Press Releases

Benson to Lead Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee

Assembly Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore Daniel R. Benson will serve on Assembly committees aimed at preserving New Jersey residents' safety, health and ability to travel throughout the state as the 217th legislative session begins.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has appointed Benson to serve as chair of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee, which is responsible for reviewing legislation dealing with police, fire and emergency management services, public safety regulations, criminalization of activities and legal ramifications of crimes.

"As a legislator, I helped to strengthen Megan's Law, fought to reform halfway houses and worked to better protect seniors from scams. As the new chair of the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee, I look forward to working with the Speaker and my colleagues to further the safety of New Jersey's families," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "I'm honored that the Speaker has entrusted me with this responsibility and am ready to get to work in this new role." 

Mazzeo, Andrzejczak, Mukherji, Moriarty, Benson & Danielsen Bill Package to Boost Care for "Wounded Warriors" Now Law

A legislative package sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Sgt. Bob Andrzejczak, Raj Mukherji, Paul Moriarty, Daniel Benson and Joseph Danielsen to boost assistance for "wounded warriors" and their caregivers, an ever-growing demographic that faces unique challenges in the post-9/11 era, has been signed into law.

The lawmakers were inspired by a number of unsettling statistics regarding the care of wounded veterans in the post-9/11 era, most notably that an estimated 1.1 million civilians are providing volunteer care-giving services to wounded veterans. Meanwhile, a Rand Corporation study conducted in 2014 found that 53 percent of post-9/11 voluntary caregivers have no support network and as many as 40 percent do not have their own health care.

These new measures are designed to help improve the quality of life for wounded warriors by boosting state resources to provide assistance to both them and their caregivers.

DeAngelo, Eustace, Mazzeo, Pintor Marin & Benson Utility Consumer Protection Bill Becomes Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo, Tim Eustace, Vince Mazzeo, Eliana Pintor Marin and Daniel Benson to require the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to protect consumers by establishing standards and procedures for consumer interaction with third-party electric power and gas companies has been signed into law.

The legislation is a response to testimony the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee received from consumer utilities advocates and utilities partners on the need for regulation of third-party providers.

"The deregulated market leveled the playing field for third party competitors and gave consumers the opportunity to shop around for the best rate," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex), chair of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee. "However, it also has raised concerns for many regarding regulation. This law will begin to strengthen consumer protection for residents who choose a third party electric power or gas service as their energy provider."

Andrzejczak & Benson Bill to Encourage Students to Honor & Assist Veterans and Active Duty Military Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak and Daniel Benson to encourage students to honor and assist veterans and active duty military members was signed into law on Tuesday. 

The new law (formerly A-4148) provides an excused absence on Veterans Day for any student who participates in activities for veterans or active duty members. Activities include attending a ceremony honoring a veteran or active member returning from overseas deployment, or assisting a veteran at a hospital or food shelter.

"Attending a ceremony honoring a veteran or active duty member, or helping a veteran at a hospital or food shelter, has immeasurable educational value," said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland), who was a sergeant in the U.S. Army and was injured during a deployment to Iraq. "Students can learn tremendously from our veterans and active duty members, all of whom have so much to teach about service to our nation, personal commitment or history, among the many, many possibilities."

Vainieri Huttle, Singleton & Benson Bill to Create Office to Advise on Special Education Matters Now Law

 Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Troy Singleton and Daniel Benson to help protect the rights of students with disabilities was signed into law on Tuesday. 

The new law (A-1103) establishes the Office of the Special Education Ombudsman in the Department of Education. The office will serve as a resource to provide confidential information and support to parents, students and educators regarding special education rights and services.

Andrzejczak & Benson Bill to Promote Home Accessibility for Disabled Vets Now Law

Legislation Assembly Democrats Sgt. Robert Andrzejczak and Daniel Benson sponsored to exempt veterans with disabilities from certain fees for home adaptations that would facilitate mobility in their residences has been signed into law. 

Benson Bill to Study Bringing Electronic Driver’s Licenses to N.J. Signed into Law

Legislation Assemblyman Dan Benson sponsored to require the state to study the feasibility of electronic driver's licenses in New Jersey has been signed into law.

The new law (S-2695/A-4110) requires the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, in consultation with the New Jersey Office of Information Technology, to prepare and submit to the governor and to the Legislature a report on the feasibility of electronic driver's licenses in New Jersey.

"The report will cover the cost and resources required, advantages and disadvantages, privacy, security issues, use by law enforcement and any other concerns related to the issuance of electronic driver's licenses by the MVC," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Let's face it. It's 2016. Technology is an ever-present part of our lives, and it's only going to become more common. It's only a matter of time before we move toward electronic licenses, so let's get started to see how we can best accomplish this goal for the benefit of our drivers."

DeAngelo, Quijano & Benson Bill to Require Comprehensive Webpage Outlining Leave Benefits Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo, Annette Quijano and Daniel Benson to provide workers in New Jersey with online access to information regarding certain leave benefits has been signed into law.
"It's important that workers in our state have access to information about benefits meant to help them achieve balance between their personal lives and their professional lives," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "This will make it easier to find out how to take advantage of these benefits."

Andrzejczak, Tucker & Benson Bill to Create Mentorship Program for Vets Who Enter Criminal Justice System Now Law

A bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bob Andrzejczak, Cleopatra Tucker and Daniel Benson to create a mentorship program to assist veterans who have become involved in the criminal justice system is now law.

"Military service is honorable, but it can leave physical, mental and emotional scars that, without intervention, can make reintegration to civilian life difficult and lead veterans down the wrong path," said Andrzejczak, (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland), a U.S. Army veteran who served and was wounded in Iraq. "This is not about making excuses, but rather recognizing that there may be some underlying issues at play that, if resolved, could help make a difference in the lives of these veterans."

The law (A-4465) tasks the adjutant general of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs with assisting and mentoring veterans who enter the criminal justice system while their cases are pending and afterward.

Conaway, Benson, Vainieri Huttle, Sumter & Mukherji Bill to Notify Public of Open Beds at Drug Treatment Facilities Now Law

 Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway, Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Shavonda Sumter and Raj Mukherji to help more individuals struggling to overcome substance abuse receive the treatment they need was signed into law Tuesday.

The new law (formerly A-3955) requires the development and maintenance of a database to advise the public about open bed availability in residential substance use disorder treatment facilities. The state Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services will create and oversee a public database that tracks the number of open beds available for treatment in each facility that receives state or county funding.

Lampitt, Diegnan, Benson, Jasey, Johnson, Mosquera & Muoio Bill to Help Guide a Student's Return to School after a Concussion Advances in Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr., Dan Benson, Mila Jasey, Gordon Johnson, Gabriela Mosquera and Elizabeth Muoio to help guard against exacerbating conditions in students who suffer concussions was approved Monday by the Assembly.

Specifically, the bill (A-4207) stipulates that a student enrolled in a school district who sustains a concussion must receive an evaluation by a licensed health care professional and written clearance from the licensed health care professional to return to school. 

Benson & Coughlin Measure to Facilitate 'Med Sync' For Prescription Drugs Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson and Craig Coughlin to make it easier for individuals who need multiple prescription drugs to access their medications has been signed into law.

"By making it more convenient for patients to pick up prescription drugs, we can increase the likelihood that people will take the medications they need, which will keep them well and reduce overall health care costs," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "This law is a simple way to move us toward a healthier New Jersey." 

DeAngelo, Eustace, Mazzeo, Pintor Marin & Benson Consumer Protection Bill to Make Price Comparison Information for Energy Suppliers Available Online Becomes Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo, Tim Eustace, Vince Mazzeo, Eliana Pintor Marin and Daniel Benson to provide consumers with online price comparison information for various energy companies was signed into law on Monday.

The legislation is a response to testimony the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee received from consumer utilities advocates and utilities partners on the need for regulation of third-party providers.

Benson, DeAngelo & Johnson Bill Paving the Way for Special Municipal Parking Programs for Seniors Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Daniel Benson, Wayne DeAngelo and Gordon Johnson to pave the way for special municipal parking programs for seniors was signed into law on Monday.

Specifically, the law (A-3917) permits municipal governing bodies and municipal parking authorities to create a Senior Citizen Priority Parking Program to provide residents age 60 or older with reduced parking permit rates and program-restricted parking spaces within the municipality, or within parking areas controlled by the parking authority.

Lampitt, Greenwald, Vainieri Huttle, Benson & Mazzeo Bill to Create Tax-Free Savings Accounts for Individuals with Disabilities Becomes Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Daniel Benson and Vince Mazzeo to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with developmental disabilities was signed into law on Monday. 

The new law (A-3956) requires the Department of Human Services and the Department of the Treasury to establish the "New Jersey Achieving a Better Life Experience" (ABLE) program in accordance with the federal "Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014," which President Obama signed into law in December 2014. Under the program, individuals with certain disabilities will be permitted to establish ABLE accounts that may be used to pay certain disability-related expenses. ABLE accounts will be exempt from state income taxation and will not be included as an asset or income when determining the individual's eligibility for state assistance programs.

Spencer, Benson & Muoio Bill to Strengthen Current Endangerment Laws Now Law

Legislation sponsored by L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex), Dan Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex) and Elizabeth Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) that consolidates and toughens current laws dealing with the endangerment of other persons was signed into law on Monday.

The new law was prompted by the case of Parker Drake, a Howell teen with autism who was coaxed into jumping off the Manasquan jetty and into the freezing waters by another two men back in February. The two men were not charged after local law enforcement said there were no criminal statutes that applied. Parker's mother eventually filed a complaint against them for disorderly conduct.

Eustace, Andrzejczak, Taliaferro & Benson Bill Package to Combat Hunger Signed into Law

A three-bill package sponsored by Assemblymen Tim Eustace, Bob Andrzejczak, Adam Taliaferro and Daniel Benson to combat hunger by making good use of the billions of dollars in food that goes to waste every year in the United States was signed into law on Monday.

The sponsors noted that each year, approximately 40 percent of the food supply in the U.S. goes uneaten due to losses at the farm, retail, and consumer levels. This wasted food costs Americans $165 billion in retail sales and uses up valuable water and energy resources. Meanwhile, 49 million Americans, including 16 million children, are at risk of going hungry. In New Jersey, alone, 1.15 million people, including 375,000 children, are affected by food insecurity. 

Lampitt, Vainieri Huttle, Benson, Spencer, Wimberly & Mosquera Bill to Create Alert System for Missing Disabled Persons Signed into Law

Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Daniel Benson, L. Grace Spencer, Benjie Wimberly and Gabriela Mosquera sponsored to create an alert system for missing persons with mental, intellectual or developmental disabilities was signed into law on Monday.

The new law (A-4270) requires the attorney general to establish the MVP Emergency Alert System, which, similar to the state's Amber Alert and Silver Alert systems, will provide practices and protocols for the rapid dissemination of information regarding a person who is believed to be a missing vulnerable person. 

Assembly Democratic Legislation to Document Alzheimer's Disease-Related Deaths Becomes Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Carmelo G. Garcia, Joseph Lagana, Adam Taliaferro, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joe Danielsen, Jamel Holley, Daniel Benson and Angelica Jimenez to ensure that fatalities linked to Alzheimer's disease are properly recorded in official records was signed into law on Monday.

The new law (A-4188) stipulates that Alzheimer's disease and related disorders may be listed as a secondary cause of death on a certification of death. Often, the primary cause of death on a death certificate is identified as an acute condition, such as pneumonia or heart failure. Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, however, cause a decline in brain function that may lead to problems with feeding and swallowing and can put an individual at risk for poor nutrition, dehydration and infection. This may significantly increase the risk of developing, and exacerbate the effects of, the acute condition that ultimately is listed as the primary cause of death on the person's death certificate.

Vainieri Huttle, Singleton & Benson Bill to Create Office to Advise on Special Education Matters Heads to Governor’s Desk

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Troy Singleton and Daniel Benson to help protect the rights of students with disabilities gained final legislative approval from the Assembly on Monday. 

The bill (A-1103) would establish the Office of the Special Education Ombudsman in the Department of Education. The office would serve as a resource to provide confidential information and support to parents, students and educators regarding special education rights and services.

Assembly Approves Benson Bill to Study Bringing Electronic Driver's Licenses to N.J.

Legislation Assemblyman Dan Benson sponsored to require the state to study the feasibility of electronic driver's licenses in New Jersey was given final legislative approval by the full Assembly, 75-0 on Monday. 

The bill (A-4110) requires the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, in consultation with the New Jersey Office of Information Technology, to prepare and submit to the governor and to the Legislature a report on the feasibility of electronic driver's licenses in New Jersey.

Benson & DeAngelo Bill to Better Inform Caregivers, New Parents of Leave Benefits Clears Assembly

Legislation Assemblymen Daniel Benson and Wayne DeAngelo sponsored to increase awareness of certain benefits available to workers in New Jersey was approved 45-30 by the General Assembly on Monday.

"Particularly among pregnant workers in New Jersey, benefits intended to help families and promote better work-life balance are underutilized," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "This legislation increases efforts to help employees learn about what's available to them."

Eustace, Benson & Muoio Bill to Provide Electric Vehicle Recharging Stations Along NJ Turnpike, Parkway & AC Expressway Gains Assembly OK

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Daniel Benson and Liz Muoio requiring the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority to provide electric vehicle recharging stations at certain rest areas along the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and the Atlantic City Expressway gained approval from the General Assembly on Monday.

"There is nothing worse than running out of gas on a dark and busy highway. It's not only a nuisance; it is not safe," said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic), who owns an electric car and knows first- hand the difficulty of finding a charging station. "The number of electric cars being driven on our roads may not match the number of gas-fueled cars, but we still have a responsibility to provide these drivers with sufficient fueling and charging stations, especially on heavily-travelled highways."

DeAngelo, Eustace, Mazzeo, Pintor Marin & Benson Consumer Protection Package Requiring BPU to Establish Standards for Third-Party Energy Suppliers Approved by Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo, Tim Eustace, Vince Mazzeo, Eliana Pintor Marin and Daniel Benson to require the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to protect consumers by establishing standards and procedures for consumer interaction with third-party electric power and gas companies received final legislative approval on Monday by the Assembly, 73-0.

The legislation is a response to testimony the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee received from consumer utilities advocates and utilities partners on the need for regulation of third-party providers.

"The deregulated market leveled the playing field for third party competitors and gave consumers the opportunity to shop around for the best rate," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex), chair of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee. "However, it also has raised concerns for many regarding regulation. This legislation will begin to strengthen consumer protection for residents who choose a third party electric power or gas service as their energy provider."

Lampitt, Benson, Vainieri Huttle & Eustace Bill to Examine Pedestrian Safety Statewide Heads to Gov’s Desk

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Tim Eustace creating a Pedestrian Safety Study Commission to help improve pedestrian safety in New Jersey received final legislative approval from the Assembly on Monday by a vote of 74-0.

"New Jersey, because of its high density, has one of the biggest causes for concern when it comes to pedestrian safety," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "Whether it's urban, suburban or rural, every area of our state has its own unique set of issues that threatens pedestrian safety. This commission will be tasked with finding solutions to make New Jersey a more pedestrian-friendly state." 

Singleton, Mosquera & Benson Sponsored ‘Lisa’s Law’ to Electronically Monitor Domestic Violence Offenders Goes to Governor

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Gabriela Mosquera and Daniel Benson that would establish a pilot program for the electronic monitoring of domestic violence offenders in New Jersey was approved 73-0 Monday by the General Assembly, sending it on its way to the governor's desk.

"Under our current system, it is far too easy for domestic violence offenders to get close to their victims again after an initial attack has occurred," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "It is a recipe for tragedy and is, frankly, unacceptable. Letting domestic violence victims literally see when trouble is heading their way will help them stay one step ahead of attackers hell bent on becoming repeat offenders." 

Conaway, Benson, Pinkin & Wimberly Bill Requiring Health Insurers to Cover New Abuse-Deterrent Pain Medications Goes to Governor

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., Daniel Benson, Nancy Pinkin and Benjie Wimberly requiring health insurers to cover prescription pain relief medications designed to decrease abuse and addiction was approved 58-13-3 Monday by the Assembly, giving it final legislative approval.

Specifically, the bill (A-4271) would require health insurers to provide health benefits coverage for prescribed abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drugs.

DeAngelo, Quijano & Benson Bill to Protect Consumers by Improving NJ's Public Utility Infrastructure Goes to Governor

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo, Annette Quijano and Daniel Benson to begin minimizing the impact of severe weather on consumers after the vast power outages that affected millions of homes and businesses in New Jersey during Superstorm Sandy was approved 62-10 Monday by the Assembly, giving it final legislative approval.

The bill (A-2586) would establish the Energy Infrastructure Commission to study the state's public utility network.

Spencer, Muoio, Benson & Pintor Marin Bill to Boost Funds for Combating Lead Paint Hazards Gains Final Legislative Approval

Legislation Assembly Democrats L. Grace Spencer, Elizabeth Muoio, Daniel Benson and Eliana Pintor Marin sponsored to support statewide efforts to eliminate lead-based paint hazards in New Jersey communities gained final legislative approval in the Senate on Thursday. The bill now heads to the governor's desk.

The bill (A-2325) would allocate $10 million to the Department of Community Affairs to combat lead paint hazards. 

"This legislation provides much-needed funding for state programs which protect children and families from lead hazards in the home," said Spencer (D-Essex).

Eustace, Benson & Johnson Clean Vehicle Task Force Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

Legislation Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Daniel R. Benson and Gordon Johnson sponsored to evaluate the use of low- and zero-emission vehicles or "clean" vehicles in New Jersey cleared the Senate on Thursday, giving it final legislative approval.

The bill (A-2405) would establish the Clean Vehicle Task Force, whose 11 members would evaluate issues related to the promotion, development and use of low-, zero- or partial zero emission vehicles in New Jersey. The body would submit a report with recommendations to the governor and the legislature within a year of organizing.