By Minhaj Hassan | November 15th, 2012 - 3:35pm
| More

TRENTON – As towns pass resolutions in support of his vetoed Good Samaritan bill, Sen. Joe Vitale, (D-19), Woodbridge, said he plans to reintroduce it.

The Good Samaritan Emergency Response Act, which would give people immunity from prosecution when they are reporting drug overdoses, was conditionally vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie on Oct. 5.

In his veto message, Christie said the matter needs further study, and recommended the Division of Criminal Justice study the issue and provide suggestions to the administration.

“This bill fails to carefully consider all the interests that must be balanced when crafting immunities,’’ Christie said in the message.

On Wednesday evening, the Gloucester Township Council approved a resolution calling upon the Senate and Assembly to override Christie’s veto of the Good Samaritan Emergency Response Act  (A578/S851). It joined the towns of Magnolia, Red Bank and Audubon, all of which passed similar resolutions, according to the Drug Policy Institute.

In a telephone interview, Vitale said he plans to reintroduce the bill next week and will ask for the Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing. He said he plans to meet with the Christie Administration to discuss its concerns, adding that he’s open to compromise “if it means getting the bill done and we can find some common ground.”

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in June, some Republicans, including Sen. Gerald Cardinale, (R-39), Demarest, expressed concern the bill does nothing to go after the drug perpetrators.

“My point is I don’t want to absolve real facilitators of people taking drugs that lead to overdose,” he said at the hearing. “I believe this law gives an opportunity to people who have caused harm to get out of it by making this call.”

He added there is nothing now preventing people from making 911 calls anonymously.

“There has to be consequences for people who encourage others to use drugs,” he said then.

But Audubon Mayor John Ward called on the Legislature to take action in support of the bill.

“We firmly believe that any legislation that encourages individuals to call 911 for emergency medical assistance, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the need for the call, is good legislation. If this law saves one life as a result it is worth the effort,” Ward said in a statement.

Patty DiRenzo, a Blackwood resident who lost her son, Salvatore, to an overdose when he was age 27, also supports the bill.

“I’m thrilled that a growing number of New Jersey towns are taking the initiative to stand up and fight for a policy that will literally save thousands of lives,” she said. “I was devastated to learn of the Governor’s veto but these resolutions are an encouraging sign that the fight is not over. I will do whatever I need to do in Sal’s memory to save lives. The Legislature must stand up and do the right thing.”

The Back Room

Names on the LD7 GOP bench

In the event that state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) doesn't run for re-election in 2017, the party has a short list of possible candidates it could field to try to head off either Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) or Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 30th

  With looming deadline on bail reform, Christie calls Legislature into special session TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie is calling the legislature into special session Thursday to address recent bail reform legislation before a looming deadline next week, according to a letter from the governor’s office today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)...

Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

Poll

Who's right on the bail reform special session?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources