TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Sens. Nia H. Gill and Ronald L. Rice to authorize seniors to terminate residential leases when they gain access to an assisted living facility, nursing home, continuing care community or low or moderate income housing received final legislative approval today in the Assembly.
“Senior citizens should not be forced to endure heavy financial burdens when they must move from rental housing to assisted living or to a nursing home,” said Senator Gill, D-Essex and Passaic. “This bill will provide a measure of tranquility for families helping their elder loved ones get settled in an assisted living environment.”
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Ronald L. Rice which would require the Department of Heath and Senior Services (DHSS) to relax the admissions criteria for a long-term care facility which serves those with AIDS, received final approval in the Assembly today.
“The urban community is quickly losing the battles against AIDS,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “Modern medicine has been able to sustain the lives of those infected with AIDS, but many who have this disease are unable to take proper care of themselves. Those with other illnesses need special nursing care, but are denied because of strict admissions rules.”
TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Joseph Coniglio and Paul A. Sarlo that would work to increase pedestrian safety at dangerous crosswalks and intersections received final legislative approval today in the Assembly.
“As congestion and traffic become ever increasing nuisances to the people of New Jersey, we need to take every step possible to encourage people to walk more and use their cars less,” said Senator Coniglio, D-Bergen. “We are working hard to make sure that crosswalks and intersections are as safe as possible for pedestrians, so that New Jersey residents will be more likely to walk to the grocery store, their child’s school or a neighbor’s house.”
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Ronald L. Rice and Nia H. Gill which would create a 26-member Gangland Security Task Force to examine the activities of gangs and the effect that these gangs have on communities, received final approval today.
“Gangs are taking over our streets and the safety of our residents is at stake,” said Senator Rice. D-Essex. “Whether you live in Princeton or Newark, gangs are growing and no neighborhood is safe. We need to come together as a united community and find alternative activities to gang banging.”
TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Wayne R. Bryant that would authorize the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to remove any dam the Commissioner has concluded to be in imminent danger of failing, and charge the dam owner for dam repairs and removal received final legislative approval today in the Assembly.
“There are a number of privately owned dams throughout the state that are in need of repair and or removal,” said Senator Bryant, D-Camden and Gloucester. “This measure would grant the DEP Commissioner the authority to decide which dams need to be repaired or removed, at the expense of negligent dam owners.”
TRENTON – Employers would have to prominently post notices informing employees of participation in a temporary disability insurance (TDI) program and the right of pregnant women to receive disability benefits under a bill sponsored by Senator Barbara Buono and given final legislative approval by the Assembly today.
“Many women do not realize that New Jersey law recognizes pregnancy as a disability and makes them eligible for temporary disability benefits,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “This bill helps to educate New Jersey’s women to the benefits they are entitled to receive when they become pregnant. Hopefully this will allow more women to get pregnant and go on maternity leave without feeling like they are putting their family’s economic well-being at risk.”
TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden that would prevent pet cemetery owners from assessing maintenance fees retroactively has been approved by the Senate.
“Pet owners have the right to expect a level of finality when making decisions regarding the death of a family pet,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “This bill will ensure that grieving pet lovers will not fact the burden of future claims for payments due to changes to ownership of a pet cemetery or other company decisions.”
LINDEN-Senator Nicholas P. Scutari (22nd District – Middlesex, Somerset, and Union) stated today that a projected $1 billion in additional tax revenue should be used to put New Jersey’s financial house back in order.
“Now is the time to pay down the debt,” said Senator Scutari. “We’re already slated to be $2 billion behind on the budget for FY2007. We should apply this money to outstanding liabilities instead of creating new ones.”
FORT MONMOUTH – Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, the prime sponsor of three new laws designed to improve conditions for New Jersey’s military bases in an effort to avoid consideration by the Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) Commission, issued the following statement concerning reports that Fort Monmouth was listed on the BRAC Commission’s recommendation list for closure:
“I am extremely disappointed to see that Fort Monmouth was on the BRAC Commission’s recommendation list. The closing of this facility would have widespread detrimental effects that will be felt for years to come in the 12th legislative district and surrounding communities.
TRENTON – The Assembly is scheduled to consider several key Senate bills Monday including final approval for a measure, sponsored by Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, to ban smoking in college and university dormitories.
“This bill (S-2332) will promote healthier students, safer dorms and greater peace of mind for parents,” said Senator Buono, a parent and health advocate. “It just makes good sense to ban smoking in dorms at a time when the health dangers of second-hand smoke are well known.”
TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Paul A. Sarlo and Joseph M. Kyrillos that would establish the New Jersey Hall of Fame in Bergen County’s Meadowlands Complex to celebrate New Jerseyans who have made notable contributions to society was approved today in the Senate.
“So much attention is given to New Jerseyans who are crooks and portray our state in a negative light. I see the Hall of Fame as a great opportunity to recognize the New Jerseyans who are rich in arts, culture and athletics, education and numerous other areas, which is evident by noting some of the famous people who were born here,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “The Hall of Fame would serve as a tribute to those New Jerseyans who have accomplished so much by making a positive impact around the world, and who continue to make us proud here in the Garden State.”
TRENTON – Senator Ronald L. Rice released the following statement today after reading an article in the Trenton Times which mentioned the Assembly Democrats proposal to eliminate the Joint Committee on the Public Schools.
“I am deeply concerned about the proposed plan by the members of the Assembly Majority to eliminate the Joint Committee on the Public Schools. As the Chair of that Committee, I am particularly disturbed because I was never approached by any member of the Legislature as to cutting such an important committee.
TRENTON – Senator Wayne R. Bryant today said he was holding his bill on voting privileges, S-2215, to give Republicans time to understand what it would do.
“From what I’ve been hearing, the Republicans either don’t understand the bill or they’re playing political games,” said Senator Bryant. “I don’t want to play games with the right to vote.”
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ronald L. Rice to require members of a municipal planning or zoning board to complete a basic course in land use law and planning was approved by the full Senate today.
“By requiring more education we are making sure that the members of the planning and zoning boards have the knowledge to make the appropriate decisions,” said Senator Rice. Chairman of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. “A mandated course for the members is necessary because the field of land use law and planning has become so complex that the educational requirements are needed to ensure that board members can rule intelligently on applications that come before them.”
TRENTON -Legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Coniglio which would exempt the owner of an underground storage tank from repaying a state grant for safety upgrades if the property is taken over by a municipality through condemnation or eminent domain, was approved by the full Senate today.
“Leaking underground storage tanks are a serious threat to our residents health because they can contaminate our drinking water, ” said Senator Coniglio, D-Bergen. “It is extremely important that we make sure that all underground tanks are repaired and upgraded in order to ensure the public’s well-being.”