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(MOUNT LAUREL) - Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) on Friday called on the House Republican leadership to put partisanship aside and make reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) one of its top priorities.
Singleton has been working hard to shepherd through bipartisan legislation known as Lisa's Law, which would increase protections for domestic violence victims by creating an electronic monitoring program for certain domestic violence offenders. The bill (A-321) is named after Letizia Zindell of Toms River who was murdered in 2009 by her former fiancé a day after he was released from jail for violating a restraining order that Zindell had filed against him.
Given the work he's been doing on Lisa's Law, Singleton was particularly disappointed with Speaker Boehner's decision not to post the VAWA for a vote before the 112th Congress ended, putting the lives of women everywhere at risk.
"Allowing this critical legislation to lapse is nothing short of a dereliction of duty, one that's becoming a common pattern with this House leadership.
"As elected officials, our most solemn responsibility is to protect the safety and well being of those we are elected to represent, and that includes all of our constituents, not just select groups.
"Nearly 20 years after this law was first enacted, violence against women is still a real and pervasive threat. We see it in New Jersey and throughout this country every day. Far too many lives have been lost through senseless acts of violence.
"I'm committed to doing everything I can to protect women here in New Jersey, including working vigorously with my colleagues across the aisle to get Lisa's Law passed. I hope Speaker Boehner and House Republicans will find this issue pressing enough to do the same and make reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act a top priority," said Singleton.
NJ Assembly Majority Office
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"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
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