Press Releases

Assembly Panel OKs Bill to Make Cost-Effective Biological Drug Alternatives More Widely Available

May 7, 2015

An Assembly panel on Thursday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., Daniel Benson, Shavonda Sumter, Angel Fuentes and Nancy Pinkin to make it easier for consumers to obtain more cost-effective, "generic" versions of biological medicines used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, psoriasis and various forms of cancer.

"The FDA has created a safe pathway to make alternative biological medicines more readily available on the market," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "If there is a more cost-effective option to treat and cure various illnesses, then by all means we should be helping patients pursue it."

"Substitution of these biologically similar products for their name-brand counterparts at the pharmacy level is expected to reduce cost by increasing competition," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "Ultimately, this will allow more patients to access treatments."

While New Jersey has allowed chemically-synthesized generic drugs to be substituted for brand-name prescriptions for quite some time because the active ingredients are identical to their brand-name counterparts, biological medicines, on the other hand, are manufactured through biotechnology using living organisms and are much more complex than traditional, chemically-synthesized drugs.

Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt & Lagana Bill to Tackle Campus Sexual Assault Clears Assembly Panel

May 7, 2015

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainiei Huttle, Pamela Lampitt and Joe Lagana to better equip New Jersey colleges and universities to prevent and respond to sexual assaults on campus was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.

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."

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."

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.

Assembly Panel Approves Bill to Help Bring Food Assistance Program Directly to Residents after Chronic Programming Delays

March 24, 2015

An Assembly panel has approved legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to establish an enrollment program to help make sure New Jersey's most vulnerable families get the food assistance they need.

The bill (A-4090) would establish the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment program in the Department of Human Services (DHS).

"We need to be more creative in making sure this program works for the people who need it most because clearly the long-running approach has not been working," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "Long delays and a lack of communication have left many needy families in the lurch. This will help provide more clarity and make sure more residents are aware of this critical assistance."

The bill was designed to help combat New Jersey's "chronically poor performance" in administering the SNAP program. Reports last summer ranked the state 52nd out of 53 state agencies nationwide in terms of timeliness when it comes to processing applications for the program.

"These changes will bring this program directly to residents, make them more aware of it, and help them enroll onsite," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "Hopefully this will help alleviate some of the issues that have forced some of our most vulnerable residents to wait an exorbitant amount of time to find out if they qualify for crucial assistance to help feed their families."