Legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Diane Allen to extend opportunities to earn varsity letters to high school students who participate in competitive activities other than athletics has passed the New Jersey Senate.
“Extending varsity letters to kids who compete on stage or in a classroom doesn’t diminish the value of the letter – it enhances it,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “Our schools are home to some of the best performing arts programs in the country. I think anyone who has witnessed a standing ovation at a school musical would agree that the kids who participate in these programs deserve varsity letters, too.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to track and address chronic absenteeism at New Jersey’s public schools was advanced by the Senate Education Committee.
“Students that repeatedly miss school aren’t getting the education they deserve,” Senator Allen said. “They fall behind their classmates and suffer serious setbacks in their studies that can have a significant effect on their future success. We need to make attendance a top priority, and this legislation helps us do that.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) issued the following statement announcing that she will not seek re-election to the New Jersey Senate:
“It has always been my intention to run for another term in the New Jersey Senate; however, over the last few weeks I have come to realize I must face some health issues that I have been trying to ignore. Consequently, with my family’s support, I have decided to make this term my last and 2017 my last year in office.
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) issued the following statement in response to recent reports that the United States Air Force will station 24 of its new KC-46A refueling tankers at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst:
“This is great news not just for the Joint Base, but for all of New Jersey,” Senator Allen said. “The base is going to be an outstanding home for these new jets since it already has the infrastructure and facilities needed thanks to its existing contingent of older tanker aircraft.”
The Senate Education Committee has passed legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Diane Allen to extend opportunities to earn varsity letters to high school students who participate in competitive activities other than athletics.
“A varsity letter has become a universal symbol for school pride and student achievement,” Senator Bateman said. “Students who win science, debate or music competitions demonstrate just as much school spirit as those who score a game-winning goal. We need to show these kids that their victories are just as worthy of our praise and admiration.”
Allen/Sweeney ‘Charlie’s Law’ Creates Penalties for Denying People with Service Dogs Access to Public Facilities
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) and Senate President Steve Sweeney to establish civil penalties for denying disabled persons accompanied by a service dog access to a public facility has cleared the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. “Charlie’s Law” is named after a service dog assisting Ben Shore, 16, of Cherry Hill. Charlie was last year ordered out of a Florida airport by security guards.
“Service animals like Charlie are a necessity, not a luxury,” Senator Allen said. “Every disabled person who relies on a service dog has a legal right to navigate a public space with a highly trained companion that ensures their safety and independence. Without Charlie’s Law, many people who rely on service animals will continue to face discrimination, or delays as they try to seek justice when their rights are violated. This legislation will empower local law enforcement to provide immediate assistance when a person is turned away from a public space because of their service animal.”
“Denying access to service dogs is the same as denying access to the disabled who rely on these dogs to live their lives as active members of society,” said Senator Sweeney. “They aren’t just pets or companions, they are essential to the people they serve. This bill will help to ensure the rights of the disabled are protected and the ability of the service dogs to accompany them is safeguarded.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) joined Senator Joseph Vitale, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto today at a Statehouse event to recognize a law that took effect this month allowing New Jersey adoptees to obtain their original birth records and medical history. The original bill amending the Vital Statistics Act, which was sponsored by Senators Allen, Vitale, Weinberg, was signed into law in May 2014.
The legislators were joined by New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett, New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education (NJ CARE), NJ adoptees, and other advocates.
“I’m glad to celebrate that New Jersey’s adoptees finally have the ability to learn their personal histories, something that many of us take for granted,” said Senator Allen. “I first started working to change our state’s adoption records laws nearly 20 years ago. It’s been an extremely long fight, but it’s one that we believed was worth the effort. I’d like to thank everyone who worked with us to get us to today.”
Legislation introduced last year by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) in response to the death of Antwan Timbers Jr., a Burlington City High School student killed while walking on Route 130 near the school last year, was advanced by the Senate Transportation Committee.
“I’m very pleased that we are getting the ball rolling on these measures, but this is just the first step,” Senator Allen said. “Tragedies like Antwan’s death can be prevented if we can implement some common-sense safety precautions to keep pedestrians safe.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to provide greater support for veterans struggling with addiction or mental illness was passed in a 36-0 vote by the New Jersey Senate.
“The horror of battle can lead to serious mental health complications later in life like PTSD and depression,” Senator Allen said. “If these combat-related afflictions lead to some kind of criminal behavior, the person should have a chance to get the treatment they need rather than just sit in jail. Veterans have made so many sacrifices to preserve our freedoms. We need to give them a chance to get the help they need, and they aren’t going to get that by sitting in a jail cell.”
Senator Diane Allen’s legislation (S-1257) to add protections from cyber-harassment for victims of domestic violence was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
“Cyber-harassment is now one of the most common ways that domestic abusers inflict pain and exert control over a partner,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “The damage and intimidation that can be accomplished through online channels, including websites, social media, and messaging platforms, is tremendous. It’s imperative that victims have the legal tools they need to fight back.”
The new law allows victims of cyber-harassment to obtain temporary and permanent restraining orders under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991.” There are currently 18 offenses covered under the act, including assault, stalking and robbery.