The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans Diane Allen and Dawn Addiego to correct a flawed statute that prohibits the Department of Children and Families (DCF) from informing a religious institution that substantiated allegations of child abuse have been made against an employee or volunteer.
S-2637 stems from a New Jersey Superior Court Appellate decision regarding a man who was able to apply for a job as a youth pastor, despite having been found by DCF to have sexually abused and neglected his two children, as well as their 10-year-old cousin.
“Right now, a person who is fired from a day care center because of a failed child abuse record check can turn right back around and volunteer to teach Sunday school, and there’s nothing DCF or the courts can do about it. Their hands are tied by the law,” Senator Allen said. “The children in that church classroom are no less deserving of the law’s protection. One example is too many. We have to correct this injustice now.”
A trio of bills sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington), Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon) and Senator Sam Thompson (R-Burlington, Middlesex, Ocean, Monmouth) aimed at reducing waste by encouraging more donation and recycling of food were advanced by the Senate Environment Committee.
“Unfortunately, there are still many in New Jersey that struggle to find the next meal for their families,” Senator Allen said. “We hope that by cutting back on waste at our schools and other institutions we can get more food to people who need it.”
The Senate Health Committee has passed Sen. Diane Allen’s bill to close a loophole that blocks the Department of Children and Families (DCF) from informing a religious institution that substantiated allegations of child abuse have been made against an employee or volunteer.
“Because of a flawed statute, a father who DCF believes sexually abused his own children was able to apply for a job as a youth pastor,” Senator Allen (R-Burlington) said. “That court case made one thing absolutely clear – State law is tying the hands of those who are desperately trying to keep children in religious programs safe from child abusers.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) announced that she will serve as Policy Chair of a national committee tasked with developing legislative solutions to help women and families across the United States.
“The challenges we are facing in this legislature, such as securing equal pay, are not unique to New Jersey,” Senator Allen said. “As Policy Chair, I will work with other elected women leaders from across the nation to charter a course for passing the kind of meaningful legislation that the people of New Jersey, and the country, deserve.”
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.”