Weinberg, Vainieri Huttle Unveil Bills to Protect the Rights of Survivors of Sexual Assault, Harassment

TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Assembly Deputy Speaker Valerie Vainieri Huttle are proposing a comprehensive nine-bill package to protect the rights of survivors of sexual assault, improve law enforcement and judicial case management and training, and codify harassment and discrimination policies throughout state government.
 
“Survivors of sexual assault who are brave enough to seek redress through the legal system need to know that prosecutors and police will respect their rights, that trained sexual violence liaison officers will be there to listen, and that they will receive the support services they need,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “We learned all too well from Katie Brennan’s experience where the gaps are in the system and how poorly so many survivors are treated.”
 
The legislators based their reforms on recommendations by Ms. Brennan, whose allegation that she had been sexually assaulted by a staffer on the Murphy for Governor campaign led to months of hearings by a Legislative Select Oversight Committee. The bills also incorporate recommendations from Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.
 
“When someone comes forward with their story of trauma, they are staking their faith in a judicial system that survivors say too often fails them,” said Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Survivors must be heard and supported at all levels of the process, from law enforcement to the court system. We’ve taken meaningful steps to make changes, but we need to go further to make sure the process puts survivors first.”
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Reproductive Freedom Act Aims to Protect and Expand Health Care Access in New Jersey

Advocates from Across the State Call on Lawmakers to Pass Bill and Ensure Reproductive Health Care Access for All

TRENTON, NJ —  As politicians in other states race to push reproductive health care out of reach, Governor Phil Murphy and legislative leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, are stepping up to protect reproductive freedom and remove barriers to access for all people who need care. During an announcement event today, the Governor announced that lawmakers will introduce the Reproductive Freedom Act, proactive legislation that will help protect and expand New Jerseyans’ ability to receive reproductive health care, such as birth control, and pregnancy-related care, including abortion.

The Reproductive Freedom Act protects and expands access to essential reproductive health care services in three key ways:

  1. The Reproductive Freedom Act explicitly ensures all New Jerseyans have the right to make their own personal health decisions when it comes to birth control and pregnancy-related care, including abortion. The decision about whether and when to become a parent is one of the most important life decisions we make. We need to trust all people who can become pregnant to make decisions about their own health and lives.
  2. The Reproductive Freedom Act makes certain that financial barriers do not prevent anyone from making their own personal health decisions when it comes to birth control and pregnancy-related care, including abortion. Key provisions of the bill require private insurance coverage for birth control and abortion care with no out-of-pocket costs, to ensure that a person’s income or insurance status do not dictate their ability to access time-sensitive health care.
  3. The Reproductive Freedom Act expands access to birth control and pregnancy-related care including abortion by breaking down medically-unnecessary restrictions that right now only serve to block access to care. It is time to secure a future that safeguards reproductive care, upholds basic rights and justice, and respects decision-making throughout pregnancy.

    “As access to health care and the right to choose are under attack at the federal level, we will support, defend, and protect reproductive rights here in New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “The Reproductive Freedom Act will remove barriers to reproductive health, as well as expand access to contraception while reaffirming choice. Together, we stand unwavering in our commitment to work towards reproductive freedom for all New Jerseyans.”

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Vainieri Huttle Sponsors Legislation Mandating Nursing Homes Have Morgues on Site

Legislation To Be Introduced As a Result of Recent Incidents at Long -Term Healthcare Facilities Including Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center I and II During Pandemic

(TRENTON) – In response to the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities, especially in nursing homes, Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), chair of the Assembly Aging and Senior Services Committee, issued the following statement on bill she is proposing to require long term care facilities to designate space for appropriate storage of deceased individuals:

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Lopez and Vainieri Huttle Statement on Federal Investigation into Sexual Abuse at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility

(TRENTON) – In response to a report from the federal Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Office detailing rampant sexual abuse at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Hunterdon County, Assemblywomen Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) released the following joint statement:

“‘Despicable’ does not begin to describe the widespread abuse uncovered by this federal investigation. It’s horrifying. It’s deplorable. Most of all, it’s heartbreaking. 

“No inmate should face sexual abuse in prison under any circumstances, particularly at the hands of the correctional officers who are supposed to keep them safe. Unfortunately, the federal report details that some officers at Edna Mahan used their authority to abuse women and pressure them into not reporting the incidents. This report confirms what we already feared. 

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BIPARTISAN BILL TO COMBAT FOOD INSECURITY DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HEADS TO GOVERNOR

(TRENTON) – Before the outbreak of COVID-19, an estimated 11 percent of American households were considered food insecure because they did not have consistent access to sufficient food. Food insecurity will likely escalate during the pandemic if workers are forced to take time off from work or lose pay.

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MURPHY, MCKNIGHT & VAINIERI HUTTLE “HUNGER-FREE STUDENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS ACT” CLEARS LEGISLATURE

Bill to Help Identify Students Eligible for Meal Programs, Destigmatize Debt

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ASSEMBLY ADVANCES BIPARTISAN BILL TO COMBAT FOOD INSECURITY DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, an estimated 11 percent of American households were considered food insecure because they did not have consistent access to sufficient food. Food insecurity will likely escalate during the pandemic if workers are forced to take time off from work or lose pay.

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VAINIERI HUTTLE, DANIELSEN & SPEIGHT BILL TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR IDENTITY THEFT AND FRAUD AGAINST SENIORS CLEARS COMMITTEE

Aiming to protect seniors from falling victim to fraudulent schemes and financial abuse, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joseph Danielsen and Shanique Speight was approved Thursday by the Assembly Aging and Senior Services Committee.

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ARMATO, MAZZEO & VAINIERI HUTTLE BILL TO STREAMLINE SNAP APPLICATION PROCESS FOR SENIORS CLEARS ASSEMBLY PANEL

About 142,000 senior citizens in New Jersey receive assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which works to combat food insecurity by providing healthy foods to low-income residents.

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HOUGHTALING & VAINIERI HUTTLE BILL ALLOWING RESIDENTS TO BET ON HORSE RACING WHILE TRAVELING OUTSIDE NJ PASSES COMMITTEE

Legislation Now Heads to Assembly Speaker for Further Consideration

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