Press Releases

Cryan, Benson, Singleton, Lampitt, Riley & Pinkin Bill to Boost Participation in School Breakfast Program Becomes Law

November 13, 2014

New Law will Create "Breakfast after the Bell" Program

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph Cryan, Daniel Benson, Troy Singleton, Pamela Lampitt, Celeste Riley and Nancy Pinkin to boost breakfast programs in schools, particularly for underprivileged children, in order to help give them a leg up on academics has been signed into law.

The new law (A-­­­679) requires the state to make every effort to assist school districts and nonpublic schools in increasing the participation rate of students, particularly low-income students, in the federal School Breakfast Program by establishing a "breakfast after the bell" program in the first-period classroom or during the first few minutes of the day.

The Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Department of Education, will oversee the effort and also be charged with preparing and issuing an annual report to the governor and the legislature on the number and percentage of students participating in a school breakfast program, and the format used for providing breakfast.

"Currently, the vast majority of New Jersey school districts only serve breakfast to a fraction of eligible children," said Cryan (D-Union). "With research showing that school breakfast increases attendance and decreases tardiness, improves academic performance both in class and on standardized tests, and improves attentiveness, we need to make it a priority.

Singleton, Lampitt, Quijano and Pintor Marin Bill to Help Boost Suicide Prevention in Schools OK’d by Assembly Panel

October 27, 2014

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Pamela Lampitt, Annette Quijano and Eliana Pintor Marin that would better prepare teachers to help prevent student suicides was advanced by an Assembly panel on Monday.

"Effective suicide prevention among teens requires a full court press from the community," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "Teaching staff can help be our frontline guards in this battle because they are well placed to notice and act on any early signs of depression. Hopefully this enhanced training will help us avert many future tragedies."

The bill (A-3224) would require that public school teaching staff members receive two hours of instruction in suicide prevention annually as part of the professional development requirement.

"It's important that kids know that there are many resources in place to help them if they're depressed and they should never feel alone," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "Teachers are in one of the best positions to recognize these signs so we should make sure they're well-prepared to talk to students if the need arises."

Currently, two hours of instruction in suicide prevention is required over the course of the five-year professional development period. This bill would require public school teaching staff members to receive two hours of instruction annually, for a total of 10 hours over the course of the professional development period.

Lampitt & Mukherji Earned Sick Leave Bill Released by Assembly Committee

October 27, 2014

Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt and Raj Mukherji sponsored to require employers to provide earned sick leave to workers in the state was released Monday by the Assembly Labor Committee.

The bill (A-2354) would allow workers to accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

New Jersey would follow Connecticut and California as states to pass legislation requiring employers to allow workers to earn paid sick leave.

"Workers should not have to choose between caring for their health and keeping their paychecks or jobs," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "Guaranteeing workers the ability to earn paid sick days would help ensure workers do not have to choose between their health and their economic security. New Jersey should be a leader in the fight for this common sense, pro-worker policy."

"Earned sick leave is a sensible workplace policy that is good for business and will prove crucial to New Jersey's economic future, stability and strength," said Mukherji (D-Hudson). "Workers who can properly take care of themselves and their families will feel secure in their jobs and be better employees. In addition to improving morale and reducing the spread of illness in the workplace, this legislation will also help employers with compliance and predictability."

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) has said the bill was among his priorities.

Democratic Bill to Promote Cost-Cutting Small Business Improvements Gets Panel OK

October 24, 2014

Legislation Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Herb Conaway Jr., Paul Moriarty, Jerry Green, Pamela Lampitt and Vincent Mazzeo sponsored to facilitate cost-effective environmentally friendly improvements for small businesses was advanced Thursday by an Assembly panel.

"Making their locations more energy efficient has the potential to save small businesses thousands of dollars each year," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "This legislation will go a long way toward helping to keep the costs of lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and other similar expenses at a minimum and increasing overall profitability for small businesses in New Jersey."

The bill (A-943) would permit small businesses to qualify for New Jersey Economic Development Authority loans to cover the costs of conducting energy audits and making energy efficiency and conservation improvements.

"Energy efficiency upgrades can reduce operating costs for small businesses while also making them eligible for the additional benefit of tax credits," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "In coupling the advantages for our economy and our environment, this bill presents a simple yet significant way to move New Jersey forward."

Conaway, Lampitt, Pinkin & Benson Bill to Expand Life-Saving "Overdose Prevention Act" Clears Assembly Panel

October 23, 2014

An Assembly panel on Thursday advanced bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway Jr., Pamela Lampitt, Nancy Pinkin and Daniel Benson to help save more lives by granting immunity to emergency responders and other critical frontline professionals who administer overdose antidotes.

"When seconds count, a well-meaning individual should not have to think twice about helping someone in need due to a fear that it ultimately may result in being held culpable for wrongdoing," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "This legislation is about making sure that more men and women who are willing and able to assist an individual during an emergency can do so without hesitation."

Specifically, the bill (A-3720) would extend the immunity provisions of the Overdose Prevention Act to certain professionals and professional entities that administer or dispense opioid antidotes, including sterile syringe access program employees, law enforcement officials, emergency medical technicians and other paid or volunteer emergency responders, safeguarding them from liability if they in good faith administer an antidote like naloxone, known also by its brand name Narcan, in the event of an emergency. Such antidotes counteract the depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system opioids cause and can prevent death during an overdose.