Blogs

Schaer & Lampitt Introduce Legislation to Make Sure Security Needs in Nonpublic Schools are Met

April 22, 2015

Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer and Pamela Lampitt have introduced the "Secure Schools for All Children Act," which would establish a state aid program to provide security services, equipment, or technology to help ensure a safe and secure school environment for students attending nonpublic schools.

"School security has become a paramount concern in recent years, particularly in light of the many tragedies we've witnessed across the country and around the world," said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). "While we've taken many steps to increase security efforts throughout our public schools, much more needs to be done, and we cannot overlook the needs of students in nonpublic schools in the process."

Under the provisions of the bill (A-4288), the superintendent of each school district in which a nonpublic school is located will confer annually with the chief school administrator of the nonpublic school in order to agree upon the security services, equipment, or technology that will be provided to the students of the nonpublic school within the limits of available funds.

If the superintendent and the chief school administrator are unable to agree on the security services, equipment, or technology, then the executive county superintendent will make the final determination.

"As taxpayers, parents deserve the peace of mind of knowing they are sending their children to school in the safest possible environment," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "Whether public, private or parochial, our commitment to school safety must be done so equitably."

School meal legislation goes to Christie's desk

Courier Post
March 21, 2015
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Legislation co-sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt and Gabriela Mosquera designed to make public schools' breakfast and lunch menus more culturally sensitive was approved 34-5 by the Senate last week, sending it to Gov. Chris Christie's desk.

Bill A-3360 would require superintendents in public school districts containing a middle or high school to establish an advisory committee to recommend breakfast and lunch options that reflect the district's cultural and traditional dietary preferences if the student population suggests such a need exists.

"Consistency in teaching New Jersey's children about embracing cultural diversity requires us to ensure that they know everyone will be welcomed in the classroom as well as in the cafeteria," said Lampitt, D-Camden.

"School breakfasts and lunches cannot provide the nourishment that New Jersey's students need if they aren't eaten," said Mosquera, D-Camden.

"Making vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal and other cultural dietary options available can increase the likelihood that students will eat the food on the menu and help ensure that New Jersey's school nutrition programs reach their intended goal."

Making sure new medicines are safe

The Jersey Journal
March 9, 2015
Joan Quigley
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Most of the pills and injectable medications you take today are made from inert materials in a lab somewhere, but the stuff you may take next year could be made from body cells or plants. They work really well. Perhaps they'll even cure your problem, but currently they are very expensive.

You've heard about them - new kinds of medicine used to treat cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and other debilitating diseases - but you may not know that something very like them will be widely available soon and more affordable. They're called biologics and the oldest of them are coming off patent very soon. So pharmaceutical companies all over the world have developed less expensive versions and want to hit the U.S. market as quickly as possible.

Government at both the federal and state level is grappling with the issue of how to substitute the expensive drugs with the newer versions while ensuring the substitutes work without causing harm. The first issue was what to call them. Cheaper versions of original drugs with inert ingredients are called generics, which means they are virtually identical to the original and work in exactly the same way.

New Emergency Alerts Would Help Find Missing NJ Residents with Disabilities

NJSPOTLIGHT
February 23, 2015
Andrew Kitchenman
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New Jersey has Amber Alerts to help find missing children. Silver Alerts are for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. MVP Emergency Alerts could be on the way for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Advocates for the new alert system say that residents with these disabilities sometimes wander away from their families or caregivers, but can be ignored by passersby who aren’t aware of their conditions, potentially putting their lives at risk.

That’s why legislators are looking to institute the state’s third emergency alert system as a way of stopping missing-persons crises and save lives.

Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt (D-Burlington and Camden) said at a hearing on a bill (A-2709/S-2668) that would create the system that while she wasn’t aware of incidents in the state that would have benefited from having the system in place, she wanted to be proactive and prevent crises.

“These individuals when they become flustered, they become upset, they can become very non-approachable,” Lampitt said, adding that other people -- including police officers -- may believe that they’re acting irrationally due to drug or alcohol use. “They’re irrational because they’re scared,” she added.

Eustace, Spencer, Lampitt & Benson Bill to Help State Facilities Go Green Clears Assembly Panel

March 24, 2015

Measure Would Oversee the Transition to Environmentally Sustainable, Energy Efficient Practices at All State Offices

Legislation Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, L. Grace Spencer, Pamela Lampitt and Daniel Benson sponsored to help New Jersey "go green" by maximizing the environmental sustainability of state offices recently was approved by an Assembly panel.

Specifically, the bill (A-4047) would create an Office of Sustainability in the Department of the Treasury that would be responsible for developing and implementing environmental sustainability measures in all state buildings and coordinating with the owners of property in which state agencies are located in an effort to implement environmental sustainability practices in those buildings.

"Pursuing sustainability, and the healthier, non-toxic, energy efficient products that go along with it, will ultimately improve the quality of life for everyone throughout New Jersey," said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). "This approach should also be embraced as a responsible economic tool given the cost savings associated with sustainable materials. This is a sound, long-term investment for our future."

Environmental sustainability is a concept that provides for economic growth without an adverse impact upon the environment.