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Schaer/ Lampitt/ Coutinho Bill to Teach Kids Financial Responsibility Continues Advancing

Legislation Would Create Pilot Program To Educate High Schoolers

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly members Gary S. Schaer, Pamela R. Lampitt, and Albert Coutinho sponsored to initiate a pilot program to educate high school students on personal finance management so they can avoid irresponsible spending habits that lead to excessive personal debt and bankruptcy was released Thursday by a Senate committee.

“Too many young people have taken an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude to their personal finances, setting themselves up for financial hardship before they even get their college degree,” said Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen/Essex), a professional financial advisor. “We must do a better job of preparing students to be financially responsible adults.”

A 2005 analysis of credit card debt by student-loan provider Nellie Mae found the average college freshman carried a credit card balance of $1,585. That debt load ballooned to an average of $2,864 for college seniors.

A 2007 follow-up survey of graduate students reported an average outstanding credit card debt of $8,612. Only 20 percent said they pay-off their balance each month. Two-thirds of respondents said they received their first credit card as an undergraduate student, with 93 percent saying would have liked additional financial management information before starting school.

A "Healing" Place in Suburbia

Star-Ledger
May 12, 2009
By Susan K. Livio

TRENTON -- The Office of the Child Advocate is launching on Wednesday a publicity campaign called "Healing Homes" to make a case that these supervised programs can make good neighbors. Despite decades of anti-discrimination laws, the children living in group homes and the people who operate them suspect most homeowners are uncomfortable sharing the same block, fearing for their property values and safety, said Acting Child Advocate Ronald Chen.

The child advocate will mail a video featuring kids from group homes and their neighbors and an informational booklet to every mayor and legislator in the state, child advocate spokeswoman Nancy Parello said.

"These homes are a critical component of care for many children," Chen said. "Unfortunately, often out of misunderstanding, some people react with fear and suspicion when a healing home first comes to town. We hope the information provided in this campaign expands understanding and support for homes that serve youth in need."

The legal opinions protecting the state's right to open a group home for abused and emotionally disturbed kids are so voluminous they could wallpaper the interior of the nearly 3,000-square-foot Colonial in Bridgewater that 18-year-old Jerrald Pichon calls home.

Lampitt 'Great Friend' of S.J. Business Community

Courier Post
May 11, 2009
By Kristy Davies

Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt has represented New Jersey's 6th Legislative District since 2006 and has been selected as the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey's recipient of the Public Service Award.

"When running for the assembly she came to our chamber and wanted to understand what the business issues are," said Kathleen Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the chamber. "Since she was elected she comes to us a lot and asks for our input. She has such a great open-door policy for all of our members. That's why we chose her for this award."

Lampitt serves as vice chairwoman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee and as a member of the Commerce Committee and the Intergovernmental Relations Commission.

"She understands the link between education and the business community," Davis added. "She's committed to hearing directly from the business community and she's been a great friend of our chamber."

Lampitt is a long-time resident of Cherry Hill where she lives with her husband of 25 years. Her two children are both in college.

"I think any time you're recognized for just the work that you do because you feel it's the right thing to do is an honor," Lampitt said on Friday. "I'm humbled by it. Over the last four years I've really tried to reach out to them and hear their concerns and when the time comes to understand their challenges or opportunities and represent them well when making my
vote."

Lampitt Receives "Public Service Award"

Regional Business Organization Praises Lampitt’s Leadership, Commitment to Innovation

(VOORHEES)—The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey last night presented Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden) with its “Public Service Award” at its 2009 Pinnacle Awards Dinner, held at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill. Each year, the Chamber presents this award to a public servant who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the regional business community.

“Upon her election, Assemblywoman Lampitt immediately championed the mission and activities of the Chamber, and works with us on our public policy agenda in support of our members and the regional business community. Pam has provided an open door to the Chamber and our membership, seeking our input on a variety of issues and listening to our concerns including those relating to the State budget and state spending,” said Debra DiLorenzo, President & CEO of the Chamber. “In particular, she has been a champion for small businesses and for innovative legislation to help grow New Jersey’s budding ‘green’ jobs sector. In these economic times, we need more hardworking legislators like Assemblywoman Lampitt, and we’re proud to honor her.”

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,” said Lampitt “As a former councilwoman in Cherry Hill, I led the push for economic development and a more business-friendly climate. I’m proud to have continued that work in the Assembly.”

Scalera & Lampitt Bill to Require School Security Improvements Released by Senate Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly members Fred Scalera and Pamela Lampitt sponsored to require school security drills to improve emergency preparedness was released today by a Senate committee.

State law requires most public schools to conduct two fire drills per month, but their bill (A-3002) aims to improve readiness at public and private schools by requiring one monthly fire drill and one monthly security drill.

The measure recently passed the Assembly 78-0 last year and was released today by the Senate Education Committee.

A security drill would practice procedures that respond to emergencies such as a lockdown or an active shooter.

“Many schools haven’t practiced their security plans because there’s no law to require them to do so,” said Scalera, (D-Bergen, Essex, Passaic) chairman of the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee. “That’s a problem. History has taught us that school security drills can be vitally important and lifesaving.”

The bill would direct the Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, in consultation with state education, fire safety, emergency management, state police and attorney general’s office officials to develop and disseminate curriculum to each school district and nonpublic school to help them prepare and conduct school security drills.