By Andrew Schmertz
The Assembly Committee on Higher Education made quick work of correcting what lawmakers say is an embarrassment of New Jersey’s student loan program.
“We had a tragedy where a student was murdered — a New Jersey resident was murdered — and the state filed a lawsuit against the family for the student loan,” said Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker.
The student was Kevin DeOliveira. Despite his death, the state’s Higher Education Student Assistance Agency, or HESAA, demanded his parents, who co-signed the loan, repay it in full.
So on the first day back in session after the summer, state lawmakers moved on a bill to strip the state of the power to collect in certain, rare circumstances.
“It says very simply that upon the death of a student that the loan will be forgiven,” Zwicker said.
Assembly Dems Bill Forgiving Student Loan Debt in Event of Borrower's Death or Permanent Disability Advances
Preparing to testify before the Assembly Higher Education Committee in support of A-2761, which forgives student loan debt in the event of a student borrower's death or total and permanent disability.
Assemblyman Zwicker with High School and College Interns
(SKILLMAN) — September 6, [AZ1] 2016 —the Office of Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Monmouth) enabled 20 high school and college students to participate in constituent service and local community outreach activities this summer while also providing them with the opportunity to earn college credits and community service hours. They each had the opportunity to witness the legislative process, tour the state capital, and attend Assembly voting sessions and hearings. The program allowed students to work closely with constituents, sharpen their research and writing skills and learn a multitude of office skills.Read more
The new law (S-166/A-3901) establishes the Hunterdon-Somerset Flood Advisory Task Force, which is charged with reviewing past flooding events within Hunterdon and Somerset counties from flooding of the Delaware and Raritan rivers and their respective tributaries, and recommending measures to reduce future impacts from flooding on residents, businesses, and local government units in the Delaware River and Raritan River basins.
"While the Delaware and Raritan rivers afford Somerset and Hunterdon county residents many benefits, they also pose serious threats when it comes to flooding," said Zwicker (D-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/Hunterdon). "Towns like Bound Brook are finally getting long-awaited relief from the Army Corps of Engineers project, but there are still many other towns like Manville and Rocky Hill that have been dealing with flooding for decades.
Skillman — Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (LD-16) is currently seeking college students to serve as fall interns in his district office in Skillman, New Jersey.
Interns in Assemblyman Zwicker’s district office will participate in constituent service and local community outreach activities, while having the opportunity to earn college credits. They will also have the opportunity to witness the legislative process, tour the State Capital, and attend Assembly votes and hearings. The program will allow students to work closely with constituents, sharpen their research and writing skills, and learn a multitude of valuable office skills.
“Students have a unique opportunity to experience democracy in action as interns in a legislative office,” said Zwicker. “Interns gain valuable knowledge about both state and local issues and an understanding of the inner workings of a district office. I encourage all college students to consider applying for this rewarding experience.”
Assemblyman Zwicker currently serves as a member of the Regulated Professions, Judiciary, and Telecommunications and Utilities committees.
College students who are interested in interning in Zwicker’s district office, should submit a resume and cover letter by September 23, 2016, to:
Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker
Attn: Joe Forte
By email to: AsmZwicker@njleg.org
Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, lead sponsor of a bill that would have allowed 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election provided they will turn 18 on or before the succeeding general election (A-3591), issued the following statement Friday after the governor vetoed the legislation:
"This year alone, more than 23,000 young people who will be eligible to vote in November were unable to participate in the June primary. This bill, which received bipartisan support in both the Assembly and the Senate, presented an opportunity to change that scenario and empower thousands of new voters in future elections. It simply was about making our democracy more fair by ensuring that everyone who can vote in a general election would have a say in nominating who appears on the ballot.
"Our goal - regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof - should be to encourage more people to engage in the process of choosing who represents them. Leaders in a number of states have enacted legislation similar to the 'New Voter Empowerment Act', because they understand how important that idea is. This veto is a step backward for New Jersey that only serves to discourage young voters and discount the value they can bring to the democratic process."