News

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.

Caride, Jimenez, Mukherji, Holley, Benson & McKnight Bill to Ensure Safety of Students in Wheelchairs on School Buses Clears Legislature

Legislation Assembly Democrats Marlene Caride, Angelica Jimenez, Raj Mukherji, Jamel Holley, Daniel R. Benson and Angela McKnight sponsored to improve the safety of students in wheelchairs who are transported on school buses cleared the legislature on Monday with a final legislative approval in the Senate, 38-0.

The bill (A-1257) would require school bus drivers to secure students who use a wheelchair with a four-point securement system, which shall be made available on all school buses used to transport students who use a wheelchair. A four-point securement system is defined by the bill as a complete four-point system that includes four wheelchair restraints to secure a wheelchair to the vehicle floor; a lap and shoulder belt that integrates to the rear wheelchair restraints; and floor anchorages installed in the vehicle floor. 

Mazzeo, Benson, Moriarty & Danielsen Bill Honoring Parents of Fallen Heroes Goes to Governor's Desk

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 was approved Monday by the full Assembly, 70-0. It can now go to the Governor for further consideration. 

The bill (A-458), to be known as the "County Identification Cards for Gold Star Parents Act," would permit 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 legislation, more importantly, is a way to acknowledge just how much the parents of members of our military also give to our country." 

Downey, Houghtaling, Holley & Benson Bill to Connect More Who Served to Programs, Benefits for Veterans Gains Final OK

Legislation Assembly Democrats Joann Downey, Eric Houghtaling, Jamel Holley and Daniel Benson sponsored to more effectively deliver services to veterans in New Jersey received final legislative approval from the Senate on Monday and now heads to the governor's desk.

The bill (A-4171), which was approved by the Assembly last year, would establish the New Jersey Commission on Veterans' Benefits in the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The 13-member commission would develop, maintain and annually update a five-year statewide veterans' benefits strategic plan that includes goals and measurable outcomes to ensure that all state departments and agencies are effectively delivering comprehensive services and support for veterans and their families.

"Many veterans are aware of how they can benefit from resources the federal government offers, but they're sometimes uncertain about what they and their families may qualify for at the state level," said Downey (D-Monmouth). "A commission dedicated to making sure veterans have access to the programs and benefits they're eligible for and deserve will help New Jersey honor its obligation to those who have served this nation."

Eustace, Benson, Zwicker, Wimberly Bill to Authorize Virtual Net Metering For Certain Customers Clears Legislature, Goes to Gov's Desk

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Daniel Benson, Andrew Zwicker, and Benjie Wimberly to allow "virtual" net metering for customers connected to hydropower facilities was approved by the full Assembly on Monday. 

Virtual net metering (VNM) is a bill crediting system. A customer receives credits on their electric bill for excess energy drawn from a hydropower facility.

"For residents who have invested in a renewable energy source for their homes, this legislation would reduce their utility bill by giving them credit for the excess energy produced," said Eustace (D- Bergen, Passaic). "Virtual net metering allows the customers to keep tabs on how much energy they actually use through alternative energy sources. Because of their investment, residents should see the savings on their utility bills from month to month."

Under the bill (A-2204), a small scale Hydro power facility put into service after the effective date with the capacity of 3 MW or less is eligible for net metering. The bill authorizes a facility to deliver or sell power to up to 10 end-use customers, who are located within 10 miles of the facility and net-metered within the service territory of a single electric public utility, and designate the end-use customers to be credited by the electric power supplier or basic generation service provider with the excess generations of the facility. 

Coughlin, Downey, Mukherji, McKnight, Singleton & Benson Bill Extending Deadline to Apply for Senior Freeze Property Tax Rebates Goes to Governor

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Craig Coughlin, Joann Downey, Raj Mukherji, Angela McKnight, Troy Singleton and Daniel R. Benson granting seniors and disabled residents more time to apply for their property tax rebates cleared the legislature with final approval by the full Assembly, 70-0. The bill will now go to the Governor for further consideration.

"For those living on a fixed income, like seniors and certain disabled residents, every little bit helps," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). "The senior freeze program can provide a substantial boost to those individuals so we'd like to make sure they have as much time as possible to apply and take advantage of it."

"Property tax rebates are often a much-needed income boost that can make the difference between whether someone can afford their prescriptions or pay their utility bill," said Downey (D-Monmouth). "By extending the deadline, hopefully we can ensure that more seniors and disabled residents have time to apply for what is rightfully owed to them."