May is Mental Health Awareness Month. For too long, those who suffered with mental illness were forced to hide in the shadows. While we have made great strides in understanding mental health and illness, we must do more in combating stigma and removing obstacles to accessing compassionate and affordable care.
As we commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month we will continue to advocate for progress to ensure that everyone has the tools and resources that they need to live a healthy and fulfilling life.Read more
March is Women's History Month and March 8th is International Women's Day. This year, I am commemorating these celebrations by honoring the new and diverse female voices in the United States Congress.
I hope that this month, and every month, you will join me in empowering the women and girls in your life to realize their full potential.
"I raise up my voice — not so I can shout,
but so that those without a voice can be heard.
We cannot succeed when half of us are held back."
— Malala YousafzaiRead more
As the New Year unfolds, we have made great strides, but there is more work left to be done! I look forward to working together with my colleagues in the legislature as we aspire to make 2019 a year of progress and prosperity.
In honor of Babs Casbar Siperstein – A tenacious fighter for equality.
Her story and advocacy will be part of New Jersey history.
“The change we need won’t come from one election alone—but it’s a start. Last night, voters across the country started it. And I’m hopeful going forward, we’ll begin a return to the values we expect in our public life—honesty, decency, compromise, and standing up for one another as Americans, not separated by our differences, but bound together by one common thread.” – Former President Barack Obama
New Jersey Adopts New Laws
Thank you Governor Phil Murphy
"Economic progress can’t be made without social progress and social progress can’t be achieved without economic progress." - Governor Phil Murphy
As Democrats we stand for basic notions of opportunity, fairness and investing in people. I believe this budget meets those standards and provides the sustainable resources to move New Jersey forward. Notably, we increased funding for cancer research, charity care, seniors in nursing homes, programs and staffing for people with special abilities. We increased the Earned Income Tax Credit to cover more than 500,000 families, we invested in Pre-K and community colleges, increased school funding, we will spend $242 million on NJ Transit, and will contribute $3.2 billion to the public employee pension.
Some Budget Highlights:
- $21 million for seniors in nursing homes
- $20 million for workers taking care of people with developmental disabilities
- $20 million in wage increase for direct support professionals
- $10 million for charity care
- $6.7 million for District 37 schools
- $3.8 million for non-public school aid
- $2.5 million for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
- $2 million for cancer research
- $2 million for Holy Name Hospital's Palliative Care Pilot Program
- $1 million in Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program
- $1 million for the REED Next Autism Services Program
- $500 thousand for Smoking Cessation and Prevention
- $400 thousand for NJ Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders
- $250 thousand for Nourishing Young Minds Fund
- $250 thousand for Latino Action Network Hispanic Women's Resource
- $200 thousand for the Adler Aphasia Center
- $200 thousand for New Jersey 2-1-1 Partnership
- $200 thousand increase for Small Business Development Centers
- $150 thousand for Project S.A.R.A.H.
- $125 thousand for Governors Literacy Initiative
- $100 thousand for Historic New Bridge Landing
- $19 Medicaid fee-for-service rate for personal care assistance services
In the end, I was proud to vote for a balanced and fair budget.
Best wishes for a safe and happy 4th of July!
Last week Governor Christie acted on dozens of pieces of legislationRead more