Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Jim Beach, Senator Dawn Addiego, Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Assemblyman Troy Singleton, Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, officials running the Vets4Warriors program at Rutgers and the Burlington County Military Affairs Committee met on Wednesday to highlight the use of $8 million in special funding added to the state budget for veterans’ services, including money that will keep the Vets4Warriors program operating.
The Legislature and the governor worked together to fund the suicide prevention program operated by Rutgers when federal government announced it was going to discontinue its support by Friday. The special funding provides the money needed to keep Vets4Warriors operating and for other veterans’ services, including health care.
“For veterans struggling with the return to civilian life, having a strong and accessible peer support network can be the difference between life and death,” said Senator Addiego. “The Vets4Warriors program ensures that our returning heroes are never alone in their times of need.”
Senator Dawn Addiego has signed on as a co-prime sponsor of a resolution (SCR-175) opposing the New Jersey Fish and Game Council’s proposal to allow the use of enclosed foothold traps, as the new policy is in violation of the plain language and legislative intent of a 1984 New Jersey law banning animal steel-jaw leghold traps and similar types.
“These traps can snare household pets as well as local wildlife, causing serious injury, trauma and death,” said Senator Addiego. “The 1984 legislation is absolute and unambiguous in its intention to protect animals languishing in this type of trap.”
Addiego & Rodriguez-Gregg Bill Allowing Amusement Games in Bars and Restaurants Clears Senate, Moves to Governor’s Desk
Senator Dawn Marie Addiego and Assembly Republican Maria Rodriguez-Gregg’s bill to allow Dave & Buster’s-style restaurant and entertainment venues in New Jersey earned the approval of the Senate. The measure (A-4143), which passed the General Assembly last month, permits issuing an amusement game license to qualifying bars and restaurants.
“We’re finally leveling the playing field,” said Addiego, R — Burlington, Atlantic and Camden. “Competing states have been enjoying a monopoly on this entertainment. Allowing food, drink and amusements in the same building will provide an economic boost for New Jersey.”
Governor’s Executive Order Implements Addiego/Allen Call for Expedited Gun Permit Applications for Victims of Domestic Violence
Senate Republicans Dawn Addiego and Diane Allen stated the following after Governor Chris Christie announced he had signed an Executive Order expediting firearms applications for victims of domestic violence:
“We’re glad to see Governor Christie agrees with our approach to ensuring victims of domestic violence have their firearms applications processed quickly and without delay.
Assembly Republican Maria Rodriguez-Gregg’s legislation allowing patients to synchronize the refill dates of their prescription medications and make fewer trips to the pharmacy earned the approval of the General Assembly.
The bill, A-3331 requires insurance companies to cover prescriptions dispensed in less than a one-month’s supply, allowing all the prescriptions to a patient to be renewed at the same time.
“Doctors and pharmacist should really be the ones deciding when prescriptions are refilled and not insurance companies,” said Rodriquez-Gregg, R – Burlington and Atlantic. “Managing medications is an important part of treatment.”
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Maria Rodriguez-Gregg allowing Dave & Buster’s-style restaurant and entertainment venues in New Jersey was approved by the General Assembly. The measure, A-4143, permits issuing an amusement game license to qualifying bars and restaurants.
“This profitable niche has done well in other states and it can help energize New Jersey’s economy,” said Rodriguez-Gregg, R – Burlington, Atlantic and Camden. “Opening the door for these specialty venues will create new business, new jobs, and renewed excitement in destinations like Atlantic City, our Shore towns, and downtown areas dependent on restaurant and nightlife traffic.”
Assemblyman Chris Brown (8th- Evesham) questioned Freeholder Joanne Schwartz’s lack of support for the Burlington County Library budget in a letter sent earlier this week. Freeholder Schwartz has previously voted against the library budget, the only “No” vote cast by a member of the Freeholder Board.
“The library system provides a host of resources for seniors and children. To take away current funding would be devastating to those that rely on the system for education, entertainment, and even assistance with job searches,” said Brown. “In these tough economic times we should be doing more to make sure our citizens have the tools they need to find gainful employment, not less.”
The Burlington County Library System has branches in Evesham, Westampton, Pemberton, Medford, Vincentown, and Mount Holly; all located in the 8th District as well as many others throughout the County. In many of these cases, they are the only library resources communities have.
Addiego: Decision Is a Triumph for Transparency
All three 8th District legislators voiced their support for a BPU decision rejecting a truncated approval schedule proposed by New Jersey Natural Gas for the construction of a natural gas pipeline routed through Burlington, Ocean, and Monmouth counties.
The proposal consisted of an accelerated schedule that is two months shorter than that proposed by the BPU, significantly cutting back on time for public participation in the process. The proposal was defeated in favor of the BPU’s proposed schedule, in a decision handed down by the board yesterday afternoon.
“This is the first step in what will hopefully be a transparent process that is open to public scrutiny,” said Senator Dawn Addiego. “The BPU has rightfully sided with the public and cast aside this egregious attempt to circumvent what is supposed to be an open and fair proceeding.”
After Bowne Murder, Addiego, Allen & Beck Announce Legislation to Prioritize Gun Permits for the Most Vulnerable
Senate Republicans Dawn Addiego, Diane Allen and Jennifer Beck announced they will introduce legislation to prioritize firearms permit applications for residents protected by a current restraining order. According to a Courier-Post report, a Berlin Township woman who was killed in an apparent domestic attack on Wednesday night was waiting for the approval of a firearms permit. According to the report the application was submitted in April but the review process had not yet been completed.
“The tragic murder of Carol Bowne shows that there are sensible changes we should make to public safety laws to help people protect themselves,” said Addiego (R-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic). “This legislation will make sure that those who need protection the most are given priority when it comes to the lengthy process of applying for a firearms permit.”
Senator Dawn Marie Addiego, Assemblyman Christopher J. Brown and Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (all R-8) issued the following statements on Gov. Christie’s State of the State address:
Addiego: “For five years, Gov. Christie has dedicated his efforts to make New Jersey affordable and to provide opportunity for the families who live here. Working together, we have reduced annual discretionary spending by $2.5 billion since 2008, and the jobless rate has sunk to its lowest level since 2008.”