News

Assembly Dems Bill to Ensure Safety of Students Transported on School Buses Becomes Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph Lagana, Reed Gusciora, Raj Mukherji, Jamel Holley, Daniel R. Benson, Joe Danielsen, Benjie Wimberly and Joann Downey to prevent individuals who have had their driving privileges suspended or revoked from operating a school bus was signed into law this week. 

"Individuals who've had their driving privileges suspended or revoked have no business being on the road, never mind transporting children to school," said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). "Losing your driving privileges is no small infraction. This will keep irresponsible individuals from transporting school children, and ensure the safety of students who depend on school bus transportation."

"The road is already a dangerous place. Parents should be assured that the person charged with safely transporting their children to and from school is qualified to do so," said Gusciora (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). "This ensures that those individuals who knowingly drive a school bus despite not being allowed to drive are punished and are never allowed behind the wheel of a school bus."

Now Law: Mukherji, Benson & Lampitt Bill to Require Health Insurance Providers to Cover the Use of 3-D Mammography for Breast Cancer Screening

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Raj Mukherji, Dan Benson & Pamela Lampitt to require health insurers, SHBP and SEHBP to cover digital tomosynthesis for breast cancer screening has been signed into law.
Digital tomosynthesis, also sometimes called 3-D mammography, creates a three-dimensional picture of the breast using x-rays. Several low-dose images from different angles around the breast are used to create the final 3-D picture. Conventional mammography produces one image of overlapping tissue, while tomosynthesis provides multiple pictures of breast tissue as the scanner moves in an arc. The difference between the images produced by tomosynthesis and conventional mammography has been described as being akin to a three dimensional ball versus a flat circle. 

Now Law: Mazzeo, Benson, Moriarty & Danielsen Bill Honoring Parents of Fallen Heroes

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Daniel Benson, Paul Moriarty and Joe Danielsen to honor the parents and guardians of fallen members of the armed forces has been signed into law.
The law (A-458), known as the County Identification Cards for Gold Star Parents Act, permits county clerks or registers of deeds and mortgages to create a Gold Star Parent identification card. The card would serve to identify the holder as the parent or guardian of a member of the armed forces who died while on active duty and prove eligibility to receive any applicable discounts or other courtesies extended to military families. 
"For those mothers and fathers who had to bury a child who volunteered to serve America out of love of country, having a tangible recognition of that sacrifice is invaluable," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "While the associated discounts and privileges will benefit families financially, this law, more importantly, is a way to acknowledge just how much the parents of members of our military also give to our country." 
Every application for a Gold Star Parent identification card will be signed and certified by the applicant and supported by such documentary evidence as the county clerk or register of deeds and mortgages, as appropriate, may require.

Now Law: Conaway, Benson, McKnight, Jimenez & Sumter Bill to Ensure Treatment Options are Provided Hand-in-Hand with Opioid Antidote

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., Daniel Benson, Angela McKnight, Angelica Jimenez and Shavonda Sumter to make sure opioid treatment options are offered when someone receives an antidote for an overdose has been signed into law.
"Opioid antidotes have proven highly effective in preventing tragedies, but they're not the solution to the problem," said Conaway (D-Burlington), a practicing physician and chair of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee. "When coming face-to-face with someone obviously suffering from an addiction, we should seize that opportunity to discuss their options for treatment as a real, life-saving solution." 
Specifically, the law (A-2430) requires that, when a health care professional or first responder administers an opioid antidote to a person experiencing a drug overdose, the person must be provided with information concerning substance abuse treatment programs and resources, including information on the availability of opioid antidotes.

Coughlin, Benson & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Help Fight NJ's Opioid Crisis Signed into Law

A measure sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Assemblyman Dan Benson and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle to help fight the state's opioid epidemic has been signed into law.
The opioid crisis has killed more than 7,000 people in New Jersey since 2012, according to a report by NJ Advance Media. Last year, at least 1,901 people died from opioid overdoses.
"This crisis is killing thousands of New Jerseyans every year and it is only getting worse," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). "We must balance both the needs of patients who rely on these drugs for pain management, and the need to address the opioid misuse and abuse that continues to take a toll on so many families and communities throughout the state."
"The unfortunate truth is that for many people these drugs are the only option to relieve severe or chronic pain," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "This law can help reduce the potential for abuse and help prevent the tragic consequences that come with opioid addiction."
"There is no one solution to this problem. Tackling this epidemic is going to take a long-term, multifaceted approach," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "Taking steps like enhancing monitoring of prescriptions and expanding opioid education to health care professionals who don't prescribe, but work with these patients can help lessen the risk for abuse, which too often ends in tragedy." 

Lampitt, Mosquera & Benson Bill Granting Immunity to Good Samaritans Who Save Unattended Children At-Risk in Vehicles Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Gabriela Mosquera and Daniel Benson to provide civil immunity to someone who forcibly enters a motor vehicle to remove unattended and unsupervised children who might be at risk has been signed into law. 

"We have all heard the stories of children being left in a locked car in hot or freezing temperatures and the subsequent tragedies," said Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington). "If a child is in immediate danger and the authorities have been notified, a good Samaritan should not have to be concerned with the cost of damages to the vehicle if they are trying to save a child's life." 

The law (A-4079) stipulates that a person would not be held liable for any damages arising out of and in the course of forcibly entering a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a child left unattended and unsupervised in the vehicle. 

McKnight, Chiaravalloti & Benson Bill to Crack Down on Reckless Driving Signed into Law

Legislation Assembly Democrats Angela McKnight, Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Daniel Benson sponsored to make it easier for prosecutors to ensure justice is served in cases of reckless driving has been signed into law.

The sponsors noted that the 2015 death of Medford resident Eileen Marmino, a special education teacher and mother of two who died in a crash while riding her bicycle, was the impetus for the legislation. Although the driver had swerved into the bike lane and killed Marmino, the penalty was considered a traffic violation punishable by a mere $300 fine and no jail time.

"New Jersey needs to eliminate the ambiguity from the law regarding reckless driving," said McKnight (D-Hudson). "Clarifying the law will help prosecutors do their jobs and ensure that irresponsible drivers pay the price for their actions."

Benson Named New Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin has named Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson as the new Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities chairman.
Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex) will take charge of the key committee responsible for topics ranging from NJ Transit to motor vehicle inspections to toll authorities and roadway safety and bridge and highway construction.

Lampitt, Mosquera & Benson Bill Granting Immunity to Good Samaritans Who Save Unattended Children At-Risk in Vehicles Clears Both Houses, Goes to Gov

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Gabriela Mosquera and Daniel Benson that would provide civil immunity to someone who forcibly enters a motor vehicle to remove unattended and unsupervised children who might be at risk was given final legislative approval Monday evening, 67-0, by the full Assembly. 

"We have all heard the stories of children being left in a locked car in hot or freezing temperatures and the subsequent tragedies," said Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington). "If a child is in immediate danger and the authorities have been notified, a good Samaritan should not have to be concerned with the cost of damages to the vehicle if they are trying to save a child's life." 

The bill (A-4079) stipulates that a person would not be held liable for any damages arising out of and in the course of forcibly entering a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a child left unattended and unsupervised in the vehicle. 

Wisniewski, McKnight, Chiaravalloti & Benson Bill to Crack Down on Reckless Driving Heads to Governor’s Desk

Legislation Assembly Democrats John Wisniewski, Angela McKnight, Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Daniel Benson sponsored to make it easier for prosecutors to ensure justice is served in cases of reckless driving received final legislative approval from the Assembly on Monday and now heads to the governor's desk.

The sponsors noted that the 2015 death of Medford resident Eileen Marmino, a special education teacher and mother of two who died in a crash while riding her bicycle, was the impetus for the legislation. Although the driver had swerved into the bike lane and killed Marmino, the penalty was considered a traffic violation punishable by a mere $300 fine and no jail time.