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Lampitt & Greenwald Bill to Create Tax-Free Savings Accounts for Individuals with Disabilities Advanced by Assembly Panel

Assembly Majority Office
June 15, 2015
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(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Daniel Benson and Vince Mazzeo to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with developmental disabilities was advanced by an Assembly panel on Monday.

The bill (A-3956) would establish the "Achieving a Better Life Experience" (ABLE) program within the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Human Services in accordance with the federal "Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014," which President Obama signed into law in December 2014.

"The goal of this law is to ease the financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover many day-to-day expenses," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "This is an important tool to help provide financial security throughout their lives."

"This new law will allow people with disabilities to open specialized accounts where they can save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government programs," said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). "Even more importantly, individuals can keep their Medicaid coverage no matter how much money they accrue in an ABLE account."

Mosquera, Lampitt & Greenwald Bill to Protect Domestic Violence Victims from Gun Violence Clears Assembly Panel

Assembly Majority Office
June 15, 2015
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(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gabriela Mosquera, Lou Greenwald, Joseph Lagana, Dan Benson, Pamela Lampitt and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to strengthen New Jersey's gun laws and protect victims of domestic violence from gun violence was released Monday by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

"For victims and their children, domestic violence turns a chance to live the American Dream into a horrific nightmare. I know, because I've lived that nightmare," said Mosquera (D-Gloucester/Camden). "Too many victims are killed at the hands of abusers who have easy access to firearms, before they ever have a chance to get out. This legislation will change that - strengthening our gun violence laws in order to protect victims of domestic violence."

Among other provisions, the bill (A-4218) would
Require domestic abusers to surrender their firearms while a domestic violence restraining order is in effect, or when they are convicted of a domestic violence crime or offense;
Require an abuser's firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun to be suspended during domestic violence restraining orders;
Require an abuser's firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun to be revoked if the individual is convicted of a domestic violence crime or offense; and

Democratic Bill to Toughen Penalty for Strangulation in Domestic Violence Cases Clears Assembly

Assembly Majority Office
June 11, 2015
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Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Troy Singleton, Joseph Lagana, Pamela Lampitt, Liz Muoio, Marlene Caride, Grace Spencer, Gabriela Mosquera, Cleopatra Tucker and Whip Wilson to raise the penalty for the crime of strangulation in domestic violence cases gained the approval of the full Assembly on Thursday.

While strangulation cases are not limited to domestic violence situations, studies show a high incidence of strangulation in domestic violence cases. According to the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, a program of the National Family Justice Center Alliance, strangulation is one of the best predictors for the subsequent homicide of victims of domestic violence. In fact, one study showed that "the odds of becoming an attempted homicide increased by about seven-fold for women who had been strangled by their partner."

"This is a violent tactic often used against domestic violence victims by their abusers. It can have a debilitating psychological effect on the victim, and at worst, lead to her death," said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "The fact that the harshest punishment for this crime is up to six months in jail and a fine is ludicrous. The risk of serious injury or worse from a strangulation assault warrants a higher penalty."

Lampitt Bill to Make It Easier for Women Veterans to Access Services Gains Assembly Approval

Assembly Majority Office
June 11, 2015
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Bills Come After Special Joint Hearing on Issues Facing Women Veterans (TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Cleopatra Tucker, Bob Andrzejczak, Troy Singleton and Gabriela Mosquera sponsored to help New Jersey's women veterans obtain the help and services they need was approved 71-0-3 by the full Assembly on Thursday.

Specifically, the bill (A-3750) would require the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to create a public webpage with vital information specifically tailored for female veterans.

"We know that dedicated programs and information to assist female veterans returning from service can prove extraordinarily helpful for female veterans transitioning to civilian life," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "This legislation ensures that this information is easy to find and provides one stop for all the essential information they need."

"The webpage must include, but is not limited to, veterans' legal rights, benefits, medical and insurance issues, education and the transition from active service to civilian life," said Tucker (D-Essex). "This web site should be easy to accomplish and would surely prove immensely helpful to women veterans."

Lampitt Bill to Promote Flu Vaccination Awareness among Seniors Gets Final Legislative Approval in Assembly

Assembly Majority Office
June 11, 2015
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(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Joseph Lagana, Angelica Jimenez, Tim Eustace and Vince Mazzeo to promote seasonal influenza awareness among New Jersey seniors cleared its final legislative hurdle on Thursday.

The bill (A-3890) would require the Department of Health to prepare and publish online printer-friendly information about the flu vaccine for older adults.

"Older New Jerseyans are far more susceptible to serious flu-related complications. Because their immune systems are weaker, the flu can result in hospitalization or even death among seniors," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "Supplying members of this specific population with the information they need to protect themselves and those around them can keep older residents healthy and save lives."

The information would include items such as:
How vaccination can help prevent the flu in older adults;

The availability and efficacy of the flu vaccine for older adults;
A recommendation that seniors consult with their physicians regarding the flu vaccine; and
The particular individual and community benefits of vaccination among older adults sharing close quarters, such as residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).