Lampitt, Vainieri Huttle, Benson & Wimberly Bill to Uphold Right of Service Dog Access for People with Disabilities Heads to Governor’s Desk
‘Charlie’s Law’ Stems from N.J. Teen’s Petition to Criminalize Denying Dogs Access in Public Places
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Daniel Benson and Benjie Wimberly sponsored to uphold the right of people with disabilities to have equal access to public facilities is headed to the Governor’s desk after receiving final legislative approval from the full Senate on Monday.
The legislation, which was unanimously approved by the full Assembly in January, was first proposed by the sponsors after 16-year-old Cherry Hill resident Ben Shore raised concerns about a policy in his school district outlining preconditions to be met in order for a student to be accompanied by a service animal, like his service dog Charlie.
The bill (A-4081), known as “Charlie’s Law,” would establish civil penalties for those who deny individuals with disabilities accompanied by service or guide dogs access to any public facility.
The measure underscores provisions of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires state and local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations that serve the general public to admit service animals.Read more