10 Jan: Working Families To Get An Additional $15 Million In Rent Assistance

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner to help more low income families afford New Jersey’s high rent prices moved one step closer to law as it passed the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee today.

“Recent reports have shown that New Jersey’s lowest wage earners can rarely afford even the most modest apartment for their families,” said Senator Shirley Turner, D-Mercer. “When a family has to work a collective 150 hours a week just to be able to afford the average two bedroom apartment, then there is a real and immediate need for the State to develop ways of easing the burden caused by our high cost of living. We have too many people in New Jersey without a home of their own to not take action.”

05 Jan: Vitale-Morgan Introduce Reforms To Fulfill Promise Of Familycare

TRENTON – Senator Joseph F. Vitale and Assemblyman Robert Morgan, MD, announced today that they will make it a priority to reform New Jersey’s FamilyCare health insurance system in 2005, to increase participation and provide expanded coverage to New Jersey’s uninsured.

“New Jersey’s FamilyCare program is a boon to those who would otherwise be without hope, but frankly, it doesn’t go far enough,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex, Chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “Despite our best efforts under the current system, there are still more than 264,000 children in this State who remain uninsured. We need to dramatically change our current system of identifying and enrolling children, to live up to our commitment of providing health insurance to those in need.”

29 Dec: News Conference To Announce Major Improvements In FamilyCare

TRENTON – Senator Joseph F. Vitale and Assemblyman Robert Morgan, MD, will hold a news conference on Wednesday, January 5th to announce major reforms in the way New Jersey administers its FamilyCare health insurance program for uninsured children.

While FamilyCare has been instrumental in providing care for thousands of uninsured children in New Jersey, the legislators believe that certain reforms are needed to address the more than 200,000 uninsured children that continue to fall through the cracks despite qualifying for FamilyCare coverage. Their announcement at the news conference is the first step in major reforms pending for next year to address the uninsurance problem across the board in the Garden State.

22 Dec: Karcher-Scutari Bill Would Reform State Purchasing

TRENTON – Two Democratic Senators – Ellen Karcher and Nicholas Scutari – have introduced a bill, S-2194, that would re-structure State purchasing procedures and implement reforms recommended by the State Commission of Investigation after its probe of the bungled E-ZPass electronic toll collection contract awarded by the Whitman Administration.

“These reforms will save money for New Jersey taxpayers and will help clean up the way we award State contracts so they go to those most qualified to do the job,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer.

20 Dec: Sweeney Measure Would Protect Volunteer Emergency Workers

THOROFARE – A measure sponsored by Senator Stephen M. Sweeney that would allow emergency volunteer workers to receive paid time off when they are called to alarm during work hours has been introduced in the Senate.

“The events of the past few years have demonstrated the huge importance of emergency workers,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem. “These volunteers put their lives on the line when they go out on emergency calls, and school districts should do their part to encourage their bravery.”

13 Dec: Codey-Karcher Environmental Prosecutor Bill Approved

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate President and Acting Governor Richard J. Codey and Senator Ellen Karcher to create a statewide Office of the Environmental Prosecutor in order to pursue legal action against criminals who violate environmental laws in New Jersey was approved today by the Senate by a vote of 38-0.

“Our environment is a precious resource and New Jersey has to show a commitment to protecting it,” said Governor Codey. “An environmental prosecutor sends the message that we will pursue polluters in the Garden State wherever they turn up, and we will impose strict and appropriate penalties based on the severity of their crimes.”

13 Dec: Lieutenant Governor Bill Introduced In The Senate

TRENTON – The first New Jersey Lieutenant Governor could be elected in November of 2009 under a bipartisan bill introduced today in the New Jersey Senate.

“It’s clear that New Jersey needs a structural improvement to its succession procedures for the Office of Governor,” said Senator Shirley K. Turner, prime Democratic sponsor of the reform legislation. “Fortunately, we’ve had two able Senate Presidents who were highly capable at filling in for departing Governors, but we can’t always count on having leaders like (current Senate President and Acting Governor) Dick Codey and (former Senate President and Acting Gov.) Don DiFrancesco.”

13 Dec: Working Families To Get An Additional $15 Million In Rent Assistance

TRENTON – Senators Shirley K. Turner and Ronald L. Rice hailed the passage of their bill to appropriate an additional $15 million to the low-income rental assistance program signed into law over the summer by the Senate today.

“A permanent home is the essential first step for a family rise out of poverty and start realizing the American dream,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “That permanent address is the key to so many parts of a good life. It makes it easier to find and keep a quality job, allows children to concentrate better on their schoolwork and can have great benefits to personal health. The myriad of other ways the State supports its residents are vastly more effective when the recipient has a home of their own.”

13 Dec: Assembly Approves Turner/Vitale Measure To Inform Sexual Assault Victims Of Emergency Contraceptive Option

TRENTON – Senators Shirley K. Turner and Joseph F. Vitale welcomed today’s final legislative approval of their bill to require hospitals to inform sexual assault victims about emergency contraceptives and provide them upon request.

“All women have the fundamental right to choose when and how they would like to become a mother,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “Victims of sexual assault shouldn’t have this choice taken away from them by the heinous acts of a criminal. We can help the healing process begin by giving them the option to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and let them feel empowered again.”