Monday, September 30, 2013

Green Hails Court’s Marriage Equality Decision as a Victory for Civil Rights

(PLAINFIELD, NJ) – Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green hailed Friday’s decision by a New Jersey Superior Court to start allowing same-sex marriages on Oct. 21 as a victory for civil rights in New Jersey.
“What the Mercer County Superior Court did was recognize our current law for what it is – an unconstitutional barrier towards true equality in New Jersey.
“Separate but equal can never truly be equal, especially in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on DOMA. 
“It’s time for the Governor to get out of the way and stop wasting taxpayers’ money fighting the inevitable march towards true equality.  As it stands now, he’s already delayed this inevitability once by vetoing the legislature’s approval of marriage equality, essentially telling thousands of couples and their families that they are less equal in the eyes of the law.
“It’s time for the Governor to get out of the way and let true equality be the law of the land,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union).

Friday, September 27, 2013

Speaker Oliver Hails Marriage Equality Ruling

Urges Gov. Christie Not to Appeal

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement Friday after a state Superior Court judge ruled marriage equality must come to New Jersey starting Oct. 21:

“I’m ecstatic to see today’s ruling. This is a great victory for civil rights and treating everyone equally under the law.
“Sadly, same-sex couples were denied equal rights for too long, and Gov. Christie’s veto only prolonged their struggle unnecessarily. Oct. 21 should be a very exciting day for many loving New Jersey couples, and I hope Gov. Christie does the right thing and does not appeal. Justice has already been denied for far too long. Let’s clear the way for equal rights for all families.
“As Congressman John Lewis reminded us when he visited New Jersey last year, ‘It’s a question of human dignity, a question of human rights.’ This ruling is an answer to that question. This ruling brings justice for all.”

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ramos, Quijano, Caride & Mosquera Bill to Ensure School Enrollment of Children Regardless of Immigration Status Now Law

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Ruben J. Ramos Jr., Annette Quijano, Marlene Caride and Gabriela Mosquera to require the state to issue reminder notices to school districts of the requirement to enroll resident students in accordance with all applicable statutes and rules and regulations of the state board of education was signed into law on Thursday.
"These children are entitled to an appropriate public education," said Ramos (D-Hudson). "We're talking about children who have no control over their immigration status, and we should want them to be enrolled in school and properly educated so they can become productive members of our society. When you think about it, this is just common sense."
"It's important to regularly remind school districts that a child's immigration status does not affect his eligibility to attend public school," said Quijano (D-Union).
“Requiring the Department of Education to biannually distribute a notice to each school district reminding the district of the obligation to enroll resident students regardless of immigration status is the right thing to do for children,” said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic).
"We are rightly committed in New Jersey to educating each and every child, and this new law simply reminds everyone of that goal,” said Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester). “This is about fairness and ensuring a better future for our state.”
Under the new law, the state is required to distribute a notice to school districts twice a year reminding them of the requirement to enroll resident students regardless of immigration status. The notice must be distributed by Aug. 1 and Dec. 30 of each school year and must include information on the documentation that may be requested pursuant to state board regulations to demonstrate a students eligibility for enrollment in the district. The law will become effective on the 60th day following enactment.

Gusciora Asks AG to Ensure the “TIDE” Remains in Trenton

Assemblyman Also Asks “How Many Camden Towns Signed up for Its County-wide Police Force?”

(TRENTON) – In the aftermath of the Capital City’s 32nd homicide, Assembly Deputy Majority Leader Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton), requested that the Acting Attorney General, John J. Hoffman, ensure that the state’s Targeted Integrated Deployment Effort (TIDE) initiative remain in place.
“The fact remains gun violence is only going to escalate once the State Police presence goes away,” said Gusciora. “As it is, we have just suffered our 32nd homicide of the year.”
TIDE is a state initiative that has brought State Police to integrate with Trenton Police Department on a temporary basis to stem the gun violence that has plagued the Capital City. The Trenton P.D. has been hampered with over 100 layoffs in recent years. TIDE has enabled the department to maintain its staffing levels and assists the city’s police department in combating crime, but only on a temporary basis.
“Barring TIDE remaining in place, I would hope the state consider installing a ‘Capital Police’ unit to patrol the parameter of all state offices,” continued Gusciora. “This would also substantially lessen the burden of Trenton’s over-stretched police force while creating a greater police presence in Trenton.”
Gusciora also questioned the Governor’s call for a county-wide police force. The Assemblyman questioned how many Camden towns signed up for the force.
“I also do not know why the Governor continues to talk about a county-wide police force in Camden when one does not exist,” said Gusciora. “Essentially, no one has signed up there, and it is silly to call for one in Mercer rather than dealing directly with the lack of staffing levels for the Capital City’s police department.”
Gusciora also repeated his call for the state to adequately compensate the city for its loss of tax revenue from the state.
“We need boots on the ground in Trenton and only the state is in a position to restore Capital City aid,” concluded Gusciora. “Until such aid is restored, Trenton will continue to combat crime without adequate policing levels. And for that, we need the state to recognize that the TIDE needs to continue to roll in.”
Attached is the letter that Gusciora sent to the Acting Attorney General.