News

Benson Announces Mailing of 2015 Homestead Tax Benefit Applications

 

Assemblyman Daniel Benson is pleased to announce that Mercer and Middlesex County homeowners should be receiving their 2015 Homestead Benefit application packets from the New Jersey Division of Taxation by the end of September. Using the same schedule for printed packets, the Division will also send emails to homeowners who have requested electronic packets. 

"Every little bit helps when it comes to tax relief for residents, so I encourage all eligible homeowners to take advantage of this valuable Homestead Benefit Program," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex).

Benson Announces Expansion of “Safe Care Cam” Program to Protect Seniors, Give Families Peace of Mind

 

Assemblyman Daniel Benson is pleased to announce that the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs is expanding their "Safe Care Cam" program to now allow families to monitor patients in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, residences for the developmentally disabled, and other care facilities.

The program, which was originally only intended for use in private homes, serves as a valuable community resource to both residents who suspect that a loved one is being abused or to reaffirm peace of mind that a patient is being properly treated.

Benson Introduces Legislation to Help Rescue West Windsor-Plainsboro High School Football Program

Assemblyman Daniel Benson introduced legislation today that will help rescue the West Windsor-Plainsboro School high school football program and others like it that have fallen victim to the nationwide trend of declining enrollment.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, high school football enrollment is down 4.5 percent over the past decade. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North has felt these effects. With only four seniors, four juniors and 16 sophomores set to play in the upcoming fall football season, the school was forced to drop its varsity program for the upcoming school year and will only play a JV schedule. 

The West Windsor-Plainsboro School District had petitioned the state to allow High School North to merge its varsity program with the district's other school - High School South - but was denied because the schools are part of two different athletic divisions, North being a Group III school and South being a Group IV school.

Benson to Introduce Bill Package to Increase Transparency in Lead Testing After Trenton Water Works Finds Elevated Levels

Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex) will introduce two pieces of legislation on Thursday in response to notification of elevated levels of lead found in the water sourced by Trenton Water Works.

Benson noted that letters were sent to all 64,000 Trenton Water Works customers in Trenton, Hamilton, Lawrence, and Ewing last week with recommendations and steps to reduce lead in their drinking water, however, notification was not provided to officials in the affected municipalities.

Benson's first measure would require that any water works system that fails lead testing at any level must notify the municipalities and their school districts so that they may begin emergency management as necessary. More specifically, if the water system has lead levels above the action level, municipalities must be provided with information on what areas of the given system were tested and where elevated lead levels are found.

Schaer, Lampitt & Benson Bill to Encourage Greater Collaboration between Business and Higher Education Communities Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic), Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) and Dan Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex) to encourage more collaboration between New Jersey's businesses and institutions of higher education to help spur job creation and boost the economy has been signed into law.

"Fostering collaboration between our higher education institutions and our business community is vital to encourage innovation," said Schaer. "By using existing assets we are learning from what other states have done successfully. We should invest in our future."

"New Jersey is home to top-notch research universities and cutting edge industries. Not having these entities work together is a wasted opportunity," said Lampitt. "This can help produce the type of collaboration that can foster greater innovation and propel our economy forward."

Andrzejczak, Land, Vainieri Huttle, Taliaferro & Benson Bill to Protect Pets Against Inhumane Treatment Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bob Andrzejczak, Bruce Land, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Adam Taliaferro and Dan Benson to help protect pets against inhumane treatment is now law.

"Pet owners have a responsibility to care for their pets. That includes bringing their dogs indoors or providing adequate outdoor shelter during inclement weather," said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). "These animals are not immune from severe cold or hot weather. Keeping a dog outdoors under such conditions is just cruel and is now illegal."

Sumter, Jasey, Benson, Muoio & Downey Bill to Increase Transparency for NJCLASS Student Loan Programs Becomes Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter, Mila Jasey, Dan Benson, Elizabeth Maher Muoio and Joann Downey to combat student loan debt in New Jersey was signed into law on Monday.

"The only concern a college student should have after graduating is choosing which job will lead them closer to their goals," said Sumter (D-Bergen/Passaic).

"It has become the norm for families and students to take on an overwhelming amount of debt to pursue educational goals. We must increase transparency under NJCLASS Loan Programs, better educate families on loan repayment options and requirements as well as help families understand how much they can realistically handle in student loans."

Taliaferro, Eustace, Benson & Mazzeo Legislation Banning ‘Flakka’ Possession Signed into Law

Legislation Assembly Democrats Adam Taliaferro, Tim Eustace, Daniel Benson and Vince Mazzeo sponsored to help curb the use of a street drug often associated with violent and self-destructive behavior was signed into law on Monday.

The law (A-2176) now criminalizes the possession, distribution, manufacture and sale of the drug alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP), an inexpensive synthetic drug commonly referred to as "flakka" or "flocka." The measure adds the drug to an existing list of similar prohibited controlled substances that includes the family of synthetic cathinones known as "bath salts."

"Flakka has been linked to a number of psychotic symptoms and violent attacks, threatening the safety of communities across the nation," said Taliaferro (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). "With this law, New Jersey will be proactive about preventing this dangerous drug from taking over in our state." 

Muoio, Giblin, Mazzeo, Gusciora & Benson Bill Ensuring Furloughed State Workers Get Paid Signed into Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Elizabeth Maher Muoio, Thomas Giblin, Vince Mazzeo, Reed Gusciora and Daniel Benson to ensure that state workers who were involuntarily furloughed during the state government shutdown receive the wages or salary they were owed during that period has been signed into law.

Assembly OKs Vainieri Huttle, Eustace, Tucker, McKnight & Benson Measure Barring Christie from Transferring Addiction & Mental Health Services

By a vote of 42-25, the General Assembly on Monday approved a measure sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Tim Eustace, Cleopatra Tucker, Angela McKnight and Daniel Benson to block Gov. Christie's plan to transfer the functions of the state's mental health and addiction services from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Health.

Last week, the Assembly Human Services Committee, chaired by Vainieri Huttle, held a joint hearing on the plan with the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee at which time representatives from over 20 organizations and stakeholders expressed concerns regarding the content, potential effects, and timing of the planned reorganization.