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NJ Lawmakers Launch Statewide Paid Sick Leave Campaign

NJBIZ.com
April 8, 2014
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With mandatory paid sick-leave policies recently put in place in New Jersey’s two largest cities, lawmakers and advocates are now calling for a statewide measure.

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Voorhees) joined members of the NJ Time to Care Coalition Tuesday in Trenton to announce their sponsorship of identical bills in both houses of the Legislature mandating that full- and part-time workers be allowed to earn one hour of paid sick-leave for every 30 hours worked.

Under the bills, which were reintroduced earlier this year, there is a 40-hour per year cap for businesses with nine or fewer employees and a 72-hour per year cap for businesses with 10 or more workers. Unless an employer decides to begin offering paid sick days at an earlier date, workers may begin accruing sick time 90 days after he or she was hired.

“Workers who need time off to care for themselves or a family member should not be forced to make the unfair choice between their health and a paycheck,” Weinberg said. “Guaranteeing a minimum standard of earned sick leave for all workers is the compassionate and the sensible thing to do for our state. It will create a healthier and safer work environment for employees, but also will protect the health of the public.”

Businesses, Weinberg added, “will benefit from these improved conditions.”

More news on Breakfast Programs

March 20, 2014

The General Assembly on Thursday approved a three-bill package sponsored by Assembly Democrats to boost breakfast programs in schools, particularly for underprivileged children, in order to help give them a leg up on academics.

The package is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph Cryan, Daniel Benson, Troy Singleton, Pamela Lampitt, Celeste Riley, Nancy Pinkin, Jason O'Donnell, Bob Andrzejczak, and Gilbert "Whip" Wilson.

The first bill (A-­­­679/2186), sponsored by Cryan, Benson, Singleton, Lampitt, Riley and Pinkin, would require the state to make every effort to assist school districts and nonpublic schools in increasing the participation rate of students, particularly low-income students, in the federal School Breakfast Program by establishing a "breakfast after the bell" program in the first-period classroom or during the first few minutes of the day. The bill was approved by a vote of 72-1-4.

The Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Department of Education, would oversee the effort and also be charged with preparing and issuing an annual report to the governor and the legislature on the number and percentage of students participating in a school breakfast program, and the format used for providing breakfast.

Assembly Panel Approves Democratic Bill Package to Give Kids a Leg Up In School by Boosting Breakfast Programs

March 10, 2014

An Assembly panel on Monday approved a comprehensive package of bills sponsored by Assembly Democrats to boost breakfast programs in schools, particularly for underprivileged children, in order to help give them a leg up on academics.

The package is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph Cryan, Daniel Benson, Jason O'Donnell, Troy Singleton, Pamela Lampitt, Celeste Riley, Bob Andrzejczak, Gilbert "Whip" Wilson, Gabriela Mosquera, Gary Schaer, L. Grace Spencer and Eliana Pintor Marin.

The first bill (A-­­­679/2186), sponsored by Cryan, Benson, Singleton, Lampitt and Riley, would require the state to make every effort to assist school districts and nonpublic schools in increasing the participation rate of students, particularly low-income students, in the federal School Breakfast Program by establishing a "breakfast after the bell" program in the first-period classroom or during the first few minutes of the school day.

The Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Department of Education, would oversee the effort and also be charged with preparing and issuing an annual report to the governor and the legislature on the number and percentage of students participating in a school breakfast program, and the format used for providing breakfast.

Assembly Panel OKs Lampitt Bill to Ensure Newborns are Covered Under Parents Insurance During First Few Critical Months of Life

February 25, 2014

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt to ensure newborns are covered under their parents insurance during the first few critical months of life was approved by an Assembly panel on Monday.

The bill (A-2682) would extend the time period in which newborn children are covered under their parent's health benefits coverage from the current 30 days to 90 days.

"With all that's going on when a child is first born, the 30-day deadline can be problematic for some parents to meet and may cause unnecessary stress," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "This bill will provide a longer period of time for children to be covered under their parents' health coverage in order to ensure that children have access to adequate health care during the critical first few months of life."

Current law limits the coverage of newly born children to 30 days from their birth. At the conclusion of 30 days, the child would be without coverage, unless parents enroll the child in a private health benefits coverage policy or in a state or federal program, such as FamilyCare.

Lampitt's bill was approved by the Assembly Women and Children Committee, which she chairs.

Assembly Panel Approves Democratic Measure to Strengthen New Jersey Families by Increasing Parental Involvement

February 24, 2014

An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Pamela Lampitt, Gary Schaer and Benjie Wimberly to develop a "Responsible Fatherhood Initiative" in New Jersey geared towards strengthening the development of children throughout the state by promoting the positive involvement of both parents in their lives.

"There are many different factors that might inhibit a father's involvement in their children's life," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "Whether it's a strain in the relationship with a child's mother, somebody who never had a positive male role model in their life as a child, or simply somebody who hasn't learned to take responsibility, the goal of this initiative is to promote positive interactions between fathers and their children and identify obstacles that impede or prevent their involvement in the lives of their children.

The bill (A-945) would establish a 21-member New Jersey Council on Responsible Fatherhood in the Department of Children and Families in order to promote the participation of both parents in the lives of their children, identify needs and priorities relating to fatherhood programs in the state, and support the contributions each parent brings to the family unit.