entire state, there is a definite need for an elected Lieutenant Governor in New Jersey. The people of this state deserve to have a say in who serves in the Governor’s place when he must leave office early.”

07 Mar: Vitale Public Advocate Bill Approved By Senate Budget Panel

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 Budget and Appropriations Committee today by a vote of 9-6.

“With today’s vote, we are one step closer to having a strong watchdog demand a government that works for the people,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “The Public Advocate has in the past stood for good government that puts the needs of citizens before the concerns of politics. I look forward to having the Advocate once again fighting to give voice to the voiceless in our society.”

07 Mar: Smith Bills To Cut Down On Diesel Emissions Approved In Committee

TRENTON – A package of bills sponsored by Senator Bob Smith to cut down on emissions from diesel engines and clean up New Jersey’s air was approved by the Senate Environment Committee today.

“We need to do something about the worsening air quality in New Jersey, and scaling back emissions from diesel engines is a good start,” said Senator Smith, D-Middlesex and Somerset, the Chairman of the Environment Committee. “With the technology currently on the market, we can retrofit many of the diesel engines on our roadways today to operate cleaner, and ensure healthier breathing for everyone in the Garden State.”

07 Mar: Madden Measure Would Forgive Up To $20, 000 In Student Loans For Social Services Employees

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden that would establish the “Social Services Student Loan Redemption Program Act,” to help relieve student loan burdens of up to $20,000 over four years for full-time direct health care professionals was approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

“The State loses a lot of young college graduates because salaries offered by the State cannot compete with the higher wages offered in the private sector,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “We are hoping to encourage these graduates to fill the vacant positions in the State’s social services field by offering to cover the cost of their student loans, which can pose a heavy burden on recent graduates.”

07 Mar: Vitale-Sacco ‘E-ZPass For Gas’ Bill Approved By Senate Panel

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale which would urge the Turnpike Authority to work with New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway service area vendors to allow motorists to pay for gasoline purchases using their E-ZPass tags was unanimously approved by the Senate Transportation Committee today.

“The E-ZPass system was designed to simplify life for thousands of motorists on our State’s toll roads, and by extending the tags’ purchasing power to cover gasoline purchases on those toll roads, we’re continuing that mission,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “Considering that, in peak summer months, many of the gas stations in service areas on the Parkway and Turnpike are more gridlocked than the worst toll plazas, this make sense.”

07 Mar: Turner & Coniglio: ‘New Jersey Must Not Be In The Offshoring Business’

TRENTON – Senators Shirley K. Turner and Joseph Coniglio welcomed approval by the Assembly Labor Committee today of their bill that would ban the use of overseas labor in State contracts.

“Off-shoring is a serious concern for the future of New Jersey’s workforce,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “A recent report from New Jersey Policy Perspective showed that 1 in 8 New Jersey jobs could potentially be moved overseas, threatening the livelihoods of almost half a million New Jersey families. The State itself needs to lead by example and make sure that every service contract we sign is done using American labor.”

07 Mar: Sarlo & Coniglio Efforts To Can Fax Spam Passes Committee

TRENTON – A measure by Senators Paul A. Sarlo and Joseph Coniglio to prohibit the use of fax machines to transmit unsolicited advertisements received committee approval today.

“Unwanted advertisements are like weeds – just when you think you’ve gotten rid of them, they sprout up one more time,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen. “While we’ve made great strides in empowering the public to free themselves of telemarketers, our fax machines still provide companies with a means to sneak their unwanted ads into our homes and businesses. This bill addresses this growing nuisance.”

07 Mar: Sarlo Measure Would Establish New Jersey Hall Of Fame

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Paul A. Sarlo that would establish the New Jersey Hall of Fame to honor New Jerseyans who have made substantial contributions to society in the arts, sciences and other areas was approved today by the Senate Economic Growth committee.

“New Jerseyans have made huge contributions in nearly every field of human endeavor,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen and Passaic. “Think about it, Thomas Edison was from New Jersey, as was Paul Robeson. Meryl Streep and Buzz Aldrin were also born in New Jersey. Our state’s heritage is too rich not to have a museum honoring these individuals who contributed so much and left their mark on American culture.”