Press Releases

Assembly Approves Greenwald & Lampitt Bill to Ensure Disabled Students are Not Denied Medical Marijuana Relief while at School

Assembly Majority Office
June 25, 2015
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The full Assembly on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt to ensure that students with debilitating illnesses and disabilities who participate in the state's medical marijuana program are not denied medicinal relief while at school or attending school functions.

New Jersey's medical marijuana law does not currently authorize the use of medical marijuana in schools or day programs serving developmentally disabled adults. In the absence of a state law on the subject, several school districts have specifically prohibited the use or administration of medical marijuana on school grounds.

"We're talking about some of the state's most severely disabled students, some of whom suffer life threatening seizures and medical marijuana is the only thing that has helped ease their condition," said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). "We should be working with these families, not hindering relief. This change will lend more compassion to our program and help serve those who need it most."

Mosquera, Lampitt, & Greenwald Bill to Protect Domestic Violence Victims from Gun Violence Approved by Assembly

Assembly Majority Office
June 25, 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 approved Thursday by the General Assembly.

"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

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."