Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) requiring the NJ Department of Education to maintain an online database detailing legal decisions concerning special education cases in New Jersey has passed the New Jersey Senate.
“Current law ties the hands of advocates who are working tirelessly to secure resources for the more than 230,000 children enrolled in special education programs statewide,” Senator Allen opined. “Providing web access to legal decisions on all special education court cases, including those that are settled, is the best way to empower parents and school officials to fight for every child’s right to learn and thrive in the least restrictive environment possible.”
The Department of Education would be required to encourage school boards to offer instruction on media literacy, with a particular emphasis on how to demystify violence in the media, under legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington). The bill, S-436, was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
“Media literacy education teaches students to apply critical thinking skills to evaluate how messages in the media shape our culture and society,” Senator Allen said. “The school curriculum should evolve to meet the needs of millennials everywhere. We already teach New Jersey students 21st century skills, such as cyber safety and responsible use of social media. The additional instruction proposed under this legislation is the next logical step to ensuring all students are prepared for the future.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to extend tuition benefits to members of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces was approved by the New Jersey Senate.
“This legislation will assist reservists in furthering their education without the burden of paying for tuition,” Senator Allen said. “Reservists deserve the same benefits we offer to other members of the armed forces.”
Senate Passes Allen Bill to Provide Benefits to All Children of Fallen State Troopers, Public Safety Workers
All surviving children of deceased New Jersey State Troopers, police, firefighters and public safety officers would receive equal access to death benefits under a bill sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington.) S-2061 was today advanced by the New Jersey Senate.
“Many surviving children of New Jersey State Troopers and public safety workers are receiving a fraction of the death benefits that other children receive,” Senator Allen said. “It is morally wrong to allow this unfair practice to continue. This bill ensures all children coping with this life changing loss receive equal access to these benefits, regardless of their parent’s marital status at the time of death.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) and Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to help shelter animals find a home passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee.
The legislation, SJR-41, designates September of each year as “New Jersey Adopt a Shelter Pet Month” as a way to raise awareness about the ongoing need for pet adoption, as well as the joy of pet ownership.
A bill sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to provide tuition benefits to members of the reserve components of the armed forces was passed by Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Under current law, members of the New Jersey National Guard can attend regularly-scheduled courses at a public institution and receive up to 16 credits per semester for free. This legislation, S-1915, extends that benefit to reservists as long as he or she is a resident of New Jersey.
Allen Bill Creating Pre-Trial Intervention for Veterans Coping With Mental Illness & Addiction Advances
Bill Creates Program to Divert Veterans Charged with Nonviolent Offenses into Treatment Programs
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to provide greater support for veterans struggling with addiction or mental illness has cleared the Senate Military & Veterans Affairs Committee. The “Veterans Diversion Program” aims to steer nonviolent offenders who are also veterans away from the criminal justice system and into treatment and case management as quickly as possible.
“As many as one in six veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are coping with addiction, while 300,000 soldiers are battling PTSD and major depression,” Senator Allen said. “As more and more veterans return home to New Jersey, the need to provide treatment for mental illness and substance abuse related to military service will only increase. This program will enable law enforcement, the courts and health professionals to better serve those who have served our country.”
The New Jersey Senate passed two pieces of legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to protect New Jersey’s military bases, particularly Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, by improving military-local government relations and positioning the state’s workforce to take advantage of job opportunities that the bases provide.
“It’s important for us to support our military installations, which have been an extremely valuable source of great jobs for thousands of families in New Jersey,” Senator Allen said. “However, we can do more than simply protect what we have now. Military bases provide us with tremendous opportunity to stimulate our economy if we can identify the needs of military-related private industry and help our workforce take advantage of those needs.”
The New Jersey Senate passes legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Under the legislation (S-631) an 18-member Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Advisory Council made up of state and private transportation officials would be created and given the task of conducting a comprehensive review of issues pertaining to pedestrian and bicycle safety-related issues in New Jersey.
“We need to find the best way to improve our infrastructure, as well as our traffic laws so our roads are safer for people travelling on foot or on bikes,” Senator Allen said. “We see far too many serious injuries and fatalities – particularly along Rt. 130, in Burlington County. We need to do more to ensure people’s safety.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to extend death benefits to surviving children of all deceased New Jersey State Troopers, local law enforcement and firefighters has cleared the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.
“Every day, thousands of New Jersey state troopers, police and firefighters willingly risk their lives to keep their communities safe from harm,” Senator Allen said. “Inevitably, some of these public servants will lose their lives, leaving innocent children behind. It is unconscionable to give benefits to some, but not to all, simply because of marital status. The cost of implementing this legislation is diminutive, but the impact it will have on the families our fallen heroes leave behind is truly boundless.”