News

ZWICKER & BENSON BILL DESIGNATING SAFE AREAS FOR RESIDENTS TO MEET TO COMPLETE ONLINE MARKETPLACE TRANSACTIONS PASSES ASSEMBLY

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker and Daniel Benson would allow police departments to establish safe areas for residents to meet with one another to complete a transaction for items listed via online marketplaces. The measure passed the full Assembly Thursday, 71-1-0.

The bill (A-1172) allows municipal and county police departments to establish designated safe areas that members of the public would be permitted to use to conduct sales transactions for items listed on classified advertisement websites such as Craigslist. Departments would be allowed to install a video camera to record the area.

“Searching for the best deal on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace is widely popular today,” said Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon). “Unfortunately, it is not always safe for residents to meet up with strangers in order to buy or sell items to one another. Establishing well-lit and surveilled areas outside police stations where these transactions can take place would provide peace of mind and protection for both participants.”

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‘DIGITAL ASSET AND BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY ACT’ APPROVED BY ASSEMBLY

(TRENTON) – The full Assembly on Thursday approved a bill (A-2891) known as the Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act to regulate the growing cryptocurrency industry in New Jersey, with the goal to spur innovation and create a competitive economy. The vote tally was 73-0.

The measure aims to provide transparency, consumer protections and a licensing structure for both operators and consumers engaging in virtual currency transactions in New Jersey. The bill is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Yvonne Lopez, Andrew Zwicker and Joe Danielsen.

“While many people see and hear about Bitcoin, few know how the virtual currency industry works. Many people have invested large sums of money without knowing the cryptocurrency market can be volatile and can subsequently lead to irreparable financial harm,” said Lopez (D-Middlesex). “We must take steps to protect consumers looking to invest in cryptocurrency, while also allowing the sector to continue to develop and expand in New Jersey.”

Under the bill, digital asset businesses must be licensed by the Department of Banking and Insurance in order to operate in New Jersey or be licensed in another state in which New Jersey has a reciprocity agreement. In the application process, a cryptocurrency business would be required to disclose its legal name and any fictitious or trade name the applicant uses to conduct business. It also must provide a list of any license revocation or suspension taken against the applicant in another state, federal or state investigations and litigation involving the business, among other information.

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JASEY, ZWICKER & LAMPITT BILL TO CREATE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS PILOT PROGRAM CLEARS ASSEMBLY PANEL

(TRENTON) – With the objective to address specific academic, social and health needs of communities across New Jersey, the Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday advanced legislation to create a five-year Community Schools Pilot Program in the New Jersey Department of Education.

Community schools are built on partnerships between public schools, nonprofits and local governments. By integrating resources, community schools bring together academic, health and social services, youth and community development and family engagement programs to address a community’s identified needs.

“Community schools can look different in every neighborhood. They are tailored to what a community needs, from anti-hunger initiatives to adult literacy programs,” said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex, Morris), prime sponsor of the legislation. “With an emphasis on real-world learning and community problem-solving, these schools can become the heart of their communities.”

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ASSEMBLY PANEL ADVANCES BILL PACKAGE TO IMPROVE TRANSPORTATION EQUITY FOR DISABILITY COMMUNITY

(TRENTON) – The Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee on Monday advanced a package of eight bills to address barriers to transportation for people with special needs.

“New Jersey’s transportation system must be inclusive, reliable and accessible to all. For too long, those with special needs have encountered unnecessary and avoidable difficulties,” said Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex), chair of the Transportation Committee and sponsor of several of the bills. “As we look to improve our transportation system, we must be mindful of those with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs. The Transportation Committee has made it a priority to ensure that every person with disabilities has access to safe, reliable transportation. With this bill package, the committee will continue these efforts as we ensure that our transportation network considers all disabilities. I will continue to work to provide our residents with transportation that is reliable and inclusive, providing greater peace of mind to those with special needs and their families.”

The legislative package has been drafted in response to a report by the New Jersey Task Force on Transportation, Mobility, and Support Service Needs of Adults with Autism created under a 2017 law. The task force, chaired by Cecilia Feeley, Ph.D, of the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation at Rutgers University, was established following a 2015 study by Rutgers and Autism Family Services of New Jersey.

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ZWICKER, STANLEY & DOWNEY BILL MAKING $15 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT BUSINESSES, NON-PROFITS PASSES COMMITTEE

To help financially support businesses and non-profits struggling as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, three Assembly Democrats sponsor legislation to provide funding for these organizations.

Subject to the availability of federal funds, $15 million in funds provided to New Jersey in response to the COVID-19 pandemic would be made available to the Economic Development Authority (EDA) to support businesses and non-profits in need.

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ZWICKER & BENSON BILL DESIGNATING SAFE AREAS FOR RESIDENTS TO MEET TO COMPLETE ONLINE MARKETPLACE TRANSACTIONS PASSES COMMITTEE

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker and Daniel Benson allowing police departments to establish safe areas for residents to meet with one another to complete a transaction for items listed via online marketplaces was advanced by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee on Monday.

The bill (A-1172) allows municipal and county police departments to establish designated safe areas that members of the public would be permitted to use to conduct sales transactions for items listed on classified websites such as Craigslist. Departments would be allowed to install a video camera to record the area.

“Searching for the best deal on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace is widely popular today,” said Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon). “Unfortunately, it is not always safe for residents to meet up with strangers in order to buy or sell items to one another. Establishing well-lit and surveilled areas outside police stations where these transactions can take place would provide peace of mind and protection for both participants.”

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LD16 Community Giving

5 March 2021

Dear Friends: 

I’ve been asked by a few of my constituents to amplify awareness for several causes.

Donate Blood:

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the severe winter storms, blood inventories are dwindling and there is widespread concern for the nation’s blood supply. In the United States, a patient needs blood every two seconds, and since blood has a short shelf life, the supply must constantly be replenished. Blood donors are needed now and will continue to be needed throughout the year. Healthy, eligible donors can find their local blood center via aabb.org/giveblood to make an appointment. Thank you very much to all those who are ensuring that patients have access to life-saving blood products.

Rare Disease Day:

Rare Disease Day is the last day of February and raises awareness for rare diseases in order to improve access to treatment and medical representation for individuals with rare diseases and their families. 

Coming up in May is ALS Awareness Month and with it comes a round of support and advocacy for everyone who has received the diagnosis that is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Many individuals within the 16th Legislative District and around NJ advocate for rare diseases and need our support. I would like to hear from you, so that my office can be responsive to your needs and include you in a rare-disease information forum that I am planning. 

Please email me at [email protected] or call 732-823-1684.

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ZWICKER, DANIELSEN & REYNOLDS-JACKSON BILL TO REQUIRE IN-PERSON EARLY VOTING BY MACHINE FOR GENERAL AND PRIMARY ELECTIONS PASSES ASSEMBLY

(TRENTON) – Registered voters would be able to cast their ballots in person at designated polling places before future general and primary elections under legislation approved Monday by the full Assembly, 58-11-1.

Under the bill (A-4830) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker (D- Middlesex, Somerset, Mercer, Hunterdon) Joseph Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset) and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-), designated polling sites would be available for in-person voting ten days before a general election up until the Sunday before the election. Polls would be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The early voting period for a non-presidential primary election would be available on the Friday before the primary election until the Sunday before the election. For a presidential primary election, early voting would be available from the Wednesday before the election to the Sunday before. Early voting for May municipal elections would be held on the Friday before the election until the Sunday before.

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Legislative Update


COMMITTEE PASSES DOWNEY, ZWICKER, & CHIARAVALLOTI LEGISLATION REQUIRING HEALTHCARE FACILITIES TO COLLECT PATIENTS’ GENDER AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION INFORMATION

(TRENTON) – To ensure the LGBTQ community is receiving the best health care possible, Assembly members Joann Downey (D-Monmouth), Andrew Zwicker (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset), and Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson) sponsor legislation passed by the Assembly Human Services Committee requiring licensed hospitals or other health care facilities to collect gender and sexual orientation information provided voluntarily from patients.

Currently, many hospitals, facilities and health care providers do not discuss or collect any pertinent information regarding the sexual orientation or gender identity of their patients.  As a result, important health issues go undiscussed, health disparities are often not addressed, and crucial health care services may not be appropriately delivered.

Under the jurisdiction of the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, the bill (A-1020) would address this issue and guarantee that vendors who sell or lease electronic health record systems to licensed State facilities include a gender and sexual orientation section.  This information would be protected by the same privacy laws that pertains to all health information.

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