Zwicker, Prieto, Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt & Muoio Measure to Commemorate 100th Anniversary of Planned Parenthood Clears General Assembly
Resolution Reaffirms Women's Fundamental Right to Reproductive Health Care
Legislation Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Pamela Lampitt and Elizabeth Muoio sponsored to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Planned Parenthood's founding gained approval Thursday in the General Assembly.
Since its founding in Brooklyn, New York in 1916, Planned Parenthood has grown to more than 600 health care centers across the country. The organization, founded upon the notion that women should have the information and health care needed to live strong, healthy lives, provides high-quality, affordable reproductive and preventative health care services to women regardless of their marital or economic status, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation and acts as a safety net for the medically underserved.
Sponsors of the resolution (AR-182) noted the importance of honoring an organization that provides care for one in five women in the United States, particularly in the face of threats to defund Planned Parenthood and limit access to vital health care services.
"We will not rest until access to health care is a reality for all people," said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). "We must build equity into a health care system that has left many communities behind. In the world we want, all people have full control of their own bodies and can determine their own destinies. Planned Parenthood is determined to fight for this vision, now and always."
"Planned Parenthood is essential to our communities," said Speaker Prieto (Bergen/Hudson). "In New Jersey, thousands of people are served by Planned Parenthood every year, which makes clear how vital these services are to the health and well-being of all New Jerseyans."
"The dogmatic ideological attacks on Planned Parenthood are really attacks on the health and wellness of economically disadvantaged women who rely on this organization for life-saving care," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee. "Honoring Planned Parenthood is about commemorating its century of service, but more importantly, it's about standing with women everywhere."
"For 100 years, access to family planning and other reproductive health care services has improved and transformed the lives of women, men and young people in the United States and around the world, and that's largely because of Planned Parenthood," Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington), chair of the Assembly Women and Children Committee. "This organization has played a major role in empowering women, and we have a responsibility to ensure that it continues doing so for years to come."
"Planned Parenthood provides care regardless of a person's gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. That's how the provision of health care should be," said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "This organization is dedicated to a healthy New Jersey, and so it is in our best interest as a state to commemorate it and commit to ensuring its longevity."
New Jersey Planned Parenthood health centers conducted 98,000 tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV tests, and 30,000 pap smears and breast cancer screenings in 2015. Each year, the centers offer education and outreach programs providing sexuality and family planning education to more than 37,000 women, men and young people throughout the state.
The Assembly passed the measure 48-18-4.
Zwicker, Benson, Schaer & Holley Legislation Urging Congress to Ensure Students Access to Debt-Free Higher Education Clears Assembly
Legislation Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker, Daniel Benson, Gary Schaer and Jamel Holley sponsored urging Congress and the President of the United States to enact legislation ensuring students have access to debt-free higher education at public colleges and universities gained approval from the General Assembly on Thursday.
The cost of college has risen more than 250 percent over the last three decades while income for typical families grew by only 16 percent, making it difficult for a student to graduate without debt, as reported by the White House.
"A college education is one of the most valuable investments a family can make, but it has never been more difficult for families to afford the dream of a college education, as the cost has grown exponentially in decades," said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). "As a result, an increasing number of young Americans, including many from New Jersey, have been forced to assume significant student loan debt to afford the cost of higher education."
"Student loan debt saddles the very students who most depend on a college degree to level the economic playing field. This debt constrains their career choices, hurts their credit ratings and prevents them from fully participating in the economy," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Excessive student loan debt places in jeopardy the quintessential milestones of the American Dream, such as buying a home or car, starting a family and saving for retirement. Our goals for higher education in this country must include providing a debt-free education for college-bound students."
"Young people in New Jersey and throughout the country should have the same opportunity offered to those who went to college in previous generations, including the ability to attend public colleges and universities without taking on burdensome debt," said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). "It should be a public policy goal of the federal government to establish a debt-free public higher education system to enable students to attain a college degree without burdensome debt."
"Given the importance of higher education to the nation's economy, the national goal should be to expand the opportunity to pursue and attain a college degree in this country," said Holley (D-Union). "It should become easier not harder for students to meet their educational goals and obtain a degree. Establishing a debt-free public higher education system should be included in national public policy objectives for higher education."
New Jersey ranks ninth in the country in student loan debt, with the average student loan debt for New Jersey's public and private college and university graduates at more than $30,000 in 2016, according to a study conducted by LendEDU.
The Assembly passed the measure 61-0-13.
HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset) toured KWG Industries Tuesday and discussed jobs creation and technological innovation with employees.
KWG Industries is a precision engineered component parts manufacturer and a metals distributor. Zwicker, a physicist at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, listened to what the business needs to continue to grow and be successful.
“What I heard today is what I have been hearing from entrepreneurs and business owners around the district,” Zwicker said. “New Jersey needs to embrace and grow our innovation economy if we are going to create the jobs necessary to compete globally and with neighboring states.
PRINCETON, N.J. - Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16) toured UTC Aerospace Systems Sensors Unlimited on Thursday.
Zwicker led a roundtable discussion on creating jobs and growing New Jersey’s economy with innovative technologies. Sensors Unlimited is a major supplier of shortwave infrared technology, products and imaging solutions.
The tour and roundtable, one of many Zwicker is having, highlighted the importance of high tech industries to fuel economic growth and job creation. Zwicker, a physicist at Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, listened to what the business needs to continue to grow and be successful.
“To expect a student’s family or other survivors to pay their college loan debt in the event of their death is cruel and unacceptable. We can do better than that,” said Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, D-16th, one of 32 sponsors of the bill.
The bill directs the state Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to forgive certain student loans in the event of a student borrower’s death or total and permanent disability and grant deferment for temporary total disability.
The bill applies to loans issued under the NJCLASS program - New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students – which helps cover college costs not already covered by other sources of grants, scholarships and loans. The program offers low-cost rates on supplemental loans to New Jersey residents attending an eligible in-state or out-of-state school, as well as out-of-state students attending a school in New Jersey.