Lampitt, Pintor Marin, Mosquera & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Exempt Breast Pumps, Related Products from Sales and Use Tax Becomes Law

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Eliana Pintor Marin, Gabriela Mosquera and Valerie Vainieri Huttle sponsored to make breast pumps, breast pump collection and storage supplies, and certain services to breast pumps tax-free in New Jersey was signed into law on Monday.

“Breast pumps and pump supplies are basic necessities for many New Jersey families and should not be subject to sales and use tax,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington), chair of the Assembly Women and Children Committee.

Currently, breast pumps, pump supplies and services are generally subject to sales and use tax.

The Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury previously determined through a formal letter ruling that breast pumps are not eligible for an existing exemption for durable medical equipment, so sellers must charge and collect tax from consumers unless another exemption or exclusion from tax applies.

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NOW LAW: Benson, Vainieri Huttle, Muoio, Mukherji, Chiaravalloti & Wimberly Bill to Prevent Homelessness among Domestic Violence Victims

(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 signed into law on Monday.

“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 law will do.”

The new law (A-4406) will provide 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.

“The descent into homelessness can happen rapidly for a number of reasons – including domestic violence – but one thing we’ve learned is that the climb out can be arduous to near-impossible without a helping hand,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen).  “We’ve examined the issue to find ways that we can maximize state resources so that they have a real and transformative impact on the lives of homeless residents in our state, and housing assistance is one of them.”

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NOW LAW: Mosquera, Barclay, Jones, Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt & Downey Legislation to Create Domestic Violence Policy for Public Employers

Measure Encourages Victims to Seek Confidential Help at Work

(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 was signed into law on Monday.

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

“Domestic violence affects the lives of many state workers throughout New Jersey,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “There should be a policy in place to guide human resource workers in helping state employees in the workplace who are dealing with domestic violence.”     

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Chaparro, Mukherji, Chiaravalloti, McKnight & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Reform High School Driver’s Ed Curriculum Gains Final Approval

Measure Would Add Cyclist, Pedestrian Safety to Program for Approved Courses

(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 gained final legislative approval from the Senate on Friday and now heads to the governor’s desk.

The bill (A-4165), which was approved by the Assembly last year, would require 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.

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Eustace, Johnson, Jasey & Vainieri Huttle Bill Providing Business Assistance to LGBT, Veteran, & Disabled Residents Heads to Governor’s Desk

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Gordon Johnson, Mila Jasey and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to provide business assistance to LGBT, veteran and disabled residents gained final legislative approval from the Senate on Friday and now heads to the governor’s desk.

“LGBT individuals, people with disabilities, and veterans often face discrimination and bias in the workplace and transgender individuals, in particular, are disproportionately unemployed due to discrimination,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic).  “This legislation would help them overcome certain discriminations by providing access to business assistance programs that are currently provided to other minority communities in the state.”

“These particular business sectors face unique challenges or even outright discrimination,” said Jasey (D-Essex, Morris). “Similar assistance programs have proven useful in helping other business groups gain a foothold.  We want the economy to grow and stabilize and we can only do that by supporting all businesses regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.”

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Assembly Dems Bill Creating Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Becomes Law

Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt, McKnight, Holley, Mukherji, Zwicker & Wimberly Bill Will Create State Advocate

(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 was signed into law 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 new law (A-3824) establishes 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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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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