Quijano, Kennedy & Vainieri Huttle “Tiny Home Pilot Program” Clears Committee

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Jim Kennedy, and Valerie Vainieri Huttle establishing a "Tiny Home Pilot Program" was approved by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on Thursday.

The bill (A-3072) creates a pilot program to assist low to moderate income families as well as New Jersey's homeless population with acquiring housing through the construction of small, affordable homes.

"This program provides an inexpensive, efficient way to house our homeless community along with New Jersey residents in need of affordable housing," said Quijano (D-Union). "The number of people that fall into these categories in our state is currently unreasonably high. Tiny homes provide for a reasonable alternative solution for the families and communities in New Jersey."

Municipalities in three regions of the state, as chosen by the Executive Director of the New Jersey and Mortgage Finance Agency in the Department of Community Affairs, will be eligible to participate in this program. In addition, the executive director must also manage the pilot program to award grants to qualified municipalities for the construction of housing developments. Towns participating in this program will also receive two credits toward the fulfillment of its fair share housing obligation for each tiny home unit constructed there.

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Vainieri Huttle Bill to Address Chronic Absenteeism in Public Schools Clears Assembly Panel

 (TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) to tackle student absenteeism in public schools was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.

“Chronic absenteeism can lead to academic setbacks, that if not addressed swiftly and properly, can have lasting consequences for these students,” said Vainieri Huttle. “Developing a corrective action plan - that involves parents – to identify and address the reasons why students are not going to school, can help get these students back on track before it is too late.”

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Assembly Panel Approves Vainieri Huttle Bill to Ban Use of Restraints on Pregnant Inmates During Labor & Delivery

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) to prohibit the use of restraints on female prisoners during labor and immediately after childbirth was released Thursday by the Assembly Women and Children Committee.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a professional association of physicians specializing in obstetrics and gynecology in the United States, have clearly stated their opposition to the practice of shackling. According to the ACOG, shackling interferes with the ability of physicians to safely practice medicine and is “demeaning and unnecessary.”

“I cannot imagine women having to go through hours of labor while shackled to a hospital bed, or a baby being brought into this world under such circumstances,” said Vainieri Huttle. “A little humanity in this instance can go a long way.”

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Assembly Dem Bill to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault & Stalking from Eviction Clears Assembly Panel

Sponsored by Vainieri Huttle, Lagana, Mosquera, Wimberly, Jimenez, Pintor Marin & Mukherji

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joseph Lagana, Gabriela Mosquera, Benjie Wimberly, Angelica Jimenez, Eliana Pintor Marin and Raj Mukherji to provide rental and lease protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.

“Life is already hard for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. They should not have to fear eviction because of circumstances they did not create,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “This can help reassure victims that they will not be further punished for consequences brought on by their abusers.”

Under current law, a tenant may terminate a lease prior to its expiration if he or she provides appropriate documentation and written notice that the tenant or a child of the tenant faces an imminent threat of serious physical harm from another person if the tenant remains on the premises.

Under the bill (A-1706), a landlord may not terminate a tenancy, fail to renew a tenancy, or refuse to enter into a rental agreement based on the tenant’s or applicant’s or a household member’s status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or based on the tenant or applicant having terminated a rental agreement pursuant to the “New Jersey Safe Housing Act.”

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Vainieri Huttle on Murphy EO to Bridge Gender Pay Gap: “This is a New Day and a New Direction for New Jersey”

(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) on Tuesday applauded the action taken by Gov. Phil Murphy to begin to bridge the gender pay gap in New Jersey – his first official act since taking office this afternoon.

“It’s clear that this is a new day and a new direction for New Jersey.  It’s even clearer that Gov. Murphy is a man of his word.

“The gender pay divide is something we have been trying to bridge for years in New Jersey, with measured success.  Now that we have an active partner in the Governor’s Office, women can expect to not only be seen, but to be heard and supported.

“For too long, women in our state, especially African American and Latina women, have been held back by a system that perpetuates the wage gap.  By eliminating one of the barriers that has historically kept women’s wages depressed, more women will hopefully begin experiencing pay equity for the first time in their lives.  And when women’s pay goes up, the quality of life for children and families throughout this state will benefit as a result.

“This is a great first step on Gov. Murphy’s first day,” said Vainieri Huttle.

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Chaparro, Mukherji, Chiaravalloti, McKnight & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Reform High School Driver’s Ed Curriculum Now Law

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Annette Chaparro, Raj Mukherji, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Angela McKnight and Valerie Vainieri Huttle sponsored to help ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians in New Jersey has been signed into law.

The law (A-4165) requires the curriculum for driver’s education courses in New Jersey to include information on sharing the road with pedestrians, cyclists, skaters and riders of motorized scooters and other non-motorized vehicles.  

“I started seeing more people use bikes in my hometown of Hoboken, and so much of a driver’s education is focused on interactions a driver may have with other automobiles,” said Chaparro (D-Hudson). “But as we’re seeing with the introduction of more bike share programs, motorists have to share the road with many people who are walking or operating other types of vehicles on a regular basis. In order to keep New Jersey’s roadways safe for everyone, it’s critical that new drivers learn the correct way to interact with bicyclists, pedestrians and others who are not in automobiles.”

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Vainieri Huttle & Holley Bill to Tighten Background Checks for Caregivers Becomes Law

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Jamel Holley to ensure that all workers hired to care for individuals with developmental disabilities undergo a criminal background check was signed into law on Monday.

In October, Vainieri Huttle vowed to lead the charge in the Assembly to close a loophole after a State Auditor report detailed how some employees, including one convicted murderer, have been able to evade existing law and get hired. The changes included in the new law are based on recommendations in the State Auditor's report following its investigation of licensed residential programs serving individuals with developmental disabilities. 

"This report confirmed some of our worst fears and underscored the need to do more to protect our most vulnerable residents," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "We need to ensure that there are no ambiguities in the law. Anyone entrusted with the day-to-day care and well-being of individuals who often can't speak or fend for themselves should be vetted to the fullest." 

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Coughlin, Benson & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Help Fight NJ’s Opioid Crisis Signed into Law

Opioid crisis has killed more than 7,000 people in New Jersey since 2012

(TRENTON) – A measure sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Assemblyman Dan Benson and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle to help fight the state’s opioid epidemic has been signed into law.

The opioid crisis has killed more than 7,000 people in New Jersey since 2012, according to a report by NJ Advance Media. Last year, at least 1,901 people died from opioid overdoses.

“This crisis is killing thousands of New Jerseyans every year and it is only getting worse,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “We must balance both the needs of patients who rely on these drugs for pain management, and the need to address the opioid misuse and abuse that continues to take a toll on so many families and communities throughout the state.”

“The unfortunate truth is that for many people these drugs are the only option to relieve severe or chronic pain,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This law can help reduce the potential for abuse and help prevent the tragic consequences that come with opioid addiction.”

“There is no one solution to this problem. Tackling this epidemic is going to take a long-term, multifaceted approach,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Taking steps like enhancing monitoring of prescriptions and expanding opioid education to health care professionals who don’t prescribe, but work with these patients can help lessen the risk for abuse, which too often ends in tragedy.”

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Coughlin Selects Vainieri Huttle to Helm Assembly Homeland Security & State Preparedness Committee

(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin has selected Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle to serve as Chair of the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee for the new legislative session, which officially began on Tuesday.

“Valerie brings a wealth of experience as one of the senior members of our caucus,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex).  “Throughout her distinguished career in public service she has exhibited a tremendous dedication to improving the lives of her constituents and I have no doubt she will carry that passion with her in this new role.”

Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) will helm the committee that is responsible for monitoring the protection of New Jersey residents and overseeing issues affecting counter-terrorism, risk assessments, infrastructure protections, emergency communications, border security and cyber security.

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Vainieri Huttle & Holley Bill to Tighten Background Checks for Caregivers Heads to Governor’s Desk

(TRENTON) – The Assembly on Monday unanimously granted final legislative approval to a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Jamel Holley to ensure that all workers hired to care for individuals with developmental disabilities undergo a criminal background check.

In October, Vainieri Huttle vowed to lead the charge in the Assembly to close a loophole after a State Auditor report detailed how some employees, including one convicted murderer, have been able to evade existing law and get hired. The changes included in the bill are based on recommendations in the State Auditor’s report following its investigation of licensed residential programs serving individuals with developmental disabilities. 

“This report confirmed some of our worst fears and underscored the need to do more to protect our most vulnerable residents,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen).  “We need to ensure that there are no ambiguities in the law.  Anyone entrusted with the day-to-day care and well-being of individuals who often can’t speak or fend for themselves should be vetted to the fullest.”

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