TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono, D- Middlesex and Chair of the Senate Democratic Conference, made the following statement after Governor Codey’s Budget Address:
“It’s time to realize that out of control spending has been a problem for both Democrats and Republicans in recent years.
TRENTON – Senator Joseph Coniglio, D- Bergen, made the following statement after Governor Codey’s Budget Address:
“Governor Codey has finally done today what others have failed to do – taken action to address our fiscal crisis.
TRENTON – Senate President Pro Tempore Shirley K. Turner, D- Mercer, made the following statement after Governor Codey’s Budget Address:
“We’ve heard for the past few months that we would face a tough budget shortfall this year. Yet this shortfall should come as no surprise to anyone, given countless past budgets that have ignored real fiscal problems and passed the buck on to future generations.
TRENTON – Senator Joseph V. Doria, D-Hudson, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement today regarding Acting Governor Codey’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2006:
“The message we heard today was one of unvarnished honesty. Acting Governor Codey made it clear that the days of one-shot budget solutions and fiscal sleight of hand are over in New Jersey.
TRENTON – Senator John H. Adler, D-Cherry Hill, today commended Governor Codey’s budget proposal because it cuts spending by the largest margin in State history.
“After prolonged, reckless spending by Republicans and Democrats alike, Governor Codey has proposed the first reasonable budget plan in many years,” said Senator Adler.
TRENTON – Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, issued the following comments today regarding Acting Governor Richard J. Codey’s budget proposal to the Legislature for Fiscal Year 2006:
“Despite the difficult fiscal situation we’re in, it’s good to see Acting Governor Codey has not forgotten the priorities of good government and compassion that have defined his short term in office.
TRENTON – Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, a leader in the State Senate on reform measures to promote ethical government, issued the following statement today regarding the approval, by a vote of 34-0, of a bill banning pay to play at the State level:
“Pay to play, or the practice of trading campaign contributions for lucrative governmental contracts, is an insidious disease, eating away at the effectiveness, honesty, and integrity of government in New Jersey. Today, we took the first step, of many, to cure State government of that disease.
TRENTON – Senator Joseph V. Doria, D-Hudson, a former Assembly Speaker who empanelled the bipartisan commission that initiated the last major campaign finance reforms passed in 1993, issued the following statement regarding today’s passage of pay to play reform by the Senate by a vote of 34-0:
“As Speaker and then as Minority Leader in the early 1990’s, I was very involved with the last comprehensive set of ‘reforms,’ which were universally hailed by the press at that time. These are the same reforms that have recently been pilloried by the media every day.
TRENTON – The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee approved a measure by Senator Barbara Buono that would ban smoking in dorm rooms at all public universities and colleges throughout the state.
“Despite our efforts to education the youth of New Jersey to the dangers of tobacco, smoking is on the rise among college students,” With the growth of smoking among college students, we need to take a serious look at how smoking affects the college population in general,” said Senator Buono, D- Middlesex. “College students need to realize, when you are living in a dormitory, smoking doesn’t just impact the health of the smoker. Smoking poses a serious fire hazard and health risk to all residents in that dorm, both smoking and non-smoking. Students who choose not to smoke should not have to deal with these risks
TRENTON – Senator John A. Girgenti, the Chairman of the Senate Law, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee, said today’s testimony from corrections officers has convinced him that inmate gangs and inadequate security created a “deadly dangerous situation” at the New Year’s Day inmate uprising at Bayside State Prison.
“The officers told vivid, first-hand accounts of vicious assaults by a significant number of inmates which painted a far more dangerous situation than conveyed by the Department of Corrections,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic. “Something has to be done to ensure that these conditions don’t recur.”
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would close a loophole in the State’s domestic violence prosecution net to expand New Jersey’s jurisdiction over domestic violence restraining order violations issued in other states was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“New Jersey has to have faith in the restraining orders issued in other states in order to fully protect citizens within our borders,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “Victims of domestic abuse live in fear of reprisal, and restraining orders are our best chance at dissuading abusers from becoming repeat offenders. The protection of a restraining order should not be limited to the state in which abuse first takes place, and by enforcing restraining orders issued in outside jurisdictions, we can give domestic violence survivors the peace of mind that they will be protected from their abusers, regardless of State boundaries.”
TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden that would permit New Jersey to uphold domestic violence restraining orders granted in other states was approved today by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Under current law, the State does not have the power to bring contempt charges against persons who violate out-of-state restraining orders. In other words, if a restraining order is granted in Philadelphia or New York, the protections cannot be honored in New Jersey,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. ” Survivors who come to New Jersey for a fresh start should be able to feel secure in knowing that our courts will honor the orders that they have secured in other states.”
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale, known as the “Health Care Professional Responsibility and Reporting Enhancement Act,” which would require greater peer reporting of incompetence and negligence in the wake of the Charles Cullen murders of patients under his care as a nurse was approved by the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee today.
“In the health care field, we’re still shaken by the proficiency and effectiveness with which Charles Cullen exploited the system and avoided notice to kill an alleged 40 patients under his care,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex, the chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “The only way this could have happened is through a complete systemic breakdown of the safety net designed to keep killers away from vulnerable patients. We must take the steps to ensure that the safety net is intact, and that patients are protected from murderers while in the care of health care facilities.”
TRENTON – The Senate Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee heard two hours of testimony today from experts on internet gambling and the potential impact it could have on New Jersey.
“The popularity of poker has exploded in the last couple of years, and with it, internet gambling has seen extraordinary growth,” said Committee Chair Barbara Buono, D- Middlesex. “Currently, it is illegal for New Jersey residents to participate in gambling online, but we realize that the nature of the Internet makes it very difficult for us to enforce this ban. What we can do, however, is be diligent in addressing the problems and concerns that internet gambling does raise. Today’s hearing was a first step.”
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would allow the children of military personnel stationed in New Jersey to take part in the same tuition assistance programs for higher education which are offered to in-state New Jersey residents was approved by the Senate Education Committee today by a vote of 4-0.
“Given the vital role of our troops in protecting and securing liberty in New Jersey and abroad, offering the same higher education opportunities to military children that we offer to our own children is a matter of fairness,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “Military children cannot develop roots in their transient homes, because the military lifestyle moves them from base to base as assignments end and begin all over the country. However, in New Jersey, we can provide them a little bit of an anchor, and give them incentives to continue their educations at some of our State’s fine higher education institutions.”