Assemblyman O’Scanlon Praises the NJHA for its Demand to be Removed From the Traffic Safety Coalition’s Website as a Partner
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon today heaped praise upon the NJHA (New Jersey Hospital Association) for its demand to be removed from the Traffic Safety Coalition’s website as a partner. The Coalition purports to be an organization dedicated to the improvement of traffic safety but is actually created by, run by and wholly funded by one of the red-light camera companies.Read more
Asembly Republican Budget Officer issued the following statement regarding the failure of the Democrat pension payment constitutional amendment to be posted in time to make this year's ballot:
"The passage of the fatally flawed amendment would have been a disaster for the taxpayers of New Jersey as well as those who depend on state services. Even a slight economic down turn could have proven disastrous. We also would have faced instant credit downgrades as insolvency and short term borrowing default would have been real possibilities - perhaps even likely.
Little Silver-Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) announced that he has raised over $100,000 for his campaign to replace Senator Joe Kyrillos in the upper chamber of the New Jersey Legislature.“The job of a State Senator is so much more than going to Trenton and voting on bills,” O’Scanlon said. “The job includes being a leader in the community and the Party. That means having the resources to support your own campaign, the campaigns of other great candidates and most importantly, civic and charitable organizations in the district. Senator Kyrillos filled that role as well if not better than anyone. I am prepared to continue in Joe's footsteps.”“I am deeply grateful to my friends and supporters who have enabled me to support great candidates and organizations during my eight year career in the Assembly. I am humbled that they have stepped up so strongly to support my candidacy for Senate. Between the funds we have and will raise and my own resources, I will see to it that I'm an effective leader on this front in the District and the County.”O’Scanlon said he is on track to have $350,000 at his disposal by the spring and over $1,000,000 for the general election in November should circumstances call for it. “We live in unpredictable political times,” O’Scanlon continued. “I'm in this race to win. The Democrats have already declared that they are coming after us. My team will be prepared for any eventuality. We will make sure that the 13th district and all of Monmouth County remains the shining example of great local government and sound fiscal policies. The Monmouth County delegation in Trenton will remain a strong and effective voice for fiscal reform in Trenton.”
Governor Signs O’Scanlon & Peterson Bill Ensuring Police Departments Can Purchase Crime-fighting Weapons Direct From Manufacturers
TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Chris Christie today signed into law legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Declan O’Scanlon and Erik Peterson clarifying that law enforcement agencies can legally procure firearms directly from a manufacturer.
The bill (S2337/A3985) was prompted by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ recent misinterpreted a state regulation so that law enforcement agencies are only permitted to purchase firearms for police officers through a licensed dealer.Read more
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) has introduced legislation, A-4220, that consolidates the Youth Suicide Prevention Council and the Elderly Person Suicide Prevention Advisory Council into one, statewide advisory council. Currently, the Department of Children and Families oversees the Youth Suicide Prevention Council and the Department of Human Services houses the Elderly Person Suicide Prevention Advisory Council. This legislation houses the new advisory council under the Department of Health.
“The establishment of one, statewide advisory board will streamline the efforts aimed at preventing suicides in the State. Additionally, information will be shared more easily amongst council-members. This advisory council will examine existing needs and services for those at risk of suicide and would make recommendations to any suicide prevention entity operating under statutory authority” said O’Scanlon.
O’Scanlon’s efforts on the legislation were assisted by former Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, who serves as Chief Executive Officer for Preferred Behavioral Health.
“These efforts will help to strengthen New Jersey’s suicide prevention efforts. Housing all of the resources in one department will allow best practices to be more readily identified and disseminated to suicide prevention entities statewide. I hope this legislation is passed in an expeditious manner so we can help those in need as quickly as possible” added Angelini.
O’Scanlon Introduces Legislation on Organ Donation
Minors as Young as 14 May Register as Organ Donors
Yesterday Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon introduced (A4219). This legislation would permit unemancipated minors as young as 14 to opt into the organ donor registry run by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). Currently, the MVC serves as New Jersey’s chief resource to register individuals into the program. When a person gets their Class D license; the non-commercial driver’s license given to those 18 or older, it is the first time the MVC is permitted to ask an individual if they would like to participate in the program. However, this is not the first time an individual has an interaction with the MVC. People have the opportunity to obtain non-driver photo ID’s as young as 14, moped licenses at 15, learners permits at 16, and provisional licenses at 17.
Under (A4219) an authorized parent or guardian may still revoke the minor’s consent to be a registered organ donor in the event of that minor’s death. This revocation applies to the national Donate Life America (DLA) registry as well. Minors are already permitted under the model Uniform Anatomical Gift Act utilized in the majority of States to register in the DLA registry.
New Jersey law currently requires that high school students be taught about organ donation in Phys. Ed. and it is tested on their driver’s license exam. “It makes sense to give these young adults the option to memorialize their wish to help others. The bill may also help eliminate any confusion for a family at a time of unimaginable loss.” said O’Scanlon. “The bill is intended to start a much needed discussion in New Jersey households about the importance of organ donation. Losing a child is the worst nightmare of every parent. I can’t fathom it. I don’t want to. My heart goes out to those that have. That’s probably why so many [parents] leave it to their children’s educators to talk to them about organ donation.”
Consider the following: Less than 1% of people who die each year are eligible to be an organ donor, even if they were registered. Advancements in medical technology have enabled organs to be harvested from decedents of all age spectrums and from those previously exhibiting various degrees of health. Every major religion supports donation and some consider it to be the most altruistic act a person can perform. A deceased organ donor can provide life enhancing transplants to more than 50 people. Juveniles of varying body sizes can prove to be difficult to find matching organs for. 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only about 30% know the essential steps to take to become a donor. (A4219) affords an individual the opportunity to register when that education is fresh in a person’s mind.
Nationally, 18 people die each day on the organ donation transplant list. The list is about 115,000 people long and New Jersey has about 5,000 people on that list. Our State lags behind the number of registered donors nationally. Efforts by the New Jersey Sharing Network; the State’s largest Organ Procurement Organization, and the MVC have boosted those numbers significantly in recent years, but New Jersey is still behind the curve. O’Scanlon’s office worked in conjunction with the Sharing Network to craft the bill and has their full support. “We are headed in the right direction with this bill. There is still a lot of work to be done to improve the system as a whole and I challenge the public to educate themselves on the importance of this subject.” said O’Scanlon.
Revamping the driver’s license renewal system will ease ‘end of month rush’ at MVC locations
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon today unveiled legislation to curb wait times at motor vehicle offices. O’Scanlon’s proposal would change driver’s license expiration dates to each driver’s birth date. Currently licenses in New Jersey expire at the end of each driver’s birth month – leaving MVC offices with long wait times at the end of the month dealing with a large volume of license renewals.
“I’ve been working with Governor Christie’s administration on legislation that would ease the long wait times that New Jersey drivers experience when renewing their license at their local MVC office. I am pleased that the Governor has thrown his support behind this common sense solution to a serious problem facing New Jersey’s drivers. I urge legislative leadership in both houses to post the bill - which will be introduced during our next session day - so we can end unnecessarily long wait times for New Jersey residents and drivers.
This legislation recognizes that it's human nature to procrastinate. The way the system is set up now we have 12 days a year - the last day of every month - upon which drivers' licenses expire. If you spend any time at an MVC you can't miss the bottleneck that this causes the last few days or week of every month. By going to a birth date expiration schedule we will eliminate the bottle neck. It's a common sense solution that's worked in other states. New Jersey motorists have been plagued with long wait times - we owe it to them to do all in our paper to alleviate that inconvenience. We are currently working with Commissioner Martinez' office on the final bill. Again I applaud the administration for taking these issues seriously” O’Scanlon concluded.
Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement regarding the failure of the Democrat pension payment constitutional amendment to be posted in time to make this year's ballot:
"The passage of the fatally flawed amendment would have been a disaster for the taxpayers of New Jersey as well as those who depend on state services. Even a slight economic downturn could have proven disastrous. We also would have faced instant credit downgrades as insolvency and short term borrowing default would have been real possibilities - perhaps even likely.
But this victory doesn't mean the job is done. We still have an obligation to our dedicated public workers. We still have to fix our overall budget issues so we can afford to continue to make pension payments - without crushing taxpayers. The three bill package I have introduced would do just that. I stand ready to begin work today with my fellow legislators and union representatives to arrive at a final package we can all endorse.
But mark my words - without reforms NJ faces a bleak fiscal future. No one will be unscathed - union workers would face layoffs and pension cuts and taxpayers would face huge increases in their already heavy burden. Every area of state funding would face a slow but certain strangulation. New Jersey's economy would be terminally stifled - which hurts everyone. Every day we wait to take action makes the inevitable job more difficult, and more painful. If we fail to take advantage of this rare moment in history - when we have a firm understanding of our challenges and a detailed package of reforms that will enable us to meet those challenges - we will have epically failed indeed. We can't let this opportunity slip by. Every stakeholder must come to the table with an open mind. To fail to do so will fail the very people we each pledged to serve.”
O’SCANLON: There Can Be No Responsible Vote For TTF Until After November Elections If Constitutional Amendment Is Placed On Ballot
Assembly Budget Officer Declan O'Scanlon sent a bold signal today that it would be extremely irresponsible for any Legislator to cast a vote in favor of any TTF plan if there was any chance that the flawed pension payment constitutional amendment might be placed on the ballot.
"No legislator from either party can cast a responsible vote on any TTF plan until we know if the disastrously flawed Democrat constitutional amendment will be on the ballot. If the Senate Democrats irresponsibly vote to place the amendment on the ballot they are voting to put any TTF decision off until after November - at least.
It really is that simple. Whether you support the gas tax/TTF plan or oppose it - there is no way to cast an informed vote on such an impactful policy with such uncertainty hanging over our heads.
The Democrats pension payment constitutional amendment is unquestionably fatally flawed. Even if you believe we have an obligation to make payments, as do I, the amendment has three flaws that MUST be fixed. If they are not fixed, passage of the amendment will likely lead to a fiscal meltdown - with massive tax increases and cuts to programs from tuition aid, to school aid, to aid to our most needy, to property tax relief. It would crush everyone. If we have even a mild recession - which is highly likely over the next few years - the amendment would be the source of a fiscal superstorm."
The three fatal flaws:
--No safety valve. With absolutely no flexibility we will have to devote $300 to $400 million additional dollars EVERY YEAR over the next 5 years to build a responsible surplus. An economic downturn - even a mild, no-growth recession - would force massive spending cuts and tax increases. This, and the payment mandates themselves, would crowd out spending on virtually anything else - including transportation.
--Quarterly Payments. If quarterly payments are obligated we could face economic calamity as outlined above - even were there to be a safety valve included.
--No reforms tied to amendment. Without including cost-saving reforms in a package that includes a reasonable amendment we set our state on course for massive tax increases and essential program cuts. For our state to remain solvent - without crushing taxpayers - we must make reasonable and fair spending cuts. If this doesn't happen as part of a negotiated, simultaneously enacted package, it never will. I have proposed a bill package that is exactly such a plan.
"In short, if we pass the Dems amendment as is, we will have to postpone or cut all spending on everything - including transportation - until we have built up a multi-$ billion surplus. That will take at least 3 to 5 years. Is that outrageous? Absolutely. Will it lead to major infrastructure failures and issues? It sure would. But it is exactly what Democrats will be voting for if they vote to place this dangerously and fatally flawed constitutional amendment on the ballot. Doing so will also mandate that every responsible legislator vote against any TTF plan until the amendment is defeated."
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