McKeon, Gusciora & Vainieri Huttle Bill Requiring NJ to Rejoin the RGGI Program Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) - An Assembly panel on Thursday released legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Reed Gusciora and Valerie Vainieri Huttle that would require the state to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. 

"The governor's removal of the state from the RGGI program has cost the state millions of dollars allocated for clean energy projects and will continue to do so until we go back," said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). "This bill makes clear the intent of the Legislature when it proposed legislation to allow the state to partake in the RGGI, and mandates that New Jersey rejoin the program."

The bill (A-1493) would clarify the intent of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) implementing law, which allowed the state to participate in the program, and specifically requires the state's participation in the program The Christie administration removed the state from the RGGI program in 2011. The goal of the RGGI is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants across several Northeast and mid-Atlantic states from Maine to Maryland by 10 percent by 2020.

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Tucker, Vainieri Huttle, Quijano, Wimberly & Mosquera Bill Criminalizing ‘Upskirting’ Continues To Advance

Measure Cracking Down on Illegally Photographing Under Someone's Clothing also Strengthens New Jersey's Right to Privacy Statute 

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Cleopatra G. Tucker, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Annette Quijano, Benjie Wimberly and Gabriela Mosquera to criminalize the act of secretly photographing or recording under a person's clothing - commonly referred to as "upskirting" - continued advancing on Thursday, receiving approval from the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

The bill, which was unanimously approved by the full Assembly on Feb. 18, now awaits final legislative approval from the full Senate.

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Caputo, Diegnan, Spencer, Tucker, Quijano, Vainieri Huttle & Sumter Bill to Install Silent Alarms & Red Emergency Lights In Schools Advanced by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Ralph R. Caputo, Patrick J. Diegnan, L. Grace Spencer, Cleopatra Tucker, Annette Quijano, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Shavonda Sumter to require the installation of panic alarms and red emergency lights in public elementary and secondary schools for use in security emergencies was released Thursday by an Assembly panel. 

"Our children deserve the chance to learn in peace," said Caputo (D-Essex). "I am not suggesting this will stop all security threats, but coupled with security measures already in place, it can increase the chances of diffusing a bad situation without further harm to students and staff."

"The threat of violence is a sad reality that even our schools are not safe from," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). "This is one incremental remedy but it can be put in place economically and quickly. There is no excuse for delay. The safety of our kids and our teachers is at stake."

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Assemb. Huttle @ Moriah

Jewish Link

Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle (D-Englewood) speaks with The Moriah School’s Head of School Rabbi Daniel Alter about education affordability and security during a Schools in Session visit Wed. (Feb. 24) at Moriah, sponsored by Teach NJS, a coalition of 20 New Jersey Jewish day schools, the Jewish Federations of Northern New Jersey and the Heart of New Jersey and the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center.

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Vainieri Huttle Bill to Create "We Support the Arts" License Plate Advanced by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) to create a "We Support the Arts" license plate and designate a fund for the proceeds to support New Jersey art initiatives was advanced Monday by an Assembly panel.

"This is a great way for residents to celebrate and support the arts in New Jersey," said Vainieri Huttle. "Creating a revenue stream solely dedicated to funding art initiatives would help strengthen the arts community as well as downtown business districts and making art and cultural events more accessible to New Jersey families."

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Vainieri Huttle & Conaway Bill to Raise Tobacco & E-Cig Purchasing Age from 19 to 21 Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco and electronic cigarette devices from 19 to 21 in New Jersey gained Assembly panel approval on Monday.

"Many people start smoking in their teens because of peer pressure or the desire to fit in," Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "Most teens feel invincible at that age and can't fully comprehend the potential for addiction as well as the devastating long-term effects smoking can have on their health. Raising the purchasing age would give them the chance to mature more before making this potentially life-altering decision." 

Specifically, the bill (A-2320) raises the minimum age for purchasing tobacco and electronic smoking devices from 19 to 21, and raises the minimum age from 19 to 21 years of a person to whom a vendor may sell, offer for sale, distribute, give or furnish such products in New Jersey.

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Coughlin, Lampitt, Singleton, Benson, Vainieri Huttle & Mosquera Bill to Add Cyber-Harassment to Domestic Violence Statutes Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Craig Coughlin, Pamela Lampitt, Troy Singleton, Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and Gabriela Mosquera to bolster protections against cyber-harassment for domestic violence victims in New Jersey cleared the Assembly on Thursday, 74-0.

The bill (A-1946), sponsored by Coughlin, Lampitt, Singleton, Benson, Vainieri Huttle and Mosquera, would add cyber-harassment to the list of crimes considered domestic violence under the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991."  

In doing so, the bill would allow temporary and permanent restraining orders on the grounds that the person seeking the order is a victim of cyber-harassment. 

"The internet is being used as another way for domestic violence predators to stalk and harass their victims," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). "It's time to put cyber-stalking and harassment on the books to continue to protect domestic violence victims under the law."

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Assembly Approves Johnson, Caride, Schaer & Vainieri Huttle Bill Granting New Jersey Jurisdiction to Prosecute Child Endangerment Cases that take Place Out-of-State

Bill Was Inspired by Sexual Misconduct on Bergen County School Trip to Germany

The full Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson, Marlene Caride, Gary Schaer and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to expand the state's jurisdiction to prosecute crimes involving endangering the welfare of a child from New Jersey that take place outside the state.

The bill was prompted by the state Supreme Court case of State v. Sumulikoski, which determined that New Jersey courts do not have jurisdiction to prosecute school officials from Bergen County who were chaperones on a school trip to Germany where they allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with students.

"As a state, we have a responsibility to ensure that adults who assume the responsibility of caring for a child from New Jersey are held accountable," said Johnson (D-Bergen). "This bill would make sure they are subject to prosecution if unlawful sexual conduct occurs, regardless of where this conduct took place."

The bill (A-1418) would expand the state's jurisdiction to prosecute crimes concerning endangering the welfare of a child in situations where a person having a legal duty or the assumed responsibility for the care of a child in New Jersey engages in sexual conduct with that child in a jurisdiction other than New Jersey.

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Tucker, Vainieri Huttle, Quijano, Wimberly & Mosquera Bill Criminalizing ‘Upskirting’ Gains Assembly Approval

Measure Cracking Down on Illegally Photographing Under Someone's Clothing also Strengthens New Jersey's Right to Privacy Statute

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Cleopatra G. Tucker, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Annette Quijano, Benjie Wimberly and Gabriela Mosquera to criminalize the act of secretly photographing or recording under a person's clothing - commonly referred to as "upskirting" was unanimously approved by the full Assembly on Thursday.

"With today's level of technology, most people with cell phones are essentially walking around with an Internet linked video camera in their pocket at all times," said Tucker (D-Essex). "This can lead certain people to assume it is acceptable to 'document' whatever they choose, even if it violates someone else's privacy. We are here today to say that should not, cannot and will not be the case in New Jersey."

The bill (A-156) would make it illegal for an individual, knowing that he or she is not licensed or privileged to do so, to photograph, film, videotape, record or otherwise reproduce in any manner an image of the undergarment-clad intimate parts of another person, without that person's specific consent and in any circumstance in which a reasonable person would not expect to have their undergarments observed. Violators would face up to 18 months in jail and fines of up to $10,000.

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Wimberly, Vainieri Huttle & Sumter Bill to Ensure Continuation of Food Assistance Benefits for Struggling Residents Heads to Governor’s Desk

Bill Was Prompted by News that 11,000 Residents Were Cut Off from Assistance with Little Warning

The General Assembly on Thursday granted final legislative approval to a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie Wimberly, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Shavonda Sumter requiring the state to seek a federal waiver to extend food assistance benefits to New Jersey residents struggling to find work.

The bill (A-2777/S-993), approved by a vote of 59-9-7, would require that, immediately upon enactment and at least once annually, the Commissioner of Human Services must conduct a review of available data on labor and employment in the state to determine whether participants in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) may be eligible for a waiver of the benefit time limit for able bodied adults without dependents. If the review finds that a waiver is likely to be approved for the state or any area of the state, the commissioner must submit a request for a waiver.  

"The state had applied for, and received, numerous waivers from 2009 to 2015 for counties who were struggling with unemployment rates higher than the statewide average," said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). "We likely would have been approved again for those counties that are still struggling, but instead the administration decided not to apply and now 11,000 residents are forced to go without food assistance. This shouldn't happen again."

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