Valerie's Voice Spring 2017

Dear Friend,

“When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring.”  
- Madeleine M. Kunin

After an active winter, we have begun an active spring.

 

Legislative Update


NJ Leads in Fight for Transgender Equality

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While LGBT rights are under attack nationally, I will fight to ensure that New Jersey continues to move forward, not backward. Tremendous strides have been made in recent years to advance equality for members of the 'LGB' community, yet much more still needs to be done to help protect our brothers and sisters in the 'T' community. Antiquated policies and attitudes towards transgender individuals have led to discrimination, violence, depression and suicide. I am sponsoring a package of bills to enhance protections for transgender rights, which the Assembly swiftly passed. Now more than ever, we need to stand up for those who are being marginalized.

 

Providing Necessary Resources for New Jersey Transportation Projects

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Governor Signs Bill for Transportation Projects Creating Jobs 
And Improving Public Safety

Speaker Prieto and I proudly sponsored A-98, which was signed into law and immediately provides $400 million in transportation improvement projects. All 21 counties in New Jersey will receive funding to improve decrepit roads and bridges. Now, NJ Transit will have the funds for critical technology improvements and system safety updates. Our regional economy depends on strong transportation infrastructure. This legislation will pave the way for new jobs and economic development across Bergen County and the entire state.

 

Airbnb Regulation Advances in NJ

Due to the use of short-term house and apartment rental websites, some of our neighborhoods have become hot spots for vacation rentals. Constituents and local leaders brought their safety concerns to me. Together, we created legislation to give our towns the authority they need to regulate these short-term residential rentals, A-4441. The bill unanimously passed the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee. It balances the interests of some homeowners in the growing short-term rental market with the needs of other homeowners who are concerned about quality of life in our communities. Also, the bill takes into account NJ’s tourism industry by exempting seasonal rentals from regulation.

 

Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Substance abuse in our state has reached the level of a public health crisis, as overdoses soar to new heights. According to statistics, there were 1,587 drug overdose deaths in 2015, up 21 percent from the year before. Heroin deaths also rose significantly, to 918, the highest level since accurate records have been kept in the Garden State. We must ensure that our residents receive the medical attention and treatment they need. I recently sponsored two bills to address this epidemic, one focusing on youth education and the other increasing resources for those struggling with substance abuse. They were both signed into law.

 

Mike Adler Aphasia Task Force

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With Elaine Adler, honoring the legacy of Mike Adler co-founder 
of the Adler Aphasia Center

The Adler Aphasia Center is a great source of pride for Bergen County and a resource for families across New Jersey. In honor of aphasia patients and their loved ones, I sponsored legislation creating the Mike Adler Aphasia Task Force in honor of one of the founders of the center. The bill has passed the Assembly and Senate unanimously. 

 

CSX Trains

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Measure ensures that rail owners and operators of high-hazard trains develop an
emergency response planpassed the full Assembly.

LD 37 Events and Celebrations

 

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Serving as Mistress of Ceremonies of the Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Awards for
Women's History Month with Cecile Richards, Senator Menendez
And my colleague Assemblywoman Lampitt
 

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Attending the opening of the Cancer Support Center partnering 
With Gilda’s Club at Holy Name Medical Center 

 

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Proud of my Young Women’s Leadership Program at the State House 
With Senator Menendez

 

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Cutting the ribbon for special needs housing in Fort Lee 
With United Way and Madeline Corp

 

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Standing with Cooper Medical School students who advocate for their patients

 

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Honored to receive the Courage and Compassion Award from the New Jersey
Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies 

 

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Grateful to be recognized at the Englewood Rotary Community Awards Dinner 

 

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, ideas, or concerns.  For more information, I invite you to visit my website at www.valeriehuttle.com.

 

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 Valerie Vainieri Huttle
Assemblywoman, District 37