Senate Panel Approves Casagrande’s Bill On Life-Saving Allergy Treatment In Schools

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande

School nurses and other trained personnel would be authorized to administer epinephrine to any student having an anaphylactic reaction under legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-11).

Casagrande’s bill, A-304 was passed  in the Assembly, 73-0, on May 22 and was approved by the Senate Education Committee unanimously this morning.  If approved by the full Senate, the bill will go to Governor Chris Christie whose signature will make it law.

“As many as two children in every classroom have at least one food allergy,” said Casagrande, R – Monmouth. “Schools should be able to respond quickly and appropriately to help children with a serious allergic reaction.”

Recent studies suggest that one in 13 children are affected by food allergies. More than 15 percent of school aged children with food allergies have had a reaction at school.

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Posted: November 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 11th Legislative District, Caroline Casagrande, Education, Monmouth County, New Jersey, NJ State Legislature, School Safety | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Why this year’s National Geographic Traveler photo contest bans New Jersey residents

Why this year’s National Geographic Traveler photo contest bans New Jersey residents (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — National Geographic Traveler’s annual photo contest is open until June 30, but don’t submit that gorgeous Shore picture just yet. According to the rules, the contest bans entries from Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Cuba, Syria — and New…

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Posted: June 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Assembly bill would make sex with animals a crime

A bill that criminalizes bestiality passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee yesterday by a 6-0 bipartisan vote.

Rhino

Illustration by Megan Archer

 Use, or cause or procure the use of, an animal or creature in any kind of sexual manner or initiate any kind of sexual contact with the animal or creature, including, but not limited to, sodomizing the animal or creature.  As used in this paragraph, “sexual contact” means any contact between a person and an animal by penetration of the penis or a foreign object into the vagina or anus, contact between the mouth and genitalia, or by contact between the genitalia of one and the genitalia or anus of the other.  This term does not include any medical procedure performed by a licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine or an accepted animal husbandry practice.

Penalties for those convicted include fines up to $15,000 and imprisonment for as long as five years. Additionally, the bill directs the courts to impose Community Service for up to 30 day at a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or a municipality”s animal control program.  Is that a good idea?

Posted: June 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, News, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments »

Approved NJ Senate bills call for agencies to buy American products

Approved NJ Senate bills call for agencies to buy American products (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — The New Jersey Senate today approved a package of bills that calls for state agencies and bi-state commissions, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to buy products made in America. If approved by the Assembly as well…

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Posted: June 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, New Jersey, News, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments »

Judge Tosses Out Subpoenas in GWB Investigation

Judge Tosses Out Subpoenas in GWB Investigation (via NJTV News with Mike Schneider)

A big development today in the bridge scandal investigation. A judge sided with two major figures in the case, tossing out the subpoenas against Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien and ruling against the select oversight committee that issued them. The committee…

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Posted: April 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Bridgegate | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Property taxes: Christie won’t sign Democrat bill to extend key law, Republican lawmaker says

Property taxes: Christie won’t sign Democrat bill to extend key law, Republican lawmaker says (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — A fight over renewing a law crucial to holding back an increase in property taxes is nowhere near resolved, a Republican lawmaker who has led the fight for retaining it said today. Although the Democrat-led Legislature last week began advancing…

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Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The Dismantling Of Christie’s “Bi-partisan” Reforms

photo credit: Tim Larsen/Governor's Office

photo credit: Tim Larsen/Governor’s Office

It’s beginning to look like Governor Chris Christie’s Boulevard of Compromise is a dead end.

The 2% property tax cap is under attack, as the Trenton Democrats are on the verge of passing an “extension” of the Interest Arbitration Award Cap that eliminates the cap on most arbitration awards and increases the cap on the remainder of the potential awards by 50%.

In my piece last night about the Interest Arbitration Cap, I raised the hope that published reports that Assembly and Senate committees cleared an identical bill that guts the cap were inaccurate because Senator Mike Doherty was co-sponsor of the Senate bill and because of Senate President Steve Sweeney’s comments about the cap at his Town Hall Meeting in Keansburg last week.  It turns out that was wishful thinking. MMM has learned the bills are identical and, inexplicably, Doherty is a primary sponsor of the Senate bill, giving Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto “bi-partisan” cover.

Doherty has yet to return our call for comment.  We’ve been told his attitude about the bill he is sponsoring with Sweeney is “a bill that will pass is better than no bill.”

Doherty has a point, albeit a minor one.  If no bill passes by April 1, there is no cap on Interest Arbitration awards at all.  If the bill that cleared through committees yesterday passes the full legislature and is signed by Christie, there will be a 3% cap on a minority of municipal government labor contracts for the next few years.  If Christie vetoes the bill, even conditionally, there is no arbitration cap.  Either way the property tax blaze is about to be reignited and/or the pain inflicted upon municipalities will be so great that consolidations and mergers will be forced indelicately.  The backdoor destruction of municipal governments appears to be Sweeney’s undeclared plan.

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Posted: March 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, George Norcross, NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Trenton Democrats Poised To Blow Up The Property Tax Cap

blown up damNew Jersey property taxes will likely resume the double digit annual growth that occurred under the McGreevey, Codey and Corzine Administrations if Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s version of the of the Interest Arbitration extension becomes law.  Either that, or municipal governments as we know them will cease to exist, succumbing to a long and painful death of higher crime and reduced services and capital improvements.

A 2% cap on interest arbitration awards in labor disputes was a key component of the 2% property tax cap negotiated between Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Prieto’s predecessor, Sheila Oliver in 2010.   It worked.  Arbitrators made awards of less that 2% to police and fire fighters unions and property taxes rose less than 2% per year over the last four years.

The problem is Oliver insisted that the arbitration cap expire on April 1, 2014.  Now, we’re a week before the arbitration cap expires and Prietro is gutting the cap by passing an extension of the law that exempts contracts that were awarded less than 2% during the last three years from any future caps and raises the cap to 3% on contracts that have not been negotiated since 2010.

The math will never work.  If property taxes stay capped at 2% but the primary cost of property taxes, salaries, are not capped or are capped at 3%, municipal services will disappear. Police will be laid off, with the junior, lower paid officers being let go first, leaving the older and more highly paid officers to run drown the inevitable increase in crime.  Towns will go bust.  The state will take over municipal governments and force consolidations.

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Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Declan O'Scanlon, NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

NJ lawmakers open debate on newest open space proposal

NJ lawmakers open debate on newest open space proposal (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — Seeking to end a legislative stalemate over open space preservation, state lawmakers today began to debate a new proposal that would divert about $150 million a year in business taxes to protect land and historic sites in New Jersey. With…

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Posted: March 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , | Comments Off

N.J. Assembly approves ban on public release of mugshots before conviction

N.J. Assembly approves ban on public release of mugshots before conviction (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — The state Assembly today passed a bill to ban the public release of mugshots of people who have been arrested in New Jersey, but have not yet been convicted. The bill (A3906), fast-tracked during the Legislature’s lame-duck session, passed…

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Posted: December 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, New Jersey | Tags: , , | Comments Off