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Holley on the Passing of Longtime Legislator, Friend Jerry Green

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Union) issued the following statement on the recent passing of Union County Assemblyman Jerry Green:
“Jerry Green is an inspiration for any young man or woman growing up in humble means and wondering what will become of them.

“He spent his childhood in Roselle and never forgot what is was like to see people struggling to get ahead. In fact, Assemblyman Green, lived a public service-focused life to improve our communities.

“Jerry was a hard-working man his entire life; he never retired. He never stopped trying to help others get ahead.

“I will never forget his service to New Jersey, as he was focused on creating better policy and inspiring conversation on the issues that truly matter in our state.

“I will miss my friend, my mentor and the reason why I am committed to serving others.
“My sincerest condolences to his wife Wanda Green and family. Thank you for sharing Jerry with all of us for so many years.”

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Assembly Advances Danielsen, Holley, Gusciora & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Protect Historic Sites

Damage to Historic Monument Would Carry Up to $15K Fine, Three to Five Years in Prison

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Joseph Danielsen, Jamel Holley, Reed Gusciora and Valerie Vainieri Huttle sponsored to preserve the integrity of historic sites in New Jersey was approved by the full Assembly, 68-0, on Thursday and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

“Historic sites across this state tell the story not only of New Jersey, but also of the United States of America,” said Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset). “Those who destroy these properties should face a penalty commensurate with the crime of disrespecting this nation’s history.”

The bill (A-592) would amend current law to make it a crime of the third degree to knowingly damage or tamper with a historic building, monument or structure that meets the criteria for, or has been determined to be potentially eligible for, inclusion in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places or is formally recognized by a county or municipality as having historic interest. A third degree crime is punishable by three to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $15,000 or both.

“The preservation of historic sites helps us learn about the past so that we can better understand the present and plan for the future,” said Holley (D-Union). “So much of our identity as a country is in historic sites. We have a duty to protect them.”

“Historic sites commemorate significant moments in our state and our country’s history,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer, Hunterdon). “They should not be destroyed or defaced and when they are, there should be a penalty for the perpetrator.”

“Our historic sites honor a person or place of distinction from New Jersey’s vastly diverse history,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “We are protecting more than statues and monuments. We are ensuring that the effort made to commemorate our history and the significance of the site are safeguarded for future generations.”

To be eligible for listing on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places, a property must:

? Be at least 50 years old, unless it is exceptionally important;
? Be historically or architecturally significant on the national, state or local level; and
? Possess “integrity” from the period during which it earned its significance. Integrity can be defined as a high degree of retention of character-defining features that permits a property to convey a strong sense of its historic qualities.

Under current law, criminal mischief generally is a crime of the third degree if it results in $2,000 or more in damages. If the mischief results in less than $2,000 but more than $500 in damages, it is a crime of the fourth degree, punishable by up to 18 months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000 or both. Mischief resulting in less than a $500 loss is a disorderly persons offense, punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

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Greenwald, Lopez & Holley Measure Opposing Citizenship Question on Census 2020 Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) – An Assembly concurrent resolution sponsored by Assembly Democrats Louis D. Greenwald, Yvonne Lopez and Jamel Holley to oppose the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 census and urge the New Jersey Congressional Delegation to reject any measure directing the Census Bureau to include the question was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.

“I am appalled by the Trump administration’s decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census,” said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “This anti-immigrant policy will have a detrimental effect on the accuracy of the decennial census count, and inspire fear within immigrant communities. We see how this fear affects communities across the nation already, when in the 2010 census nearly 1.5 million people of color were not counted.”

“The policies of the Trump administration have sparked fear in immigrant communities. Adding this question to the census would only make matters worse,” said Lopez (D-Middlesex). “We have seen cases where individuals have been apprehended during ICE check-ins. One woman was detained at a courthouse while seeking a restraining order. The fear is real and valid. This proposal would push individuals further underground, and deny states funding to properly serve its residents.”

“The Census helps determine congressional representation and the allocation of funding. There is concern that immigrant families will not fill out the Census forms out of self-preservation, which will lead to an inaccurate count, which will jeopardize funding needed by states to provide for their residents,” said Holley (D-Union). “Given the anti-immigrant policies of the Trump administration, this concern is justified. There is too much on the line to allow this question on the Census.”

The measure (ACR-121) states the United States Department of Justice has asked the Census Bureau to include a question about citizenship status in the 2020 decennial census form. According to experts, including four former Census Bureau directors, a citizenship question in the decennial census would have a detrimental effect on the accuracy of the decennial census count, as privacy concerns and fear of deportation would prevent many households from completing their census form.

“Given the current administrations deportation, immigration, and naturalization policies, a citizenship question in the decennial census survey would prevent a full count of the population as required by the Constitution,” added Greenwald. “A citizenship question would be counterproductive and would yield inaccurate data for the next decade.”

The resolution states that an undercount of the total population in municipalities, counties, states, and the nation will affect the equitable allocation of nearly $700 billion per year in federal funds, the number of electoral votes in each state, the reapportionment of legislative districts, and the apportionment of seats in the United States House of Representatives.

The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that members of the House of Representatives “shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state.”

The resolution was approved 49-22 by the Assembly, and 26-13 in the Senate on Feb. 26.

 

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Downey, Houghtaling & Holley’s ‘Jake Honig’s Law’ to Expand Access to Medical Marijuana Advanced by Assembly Panel

Measure Named for 7-year-old Howell Resident Diagnosed with Brain Cancer at Age 2

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Joann Downey, Eric Houghtaling and Jamel Holley sponsored to expand access to medical marijuana was advanced Thursday by an Assembly panel.
The bill is designated “Jake Honig’s Law” in honor of Jake Honig, a Howell resident nicknamed “Jake the Tank” who, at the age of two, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer with a rare genetic mutation.
After undergoing dozens of rounds of chemotherapy, proton radiation therapy and surgery, his tumor went into remission for four years, until follow-up scans determined that the tumor had returned and spread to other parts of his body.
Jake’s doctors advised his parents that there was nothing more to be done, and he was released to hospice care in his own home, where, despite being prescribed six different medications to treat his various symptoms, medical marijuana proved to be the most effective way of stopping his nausea, vomiting, agitation, and acid reflux, and improving his mood, stimulating his appetite, and restoring his mental well-being.
Downey was joined by the Honig family Thursday as the committee advanced the bill.
“Although medical marijuana proved to be an effective treatment for Jake, his parents noted the difficulties they encountered with the cost, quantity limits, and issues related to producing their own cannabis oil to administer to Jake,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “In honor of Jake, who passed away in January, this bill seeks to remove certain restrictions on access to medical marijuana in order to reduce the suffering experienced by, and improve the quality of life of, New Jersey patients, like Jake, seeking treatment for a life-threatening medical condition.”
“There are many patients like Jake and his family in New Jersey who deserve expanded access to medical marijuana a part of their medicinal regimen,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “They must also have access to other types of products, not just in capsule form.”
“We need to put the patient in control,” said Holley (D-Union). “Our priority needs to be the care of patients, not over-regulation.”
Specifically, the bill (A-3421) revises state law to include additional debilitating medical conditions that will authorize a patient for use of medical marijuana.
The bill was advanced by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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Assembly Democratic Bill to Expand Primary Voting Rights, Encourage Youth Participation in Elections Gets OK to Advance


Assembly Panel Approved Legislation Would Allow Certain 17-Year-Olds to Vote in Primaries

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker, Jamel Holley, Tim Eustace, Arthur Barclay, Angela McKnight and Raj Mukherji that would allow more young New Jersey residents to participate in elections cleared its first legislative hurdle Thursday with an approval by the Assembly State and Local Committee.

The bill (A-1521), the “New Voter Empowerment Act,” would allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election provided they will turn 18 on or before the next succeeding general election.

“Young people in New Jersey are eager to raise their voices and make a difference,” said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “More than 23,000 of them will have a birthday after the primary but before the general election. Under this legislation, they would be able to vote in both elections. It’s an important step forward to fully empower thousands of new voters every year.”

New Jersey would join 21 states and the District of Columbia in allowing 17-year-olds who will turn 18 during the interim period between a primary or caucus and the general election to participate in the nomination process, Zwicker noted.

“There’s a whole set of young people in New Jersey who want to – and should – fulfill their civic duty during the general election but are shut out of making their voices heard during the primary,” said Holley (D-Union). “Allowing 17-year-old New Jersey residents who ultimately will choose a candidate in the general election to vote in the primary will make the electoral process more fair.”

“As a matter of principle, all eligible voters should be able to take part in both the primary and the general election,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This legislation will make that basic notion the law in New Jersey.”

“Those who turn 18 in between a primary and a general election are expected to participate in one part of the democratic process but are excluded from another very important part entirely,” said Barclay (D-Camden/Gloucester). “New Jersey must ensure that these young voters have a say in both June and November.”

“It’s important for our state to establish a culture of voting in both primaries and general elections among young people,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “Making this simple change will enable thousands more first-time voters to get involved in elections.”

“Increasing voter turnout is integral to ensuring that all voices are heard and all people are represented in our democracy,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “If 17-year-olds are allowed to enlist and serve in the Armed Forces with parental consent or upon emancipation, then they should certainly be allowed to participate in selecting party nominees when they will turn 18 in time to vote for that nominee.”

The bill will now be considered for a floor vote by the Assembly Speaker.

 

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Vainieri Huttle & Holley Bill to Help Fund Upgrades to NJ’s 911 Call Centers Advances in Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) and Jamel Holley (D-Union) to ensure adequate funding for regular maintenance and technology upgrades to the state’s 911 call centers.

The state charges a 90-cent monthly surcharge on every phone line to help modernize the state’s 911 system. According to a 2015 FCC report on state collection and distribution of 911 and E911 fees and charges, 90 percent of the monies collected here were spent on unrelated purposes.

The bill (A-2371) would require that at least 10 percent of the funds in the 911 System and Emergency Response Trust Fund Account be annually appropriated to help cover the costs of any annual upgrades and maintenance of 911 public safety answering point technology, including the upgrading and maintenance of automatic location identification and technology.

“It is no secret that much of this money is used for general funding purposes,” said Vainieri Huttle. “Without this money from the state, counties and municipalities have to rely on property taxes to fund, maintain and operate their 911 systems. It’s not fair, but without a constitutional amendment, these funds will continue to be diverted as needed and demanded by the budget.”

“This allocation would ensure that at least 10 percent of these funds go towards necessary upgrades to relieve counties and municipalities from some of the financial burden,” she added.

“The use of this fund for general funding purposes has forced municipalities and counties to cover the cost of maintenance and upgrades of their 911 systems,” said Holley. “This bill would ensure that a portion of these funds is dedicated to the maintenance of our emergency systems, so that needed upgrades are completed and municipalities and counties don’t have to go at it alone.”

The bill was approved by the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee, which is chaired by Vainieri Huttle and vice chaired by Holley.

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*** Common Sense Gun Safety *** Greenwald, Quijano, Johnson, Holley & Moriarty Bill to Reduce Ammunition Magazine Capacity Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Annette Quijano, Gordon Johnson, Jamel Holley and Paul Moriarty sponsored to limit gun magazine capacity to 10 rounds was Ok’d 48-25-3 Monday by the Assembly.
“Our nation is in the midst of a gun violence epidemic,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “Now, as we move into this new term with a new governor, we have a real chance to reduce the number of deaths by gun violence and protect our neighborhoods.”
The bill (A-2761) bans firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Magazines capable of holding up to 15 rounds of ammunition currently are legal in New Jersey. California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and the District of Columbia all have 10-round limits on ammunition magazines for use with any firearm.
“The data show that a 10-round limit will reduce high-capacity magazines in the hands of criminals, and the time it takes to reload can help people escape or subdue the gunman, as happened in the Gabby Giffords shooting in Tuscan,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Moreover, these limits can save the lives of innocent victims and law enforcement officers confronted by someone wielding a gun. This is just good common sense.”
“During the Gabby Giffords shooting in Arizona, witnesses were able to subdue the gunman when he paused to reload,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “Anything we can do make it more difficult to fire dozens of bullets in a short period of time is a good thing. This is a highly effective step we can take to save lives.”
“Law enforcement leaders from across the country have supported 10-round limits on magazine capacity,” said Holley (D-Union). “If law enforcement backs it, and it can improve public safety and save lives, then we should do it. This is gun safety.”
“This is quite simple – it can and will save lives,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “If we can do something reasonable that can save lives, then we should do it.”
Greenwald met with the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013 after their devastating losses. That year he introduced many gun safety bills, including lowering gun magazine capacity. It was vetoed by then-Gov. Chris Christie.
“Meeting the families of Sandy Hook was one of the most moving experiences of my 22 years of public service,” Greenwald said. “For these families, the single most important piece of legislation we could fight for is lowering magazine capacity. I refuse to let these families down, to look them in the eyes and tell them we are powerless – that their loved ones were a tragic but necessary, loss. No loss to gun violence is ever necessary.”
Specifically, the bill revises the definition of a “large capacity ammunition magazine” to include any box, drum, tube, or other container capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The bill also designates a semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds as a prohibited assault firearm.
Under the bill, a person who legally owns a firearm with a fixed magazine capacity holding up to 15 rounds that is incapable of being modified to accommodate less rounds and was purchased on or before the bill’s effective date would be allowed to retain possession of that firearm – provided it is registered with a law enforcement agency.
To register the firearm, a person would be required to complete a registration statement, pay a $50 fee, and produce a valid firearms purchaser identification card, permit to carry a handgun, or permit to purchase a handgun.
The information provided in the registration statement is to include: the name and address of the registrant; the number or numbers on the registrant’s firearms purchaser identification card, permit to carry a handgun, or permit to purchase a handgun; and the make, model, and serial number of the firearm being registered.
An heir or estate of an owner of a registered firearm would have 90 days after the owner’s death to dispose of the firearm.
The bill also permits retired police officers authorized to possess and carry a handgun in this state to continue to possess and carry a magazine capable of holding up to 15 rounds.
In addition, the measure exempts from the 10 round limitation those semi-automatic rifles that have an attached tubular magazine and are capable of operating only with .22 caliber rim fire ammunition. This exemption would permit the sale and possession of a popular beginner gun, the Marlin Model 60, often referred to as the Boy Scout gun. These firearms are low caliber and the tubular magazine cannot be quickly reloaded.
The bill also exempts large capacity ammunition magazines under the control of a federal firearms license holder and reconfigured to fire blank ammunition for motion pictures, television, or video productions.
The bill would be effective immediately, but allows for a 180-day grace period to transfer or voluntarily surrender a semi-automatic rifle or magazine that will be unlawful under the bill.
A person also would have the option to render a semi-automatic rifle or magazine inoperable or permanently modify a magazine to accept 10 rounds or less.
Under the Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.13:54-1.2), a person may permanently alter a magazine so that it is excluded from the current legal definition of a “large capacity ammunition magazine.” An ammunition magazine, which has been temporarily blocked or modified, as by a piece of wood or a pin, is still considered to be a “large capacity ammunition magazine.”

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*** Common Sense Gun Safety *** Greenwald, Holley, Moriarty Bill to Require Background Checks for Private Gun Sales Advanced Through Assembly

(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 advanced through the Assembly during Monday’s voting session.

“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 bill 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 bill (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 would be required to complete a National Instant Criminal Background Check on the recipient of the handgun, rifle or shotgun.

Exceptions under the bill 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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*** Common Sense Gun Safety *** Assemblymen Greenwald, Holley, Moriarty Legislation to Counter Efforts to Weaken Gun Safety Regulations Advanced Through Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald and Assemblymen Jamel Holley and Paul Moriarty aimed at ensuring strong gun safety regulations are codified into law in New Jersey was advanced through the Assembly during Monday’s voting session.

The bill aims to prevent a future governor from attempting to weaken the regulations, as former Governor Chris Christie had attempted to do.

“New Jersey’s gun safety laws are among the strongest in the nation and we must keep them that way,’ said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “Overturning these unsafe regulations has been a top priority of mine. While I commend Governor Murphy for doing the right thing to keep our streets safe and ensure laws are enforced as intended, we need to make sure that no future governor can attempt to carelessly weaken our gun safety laws.”

The bill (A-2758) would codify the definition of “justifiable need,” presently outlined only in state regulations, into state statute. The measure is a response to ex-Governor Christie’s effort to expand the definition of “justifiable need” for the purpose of obtaining a gun carry permit.

“With the natural turnover of politicians and their policies, some laws are destined to change,” said Holley (D-Union). “There are some laws, however, that regardless of partisan party politics, make too much sense to be changed. That is what we are doing to keep current and future New Jerseyans safe.”

In response to Christie’s proposed amendments, the New Jersey Legislature adopted two concurrent resolutions opposing their adoption, based on the fact that the amendments were inconsistent with legislative intent. Still, the amendments were adopted on April 3, 2017 and the Legislature filed a lawsuit in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court challenging the validity.

The Murphy administration recently withdrew its opposition to the lawsuit challenging the validity of the amendments, but Greenwald said the safety regulations need the power of law.

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Greenwald, Quijano, Johnson, Holley & Moriarty Bill to Reduce Capacity of Ammunition Magazines Advanced by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Annette Quijano, Gordon Johnson, Jamel Holley and Paul Moriarty sponsored to limit gun magazine capacity to ten rounds was advanced Thursday by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“Our nation is in the midst of a gun violence epidemic,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “Now, as we enter a new term with a new governor, we have a real chance to pursue legislation to reduce the number of deaths by gun violence and protect our neighborhoods.”

California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and the District of Columbia all have 10-round limits on ammunition magazines for use with any firearm.

“The data show that a 10-round limit will reduce high-capacity magazines in the hands of criminals, and the time it takes to reload can help people escape or subdue the gunman, as happened in the Gabby Giffords shooting in Tuscan,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Moreover, these limits can save the lives of innocent victims and law enforcement officers confronted by criminals or unstable individuals.”

“During the Gabby Giffords shooting in Arizona, witnesses were able to subdue the gunman when he paused to reload,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “Anything we can do make it more difficult to fire dozens of bullets in a short period of time is a good thing. This is a highly effective step we can take to save lives.”

“Law enforcement leaders from across the country have supported 10-round limits on magazine capacity,” said Holley (D-Union). “If law enforcement backs it, and it can improve public safety and save lives, then we should do it. This is common sense gun safety.”

“This is quite simple – it can and will save lives,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “If we can do something reasonable that can save lives, then we should do it.”

Greenwald met with the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013 after their devastating losses. That year he introduced many gun safety bills, including lowering gun magazine capacity. It was vetoed by then-Gov. Chris Christie.

The bill (A-2761) bans firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Magazines capable of holding up to 15 rounds of ammunition currently are legal in New Jersey.

The bill also designates a semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds as a prohibited assault firearm.

The bill makes its provisions effective immediately, but allows for a 180-day grace period to transfer, render inoperable, or voluntarily surrender a semi-automatic rifle or magazine that will be unlawful under the bill.

Large capacity magazines under the control of a federal license holder that have been reconfigured to fire blank ammunition for motion pictures, television, and video productions are exempt from the bill.

“Meeting the families of Sandy Hook was one of the most moving experiences of my 22 years of public service,” Greenwald said. “For these families, the single most important piece of legislation we could fight for is lowering magazine capacity. I refuse to let these families down, to look them in the eyes and tell them we are powerless – that their loved ones were a tragic but necessary, loss. No loss to gun violence is ever necessary.”

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