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Holley Introduces Bill Calling for Marketing Campaign to Increase Participation in School Breakfast, Lunch Programs

Nearly 540,000 New Jersey Students Qualify for Free or Low-Cost Meals

Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley (D-Union) introduced legislation Monday that would require the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Education, to create a targeted marketing campaign for the purpose of increasing student participation in the federal School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

“There are approximately 540,000 New Jersey students living in families who qualify for the nutritious, well-balanced meals that are offered in these free and low-cost programs,” said Holley.
“A marketing campaign geared toward eligible children and their families would help ensure that as many students as possible receive nutritious meals that can help them remain focused on learning while in school, not on being hungry. The facts are clear: children are less likely to learn when they are hungry, because they just can’t focus.”

In New Jersey, tens of thousands of children suffer from hunger each year, and a number of studies show that childhood hunger impairs learning. It can even cause lifelong health problems.

The bill (A-4396) calls for the marketing campaign to use visual and design elements that appeal to children, such as the use of superheroes.

“This marketing campaign is crucial, because it will help enroll more students in these programs,” said Holley. “Actually, families often don’t participate in school meal programs, because they are not aware of them and/or don’t know that they qualify. We need to get this message out so that our school children are attentive and ready to learn when they are in school–not hungry.”

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Holley Appointed to Health and Senior Services Committee

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley (D-Union) was recently appointed to serve on the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

“I am humbled and honored that Speaker Craig Coughlin has selected me to serve on this influential yet vital committee with Chairman Conaway and Vice-Chairwoman Pinkin,” said Holley. “I look forward to working with my fellow committee-members to help solve some of New Jersey’s most pressing issues, like the need to clean up our water, widespread depression and suicide, homelessness, obesity, pressing health concerns and making New Jersey the best place for seniors, children and families to live in the country.”

Assemblyman Holley can add this to his extensive list of political achievements, from becoming the youngest chief of staff in the New Jersey legislature at the time, to becoming the youngest mayor in Roselle’s history, to being commissioned by the New Jersey Democratic State Committee in 2004 to serving as a member of the Affirmative Action and Outreach Committee for the Democratic National Convention and currently serving as the first African American Assemblyman to represent Legislative District 20 which covers the City of Elizabeth, Borough of Roselle, Township of Hillside, and the Townships of Union.

“There is much work to do, and I am ready to delve into issues that affect every-day New Jerseyans. I love to serve my state, and I’m so excited to be able to expand my service.”

Assemblyman Holley also serves as the vice-chairman of the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee.

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McKnight, Chiaravalloti, Pintor Marin, Holley, Wimberly & Quijano Bill to Teach 6-8 Students Financial Literacy Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angela McKnight, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Eliana Pintor Marin, Jamel Holley, Benjie Wimberly and Annette Quijano to require school districts in New Jersey to teach financial literacy to elementary and middle school students received approval from the Assembly on Saturday, 71-2.

“One of the most important lessons a person can learn is how to manage their money. Many young people go into adulthood knowing little about finances, and end up making decisions that cost them in the long run,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “Teaching our kids early about the importance of managing their money and making sound financial decisions can prevent them from making costly mistakes and set them on the right financial path.”

The bill (A-1414) would direct the State Board of Education to require school districts to incorporate financial literacy instruction into the curriculum for students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade.
“Many young people don’t understand the importance of being financially responsible until they’ve already taken a few missteps. These poor decisions can hurt their credit when they are branching out on their own and need it the most,” said Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). “We don’t expect them to be experts, but they should have a basic understanding of how money works and how it affects their lives.

“The earlier we instill this message in our children, the better financial decisions they will make as adults,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “It is not uncommon for students to have their first job in high school, and by teaching financial lessons in grades kindergarten through eight, they will be ready for the responsibility of earning their own income as that time comes.”

“The purpose of the instruction will be to provide elementary and middle school students with the basic financial literacy necessary for sound financial decision-making,” said Holley (D-Union). “By instilling these lessons in students’ minds even before high school, they will undoubtedly be more prepared for when they are in college which is, for many, the first time they are financially independent.”

“This is an added benefit that will hopefully go a long way toward teaching young people how to make sound financial decisions as they get older,” said Wimberly (D-Passaic/Bergen). “The earlier students learn how to handle their money, the better prepared they will be to live independently and responsibly as they get older.”

“The instruction must include information about debt which helps at an appropriate time when so many students are taking out college loans,” said Quijano (D-Union). “By providing students with a plan for how to handle debt, they will be more prepared for when they graduate college and are faced with significant loan payments.”

Under the bill, the instruction must include content on budgeting, savings, credit, debt, insurance, investment, and other issues associated with personal financial responsibility as determined by the state board.
The state board must provide curriculum and sample instructional materials that may be used by school districts to support the implementation of the financial literacy instruction requirement.

The bill would take effect immediately upon enactment and be applicable to the first full school year following enactment.

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Holley, Carter, Kennedy & Quijano Measure to Rename a Part of Route 27 ;Jerry Green Memorial Highway; Clears Assembly

(TRENTON) – The full Assembly approved legislation, 77-0, Thursday sponsored by Assembly Democrats Jamel C. Holley, Linda Carter, James Kennedy and Annette Quijano to designate the portion of the State Highway Route 27 in Union County as “Jerry Green Memorial Highway” in honor of the life-long career in public service of the Assemblyman who represented Legislative District 22 for 16 years.
Speaker Pro Tempore Green was the longest serving Assemblyman of the current New Jersey General Assembly.

“Jerry dedicated every waking moment of his life to serving his community, Union County and the people of New Jersey,” said Holley (D-Union). “Caring and listening were two of Jerry’s most valued attributes as a public servant. He is an inspiration for any young man or woman growing up in humble means and endeavoring to make a difference with their lives. His experienced leadership combined with his no-nonsense personal style inspired many to pursue careers in public service.”

“He was a mentor, friend and inspiration to many, including myself.”
“It was an honor to know Jerry,” said Carter (D-Union), who was selected to fill Assembly Green’s seat. “His career dedication to improving the lives of his fellow New Jerseyans was admirable and inspiring. Given the number of properties he owned along this route and his commitment to the residents of Union County, naming this part of Route 27 would be a fitting tribute to his legacy.”

“Jerry was a good man and outstanding public servant,” said Kennedy (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union). “His legacy will live on in the people he has helped in his community and throughout the state. This designation is a way to remember all he has accomplished for the people of New Jersey.”

“Jerry was a fixture of legislative wisdom and experience in the Assembly,” said Quijano (D-Union). “His constituents could count on him to bring their concerns to the table and fight what is right. Assemblyman Green made a difference in the lives of others and showed others how to do it as well.”

A pillar of the community in Union County, Assemblyman Green has served in numerous public offices and public service roles, including for the Union County Planning Board, the Union County Adolescent Substance Abuse Program, the Private Industry Council of Union County, the Union County Utilities Authority, the Union County Democratic Committee, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the New Jersey General Assembly. Assemblyman Green also represented the 17th legislative district for 10 years.

While in the General Assembly, Assemblyman Green served as Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore, Speaker Pro Tempore and Deputy Speaker. Over the course of his tenure in the General Assembly, he was a member of numerous legislative committees, including serving as Chairman of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

Assemblyman Holley introduced this legislation (A-4073) on May 24.

“Naming the part of Route 27 that runs through Union County after him is a way to honor Jerry’s unwavering devotion to his hometown and his memory,” said Holley. “His legacy continues on in the legislature and the countless number of people he has helped along the way. Jerry is the reason many of us are committed to serving others.”

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Houghtaling, Downey, Mukherji & Holley Legislation to Make Sure Taxpayers are Aware of Property Tax Relief Programs Advanced by Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey, Raj Mukherji, and Jamel Holley to help ensure that New Jersey taxpayers are well aware of the property tax relief programs available to them was advanced by the full Assembly on Thursday with a vote of 73-2-2.

“It’s no secret that New Jersey has one of the highest property tax rates in the country,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “But what may be a secret to many is that there are a number of tax relief programs that they might be eligible for. This bill will ensure that taxpayers are aware of the relief that is available.”

Specifically, the bill (A-1048) would require each tax bill to include a statement noting that a listing of the various state property tax relief programs and their eligibility requirements is available on the website of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury. The tax bill shall also include links to the websites of the Department of Community Affairs and the Division of Taxation containing this information.

“Through no further cost to the state or local governments, this simple change can help ensure that residents, particularly seniors, are well-informed of the tax relief programs that might go a long way towards offsetting the property tax burden,” said Downey (D-Monmouth).

Current state statute already requires that certain information be included with tax bills, such as a brief tabulation showing the distribution of the amount raised by taxation, along with links to information on the website of the Department of Community Affairs.

“These tax relief programs were designed to help put more money in the pockets of the average resident,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “Seniors, especially, might not be aware that they even exist so we want to ensure that they’re taking advantage of every program available to them to offset the cost of living.”

“This bill is informative and beneficial to New Jersey residents,” said Holley (D-Union). “This legislation will help people understand what tax relief programs are available by making the information more accessible by simply including it on existing forms, which will be of no additional cost to municipalities and will ultimately save time, stress, and money for our residents.”

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Andrzejczak, Land, Benson, Holley & Mukherji Measure to Strengthen Animal Cruelty Laws Clears Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Bob Andrzejczak, Bruce Land, Daniel R. Benson, Jamel Holley and Raj Mukherji to require animal abusers to pay the cost for caring for the animals they harmed was advanced by the General Assembly Thursday by a vote of 68-4-4.

The bill (A-781) would provide for the cost of care for animals involved in animal cruelty violations and establish a procedure for the alleged violator to pay for the care.
“The abusive treatment of animals is plain cowardice,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/ Atlantic/Cumberland). “Individuals who commit such acts should and will be held accountable for their actions. It’s time to strengthen New Jersey statutes and make perpetrators pay for their unspeakable mistreatment of animals.”

Specifically, the bill directs:

? the animal care facility at which the animal was impounded to issue, no later than seven days after admittance, a custodial care notice with the information required including an itemized accounting of the actual costs of caring for the animal during the first seven days of the impoundment and the projected costs of care for each animal for the next 30 days;
? the individual charged with these costs to pay the amount set forth in the notice and every 30 days after until the full and final disposition of the animal cruelty violation or request a court hearing to contest the reasonableness of the specified expenses;
? the animal care facility to assume ownership of the animal if no hearing is requested and the individual does not pay the expenses as required under the bill;
? upon assuming ownership, the animal care facility will be authorized to offer the animal up for adoption or take any other action as it would for any other impounded animal.

“Animals who are taken into custody after being abused require new homes, food and veterinary care that shelters often do not have the funds to provide,” said Land (D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic).

“Requiring abusers to cover these costs will help ensure that animals have safe homes and, hopefully, act as a deterrent to animal cruelty.”
“Animal abuse is a serious offense and ought to be regarded as such,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “We should hold abusers accountable for their cruel actions.”

“Anyone who commits an act of animal cruelty ought to face consequences,” said Holley (D-Union). “The cost of caring for and rehabilitating an animal that has been abused should be the responsibility of the offender.”

“Too often, shelters don’t have the resources to cover the cost of caring for animals sent to them as a result of animal cruelty violations,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “The person who committed the crime should have to pay, not a non-profit organization that may be struggling to make ends meet.”

In addition, the bill prohibits any impounded animal from being sold, euthanized, offered for adoption or otherwise disposed of by the shelter, pound, kennel or animal care facility if the owner pays for the expenses of care, unless, in the opinion of a licensed veterinarian, the animal is experiencing intractable and extreme pain and is beyond any reasonable hope of recovery.

The bill was initially advanced by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on May 17 and now awaits further action by the Senate.

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Houghtaling, Downey, Mukherji & Holley Legislation to Make Sure Taxpayers are Aware of Property Tax Relief Programs Advances

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey, Raj Mukherji, and Jamel Holley to help ensure that New Jersey taxpayers are well aware of the property tax relief programs available to them was approved by an Assembly panel on Monday.

“It’s no secret that New Jersey has one of the highest property tax rates in the country,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “But what may be a secret to many is that there are a number of tax relief programs that they might be eligible for. This bill will ensure that taxpayers are aware of the relief that is available.”

Specifically, the bill (A-1048) would require each tax bill to include a statement noting that a listing of the various state property tax relief programs and their eligibility requirements is available on the website of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury. The tax bill shall also include links to the websites of the Department of Community Affairs and the Division of Taxation containing this information.

“Through no further cost to the state or local governments, this simple change can help ensure that residents, particularly seniors, are well-informed of the tax relief programs that might go a long way towards offsetting the property tax burden,” said Downey (D-Monmouth).

Current state statute already requires that certain information be included with tax bills, such as a brief tabulation showing the distribution of the amount raised by taxation, along with links to information on the website of the Department of Community Affairs.

“These tax relief programs were designed to help put more money in the pockets of the average resident,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “Seniors, especially, might not be aware that they even exist so we want to ensure that they’re taking advantage of every program available to them to offset the cost of living.”

“This bill is informative and beneficial to New Jersey residents,” said Holley (D-Union). “This legislation will help people understand what tax relief programs are available by making the information more accessible by simply including it on existing forms, which will be of no additional cost to municipalities and will ultimately save time, stress, and money for our residents.”

The measure cleared the Assembly State and Local Government Committee on Monday and now awaits further consideration from the Assembly.

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Quijano, Holley and Lopez Bill Making the SNAP Employment and Training Provider Demonstration Project Permanent Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Annette Quijano, Jamel Holley and Yvonne Lopez making the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Provider Demonstration Project permanent and renaming the program to recognize that it would no longer be a demonstration program cleared the Assembly Human Services Committee on Thursday.

“Ultimately, this program has helped our residents gain skills and training which will help them obtain regular employment,” said Quijano (D-Union). “This has been proven to work, so we should absolutely continue it.”

A state law passed in 2013 which went into effect in 2014 launched this demonstration project to run for 4 years, and these contracts are set to expire in August 2018.
This bill (A-3647) would make the Project permanent, change its name reflecting this, and the Commissioner of Human Services would issue a new request for proposals and select at least 3 partnering providers to participate in the project for each subsequent contract period.

“There is a myth that SNAP discourages work, but studies have shown this to be completely false,” said Holley (D-Union). “SNAP recipients want to work and be self-sufficient, and we should provide them the tools to do just that.”

According to a study conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 87 percent of SNAP households with a working-age, nondisabled adult had a participant working in the year before or after their time on SNAP. More than 60 percent were working while receiving SNAP.

The Program’s purpose is to assist members of households participating in gaining skills, training or experience that will increase their ability to obtain regular employment.
The Employment and Training programs must provide at least one of the following services:

• job search;
• job-search training;
• workfare;
• work experience or training;
• state, local or Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act work programs;
• education programs;
• self-employment; and
• job retention services.

“We owe it to our residents to give them every opportunity to succeed,” said Lopez (D-Middlesex). “This Program helps people, most notably our youth, learn how to acquire and keep a job. It provides valuable lessons which can last a lifetime.”

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Holley, Carter, Kennedy & Quijano Measure to Rename a Part of Route 27 Jerry Green Memorial Highway Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – A legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Jamel C. Holley, Linda Carter, James Kennedy and Annette Quijano to designate the portion of the State Highway Route 27 in Union County as “Jerry Green Memorial Highway” in honor of the life-long career in public service of the Assemblyman who represented Legislative District 22 for 16 years was approved by the Assembly Transportation Committee on Thursday.

Speaker Pro Tempore Green was the longest serving Assemblyman of the current New Jersey General Assembly.

“Jerry dedicated every waking moment of his life to serving his community, Union County and the people of New Jersey,” said Holley (D-Union). “Caring and listening were two of Jerry’s most valued attributes as a public servant. He is an inspiration for any young man or woman growing up in humble means and endeavoring to make a difference with their lives. His experienced leadership combined with his no-nonsense personal style inspired many to pursue careers in public service.”

“He was a mentor, friend and inspiration to many, including myself.”
“It was an honor to know Jerry,” said Carter (D-Union), who was selected to fill Assembly Green’s seat. “His career dedication to improving the lives of his fellow New Jerseyans was admirable and inspiring. Given the number of properties he owned along this route and his commitment to the residents of Union County, naming this part of Route 27 would be a fitting tribute to his legacy.”

“Jerry was a good man and outstanding public servant,” said Kennedy (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union). “His legacy will live on in the people he has helped in his community and throughout the state. This designation is a way to remember all he has accomplished for the people of New Jersey.”

“Jerry was a fixture of legislative wisdom and experience in the Assembly,” said Quijano (D-Union). “His constituents could count on him to bring their concerns to the table and fight what is right. Assemblyman Green made a difference in the lives of others and showed others how to do it as well.”

A pillar of the community in Union County, Assemblyman Green has served in numerous public offices and public service roles, including for the Union County Planning Board, the Union County Adolescent Substance Abuse Program, the Private Industry Council of Union County, the Union County Utilities Authority, the Union County Democratic Committee, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the New Jersey General Assembly. Assemblyman Green also represented the 17th legislative district for 10 years.

While in the General Assembly, Assemblyman Green served as Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore, Speaker Pro Tempore and Deputy Speaker. Over the course of his tenure in the General Assembly, he was a member of numerous legislative committees, including serving as Chairman of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

Assemblyman Holley introduced this legislation on May 24.

“Naming the part of Route 27 that runs through Union County after him is a way to honor Jerry’s unwavering devotion to his hometown and his memory,” said Holley. “His legacy continues on in the legislature and the countless number of people he has helped along the way. Jerry is the reason many of us are committed to serving others.”.

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*** Common Sense Gun Safety *** Greenwald, Holley, Moriarty Bill to Require Background Checks for Private Gun Sales Now Law

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Assemblymen Jamel Holley and Paul Moriarty to improve gun safety by requiring background checks for private gun sales was signed into law today by Gov. Murphy.

“Requiring a licensee to complete a National Instant Criminal Background Check on the recipient of a handgun, rifle or shotgun is just plain common sense,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “It’s shocking that we don’t do this already, but we are fixing this gaping loophole with this law to make us all safer.”

“This is an idea everyone should support,” said Holley (D-Union). “We can fix this and both protect the public and the rights of law-abiding citizens who have nothing to fear from a background check. This will make for a safer New Jersey.”

The law (A-2757) requires all sales or other transfers of a handgun, rifle, or shotgun to be conducted through a retail dealer licensed under state law or a federal firearms licensee.

The licensee is required to complete a National Instant Criminal Background Check on the recipient of the handgun, rifle or shotgun.

Exceptions under the law include transactions between members of an immediate family, between law enforcement officers, between licensed collectors of firearms or ammunition as curios or relics, and temporary transfers to participate in certain training courses.

 

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