By Ray Smith | March 15th, 2012 - 7:44pm
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TRENTON – The Assembly met until approximately 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, passing resolutions and bills that covered assistance to veterans, rights of employees, how the state should address the relocation of call centers to foreign countries and more.

A2003/S1305, Troy Singleton, (D-7), Mount Laurel, and John Burzichelli, (D-3), West Deptford: This bill revises the sales and use tax to specify certain persons who are deemed to be sellers and to clarify the tax collection responsibilities of retailers.

It passed 58-20-2.

A2036, David Russo, (R-40), Midland Park; Upendra Chivukula, (D-17), Somerset: The bill requires a company that provides transportation for passengers in wheelchairs to secure the wheelchair using a four-point system. 

It passed 77-0.

A2184/S1289, Herb Conaway Jr., (D-7), Delran; Daniel Benson, (D-14), Hamilton Square: The purpose of this bill is to increase the allowance to more appropriately assist veterans rated 100 percent permanently disabled by the United States Veterans Administration from wartime service. Payments to blind and certain other disabled veterans would increase from $750 a year to $1,200.

It passed 79-0.

A2201, Upendra Chivukula, (D-17), Somerset: This bill would add to this list of individuals who can solemnize a marriage any civil celebrant who is trained and certified by a non-denominational or educational non-profit organization.

It passed 66-10.

A2205, Wayne DeAngelo, (D-14), Hamilton; John Wisniewski, (D-19), Sayreville: This bill invalidates any consumer contract, including any arbitration agreement, that contains language requiring a consumer to waive the right to contact a law enforcement or other official agency for the purposes of reporting a consumer complaint.

It passed 79-0.

A2223/S1653, Troy Singleton, (D-7), Mount Laurel; Herb Conaway Jr., (D-7), Delran: This bill requires the state to develop a system by which an applicant for the approval of a permit issued by a state agency may track its progress via electronic means. 

It passed 49-28.

A2288/S260, John Wisniewski, (D-19), Sayreville: This bill grants the Financial Policy Review Board additional oversight powers.  Specifically, the bill requires the board to report to the Legislature on a quarterly basis, detailed information concerning:  capital spending at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; the New Jersey Turnpike Authority; and other programs.

It passed 47-27-5.

A2311/S1718, Mila Jasey, (D-27), Maplewood; Albert Coutinho, (D-29), Newark:  This bill directs the Commissioner of Education to establish a program to issue subject area endorsements in mathematics or in the sciences to certificated teaching staff members authorized to work in New Jersey public schools who do not currently have a subject area endorsement in those fields.  The purpose of the program is to reduce the shortage of teachers in mathematics and science. 

It passed 80-0.

A2314/S1422, Upendra Chivukula, (D-17), Somerset; Daniel Benson, (D-14), Hamilton Square:  This bill requires the state to install outdoor lighting fixtures that comply with design requirements intended to minimize wasted light.  The bill would not require the state to replace outdoor lighting fixtures that are properly functional as of the bill's effective date, the start of the seventh month after enactment.

It passed 62-16.

A2351/S1447, Gordon Johnson, (D-37), Teaneck; John Burzichelli, (D-3), West Deptford: This bill requires the Director of the Division of Taxation to establish an online donation portal so that a person may make an online donation by electronic payment to any of the special funds to which a contribution can be made on a taxpayer’s New Jersey gross income tax return.

It passed 66-10-3.

A2395/S1246, Craig Coughlin, (D-19), Woodbridge; Albert Coutinho, (D-29), Newark:  This bill would authorize the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to provide a no-interest loan to a municipality, county or redevelopment entity in a brownfield development area. The bill would authorize the term of the loan for a period not to exceed 10 years.

It passed 79-0.

A2402, Nelson Albano, (D-1), Cape May Court House; Matt Milam, (D-1), Cape May Court House: This bill allows businesses that are eligible under the “Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant Program” (“BRRAG”) or the “Grow New Jersey Assistance Program” (“Grow NJ”) to receive tax credits for each new full-time job created that is filled by an unemployed person who had been receiving unemployment benefits for at least 13 weeks immediately preceding the hiring. 

It passed 49-30.

A2555, Cleopatra Tucker, (D-28), Newark; Matt Milam, (D-1), Cape May Court House: This bill would allow the transfer of certain military commercial driver’s licenses to a commercial driver’s license. 

It passed 79-0.

A2597/S1212, John Wisniewski, (D-19), Sayreville; Brian Rumpf, (R-9), Forked River: This bill requires the Commissioner of Transportation to erect appropriate signs informing motorists of their duty to change lanes when approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, tow truck, or highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle that is displaying flashing emergency lights.

It passed 75-4.

A2608, Albert Coutinho, (D-29), Newark; Vincent Prieto, (D-32), Secaucus: This bill provides for the temporary deferral of certain tax collection responsibilities imposed under the sales and use tax, and revises the sales and use tax to enumerate certain persons presumed to be sellers responsible for the collection of tax. This is in response to retailers’ complaints about internet businesses not charging the sales tax.

It passed 70-7-3.

A2647,  Pamela Lampitt, (D-6), Voorhees; Celeste Riley, (D-3), Salem: This bill requires every employer in the state to post notification in an accessible place of worker rights under every applicable state and federal law that provides for gender pay equity or that prohibits wage discrimination based on gender.

It passed 50-26-2.

A2648, Angel Fuentes, (D-5), Audubon; Pamela Lampitt, (D-6), Voorhees: This bill prohibits employer retaliation against any employee who discloses to any other employee information regarding the job title, occupational category, and rate of compensation of any employee or the gender, race or other characteristics of the employee for which it is a violation of law to discriminate against an individual.

It passed 49-28-1.

A2649, Pamela Lampitt, (D-6), Voorhees; Celeste Riley, (D-3), Salem: This bill requires any employer who contracts with the state to report to the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development information regarding the gender, race, job title, occupational category, and rate of compensation, including benefits, of every employee in connection with the contracts, and provide updates of the information. 

It passed 46-31.

A2650, Pamela Lampitt, (D-6), Voorhees; Celeste Riley, (D-3), Salem; Paul Moriarty, (D-4), Turnersville: This bill provides that a discriminatory compensation decision or other employment practice that is unlawful occurs each time that the compensation is paid in furtherance of that discriminatory decision or practice.

It passed 49-26-4.

A2651, Connie Wagner, (D-38), Paramus; Timothy Eustace, (D-38), Paramus: This bill requires any employer that relocates a call center from New Jersey to one or more foreign countries to notify the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development at least 120 days prior to the relocation or transfer of operations.

It passed 56-23.

AR63, Cleopatra Tucker, (D-28), Newark; Gilbert Wilson, (D-5), Audubon:   This Assembly Resolution urges the President and Congress to enact HR3435, the “Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act” otherwise known as the “STOP Act.” Only a small percentage of the more than 19,000 incidents of rape and sexual assault involving military service members were actually reported to a commanding officer.

It passed 75-0-4.

AR64, Linda Stender, (D-22), Scotch Plains:  This Assembly resolution urges the Governor to oppose the merger of pharmacy benefit managers Medco Health Solutions and Express Scripts Inc. Medco Health Solutions, based in Franklin Lakes, is the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States and employs approximately 4,000 people in New Jersey.  Express Scripts Inc., based in St. Louis, Mo., is the third largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States.  There is a proposed $29 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions by Express Scripts Inc.

It passed 54-16-8.

AR65, Gary Schaer, (D-36), Passaic; Grace Spencer, (D-29), Newark: This Assembly Resolution amends General Assembly Rule 10:1 to change the number of authorized members of the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee from 7 to 9.

It passed 78-0.

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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

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