Press Releases

Lampitt Bill to Promote Flu Vaccination Awareness Among Seniors Continues Advancing

May 18, 2015

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Joseph Lagana, Angelica Jimenez, Tim Eustace and Vince Mazzeo to promote seasonal influenza awareness among New Jersey seniors was approved by the Senate on Monday.

The bill (A-3890) would require the Department of Health to prepare and publish online printer-friendly information about the flu vaccine for older adults.

"Older New Jerseyans are far more susceptible to serious flu-related complications. Because their immune systems are weaker, the flu can result in hospitalization or even death among seniors," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "Supplying members of this specific population with the information they need to protect themselves and those around them can keep older residents healthy and save lives."

The information would include items such as:
- How vaccination can help prevent the flu in older adults;
- The availability and efficacy of the flu vaccine for older adults;
- A recommendation that seniors consult with their physicians regarding the flu vaccine; and
- The particular individual and community benefits of vaccination among older adults sharing close quarters, such as residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs)

Each CCRC in New Jersey would be required to post the information in a conspicuous public place in the facility no later than August 1 of each year. The provisions of the bill, however, do not require seniors to receive a flu vaccination, the sponsored noted.

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

May 14, 2015

The full Assembly 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.

Lampitt, Singleton, Mainor & Sumter Bill to Increase Teaching Opportunities, Help Boost Failing Schools Clears Assembly Panel

May 11, 2015

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Troy Singleton, Charles Mainor and Shavonda E. Sumter to increase teaching opportunities for minority men in order to help provide high quality teachers in chronically challenged schools was approved Monday by an Assembly panel.

"If implemented properly, this program could be a win-win to help meet two crucial goals - employing more minority men and providing quality teachers for disadvantaged schools," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington).

The bill (A-1853) would establish a pilot program in the Department of Education (DOE) to recruit and match eligible participants to teach in chronically failing schools under the state's alternate route teacher preparation program. Eligible participants would be male residents of New Jersey who are from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds, interested in pursuing a teaching career, and meet the eligibility criteria for enrolling in the alternate route program.

"This is a great way to help an underrepresented portion of our population find a solid, stable career path while serving as positive role models for students in our failing districts, many of whom are minorities," said Singleton (D- Burlington).

"If we can help create more diversity within our teaching ranks while meeting the needs of our chronically challenged schools, then I think this will be a win for everyone," said Mainor (D-Hudson)

Lampitt & Mosquera Bill to Protect Babies, Ensure Safety of “Milk Banks” Advanced by Assembly Panel

May 11, 2015

An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt and Gabriela Mosquera to protect nursing babies as the practice of sharing breast milk through "milk banks" rises in popularity.

Human milk banks are an organized service for the selection of a donor and the collection, processing, storage, and distribution of donated human breast milk to a hospital for use by low birth weight babies or new mothers with delayed lactation, or directly to a parent, with a physician's prescription order, who is unable to nurse, or is in need of additional breast milk to feed the parent's child.

"The practice of sharing breast milk has a long history dating back to the days of wet nurses," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "While modern day 'milk banks' may be a godsend in some cases, breast milk, like blood, is a bodily fluid and should be licensed and regulated with stringent medical and scientific standards."

The lawmakers noted that there are many babies, particularly premature ones, who cannot digest formula properly, making breast milk an imperative and contributing to the rise in popularity of milk banks. However, the limited number of licensed human milk banks in the country has made it hard for families, especially those on a fixed income, to gain access to one.

Diegnan, Lampitt & Caride Bill to Promote Engineering Education Continues Advancing

May 7, 2015

Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Patrick Diegnan, Pamela Lampitt and Marlene Caride to create a task force that would be charged with recommending how to incorporate engineering into the K-12 science curriculum continued advancing on Thursday.

"STEM jobs are on the rise, but our colleges are not graduating enough engineering majors to keep up with the demand. If we want to compete in an increasingly global economy, we have to expand engineering education," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). "Early introduction can encourage more students, especially women and minorities who are under represented in this field, to consider engineering as a career. The task force created by this bill would rely on the expertise of professionals in education, engineering and science to tell us how to best introduce engineering into the school curriculum."