Press Releases

Assembly Panel Approves Comprehensive Legislative Strategy to Combat Domestic Violence

September 11, 2014

Five-bill Package is Sponsored by Quijano, Gusciora, Spencer, Tucker, Caputo, Johnson, Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt, Riley, Burzichelli & Mosquera

An Assembly panel on Thursday unanimously approved a comprehensive legislative strategy sponsored by Assembly Democrats to combat domestic violence by expanding protections for victims and providing law enforcement with better tools to deal with offenders.

The five-bill package is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Reed Gusciora, L. Grace Spencer, Cleopatra Tucker, Ralph Caputo, Gordon Johnson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Pamela Lampitt, Celeste Riley, John Burzichelli and Gabriela Mosquera.

The package includes the following bills:

* A-1310, sponsored by Quijano and Gusciora, would require that defendants convicted of a domestic violence offense who are placed on probation or have their sentence suspended must attend domestic violence counseling.

"In order to effectively combat domestic violence, there needs to be a twofold approach: cracking down on offenders while also enhancing protections for victims," said Quijano (D-Union). "Counseling for offenders is a good start to systemically tackling the root of the problem."

"Counseling will essentially help us treat the disease, rather than just masking the symptoms," said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). "This is a smart component to a comprehensive strategy to tackle domestic violence."

* A-1579, sponsored by Spencer, Tucker and Caputo, would create a self-defense justification for victims of domestic violence.

Lampitt: Averted Tragedy in Woolwich Shows Need for "Gold Alert" Legislation

August 20, 2014

Assembly Women and Children Committee Chairwoman Pamela Rosen Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) released the following statement Wednesday, after CBS reported that a man with cognitive disabilities was safely returned to his living facility after wandering off Monday in a rural section of Gloucester County:

"I am deeply thankful that this individual was found quickly and was safely returned to his living facility. Fortunately, this story had a happy ending, but in such situations, that is not always the case. That's why New Jersey needs the legislation I have proposed to create a 'Gold Alert' to assist the public and public safety officers in finding missing persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"My legislation is modeled on the already successful 'Silver Alert' system, which provides the public with information to help find missing senior citizens in similar situations. These recent events show the importance of such a system to assist in finding missing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. New Jersey should act on this common-sense legislation without delay."

Lampitt's bill, A-2709, passed the Assembly Human Services Committee in May by a vote of 5-0.

Lampitt Bill Bolstering Car Safety for Young Children Clears Full Assembly

June 23, 2014

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt to bolster car safety for young children unanimously cleared the full Assembly on Monday.

"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), Chair 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:

Prieto, Lampitt, Vainieri Huttle & Benson Bill Barring Discrimination in School Sports & Phys Ed Signed Into Law

June 19, 2014

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt and Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Assemblyman Daniel Benson to ensure that students with disabilities in New Jersey have an equal opportunity to participate in physical education programs received was signed into law on Thursday

"Every student deserves the chance to compete at the most competitive level possible," said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). "With the Special Olympics taking place in Mercer County this week we're reminded that the only limitations we face are the ones we impose on ourselves."

Specifically, the law (S-2079/A-3152) will require each school district in New Jersey to:

- ensure that a student with a disability has an equal opportunity to participate in existing classroom activities that involve physical activity; and try out for and, if selected, participate in athletic programs in an integrated manner to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the student ; and

- ensure the provision of reasonable modifications or aids or services necessary to provide a student with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in physical education programs, existing classroom activities that involve physical activity, and athletic programs in an integrated manner to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the student.

"Competition breeds success," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "Making sure students are competing at the highest level appropriate for them will hopefully inspire them to reach their true potential."

Assembly Panel Clears Stender & Lampitt Bill to Inform New Parents on Crib Safety

June 17, 2014

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Linda Stender and Pamela Lampitt to require hospitals and birthing facilities to provide new parents information about crib safety recently advanced in the Assembly.

As of June 28, 2011, all cribs manufactured and sold (including resale) must comply with new federal safety standards. In light of several highly publicized incidents involving drop-side cribs, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published new rules that: prohibit the sale of drop-side cribs; require that a crib's slats, mattress supports, and hardware be more durable in their construction; and require manufacturers to submit cribs to more rigorous testing to show compliance with the new safety standards.

"Many new parents may have the idea that a crib is a crib and that any crib will do," said Stender. "This is just not the case. Our legislation allows us to take advantage of an opportunity to educate new parents on crib safety. Providing this information underscores the importance of purchasing the right crib for your baby."

"The numerous crib recalls, re-sales and incidents which have occurred in recent years warrant legislative action," said Lampitt. "We must do more to educate new parents on safety. It will save our most precious of lives, newborn babies."