Press Releases

Oliver/Lampitt/Greenwald/Love/Cruz-Perez Bill Requiring State to Report Assaults & Deaths at State Psychiatric Hospitals Gets OK

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly members Sheila Y. Oliver, Pamela R. Lampitt, Louis D. Greenwald, Sandi Love and Nilsa Cruz-Perez to require the state to publicly report assaults and deaths at state psychiatric hospitals has received final legislative approval.

The legislation (A-2949) is a direct response to delays in the release of statistics on assaults at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in Camden County.

It was approved today 39-0 by the Senate. It was approved 77-0 in May by the Assembly. It now goes to the governor.

Lawmakers had requested the information following several high-profile incidents at the hospital, including a patient escape and several deaths.

“The well-being of patients at state-operated hospitals should never be in doubt and breaches in the safety net cannot be hidden from view,” said Oliver (D-Essex). “Any violent incident at a state hospital must be made part of the public record so health officials and legislators can take appropriate and immediate action.”

The bill would require the Department of Human Services (DHS) to establish a system for reporting the number of physical assaults and unexpected deaths that occur at the state’s psychiatric hospitals: Ancora, Ann Klein Forensic Center, Greystone Park Psychiatric Center, Senator Garret W. Hagedorn Psychiatric Center and Trenton Psychiatric Hospital.

The report would be a public record, posted on the official DHS website and updated quarterly, but would not contain identifying information about patients or staff members.

Love/Lampitt/Wagner/Evans Bill to Regulate Credit Card Solicitation on Campuses Clears Assembly

Measure Would Require Credit Card Companies to Register with Colleges & Students to Complete Education Courses before Credit Cards Could be Issued

The Assembly today passed legislation Assemblywomen Sandi Love, Pamela R. Lampitt, Connie Wagner and Elease Evans sponsored to regulate how credit card companies solicit new customers on college campuses in New Jersey.

"When used properly, credit cards can be a great financial tool," said Love (D-Camden). "Unfortunately, many college students do not understand how credit works and wind up getting themselves and their parents into financial trouble by spending more than they can possibly pay."

According to a 2004 study conducted by Nellie Mae, a national student loan company, nearly 76 percent of college students hold at least one credit card. The study found that credit card possession and credit card usage drastically increases as students progress through college. Fifty-six percent of seniors reported that they possessed four or more cards and carry an average total debt of $2,864.

"Casual, uninformed use of credit can have long-lasting financial implications," said Lampitt (D-Camden). "Requiring credit card companies to ensure that college students understand how credit works before they apply for a credit card will go a long way toward making New Jersey undergraduates more savvy consumers."

Lampitt/DeAngelo/Coutinho Bills to Green New Jersey Schools & State Offices Clears Assembly Panel

Measures Will Create ‘Green Teams’ To Advance Energy Conservation & Efficiency in Government Offices and Public Schools

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly members Pamela Lampitt, Wayne P. DeAngelo and Albert Coutinho sponsored to further promote the state’s efforts to conserve energy and improve efficiency in state buildings and public schools today was released by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

The lawmakers crafted measures (A-3082 and A-3596) as part of the state’s ongoing efforts to improve energy efficiency, conservation and increase environmental sustainability.

Last year, New Jersey was at the helm of national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring a portion of all energy to come from renewable resources, it became the third state in the nation to enact the law preceding federal efforts to cut greenhouse gases.

“New Jersey must lead by example, by ensuring State buildings are making the most efficient use of energy resources,” said Lampitt (D-Camden). “We must take the initiative to implement green practices in state buildings which potentially can save New Jersey countless dollars in energy and water bills. Going green will not just save the state money – it has direct impacts on the health, well-being and productivity of state employees.”

Lampitt/Greenwald/McKeon Measure Combating Sexually Oriented Businesses Clears Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly members Pamela R. Lampitt, Louis D. Greenwald and John F. McKeon sponsored to protect children from and help communities deal with sexually oriented business has been advanced by an Assembly panel.

“Adult sexually oriented businesses may have First Amendment rights, but that doesn’t give them carte blanche to exploit children or erode the property values of nearby homeowners,” said Lampitt (D-Camden). “We need to provide property owners and communities with all possible tools to keep porn shops and other adult-oriented businesses in check.”

The bill requires that sexually oriented businesses provide adequate outdoor lighting and video security surveillance in the outside area surrounding the business. Video surveillance recordings would be maintained for at least 10 days.

Additionally, the bill would impose fines on the operator or employee of a sexually oriented business who permits minors under the age of 18 onto the premise of the sexually oriented business.

The bill permits municipalities in which sexually oriented businesses are located to conduct a negative secondary effects study after a sexually oriented business has been open for 12 months.

If the municipality finds there has been a negative impact resulting from the presence of the sexually oriented business, the municipality may impose a tax on the business at a rate of $1 per patron visit. All money collected by the municipality from this tax must be used for public safety purposes.

Beach, Greenwald & Lampitt Applaud Tax Relief Deadline Extension

Seniors, Disabled Homeowners Have Until August 17 to File for “Senior Freeze,” Homestead Rebate

(VOORHEES)—Senator James Beach, Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (all D-6th) today applauded Governor Jon S. Corzine for extending the deadline for senior and disabled homeowners to file for their “Senior Freeze” property tax reimbursement and their Homestead Rebate from June 1, 2009 to August 17, 2009.

Earlier this year, the Legislature passed into law a measure expanding the eligibility requirements for the “Senior Freeze” program. Estimates suggest up to 70,000 additional households may be eligible under the expanded income eligibility requirements, which increased to $70,000 for 2008 and $80,000 for 2009.

“Now that June 1 is upon us, the new deadline for the ‘Senior Freeze’ and Homestead Rebate will allow seniors and disabled property taxpayers an extended window to apply for property tax relief,” said Beach. “By recently voting to expand eligibility, we’ve committed to doing everything we can to help seniors and disabled residents weather this economic storm.”

“In this tough economy, many seniors and disabled homeowners are truly struggling to make ends meet,” said Greenwald. “As legislators, we took the lead in expanding the eligibility for the ‘Senior Freeze’ to protect our residents from this recession. With the deadline for these programs extended from June 1 to August 17, I urge eligible residents to apply.”