Press Releases

Bipartisan Bill to Make Sure “Return Home NJ” Program is Compassionate and Pragmatic Gets Assembly Panel OK

January 15, 2015

Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt, Garcia, Eustace & Mosquera Bill Will Ensure Individuals with Disabilities Aren't Transferred Home Against their Will

An Assembly panel on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Pamela Lampitt, Carmelo G. Garcia, Tim Eustace and Gabriela Mosquera to ensure that individuals with disabilities living in out-of-state facilities are not transferred home under the "Return Home New Jersey" program to the detriment of their well-being.

"We need to make sure our most vulnerable are not sacrificed for savings, especially when it's minor savings that carry major consequences," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "There may be some situations where returning an individual home is in their best interest, but there are also many circumstances where a transfer will cause a wholesale disruption to an individual's life. These outstanding factors, as well as a family's wishes, must all be weighed before the fate of each individual is determined."

The legislation was proposed after Governor Christie conditionally vetoed an earlier measure (S-2249) sponsored by Vainieri Huttle. That bill would have imposed a moratorium on the "Return Home New Jersey" initiative until a plan was drafted to ensure comparable services would be offered to individuals in state and would have allowed anyone placed out of state 10 years ago or more to remain in their homes.

Benson, Jimenez, Lampitt & Caride Bill to Protect Quarantined Health Care & Public Safety Workers Advanced by Assembly Panel

January 15, 2015

Legislation protecting first responders who are quarantined or placed in isolation as a result of a health condition sustained on the job was advanced Thursday by the Assembly Labor Committee.

The bill, sponsored by Daniel R. Benson, Angelica Jimenez, Pamela Lampitt and Marlene Caride, requires an employer to pay a health care worker or first responder regular compensation for any period of time that the health care worker or first responder is placed in isolation or quarantine and unable to work.

It comes after concerns about the treatment of health care workers amid the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

"Healthcare workers and first responders are exposed to many job hazards in their line of work," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Quarantine may not happen often, but can be required in some of the more serious health cases occurring today. Our support must never waver for the men and women who save lives in today's unpredictable world."

"Emergency personnel risk their lives to save others when tragedy strikes," said Jimenez (D-Hudson/Bergen). "The dedication and sacrifice first responders' make should be returned if they fall ill and require isolated medical care as a result of just doing their jobs."

Assembly Panel Advances 2-Bill Package to Boost Access to School Breakfast

January 15, 2015

An Assembly panel on Thursday approved a two-bill package sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Gary Schaer and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to help ensure that more students receive breakfast every day to boost their chances of success in school.

The first bill (A-3889), sponsored by Lampitt, would establish a school breakfast kiosk pilot program to ensure students have greater accessibility to breakfast items in school.

“This program will help more children start the school day with a nutritious breakfast in order to learn, grow, and develop to their full potential,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). “Research shows that school breakfast increases attendance and decreases tardiness, improves academic performance and attentiveness and reduces emotional and behavioral problems among students from all backgrounds.”

A school district seeking to participate in the two-year pilot program shall submit to the Department of Agriculture a plan outlining how the school will make food available on a cart, cubicle, or kiosk on the way into the school or to a classroom, dining room, or other designated area. The plan shall also outline food choices, including how they will be consistent with federal guidelines, pricing, and packaging requirements, as well as location, support, and disposal needs.

Lampitt Bill to Promote Flu Vaccination Among Seniors Clears Panel

January 14, 2015

Legislation Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt sponsored to promote seasonal influenza awareness among New Jersey seniors was advanced Monday by an Assembly panel.

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.

"Given how quickly the flu can be transmitted in environments where many people regularly share a space, it's especially important that residents of senior housing communities get vaccinated and reduce the risk of the influenza virus spreading," said Lampitt.

Lampitt Bill to Boost Creation of Small, Women- & Minority- Owned Businesses Gains Assembly Panel Approval

January 12, 2015

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt to expand the scope and reach of small, women- and minority-owned businesses throughout New Jersey by providing loans through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority was approved Monday by an Assembly panel.

"Statistics show that women- and minority-owned businesses generate noticeably less revenue than small businesses as a whole," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "This isn't because they aren't as bright or innovative as other business owners. Many times it's because loans and investment capital are harder to come by, putting these businesses at a disadvantage from the get-go. Rebuilding our economy depends on our ability to invest in small, women- and minority-owned businesses in surrounding urban regions."

Under the bill (A-3168), when the Economic Development Authority makes direct loans to small, women and minority-owned businesses, manufacturers, redevelopers or nonprofit organizations in areas designated by the State Development and Redevelopment Plan as urban centers, it must also include such businesses located in "regional centers" surrounding these urban areas.

The Urban Plus Program provides financial support in the form of loans from the EDA with a below-market interest rate to qualified community and economic development projects, manufacturers, redevelopers and not-for-profit organizations in the following endorsed New Jersey municipalities: Camden, Trenton, Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, East Orange, New Brunswick, and Atlantic City.