Senate To Take Up Education & DOT Confirmations, Bill To Allow Direct Wine Shipments To Consumers

Bill Aimed At Deterring Steroid Use Among Student-Athletes Also on Board List

TRENTON – Final confirmation votes for two members of the Governor’s Cabinet and legislation to lift the state’s ban on the direct shipment of wines from New Jersey wineries lead the measures posted for action Thursday during the Senate’s voting session.

The Senate is scheduled to take final votes on Bret Schundler to serve as commissioner of the Department of Education and James Simpson to head the Department of Transportation. Both nominations were released last week from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate President Sweeney and Senator Brian Stack are sponsoring legislation, S-766, to allow New Jersey-based wineries to ship directly to consumers. The Senators say the current prohibition hurts consumer choice and is harmful to the state’s burgeoning wine industry, which could have access to new markets through the bill. If enacted, New Jersey – the sixth-largest wine producing state in the nation – would join thirty-five other states that currently have direct-shipping laws on the books.

A bill to crack down on the use of illegal steroids by student-athletes also is scheduled for a Senate vote. Senator Richard Codey is sponsoring the measure, S-834, to codify recommendations made by the 2005 Governor’s Task Force on Steroid Use and Prevention. Among its provisions, the bill would mandate random steroid tests for student-athletes competing in championship tournaments and also require coaches to set up programs to reduce the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements.

The Senate session is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

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