Equal representation is a critical step in achieving equality for marginalized groups. In her op-ed, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle defends her LGBT Curriculum Law:
"Studies show that schools with inclusive curriculum have significantly less bullying around sexual orientation and gender identity and expression; this law will take a significant step forward in improving school climate for everyone. We are at a point in our nation’s history where divisiveness and hate feel commonplace. It is my hope that with this legislation we can change our culture and foster new generations of students that understand the importance of tolerance and equality."
Vainieri Huttle, Eustace, Pinkin, Jasey & Johnson Bill to Protect Transgender Persons from Discrimination in Health-Care Coverage Now Law
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Tim Eustace, Nancy Pinkin, Mila Jasey and Gordon Johnson to prohibit health insurers from denying transgender individuals health care coverage based on gender identity has been signed into law.
“Now more than ever, we need to stand up for those who are being marginalized,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Antiquated policies and attitudes towards transgender individuals have led to discrimination, violence, depression and suicide. While tremendous strides have been made in recent years to advance equality for members of the ‘LGB’ community, much more still needs to be done to help protect our brothers and sisters in the ‘T’ community.”
“Although we’ve seen greater awareness in recent years of the challenges faced by transgender individuals, they still often face fierce cultural and institutional discrimination,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “It’s incumbent upon us as government officials to stand up for all of our constituents who are being ignored or discriminated against by ensuring that we enshrine equality in our laws.”
The law (A-4568) prohibits health insurers and health maintenance organizations, as well as health benefits plans or contracts which are issued or purchased pursuant to the New Jersey Individual Health Coverage Program, New Jersey Small Employer Health Benefits Program, State Health Benefits Program, and School Employees’ Health Benefits Program from discriminating in the provision of coverage on the basis of gender identity or expression. The prohibited discrimination relates to currently covered persons and prospective covered persons.Read more
Wimberly, Vainieri Huttle, Oliver, Tucker, Quijano & Johnson Bill to Ensure Equal Access to State Contracts for Women- & Minority-Owned Businesses Now Law
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie Wimberly, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Sheila Oliver, Cleopatra Tucker, Annette Quijano and Gordon Johnson to ensure that women- and minority-owned businesses in New Jersey have equal access to state contracts has been signed into law.
“While progress has been made, women- and minority-business owners continue to face challenges that limit their ability to grow,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic), chair of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee. “The provisions in this law are necessary to ensure that the equality of opportunity guaranteed by federal and state law is available to minority-owned and women-owned businesses in this state.”
The law (A-1869) establishes the position of chief diversity officer in the Division of Purchase & Property in the Department of Treasury. The chief diversity officer will monitor the state’s public contracting process in order to compile information on the contracts awarded to minority-owned and women-owned businesses, the total value of all contracts and the percentage of the value of those contracts awarded to minority-owned and women-owned businesses enterprises.
The original bill, which would have established a Division of Minority and Women Business Development in the State Department of the Treasury, was conditionally vetoed by the governor. The bill then was amended to concur with the governor’s conditional veto.Read more