Monday, December 21, 2015

Green's Expungement Bill A-206 Heads to Gov's Desk

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12/18/2015                                                                              Press office
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Assembly Democratic Legislation to Reform NJ's Expungement Laws Heads to Gov's Desk

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Jerry Green, Grace L. Spencer, Reed Gusciora, Gordon Johnson, John F. McKeon, Thomas Giblin, Benjie Wimberly, Charles Mainor and Annette Quijano to reform New Jersey's expungement laws received final legislative approval Thursday and now heads to the governor's desk.

The bill (A-206-471-1663-2879-3060-3108) would reduce the statutory waiting period for an expungement of a criminal conviction from 10 years to five years from the date of the person's last conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later. In the case of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense, the waiting period would be reduced from five years to three years. Individuals with a criminal conviction or a conviction for a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense would have to apply for an expungement to the Superior Court in the county where the conviction was adjudged.

"Expungement offers an incentive against recidivism. It gives people who currently have little chance of finding legal employment the opportunity to leave past mistakes behind them, find a job and be productive," said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). "The fact of the matter is, the system is working against those individuals who have served their time and want to change and do better."

"A criminal record can affect a person's ability to secure housing, employment and even loans for school," said Spencer (D-Essex). "How is a person supposed to successfully reintegrate back into society when almost every road to self-dependence is blocked by a criminal record?

"Individuals who have learned from their mistakes should not be defined by their criminal records for the rest of their lives," said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "These folks are going back into our communities. It makes sense that we make it easier for them to become constructive citizens."

"Putting your life back together after being incarcerated can take time. It can take even longer with a criminal record looming over you," said Johnson (D-Bergen). "It is a greater benefit to society when these individuals are able to put their past behind them and lead better, more productive lives."

The bill would also allow expungement of the records of a criminal conviction to certain persons who have completed a sentence to a term of special probation, commonly referred to as drug court. The court would be permitted to order the expungement of all records and information relating to all prior criminal arrests, detention, convictions and proceedings for any offense enumerated in the Criminal Code, Title 2C of the New Jersey statutes. A person would not be eligible for expungement if his or her records include a conviction for any offense barred from expungement under current law.

For individuals who are successfully discharged on or after the bill's effective date, the individual would only be eligible to have all prior matters expunged if the person was not convicted of any crime, disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense while on special probation. For individuals who were successfully discharged prior to the bill's effective date, they would only be eligible to have all matters expunged that existed at the time of discharge from the program if the individual has not been convicted of any crime of offense since the person's discharge date.

"Participants in drug court have a far lower recidivism rate than offenders who are incarcerated in state prisons," said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). "If we want these individuals to continue on the right path, then we have to give them the chance to do better instead of setting up roadblocks."

"There's no benefit to continually punish people who have served their time and now want to redeem themselves," said Giblin (D-Essex/Passaic). "We have to create opportunities for individuals who want to be productive members of society, which is very hard to do with a criminal record."

"These individuals successfully completed a substance abuse program. They did not break any laws while in the program. They have demonstrated a desire to be and do better," said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). "Expunging their criminal records can help them continue on the path to recovery."

In the case of individuals with an arrest or charge that did not result in a conviction or finding of guilt - whether the proceedings were dismissed, or the person was acquitted or discharged - the following would apply:
  • if the proceedings took place in Superior Court, the court, at the time of dismissal, acquittal, or discharge, would order the expungement of all records and information relating to the arrest or charge; or
  • if the proceedings took place in municipal court, the municipal court would provide the person, upon request, with appropriate documentation to transmit to the Superior Court to request an expungment, and the Superior Court, upon receipt of the documentation with an expungement request would take action to order the expungement of all records and information relating to the arrest or charge. A person seeking such an expungement would not be charged an application fee for taking such action.
"It is unfair to further penalize an individual who has been cleared of a crime," said Mainor (D-Hudson). "A criminal record can create barriers that make it difficult to prosper. If a person is acquitted or their charges are dropped, then their criminal record should be immediately expunged."

"The lingering effects of a criminal record can make the difference between successful reintegration and reentry. These individuals went through the judicial process and were absolved," said Quijano (D-Union). "The sooner their records are expunged, the sooner they can get back to normal."

The bill was approved 59-8-1 by the Assembly, and 25-12 by the Senate in September.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Green & Stender's Bill Gains OKs to Prevent Public Adjusters in NJ from Overcharging Homeowners

FOR RELEASE:             

December 10, 2015

Majority Press Office

Assembly Panel OKs Green & Stender Bill to Prevent Public Adjusters in N.J. from Overcharging Homeowners Following Claims of Price Gouging During Sandy

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green and Assemblywoman Linda Stender to cap how much a public adjuster can charge a homeowner for insurance claim assistance for certain emergencies was advanced Thursday by an Assembly panel.
Green decided to pursue the bill after hearing complaints during a meeting in Union County last year from homeowners affected by Sandy who were overcharged by public adjusters hired to appraise their insurance claims. Public adjusters are experts on property loss adjustment who are retained exclusively by policyholders to assist in preparing, filing and adjusting insurance claims.

“Public adjusters are supposed to look out for the best interests of the homeowner, but according to these residents, some of these adjusters were charging up to 40 to 50 percent of what the insurance company was to pay eventually. This is a crime. A loan shark doesn’t even charge that much,” said Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset). “There is nothing currently in the books to prevent these individuals from taking advantage of these homeowners. This bill changes that.”
“The damage caused by a natural disaster can be devastating. Navigating the system as you try to rebuild can be equally consuming. The last thing a homeowner affected by Sandy or any other natural disaster needs is a public adjuster who is more interested in making money than helping,” said Stender (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “This bill will limit the amount that a public adjuster can charge a homeowner when settling insurance claims following a catastrophic loss occurrence.”

The bill (A-476) would prohibit an individual, firm, association or corporation licensed under the “Public Adjusters’ Licensing Act” from charging, agreeing to or accepting any compensation in excess of 10 percent of the amount paid out by the insurer for claims based on events that are the result of a catastrophic loss occurrence. As defined in the bill, “catastrophic loss occurrence” means an occurrence designated by the President of the United States or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or the Governor or the State Office of Emergency Management in the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety, or any other authorized federal, state or local agency, as an emergency or a disaster and includes, but is not limited to, a flood, hurricane, storm or earthquake.   The compensation level established by the bill would apply to such claims made for a period of one year from the occasion of the declaration of the catastrophic loss occurrence.

The bill was released by the Assembly Financial Institution and Insurance Committee.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


News from
Speaker Pro Tempore Green
For Release:
Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green
Housing & Community Development Committee Chair
p: 908-561-5757
Dec. 8, 2015 

Assembly OKs Green Bill to Prohibit Pyramid Schemes
Legislation Would Establish Penalty of Up to Five Years’ Imprisonment

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Jerry Green to outlaw pyramid schemes recently cleared the Assembly. It will now go to the Senate for further review.        
The bill (A-449) makes it a crime of the third degree, punishable by three to five years’ imprisonment, for a person to promote or sell a pyramid scheme. This bill establishes criminal penalties for promoting and participating in “pyramid promotional schemes.” 
Green notes in the bill that a pyramid promotional scheme requires participants to recruit other individuals into the scheme in order for the original participants to receive any compensation.  The scheme is designed to compensate only those participants who initially join the pyramid, while later participants lose money.
           “Pyramid schemes make victims out of vulnerable people who often are just looking for a way to make ends meet,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “Individuals who understand that an enterprise is a pyramid scheme and still choose to participate ought to face serious consequences.”
The bill makes it a crime of the third degree to knowingly promote or sell a pyramid promotional scheme.  Under the bill, a "pyramid promotional scheme" is defined as any plan or operation in which a participant gives consideration for the right to receive compensation that is derived primarily from the recruitment of other persons as participants in the plan or operation, rather than from the sales of goods, services, or intangible property by the participant or by participants to others. 
"Consideration" is defined as the payment of cash or the purchase of goods, services, and intangible property, and does not include the purchase of goods or services furnished at cost to be used in making sales and not for resale.
“New Jersey is the only state in the country without a statute that specifically outlaws pyramid schemes,” Green added. “Knowingly deceiving people and convincing them to recruit others to sell a nonexistent product isn’t a business model – it’s fraud. By specifically prohibiting pyramid schemes, this bill will make the severity of this matter clear in New Jersey.”
The bill also provides that knowing participation in a pyramid promotional scheme is a crime of the fourth degree, unless the amount the person contributed to the scheme was $100 or less, in which case it is a disorderly persons offense. A disorderly persons offense carries a sentence of up to 6 months in a county jail.
The bill specifically exempts plans or operations in which consideration is given by participants in return for the right to receive compensation based on their sales or personal use of goods, services, or intangible property. The bill also exempts plans and operations that implement an appropriate inventory repurchase program and that do not promote inventory loading.
            The measure was approved 64-0 on Monday, December 3 by the full Assembly.  The Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee released the bill on November 9.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Asm.Green & Asm. Holley Helping Families Facing Home-Foreclosures

November 13, 2015
Green & Holley Bill to Help Residents Participating in Homeowner Assistance and Recovery Programs Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Jerry Green and Jamel Holley to make it easier for not-for-profits to help families facing home foreclosure was recently approved by an Assembly Panel.

“The process can be streamlined for homeowners who have help from a church or another not-for-profit organization to save their homes from foreclosure,” said Green (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union). “In these cases, the transfer of ownership is temporary. The home will return to the ownership of someone who lives in the home.”

The intention of the bill is to exempt certain sales of residential property to a purchaser operating as a housing assistance and recovery program (HARP) form the payment of realty transfer fees. Under a HARP, a not-for-profit entity, such as a church organization, partners with a back to rescue homeowners in danger of foreclosure eviction. The not-for-profit entity works with the mortgage holder to purchase the property and then leases the property back to the original homeowner at an affordable rent. 

“Too many New Jersey residents are seeking help to save their homes from foreclosure and more time to climb out of financial difficulty,” said Holley (D-Union). “If not-for-profit organizations are able to help homeowners facing foreclosure then they should be allowed to help. The state can help by easing a bit of the red tape involved in the process.”

The bill states the goal of HARP is to help financially strengthen the homeowner within a seven-year period, and then resell the property back to that homeowner, or member of the family living with the homeowner. The purpose of the sale or transfer to the HARP is to stop foreclosure or eviction proceedings; therefore, it does not make sense to charge a realty transfer fee because the property will be returned to the seller.

To discourage fraud, if the property is sold to someone other than the original seller, or a person residing with the seller, then an amount equal to twice the realty transfer fee would be collected at the time of that subsequent sale.

The bill was released by the Assembly Housing Committee, of which Assemblyman Green is chair. Identical legislation was approved by the Senate in June.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bill to Prohibit Pyramid Schemes Advances in the State Assembly

News from
Speaker Pro Tempore Green
For Release:
Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green
Housing & Community Development Committee Chair
p: 908-561-5757
Nov. 9, 2015

Green Bill to Prohibit Pyramid Schemes Clears Assembly Panel
Legislation Would Establish Penalty of Up to Five Years’ Imprisonment

            (TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Jerry Green to prohibit pyramid schemes was advanced by an Assembly committee on Monday.
            “Pyramid schemes make victims out of vulnerable people who often are just looking for a way to make ends meet,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “Individuals who understand that an enterprise is a pyramid scheme and still choose to participate ought to face serious consequences.”
The bill (A-449) would make it a crime of the third degree, punishable by three to five years’ imprisonment, for a person to promote or sell a pyramid scheme. Knowingly participating in a pyramid scheme would be a crime of the fourth degree, which carries a penalty of up to 18 months in jail. A case in which an individual’s contribution to the pyramid scheme is $100 or less would be a disorderly persons offense. A disorderly persons offense carries a sentence of up to 6 months in a county jail.
New Jersey is the only state in the country without a statute that specifically outlaws pyramid schemes, Green said.
“Knowingly deceiving people and convincing them to recruit others to sell a nonexistent product isn’t a business model – it’s fraud,” said Green. “By specifically prohibiting pyramid schemes, this bill will make the severity of this matter clear in New Jersey.”

            The measure was advanced by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.


News from
Speaker Pro Tempore Green
For Release:
Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green
Housing & Community Development Committee Chair
p: 908-561-5757
Nov. 5, 2015

Green Secures New Term as Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore

            (TRENTON) – Assemblyman Jerry Green will continue in his role as Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore, having received the approval of the incoming Assembly Democratic caucus on Thursday.
            Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto noted Green’s commitment to serving New Jersey, demonstrated over more than two decades in the Assembly, in declaring that Green is most qualified for the position.
            “The skills and understanding of the issues that Jerry Green has garnered through his experience both as a public servant and as a businessman make him the undisputed best selection for this leadership role,” said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). “I look forward to working with Jerry as we continue seeking new ways to improve New Jersey.”
The Speaker Pro Tempore presides over the General Assembly in the temporary absence of the Speaker. While presiding, the Speaker Pro Tempore exercises the powers and assumes the duties of the Assembly Speaker. Green will serve his fifth term in the position.
“I am honored that my colleagues selected me to continue serving the Assembly in this leadership capacity,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “My goal, as it has been since I first took office, is to keep listening to the people of New Jersey and working with my fellow legislators to bring positive change to the state.”
First elected to the Assembly in November 1991, Green serves as chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and as a member of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee in addition to his leadership post.
Prior to his election to the Assembly, Green served as a Union County freeholder from 1982 to 1984 and from 1989 to 1991. He served as Union County freeholder chair in 1990.
Green also is a self-employed businessman and business consultant.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jerry Green Endorsed by JNESO-- Thank You!

Honored to Have Received the Endorsement of the FMBA

New Jersey FMBA Endorses 2015 Legislative Candidates

Eddie Donnelly
Eddie Donnelly
The New Jersey State FMBA, representing over 5,000 career firefighters, dispatchers, and EMTs used the occasion of their statewide convention in Atlantic City to consider and act on endorsements for candidates running for the New Jersey General Assembly in this November’s elections. The endorsements came after convention delegates heard from more than 20 legislators and candidates that accepted the NJFMBA’s invitation to attend.
“The candidates that earned the unanimous endorsement of the NJ FMBA have shown not only that they understand the unique concerns of the men and women that keep New Jersey safe, but also that they are willing to stand up and fight for us in the halls of the New Jersey Statehouse,” said Eddie Donnelly, President, NJFMBA. “Whether on stage or in smaller meetings with delegates from their districts, each candidate was asked to offer their views on continued efforts to protect the Police and Firemen’s Pension System, this remains the number one focus of the NJFMBA.”
Among the candidates that addressed the convention were Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Assembly Budget Chairman Gary Schaer and Republican Conference Leader David Rible. Convention delegates also participated in discussions regarding professional development, physical and mental health, and community engagement.
“The well worn proverb ‘in unity there is strength’ was on clear display throughout this Convention,” said Donnelly. “Active or retired; firefighters, dispatchers or EMTs; big city or small municipality; our members are standing together, committed to making our state even better and safer, and will continue to be actively engaged in issues that affect their safety, retirement security, or community’s well being.”
A full list of the NJ FMBA’s endorsed candidates follows:
District 1                                             District 2                                 District 3
Bob Andrejczak*                                 Vincent Mazzeo*                    John Burzichelli*
Bruce Land                                                                                          Adam Taliaferro
District 4                                             District 6                                 District 7
Paul Moriarity*                                   Louis Greenwald*                   Herb Conaway*
Gabriela Mosquera*                           Pamela Lampitt*                    Troy Singleton*
District 11                                           District 13                               District 14
JoAnn Downe                                      Jeanne Cullinane                     Wayne DeAngelo*
Eric Houghtaling                                 Thomas Herman                     Dan Benson*
District 15                                           District 17                               District 18
Reed Gusciora*                                   Joe Egan*                                Patrick Diegnan*
Elizabeth Maher Muoio*                    Joe Danielson*                        Nancy Pinkin*
District 19                                           District 20                               District 21
John Wisniewski*                                Annette Quijano*                    Jill Anne Lazare
Craig Coughlin*                                  Jamel Holley*                         David Barnett
District 22                                           District 27                               District 28
Jerry Green*                                       John McKeon*                         Ralph Caputo*
James Kennedy                                   Mila Jasey*                             Cleo Tucker*
District 29                                           District 30                               District 31
  1. Grace Spencer* James Keady Nicholas Chiaravalloti
Eliana Pinto-Marin*                                                                            Angela McKnight
District 32                                           District 33                               District 34
Vincent Prieto*                                   Raj Mukherji*                         Thomas Giblin*
Angelica Jimenez*                              Annette Chaparro
District 35                                           District 36                               District 37
Benjie Wimberly*                               Gary Schaer*                          Gordon Johnson*
Shavonda Sumter*                              Marlene Caride*                    Valerie Vainieri Huttle*
District 38
Tim Heustace*
Joseph Lagana*

Read more at New Jersey FMBA Endorses 2015 Legislative Candidates | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis 
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Friday, September 18, 2015



Asm. Green Endorsed by the Professional Firefighter Association

Firefighters Association Issues its List of Assembly Endorsements

The Professional Association of Firefighters Association today announced their endorsements for the upcoming New Jersey Assembly and New Jersey Senate district #5 elections.
“At this juncture in our States challenging times, we need legislators who have the same values of the Firefighters, EMS personnel and the working men and women who are the heart and soul of our great state”, said Dominick Marino, President of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey.
“As a professional firefighter’s union, we have made it a point to endorse and support candidates based upon either their performance or stated positions or a combination thereof concerning our issues, not their political affiliation. We pride ourselves on being a bipartisan group.  Our membership consists of dedicated public safety professionals, hardworking taxpayers supporting families who cherish and exercise their right to vote-something too many aspiring politicians forget or purposely disregard when considering the value of our support."
“Having the right people in the state legislature is paramount for firefighters and emergency medical personnel to ensure safe working conditions and the necessary equipment to safely perform the duties of fire responders.  With the threat of terrorist activity in New Jersey and the metropolitan area becoming more prevalent than ever, we need legislators that will respond to our needs.  We believe our endorse candidates will respond for the first responders and the citizen of New Jersey.”
 District 1
Bob Andrzejczak (D)*

District 2
Chris Brown (R)*
Vincent Mazzeo (D)*

District 3
John Burzichelli (D)*
Adam Taliaferro (D)*

District 4
Paul D. Moriarty (D)*
Gabriela Mosquera (D)*

District 5
Patrica Jones (D)
Arthur Barclay (D)

New Jersey Senate District 5
Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D)*

District 6
Louis D. Greenwald (D)*
Pamela Rosen Lampitt (D)*

District 7
Herb Conaway (D)*
Troy Singleton (D)*

District 8
No Endorsement

District 9
No Endorsement

District 10
Kimberley S. Casten (D)

District 11
Joann Downey (D)
Eric Houghtaling (D)

District 12
Ronald Dancer (R)*
David W. Merwin (D)

District 13
Thomas Herman (D)

District 14
Wayne P. DeAngelo (D)*
Daniel R. Benson (D)*

District 15
Reed Gusciora (D)*
Elizabeth Maher Muoio (D)*

District 16
Andrew Zwicker (D)

District 17
Joseph V. Egan (D)*
Jospeh F. Danielsen (D)*

District 18
Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. (D)*
Nancy Pinkin (D)*

District 19
John S. Wisniewski (D)*
Graig J. Coughlin (D)*

District 20
Jamel Holley (D)*
Annette Quijano (D)*

District 21
Jill Anne Lazare (D)

District 22
Gerald “Jerry” Green (D)*

District 23
No Endorsement

District 24
No Endorsement

District 25
No Endorsement

District 26
Jay Webber (R)*

District 27
John F. McKeon (D)*
Mila M. Jasey (D)*

District 28
Cleopatra G. Tucker (D)*
Ralph R. Caputo (D)*

District 29
  1. Grace Spencer (D)*
Eliana Pinto-Marin (D)*

District 30
David P. Rible (R)*

District 31
No Endorsemente

District 32
Vincent Prieto (D)*
Angelica M. Jimenez (D)*

District 33
Raj Mukherji (D)*

District 34
Sheila Y. Oliver (D)*
Thomas P. Giblin (D)*

District 35
Shavonda E. Sumter (D)*
Benjie E. Wimberly (D)*

District 36
Gary Schaer (D)*
Marlene Caride (D)*

District 37
Gordon M. Johnson (D)*
Valarie Vainieri Huttle (D)*

District 38
Joseph Lagan (D)*
Timothy J. Eustace (D)*

District 39
John Derienzo (D)

District 40
Christine Ordway (D)
Paul Vagianos (D)

Read more at Firefighters Association Issues its List of Assembly Endorsements | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis