Quijano, Mukherji, Vainieri Huttle, Eustace, Jones & McKeon Measure to Secure At-Risk Nonprofits Now Law

Pilot Program Will Allow Vulnerable Entities to Receive Security Funding

 (TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Raj Mukherji, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Tim Eustace, Patricia Egan Jones and John McKeon sponsored to increase security at New Jersey nonprofit organizations determined to be at an elevated risk for attacks has been signed into law.

The law (A-4253) establishes the “New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program” to help secure eligible nonprofit organizations deemed high-risk targets. Approved organizations may receive up to $10,000 each per year.

The sponsors developed the legislation through meetings with various nonprofit organizations, including synagogues and mosques, that are concerned for the security of their members.

“As I discussed this issue with different nonprofits within and outside of my district, I began to see that members of these communities have a legitimate concern regarding their safety,” said Quijano (D-Union). “As chair of the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee, I believe we have an obligation to ensure that they have personnel on-site who can prevent and protect New Jersey residents from acts of targeted violence.”

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Assembly Dems Bill Creating Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Heads to Governor

Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt, McKnight, Holley, Mukherji, Zwicker & Wimberly Bill Receives Final Legislative Approval

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Pamela Lampitt, Angela McKnight, Jamel Holley, Raj Mukherji, Andrew Zwicker and Benjie Wimberly sponsored to create the office of an ombudsman to serve as an advocate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities received final legislative approval __-__ from the full Senate on Monday.

“Navigating state and federal laws and bureaucracy can be overwhelming for anyone,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee. “For those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it can be downright frustrating, which can deter some individuals and families from accessing much-needed services that may be available to help them. This is counterproductive and in no one’s best interest.  By creating an ombudsman to help guide them through the state and federal labyrinth of services, we can help individuals become more self-sufficient, thriving members of the community.”

The bill (A-3824), which was approved by the Assembly in June, would establish the independent Office of the Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families in, but not of, the Department of the Treasury. The ombudsman is to be appointed by the governor.

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Coughlin, Benson & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Help Fight NJ’s Opioid Crisis Clears Assembly Panel

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

 

(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel on Monday approved a measure sponsored by Speaker-elect Craig Coughlin, Assemblyman Dan Benson and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle to help fight the state’s opioid epidemic.

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 Speaker-elect 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). “These measures 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.”

These steps, couple with other efforts, can help lessen the risk for abuse and prevent the tragic end that comes with an overdose.

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Vainieri Huttle, Andrzejczak & Muoio Bill to Protect the Right of Women to Breastfeed in the Workplace Heads to Governor

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Bob Andrzejczak and Elizabeth Muoio to make it illegal for employers to discriminate against women who choose to breastfeed or express milk in the workplace received final legislative approval Monday and now heads to the governor’s desk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. The benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect babies from illness.

“Mothers don’t stop being mothers when they get to work,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “The benefits of breastfeeding babies, especially during the first six months, are undisputable. No woman should ever be shamed for, or prevented from feeding her child the best food possible. This allows working women to breastfeed or pump at work without fear of repercussions.”

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Benson, Vainieri Huttle, Muoio, Mukherji, Chiaravalloti & Wimberly Bill to Prevent Homelessness among Domestic Violence Victims Goes to Governor

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Elizabeth Muoio, Raj Mukherji, Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Benjie Wimberly sponsored to provide emergency housing assistance for victims of domestic violence was approved 38-0 Thursday by the Senate, giving it final legislative approval.

“There have been many times when victims of domestic violence have been denied emergency assistance because they voluntarily left a job where their abuser could find them or failed to plan for substitute housing – situations that are typically out of their control, especially for many who have limited means,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Our number one priority should be ensuring their safety and getting them back on their feet, and that’s what this bill will do.”

The bill (A-4406) would provide for emergency assistance, typically in the form of rental assistance, to individuals or families who are homeless or in a temporary living arrangement due to imminent or demonstrated domestic violence that imperils their health and safety.

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Assembly Advances Quijano, Vainieri Huttle & Egan Jones Bill to Creating NJ Hearing Impairment Task Force

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Patricia Egan Jones establishing a task force to help aid New Jersey residents who suffer from hearing impairments was approved by the Assembly on Thursday.

According to the sponsors, the Department of Human Services estimates that about 850,000 New Jersey residents have varying degrees of hearing loss ranging from mild to profound, including individuals who were born deaf and people who encounter late-stage hearing loss.

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Mosquera, Barclay, Jones, Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt & Downey Legislation to Create Domestic Violence Policy for Public Employers Heads to Governor

  (TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Gabriela Mosquera, Arthur Barclay, Patricia Egan Jones, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Pamela Lampitt and Joann Downey sponsored to establish a protocol to support employees who are victims of domestic violence unanimously cleared the Senate on Thursday and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

The legislation was unanimously approved by the Assembly in May.

The bill (A-4124) would require the Civil Service Commission to develop a uniform domestic violence policy, which all public employers shall adopt and distribute to employees. The policy would encourage victims of domestic violence to seek confidential assistance from the human resources department at work.

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Vainieri Huttle Bill to Tighten Background Checks for Caregivers Advances in Assembly

TRENTON) – The Assembly Appropriations Committee on Monday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Chairwoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle 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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Vainieri Huttle, Andrzejczak & Muoio Bill to Protect the Right of Women to Breastfeed in the Workplace Clears Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Bob Andrzejczak and Elizabeth Muoio to make it illegal for employers to discriminate against women who choose to breastfeed or express milk in the workplace was approved Thursday by the Assembly.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. The benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect babies from illness.

“Mothers don’t stop being mothers when they get to work,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “The benefits of breastfeeding babies, especially during the first six months, are undisputable. No woman should ever be shamed for, or prevented from feeding her child the best food possible. This allows working women to breastfeed or pump at work without fear of repercussions.”

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Assembly OK’s Vainieri Huttle, Benson, McKnight & Wimberly Bill to Ensure Snow Does Not Block Public Access for the Disabled

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Dan Benson, Angela McKnight and Benjie Wimberly to ensure that critical public access points for the disabled are not blocked by snow was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.

“Large amounts of snow can hamper most people from getting around. Now imagine that you’re disabled and mobility becomes all but impossible if critical public areas aren’t plowed or shoveled properly,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “The removal of snow from public roadways, walkways, and other public areas is a critical service during an emergency snow event.” 

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