Governor Murphy Signs Landmark Legislation Expanding Voter Registration and Protecting Voting Rights

Trenton - Governor Phil Murphy today signed into law one of the most expansive Automatic Voter Registration policies in the nation, strengthening and enhancing voting rights for eligible New Jersey residents.

“Today, New Jersey proudly joins a select group of states – 11 plus the District of Columbia – that have enacted automatic voter registration to expand and protect the voting rights of their citizens,” said Governor Murphy. “This stands in stark contrast to those whose only interest lays in restricting voting rights and suppressing voters’ voices. In New Jersey, we recognize our democracy is stronger when more people are given the opportunity to participate and when the residents of our state are empowered to be part of the democratic process.”

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Coughlin, Schaer, Eustace, Downey, Benson, Wimberly, McKeon, Jasey & Chiaravalloti Bill Creating Automatic Voter Registration through MVC Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Speaker Craig Coughlin, Gary Schaer, Tim Eustace, Joann Downey, Daniel Benson, Benjie Wimberly, John McKeon, Mila Jasey and Nicholas Chiaravalloti to automatically register and update voter registration for those applying for a driver’s license, examination permit, probationary driver’s license or non-driver identification card was approved 50-23 Thursday by the Assembly.

“This bill is designed to encourage participation in the democratic process by integrating voter registration with the process of driver registration,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex).    “This simple move will hopefully encourage more young people to register to vote and make it easier for residents to fulfill their civic duty.”

The bill (A-2014) automatically registers and updates voter registration for those applying for a driver’s license, examination permit, probationary driver’s license or non-driver identification card.

“Sometimes voter turnout can be stymied simply by the fact that would-be voters have forgotten to update their registration because they moved,” said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Hopefully this will encourage first time drivers to engage in the voting process and also make it easier for others to ensure that their voter registration stays current.”

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Vainieri Huttle, Quijano & Jasey Gestational Carrier Agreement Bill Heads to Governor Bill Would Provide Legal Protections to Help Individuals Struggling to Conceive

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Annette Quijano and Mila Jasey to provide legal protections to those struggling to conceive a child who wish to use a gestational carrier received final legislative approval Thursday and now heads to the governor.

The bill (A-1704), titled the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act, would authorize a written contract under which a woman agrees to carry and give birth to a child created using assisted reproduction on behalf of an intended parent.

Unlike traditional surrogacy, in which a woman is artificially inseminated with the semen of the intended father and gives birth to a child through the use of her own egg, a gestational carrier does not make use of her own egg and therefore is not genetically related to the child. 

The issue of surrogacy garnered national headlines in the late 1980’s with the case of “Baby M,” in which the New Jersey Supreme Court found traditional surrogacy agreements invalid because they violated various public policies and state statutes.  In 2009, a New Jersey Superior Court ruled that the findings in the Baby M case apply to gestational surrogacy as well as traditional surrogacy cases.

Because advances in reproductive technology now allow for the transfer of an embryo into the body of a woman who is not genetically related to the child, traditional surrogacy agreements like the one in Baby M, and adoption, are no longer the only means by which a couple that is having reproductive difficulties may have children. 

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McKeon, Jasey & Freiman Bill to Lessen Impact of Trump’s Recently Enacted Property Tax Cap on Taxpayers Approved by Assembly

Recent Changes to Property Tax Requirements Prohibit Residents from Claiming Thousands of Dollars on their Federal Tax Return

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Vainieri Huttle, Caputo & Jasey Bill to Address Chronic Absenteeism in Public Schools Heads to Governor

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Ralph Caputo and Mila Jasey to tackle student absenteeism in public schools received final legislative approval Thursday and now heads to the governor’s desk.

“Chronic absenteeism can lead to academic setbacks, that if not addressed swiftly and properly, can have lasting consequences for these students,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Developing a corrective action plan - that involves parents – to identify and address the reasons why students are not going to school, can help get these students back on track before it is too late.”

"Chronic absenteeism creates major academic challenges for students, teachers and school administration, and is a gateway to countless challenges later in life for those students who suffer the negative effects of missing school," said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “Having a plan in place to tackle the problem head on, and involving parents in the process, can help reduce any potential for conflict and help students who may have been falling behind refocus on their studies.”

“If students are not in school, they are not learning,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “There are many reasons why students might be skipping school. It is important that school administrators spring into action and work with parents to identify any underlying issues and get these students back on track.”

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Jasey on Helping NJ Homeowners Hurt buy Trump Tax Plan

An Assembly panel advanced legislation Monday sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Mila Jasey and Roy Freiman to counteract the cut in allowable property tax deductions imposed under the new federal tax changes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsSo6WkGquA


Eustace, Johnson, Jasey & Vainieri Huttle Bill Providing Business Assistance to LGBT, Veteran, & Disabled Residents Heads to Governor’s Desk

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Gordon Johnson, Mila Jasey and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to provide business assistance to LGBT, veteran and disabled residents gained final legislative approval from the Senate on Friday and now heads to the governor’s desk.

“LGBT individuals, people with disabilities, and veterans often face discrimination and bias in the workplace and transgender individuals, in particular, are disproportionately unemployed due to discrimination,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic).  “This legislation would help them overcome certain discriminations by providing access to business assistance programs that are currently provided to other minority communities in the state.”

“These particular business sectors face unique challenges or even outright discrimination,” said Jasey (D-Essex, Morris). “Similar assistance programs have proven useful in helping other business groups gain a foothold.  We want the economy to grow and stabilize and we can only do that by supporting all businesses regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.”

The bill (A-3891), which was approved by the Assembly in May, would allow the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the state Division of Revenue to provide assistance to businesses owned by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals, disabled individuals, and veterans, just as it does to other minority owned businesses in the state.

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Vainieri Huttle, Muoio, Singleton, Caputo & Jasey Bill to Address Chronic Absenteeism in Public Schools Goes to Governor

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Elizabeth Muoio, Troy Singleton, Ralph Caputo & Mila Jasey to tackle student absenteeism in public schools received final legislative approval Monday and now heads to the governor’s desk.

“Chronic absenteeism creates problems for schools and makes it harder for students to excel,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Having a coalition of people who can step in and get to the root of the problem can help cut down on school absences and keep students on the right track.”

"Chronic absenteeism creates major academic challenges for students, teachers and school administration, and is a gateway to countless challenges later in life for those students who suffer the negative effects of missing school," said Muoio (D-Mercer, Hunterdon). "The recent successful efforts of schools like Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School in Trenton show the importance and value of having in place collaborative school-wide programs involving teachers, administrators, parents and students, aimed at addressing and overcoming the roots of absenteeism."

“Excessive absences can signal problems at home,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “Having a plan in place to tackle the problem head on, and involving parents in the process, can help reduce any potential for conflict and help students who may have been falling behind refocus on their studies.”

“If students are not in school, they are not learning,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “There are many reasons why students might be skipping school. It is important that school administrators spring into action and work with parents to identify any underlying issues and get these students back on track.”

“Chronic absenteeism can’t be and shouldn’t be resolved by schools alone,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “Having an action plan that can be implemented promptly, and that involves parents can help ensure that the problem is addressed with the best interest of students at the forefront.”

 

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Jasey, Green, Holley, Muoio & Mazzeo Bill to Ensure Continuation of Foreclosure Mediation Program to Combat NJ’s Ongoing Foreclosure Crisis Approved by Assembly

New Jersey had highest rate of foreclosures in the nation in 2015

 

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey, Jerry Green, Jamel Holley, Elizabeth Muoio and Vince Mazzeo to codify the state’s Foreclosure Mediation Program into law to help reduce the staggering number of foreclosures in the state and help homeowners keep their homes was approved Monday by the General Assembly.

The bill (A-1029) would codify the Foreclosure Mediation Program into state law. The program was established in 2009 by the New Jersey Judiciary in response to an alarming increase in residential foreclosures. New Jersey had the highest rate of foreclosures in the nation in 2015.

“Foreclosures not only affect homeowners, but neighborhoods and the state as a whole,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “Last year we led the country in foreclosures. The mediation services provided by this program can help homeowners avoid foreclosure and reinvigorate our housing market by reducing our dismal foreclosure rates. It is essential that we keep these services going.”

“Foreclosures wreak havoc on families and communities,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “This bill would help ensure that the mediation services provided under the program continue to be available to homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes.”

“No homeowner wants to lose their home,” said Holley (D-Union). “Making this program a permanent fixture would ensure that homeowners facing foreclosure will always have an alternative. It would also help chip away at the foreclosure crisis that has loomed over the state for too long.”

“The city of Trenton had the second-highest metro foreclosure rate in the country last year, which makes any attempt at progress even more challenging,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “This bill ensures that the program will endure so that homeowners can take advantage of these mediation services, which will not only help homeowners but the municipalities where they live.”

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Jasey & Chiaravalloti Bill to Help Colleges Better Serve LGBT Students Signed into Law

Legislation will allow collection of information on sexual orientation & gender identity

 

          (TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey and Nicholas Chiaravalloti to better serve the LGBT community at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities by allowing demographic forms to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity was signed into law on Monday.

          “Having this information can help colleges and universities track enrollment, academic success and retention rates for LGBT students. This can help identify any areas of need, and ensure these students are getting the support services and resources necessary to thrive academically,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris).

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