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.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to provide greater support for veterans struggling with addiction or mental illness was advanced by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“When they return from service, so many veterans struggle with health conditions like PTSD, addiction and serious 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.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) has been officially inducted into the Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Class of 2017. Senator Allen is among just 25 elected women leaders selected from a national pool of candidates. Class members are honored for demonstrating continued leadership, personal integrity and outstanding performance as an elected official.
“I have been honored to serve in the legislature for nearly two decades and in that time, I have seen the tremendous impact women leaders can have on improving the lives of the people they serve,” Senator Allen said. “Women make up the majority of this nation, but barely a quarter of state legislatures. It is in the best interest of our country to empower a greater number of women to pursue elected office, and there is no shortage of qualified female candidates to lead in our communities. Now is the time to come together as mentors and create opportunities to accomplish that goal.”
Two bills sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to improve benefits and job prospects for returning veterans were advanced by the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
“We should be doing everything we can to show that we are grateful for our veterans,” Senator Allen said. “Service members encounter real struggles when they return home, so we must find ways to make that transition a little easier.”
Healthcare providers would now be able to practice telemedicine in New Jersey under legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) and advanced by the Senate Budget Committee.
“Telemedicine is a safe, convenient and cost-efficient way to provide millions of new patients with access to quality healthcare,” Senator Allen said. “People with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, can use telemedicine to proactively manage their condition at home, preventing hospitalizations and costly emergency room visits. This is critical for those who are homebound or live in rural regions of our state where doctor shortages are common.”
Bill package and petition honors Burlington City student killed in Route 130 school zone by reducing speed limits, increasing penalties for speeding
Senator Diane Allen met with Burlington City students to unveil “Antwan’s Law,” legislation to better protect pedestrians in schools zones by giving municipalities and law enforcement new tools to combat speeding around schools statewide. The Senator has also launched the “25 Saves Lives” petition calling for the swift passage of her legislation.
“Today I witnessed firsthand how passionate Burlington City High School students are about saving lives on Route 130 and in school zones across the state,” Senator Allen added. “It is a tragic reality that Antwan’s death could have been prevented if we had the proper protections in place to keep pedestrians safe. I urge everyone to join our fight and sign my 25 Saves Live petition today.”
MONDAY ADVISORY: Allen to Meet with Burlington Students to Discuss Combating Speeding in School Zones
On Monday, October 24, Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) will visit Burlington City High School to meet with school officials and the Burlington City High School students who started “25 Save Lives” campaign to discuss her legislation to combat speeding in school zones. Official action will be taken on site at Burlington City High School, following a special announcement regarding the legislation.
When: 1 p.m. on Monday, October 24, 2016.
Where: Burlington City High School, Route 130 North: 100 Blue Devil, Burlington, NJ 08016
Who: Senator Diane Allen, “25 Saves Lives” Student Advocates, Superintendent Patricia T. Doloughty Ed.D, and Principal James Flynn
Availability: Open. Senator Allen will be available for press inquiries following the event.
Event Contact: Emily Everson, Senate Republican Office, 609-847-3600; Burlington City High School, (609) 387-5800