Press Releases

Bill to Reduce Foreclosures & Help Families Stay in their Homes Advanced by Assembly Panel

October 6, 2014

Bill Would Create Three-Year Pilot Program to Help Struggling Homeowners Reduce Mortgage Principal

Legislation Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Jerry Green, Wayne DeAngelo, Shavonda Sumter and Pamela Lampitt sponsored to create a pilot program to assist distressed New Jersey homeowners stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure was recently released by an Assembly panel.

"Behind every financially-troubled home is a family working feverishly to stay afloat," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "This pilot program would help these homeowners be able to afford to stay in their homes without encouraging homeowners who are current on their mortgages to default, reducing the foreclosures and short sales that are stifling the recovery of the housing sector."

The bill (A-955) would establish the "Mortgage Assistance Pilot Program" in the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJ HMFA). The three-year pilot program would allow homeowners, who have negative home equity and who are in default on an agency owned mortgage, to lower their principal balances by transferring shares of equity in the mortgaged property to the agency.

The sponsors noted that New Jersey's foreclosure inventory is the fourth highest in the nation, and we are one of the few states in the nation where the foreclosure percentage rose over the past year.

Bill to Boost Participation in School Breakfast Program Gains Final Legislative Approval

September 22, 2014

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 was approved 38-0 on Monday by the Senate, giving it final legislative approval.

The bill (A679/2186) would require 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, would 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.

Bill to Boost College Internships in Life Sciences Field Ok’d by Assembly Panel

September 18, 2014

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Wayne DeAngelo, Annette Quijano, Pamela Lampitt and Thomas Giblin that would help boost paid internship opportunities for college students in the life sciences field was cleared the Assembly Commerce Committee on Thursday.

The bill (A-1011) would create "The New Jersey Life Sciences Internship Challenge" program, which provides a tax credit subsidy to small life science companies to establish a limited number of paid summer internships in the life sciences field for undergraduate students from New Jersey and undergraduate students attending New Jersey schools.

"This bill helps New Jersey students attain paid work experience in the life sciences field," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "These companies represent well-paying jobs for our graduates. By targeting smaller companies, we are helping them to grow and bolster this vital segment of our state's economy."

"It's almost expected for college students to build up their work experience by participating in internship programs," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "This particular program gives our college students a paid option in a burgeoning field that offers good wages to its workers, while strengthening the companies that will one day be looking to hire the best prospects."

Bill to Boost Participation in School Breakfast Program Advances in Senate

September 15, 2014

Bill Would 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 advanced in the Senate on Monday.

The bill (A-­­­679/2186) would require 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, would 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.

Lampitt Bill Bolstering Car Safety for Young Children Continues Advancing

September 18, 2014

Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Pamela Lampitt to bolster car safety for young children was released Thursday by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

"With advances in research and car safety technology, recommendations to protect children in motor vehicles are always changing. Just look how different things were just a decade or two ago," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington), chairwoman of the Assembly Women and Children Committee. "Incorporating the latest recommendations will help ensure that we're doing all we can to protect young children in automobiles."

The bill (A-3161) would amend the state's child passenger restraint system and booster seat law to implement the latest car seat safety recommendations.

Under current law, every person operating a motor vehicle equipped with safety belts (other than a school bus) who is transporting a child under the age of eight years and weighing less than 80 pounds must secure the child in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat.

The bill amends the law to specify that when being transported in a motor vehicle:

- A child under the age of two years and weighing less than 30 pounds must be secured rear facing in a child passenger restraint system equipped with a five-point harness.

- A child under the age of four years and weighing less than 40 pounds must be secured: