Weinberg/Vitale Bill Would Work To Help Increase Resources For Young Parents

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg and Joseph F. Vitale, which would permit the Governor to appoint the teenage members of the Advisory Council on Adolescent Pregnancy, without the advice and consent of the Senate was approved today by the Senate State Government Committee.

“Speeding up the appointment process of these young people, would allow the Council to be more progressive about working to develop programs to help secure more resources for teenage parents, while also stressing the importance of safe sex and abstinence,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate State Government panel. “Of the four adolescent members of the council, two would be parents, and they would be able to provide first hand views on the needs of teenage parents. The lives of our children are too precious to deny them the resources they need because of a lengthy appointment process.”

“Since being established in 1997, it’s been hard for the Council to secure teenage members because of the lengthy appointment process,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “We cannot expect these teens to sit around and wait months to be appointed while they have so many other things going on with their lives, including school, extra-curricular activities, and for some of them, raising children.”

The Senators’ bill, S-98, would amend the current law that established the Council to allow the Governor to appoint the teenage members without requiring the advice and consent of the Senate.

Established in 1997, the Council was designed to coordinate and improve services for teen parents, pregnant teens, teens who are at a high risk for pregnancy, and their families. The Council is made up of 24 members, including the four teenage members – two parents, and two non-parents, said the Senators.

The measure now heads to the full Senate for approval.

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