21 May: Preview – Senate To Consider Bills To Bolster Unemployment Fund, Certify Voting Machines And Limit Hospital Charges

TRENTON – New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin will be in attendance at Thursday’s Senate meeting before the Senate considers a range of bills, including legislation that will strengthen the State’s unemployment insurance fund, provide for the certification of voting machines and prohibit hospitals from charging uninsured individuals more than 15% above Medicare rates.

The Senate will be honoring Coughlin and the rest of the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants at the beginning of the voting session.

Bill S-1698, sponsored by Senator Barbara Buono, would appropriate $260 million dollars to the State’s unemployment compensation fund from the FY08 Budget surplus. The bill would also temporarily change the date on which the fund’s balance is calculated from March 31 to June 30 for 2008 only. The bill’s aim is to prevent an automatic increase in employer payroll taxes triggered by a low balance in the fund.

15 Dec: Turner Bill Give Students Option In Animal Dissection Approved

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner which would give students the option to refuse to dissect an animal as part of their school course work was approved today by the Senate by a vote of 36-0, receiving final legislative approval.

“When a student has a legitimate moral objection to the dissection of an animal, we should foster such principles and ideals, not force that student into conformity for a good grade,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “With computer imaging technology, models, books, videos and more, there are many alternatives that can impart the same knowledge without having to resort to dissection. We’re lucky to have such principled individuals in our schools, and we should not crush idealism in the name of the status quo.”