I hope this email finds you healthy and well. The spread of the novel Coronavirus is a crisis unlike the state and nation has ever faced before. This is a fluid situation and I am working around the clock advocating for our residents and small businesses.
This week’s total number of cases has reached: 890, we must not underestimate the severity of this situation. Of that number, the total number of cases in Hudson County has reached: 64.
Together, through collective effort, we can slow the spread of the virus and come out of this crisis better than before.
Please stay home!
Remember to wash your hands!
Practice social distancing and self quarantine if necessary!
Below is a list of resources relevant to Bayonne, Jersey City, and Statewide. Feel free to reach out to my office by calling 201-471-2347 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is my winter 2020 newsletter. It covers information about COVID-19 and Census 2020, as well as my legislative updates, and so much more!
- If you believe you are sick with the novel Coronavirus, please call the 24 hour hotline currently operated by the state of New Jersey 1-800-222-1222, or the Jersey City Hotline 201-547-5208.
- Bayonne's Public Schools will be closed through March 27,2020 and Jersey City's Public Schools will be closed beginning on March 16, 2020 for one week.
- The New Jersey Department of Health's Coronavirus webpage is also a helpful resource to monitor state-wide updates. (COVID-19 Dashboard )
Bill to Require Reporting of Bias Intimidation to FBI, Improve Collection of Hate Crime Statistics Clears Committee
(TRENTON) – As hate crimes in New Jersey continue to rise, the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee voted Monday advancing legislation (A-863) that would require the New Jersey Attorney General to report bias intimidation offenses to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in their annual report on hate crimes.
Sponsor of the bill, Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson), released the following statement:
“By requiring the Attorney General to add bias intimidation statistics to those currently reported to the FBI, this bill simply seeks to expand the pool of data available for analysis. In doing so, we hope to develop a clearer, more comprehensive picture of how deeply violence is permeating our communities.”
Under current New Jersey law, a person is guilty of a bias intimidation crime if they commit, attempt to commit, conspire with another to commit, or threaten the immediate commission of an offense intended to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity.
As the 2020 legislative session begins, I wanted to update you on a number of my policy accomplishments from this past session! It was an extremely productive year of law making - I sponsored over 97 pieces of legislation that were signed into law, 36 of which, I was a primary sponsor on.
Below are some of the highlights of priorities I have been working on with my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate that were recently signed into law by Governor Murphy.
The bill package draws upon recommendations in the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) report regarding hospital-related oversight and accountability in New Jersey. The legislation will give broader oversight capabilities to the Department of Health (DOH), require hospitals to provide additional financial information to the DOH, and will allow the Commissioner of Health to notify elected officials if certain hospitals are found to be in financial distress.
While this is a major step in the right direction, I will continue to advocate for and do everything in my power to protect our community’s access to health care.
The fight to save Bayonne Medical Center is not over yet.
Misclassification hurts workers and law-abiding businesses, in order to perform more comprehensive investigations, data sharing is essential. Part of a larger bill package, A5842 will permit the Division of Taxation to share with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development any information, including tax information statements, reports, audit files, returns, or reports of any investigation.
One of the most important pieces of environmental protection legislation to be signed into law this session was A839, which bans offshore oil and gas exploration and its production in New Jersey’s ocean waters. Additionally, the bill prohibits the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from issuing any permits and approvals for any development associated with offshore drilling in state waters or outside state waters.
I along with Assemblymembers Mazzeo and Land introduced the bill in response to President Trump’s pro-pollution Executive Order No.13795, which encourages oil and natural gas production off the Atlantic coast. Along with addressing crucial environmental, public health and ecosystem conservation concerns, A839 also protects the future of our shore’s tourism economy which is worth $44 billion annually and attracts millions of visitors each year.
Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform
Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize (potentially keep or sell) property they allege has been involved in a crime. The property is “guilty”- not the person who the property is taken from, the owner of the property may never even be charged with a crime.
My bipartisan legislation A4970, which was supported by ACLU-NJ, Citizen Action, Legal Services of New Jersey, Drug Policy Alliance, Latino Action Network, and a variety of faith programs and organizations, will revise procedures related to certain asset forfeiture proceedings and will require a criminal conviction for forfeiture of certain seized property.
The government cannot be allowed to seize property without due process. The way our current civil forfeiture system works is unconstitutional and vulnerable to potential abuses, I am excited that we are taking the issue seriously and legislating meaningful reform.
Protecting Our Health Care
With the Trump Administration’s relentless attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would raise costs for consumers and leave thousands of New Jerseyans without coverage, my colleagues and I sponsored a package of bills to safeguard the provisions of the ACA in the Garden State.
Signed into law by the Governor this week, my bill S626 clarifies that a health insurer shall not impose, or include in its insurance policies, any provision excluding coverage because of a preexisting condition. The bill also provides that an insurer shall not include any preexisting conditions as a factor in calculating the cost of the premium for policy holders.
This important update sends a clear message that we in New Jersey believe health care is not a privilege, but a right.
I am proud of the work we as a legislative body have carried out over the past 2 years, I look forward to continuing to make meaningful progress throughout this new legislative session.
Thank you for your continued support.
In light of recent news regarding the potential closure of Bayonne Medical Center due to an upcoming hospital merger, of which elected officials had no prior knowledge, Assembly Democrats Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Angela McKnight have sponsored a three-bill package aimed at increasing hospitals’ transparency to help prevent the abrupt loss of important healthcare services in local communities.
“Accessible healthcare is a human right. For a district as densely populated as the 31st, the closure of a medical center could be the difference between life and death for our residents,” said Assemblyman Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). “If we had known sooner about a planned merger that could leave residents without access to healthcare, we could’ve had conversations with CarePoint Health to try to determine a better approach. This is why communication between hospitals and elected officials is so critical.”
“This legislation will ensure that a hospital’s business practices are above-board and communities are never at risk of losing important services,” said Assemblywoman McKnight (D-Hudson).
The bill package draws upon recommendations in the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) report regarding hospital-related oversight and accountability in New Jersey, after its investigation into CarePoint Health’s financial management.
One bill (A-5917) would give broader oversight capabilities to the Department of Health (DOH) by expanding its Early Warning System, whose purpose is to detect whether hospitals are nearing or already in financial distress. The new legislation would require the system to monitor the quantity and suitability of any fees, allocations and payments made to third parties.
Another bill (A-5916) would allow the Commissioner of Health to notify elected officials if certain hospitals are found to be in financial distress.
Increased transparency would also be required of hospitals when it comes to providing financial information to the DOH. The third bill (A-5918) would require non-profit hospitals to share IRS Form 990 and for-profit hospitals to submit equivalent information to the DOH in order to reveal aspects of their revenue and taxation.
Further stipulations would require hospitals to submit information about ownership, leases and rentals of offices and properties. It would also require the identification of investors, business partners and other affiliates while sharing information about projects and ventures financially associated with the hospital.
“With better oversight, we can make sure that what might happen to Bayonne Medical Center cannot – and will not – happen to any other hospitals and their communities going forward,” said McKnight.
“If unstable finances may lead to a shut-down, there must be prior warning to the community and any affected parties. These entities cannot be allowed to operate in the shadows with little oversight,” said Chiaravalloti.
The legislation will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.
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