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N.J. lawmakers push bill allowing sick kids to use medical marijuana oil in school

Susan K. Livio
June 22, 2015
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TRENTON — As the family of a severely ill teenage girl in south Jersey sues for her right to consume medical marijuana oil at school, two state lawmakers Monday introduced a bill that would require school boards to set policies that would allow it to be used in schools across the state.

Parents or a person they designate would be required to come to the school and administer the medical marijuana dose in the form of an edible oil, according to the legislation. No one would be allowed to smoke marijuana on school grounds.

State Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt said she and Assembly Lou Greenwald (both D-Camden) were moved by the Barbours' plight. They also understand the challenge for school officials who fear they may violate federal drug laws by allowing cannabis use on school property.

"We both feel it's going to be a heavy lift," getting the bill passed, Lampitt said. "But when you put a face behind an issue like this, people realize there is a strong need. It's not arbitrary, it's real."

Christie reversal on why he cut Planned Parenthood funding cuts sparks protest

Susan K. Livio
June 22, 2015
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TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie's boast that he is the only governor in New Jersey history to eliminate state funding for Planned Parenthood may play in conservative states, but it alienates most New Jerseyans who want women to have access to family planning services, protesters said Monday.

Chanting "My health! My life!" about three dozen women and a few men gathered in the Statehouse courtyard with state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden) to draw attention to the governor's remarks last week about cutting $7.5 million in 2010 for women's health centers.

At the time, the governor said the cuts were driven by a budget crisis, adding gynecological services and health screenings could be found at other state-supported facilities. Republicans who supported the money before refused to override the governor's veto based on the financial considerations.

Christie said in 2010 he eliminated the funds as part of a wide array of cuts to close a budget gap. But in speeches to conservative groups in February and again last week, the Republican governor, who is mulling a bid for president, boasted he had "vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget."

Proposed Gun Laws Take Aim at Domestic Abuse, But from Two Different Angles

NJ Spotlight
Hank Kalet
June 22, 2015
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Democrats seek to take all weapons away from abusers while GOP calls for making easier for victims to get gun permits

As the tragic mass shooting in Charleston once again revives the national debate over gun laws, legislators in New Jersey -- which has some of the strictest gun regulations in the country – are focusing on the specific issue of domestic violence and firearms.

Bills that would increase penalties for convicted abusers and include new offenses under the definition of domestic abuse -- are working their way through the Legislature, apparently with bipartisan support.

But two other pieces of legislations are predictably pitting advocacy groups against each other. While advocates and lawmakers agree that there should be that the all-important goal is ensuring the safety of victims, how that should be accomplished is what’s being debated.

Pro-gun groups are calling a Democratic proposal (S- 2886), which would make it easier to take away guns from abusers, an infringement on gun rights that punishes those accused but not necessarily convicted of domestic violence.

The bill is supported by gun-control groups and advocates for domestic-violence victims, who say the best way to keep victims safe is to keep guns out of the hands of abusers.

New Jersey State Assemblywoman Lampitt Honored as BIO State Legislator of the Year

Business Wire
June 17, 2015
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PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced today its selection of New Jersey State Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (6th District) as a state Legislator of the Year for 2015. Assemblywoman Lampitt is the prime sponsor of A-2477, which authorizes the prescription and dispensing of biosimilar products in New Jersey. Assemblywoman Lampitt received this honor during the 2015 BIO International Convention.

“Assemblywoman Lampitt’s has worked hard to ensure the people of New Jersey have quality health care,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “We are pleased to name Assemblywoman Lampitt as a Legislators of the Year to recognize her leadership in working with fellow lawmakers to craft legislation that will ensure patients have choices when it comes to prescription medication, as well as ample information to help them make smart decisions.”

“BioNJ is proud to have nominated Assemblywoman Lampitt for this prestigious honor," said Debbie Hart, President and CEO, BioNJ. "We applaud Assemblywoman Lampitt for her continued support for finding cures for patients and thank her for her leadership in advancing the biosimilars legislation in New Jersey."

Lampitt Bill to Tackle Campus Sexual Assault Approved by Assembly

Assembly Majority Office
July 7, 2015
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(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainiei Huttle, Pamela Lampitt, Joe Lagana, Raj Mukherji, Annette Quijano and Joe Danielsen to better equip New Jersey colleges and universities to prevent and respond to sexual assaults on campus was recently approved by the General Assembly.

The 2014 report from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault revealed that one in five college students experiences sexual assault during their college career. Even more staggering, the ACLU estimates that 95 percent of U.S. campus rapes go unreported.

"College sexual assault has become far too common," said Vainieri Huttle (D- Bergen). "Rape should never be the norm. The only way to prevent sexual assault is to change the culture on campus and to do that we need support from the entire higher education community."

"Many sexual assault cases go unreported, leaving the victim to deal with the trauma alone and the attacker free to strike again," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "If we want victims of sexual assault to report these crimes and prevent others from becoming another statistic, then we have to change the culture that is discouraging victims, whether intentionally or inadvertently, from speaking up and seeking justice."