Press Releases

Lampitt, Andrzejczak, Mazzeo & Mukherji Bill to Make It Easier for Veterans to Get Services Continues Advancing

February 9, 2015

Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Bob Andrzejczak, Vince Mazzeo and Raj Mukherji sponsored to help New Jersey's veterans - especially women veterans - obtain the help and services they need was released last week by an Assembly panel.

Under the bill (A-3749), the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs is to establish a program to provide assistance to qualified veterans in in-patient and out-patient treatment programs to travel to attend counseling programs within this state.

"Many veterans are unable to take advantage of helpful treatment programs in New Jersey because of the difficulty in arranging transportation," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "This bill will promote transportation assistance to veterans in order to ensure our veterans have the access to quality care they deserve."

"Counseling programs are vital for many of our veterans, who sacrificed so much serving our country," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "Unfortunately, getting to these programs can prove difficult for many veterans, so the least we can do is create a program to ensure they can travel to attend these programs."

"Having programs for our veterans is important, but our veterans need to be able to travel to them for them to be of value, which can be a difficult task for many," said Andrzejczak (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland), who is a disabled U.S. Army veteran wounded in Iraq. "If we truly want to help veterans, we need to ensure they can take full advantage of the programs there to help them, so that's the goal of this bill."

Conaway, Lampitt, Pinkin, Benson, Sumter & Wimberly Bill to Expand Life-Saving Overdose Prevention Act Now Law

February 5, 2015

A bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway Jr., Pamela Lampitt, Nancy Pinkin, Daniel Benson, Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly to help save more lives by granting immunity to emergency responders and other critical frontline professionals who administer overdose antidotes has been signed into law.

"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 law 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 law (A-3720) extends 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.

Democratic Bill Creating Commission to Study, Recommend Ways to Make NJ Colleges More Affordable Now Law

February 5, 2015

A bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats John Wisniewski, Dan Benson, Pamela Lampitt, Paul Moriarty, Benjie Wimberly and Carmelo G. Garcia to create a task force charged with studying different ways to help make college more affordable for New Jersey students has been signed into law.

"Rising tuition costs are placing unbearable financial burdens on New Jersey college students and families," said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). "The findings of the commission have the potential to open doors for students who otherwise could not afford a college education. Making higher education more affordable not only helps these students, but the state, which benefits from a well-educated workforce."

"It is a terrible tragedy when our best and brightest cannot further their education due to the rising cost of college tuition," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "The commission will examine all avenues to make higher education in New Jersey more affordable and accessible to our students."

"We lose many of our high school graduates to colleges and universities in other states. This migration hurts our schools and it hurts us as a state since many of these students will take jobs and settle in these states," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "Making our schools more affordable can help us better compete, and keep students who after graduation will help contribute to our economy. This new law will help us accomplish this goal."

Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt, Mosquera & Stender Bill to Create Sexual Assault Victims' Rights Act Clears Assembly Panel

February 5, 2015

An Assembly panel on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington), Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester) and Linda Stender (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union) to establish the Sexual Assault Victims' Rights Act and give victims access to information pertinent to their cases.

"Many sexual assault victims find the criminal justice system less forthcoming than it should be with information about their cases, which can leave them feeling victimized all over again," said Vainieri Huttle. "This affirms that victims have the right to relevant information about their cases."

The bill (A-3936) would require sexual assault victims to be notified of certain developments concerning the evidence in their cases. Specifically, the bill would expand the state's Crime Victim's Bill of Rights to give sexual assault victims the right to be informed if

- a DNA profile of an assailant was obtained from the processing of evidence in the sexual assault case
- a DNA profile of an assailant has been entered into any data bank designed or intended to be used for the retention or comparison of case evidence
- there is a match between the DNA profile of an assailant obtained in the sexual assault case to any DNA profile contained in any data bank designed or intended to be used for the retention or comparison of case evidence; and
- sexual assault evidence is submitted to a forensic laboratory, if that evidence is compared against any data bank, and the results of the comparison.

Bill to Allow Service Animals to Board School Buses Gets Final Legislative Approval

February 5, 2015

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vincent Mazzeo, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Pamela Lampitt, Gabriela Mosquera and Dan Benson to allow students with disabilities to bring service animals onto school buses in New Jersey received final legislative approval Thursday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"This legislation ensures that New Jersey aligns with what federal law prescribes," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "What's more important, however, is our commitment to ensuring that students with disabilities can have the highest quality of life possible and access the same opportunities as their peers."

The bill (A-3690) would expand state law to allow students with disabilities to board a school bus with a service animal. Current law only permits students with disabilities to enter classrooms and school grounds with service animals. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in services provided by state and local government entities.

"For certain students with disabilities, service animals are required for optimal learning and development," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "If a student needs a service animal in school and is allowed to have that, it is common sense to allow the student to bring the service animal onto the school bus as well."