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."
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) to tackle student absenteeism in public schools was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.
“Chronic absenteeism can lead to academic setbacks, that if not addressed swiftly and properly, can have lasting consequences for these students,” said Vainieri Huttle. “Developing a corrective action plan - that involves parents – to identify and address the reasons why students are not going to school, can help get these students back on track before it is too late.”Read more
Chaparro, Mukherji, Chiaravalloti, McKnight & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Reform High School Driver’s Ed Curriculum Now Law
(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 has been signed into law.
The law (A-4165) requires 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.
“I started seeing more people use bikes in my hometown of Hoboken, and so much of a driver’s education is focused on interactions a driver may have with other automobiles,” said Chaparro (D-Hudson). “But as we’re seeing with the introduction of more bike share programs, motorists have to share the road with many people who are walking or operating other types of vehicles on a regular basis. In order to keep New Jersey’s roadways safe for everyone, it’s critical that new drivers learn the correct way to interact with bicyclists, pedestrians and others who are not in automobiles.”Read more
Caputo, Tucker, Quijano, Vainieri Huttle, Sumter & McKnight Bill to Install Silent Alarms & Red Emergency Lights In Schools Goes to Governor
(TRENTON) – Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Ralph R. Caputo, Cleopatra Tucker, Annette Quijano, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Shavonda Sumter and Angela McKnight to require the installation of panic alarms and red emergency lights in public elementary and secondary schools for use in security emergencies received final legislative approval Monday and now heads to the governor’s desk.
“Our children deserve the chance to learn in peace,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “I am not suggesting this will stop all security threats, but coupled with security measures already in place, it can increase the chances of diffusing a bad situation without further harm to students and staff.”
“We have to utilize all sensible measures available to us to help our schools defend themselves against an attack,” said Tucker (D-Essex). “These systems help give students, parents and staff the peace of mind that in the case of an emergency, there is a direct link to local law enforcement.”Read more
Vainieri Huttle, Muoio, Singleton, Caputo & Jasey Bill to Address Chronic Absenteeism in Public Schools Goes to Governor
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Elizabeth Muoio, Troy Singleton, Ralph Caputo & Mila Jasey to tackle student absenteeism in public schools received final legislative approval Monday and now heads to the governor’s desk.
“Chronic absenteeism creates problems for schools and makes it harder for students to excel,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Having a coalition of people who can step in and get to the root of the problem can help cut down on school absences and keep students on the right track.”
"Chronic absenteeism creates major academic challenges for students, teachers and school administration, and is a gateway to countless challenges later in life for those students who suffer the negative effects of missing school," said Muoio (D-Mercer, Hunterdon). "The recent successful efforts of schools like Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School in Trenton show the importance and value of having in place collaborative school-wide programs involving teachers, administrators, parents and students, aimed at addressing and overcoming the roots of absenteeism."Read more
Vainieri Huttle, Muoio, Singleton & Caputo Bill to Address Chronic Absenteeism in Public Schools Clears Assembly Panel
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Elizabeth Muoio, Troy Singleton & Ralph Caputo to tackle student absenteeism in public schools was released Monday by the Assembly Education Committee.
“Chronic absenteeism creates problems for schools and makes it harder for students to excel,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Having a coalition of people who can step in and get to the root of the problem can help cut down on school absences and keep students on the right track.”Read more
Quijano & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Teach Public School Students about Beach & Water Safety Clears Assembly Panel
2017 was deadliest year on record for rip currents in New Jersey; instruction would include information about the dangers of rip tides & swimmer distress signals
(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel on Monday released legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Annette Quijano & Valerie Vainieri Huttle to provide water and beach safety instruction to public school students after the state had its deadliest year on record for rip currents.
Rip tides, also known as rip currents, are strong narrow currents that can pull swimmers out to sea. Rip currents killed 8 people at New Jersey beaches this year, according to a media report.Read more
Holley, McKnight & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Designate October “Dyslexia Awareness Month” in NJ Clears Senate
(TRENTON) – An Assembly Joint Resolution sponsored in part by Assembly Democrats Jamel Holley, Angela McKnight and Valerie Vainieri Huttle designating October of each year as “Dyslexia Awareness Month” in New Jersey (AJR-77) was approved by the full Senate on Thursday.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that can hinder a person’s ability to read, write spell and sometimes speech.
“Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in children and persists throughout life,” said Holley (D-Union). “One out of every 10 people in the United States suffers from dyslexia. The legislation would align New Jersey with national efforts to raise awareness and educate the public on dyslexia and its symptoms.”
“Proper diagnosis of dyslexia, early and appropriate intervention and support from family, teachers, and friends greatly increase a child’s academic success and self-esteem,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “With the designation of October as Dyslexia Awareness Month, we can educate, promote research, and early identification of dyslexia.”
“Children with untreated dyslexia can suffer devastating personal consequences such as dropping or failing out of school,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Dyslexia is a learning disability that, with proper support, can be corrected. Raising awareness of this disability is the key to helping more children and adults find the help they need.”
The Assembly approved the resolution last October. The Senate passed the bill _-_. It will now head to the Governor’s desk for further consideration.
Now Law: Jasey, McKeon & Vainieri Huttle Bill Encouraging Mental Health Physicians to Work in Underserved Areas
Measure Establishes Tuition Reimbursement Program for Psychiatrists, Addressing Shortage of Mental Health Care Access in Certain Parts of the State
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey, John McKeon and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to reimburse tuition for psychiatrists who work in underserved areas of the state has been signed into law.
“The reimbursement program will only be available to physicians who engage in the full-time practice of psychiatry in an area of need designated by the Commissioner of Health,” said Jasey (D- Essex/Morris). “The intent of this law is to increase access to much-needed care in underserved communities.”
Under the new law (S-2331/A-3962), the Commissioner of Health will designate, on the basis of health status and economic indicators, geographic areas of the state that have a shortage of physicians in the specialty of psychiatry. The program will provide reimbursement of a portion of medical school tuition expenses to psychiatrists who agree to provide mental health care services in one of these state underserved areas for a period of one to four years.
“The decrease in mental health centers in the state has left a void in care for New Jersey residents who rely on these services,” said McKeon (D- Essex/Morris). “Mostly low-income urban and rural communities are without access to these services. This law is about creating opportunity and access for residents.”
“There are many steps we must take as a state to improve and strengthen mental healthcare services,” said Vainieri Huttle (D- Bergen). “This law is one of those steps toward expanding access to care for residents who need it.”
Program participants must be state residents, be state-licensed physicians who have completed all educational and residency training requirements for the practice of psychiatry and apply for the program within one year of completing an accredited residency program in psychiatry.
Mazzeo, Lagana, Vainieri Huttle, & Benson Bill to Educate Parents of Prescription Opioid Use Now Law
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vincent Mazzeo, Joseph Lagana, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and Daniel Benson creating a state-led effort to educate parents of student-athletes and cheerleaders on the use and misuse of prescription opioids is now law.
“The law ensures that young people and their parents are educated as early as possible about the dangers of opioid abuse and addiction,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “It is critical to provide this information to students who participate in athletics to make certain that, in the event they are prescribed an opioid for an injury, they will be fully knowledgeable of the risks of misuse.”
“Prescription drug abuse has taken a heartbreaking toll on many young residents and their families,” said Lagana (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Student-athletes are more vulnerable than others due to injuries that may occur while playing a sport. We are stepping up efforts to inform parents about the potential of opioid abuse and how to prevent it from happening to their children.”
The law (A-3944) requires the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health, to develop an educational fact sheet that provides information concerning the use and misuse of opioid drugs in the event that a student-athlete or cheerleader is prescribed an opioid for a sports-related injury.
“Opioid and prescription drug abuse is a serious problem among student athletes, many of which say it all began with a prescription given for an injury,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Effective prevention begins with awareness. This helps to get the word out to all student-athletes and families about the dangers of opioid abuse.”
“Opioid abuse is a nationwide epidemic that is rapidly rising, particularly, among students-athletes,” said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “Cautioning parents and students about the medicine they choose to take when injured may save a life from potential abuse and addiction.”
The law requires school districts and nonpublic schools that participate in interscholastic sports or cheerleading programs to distribute the fact sheet annually to the parents or guardians of student-athletes and cheerleaders, and to obtain a signed acknowledgement of the receipt of the fact sheet by the student and his parent or guardian.