Newsletter


Chiaravalloti on Veto of Bill to Postpone New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum Review


Voting By Mail


Bill Creating Commission to Study Feasibility of Community Broadband Networks in New Jersey Passes Full Assembly

Chiaravalloti, Karabinchak & Reynolds-Jackson Bill Aims to Help State Learn More about Improving Internet Access for Residents Amidst Pandemic

(TRENTON) – As New Jersey residents become more reliant on the internet to complete tasks remotely amidst a worldwide pandemic, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Robert Karabinchak and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson would create a commission to study the feasibility of establishing community broadband networks in the state. The legislation passed the full Assembly Thursday, 72-3-2.

Community broadband networks are locally owned and developed networks that help connect a certain geographical area to the wider internet. They are especially useful in areas where residents cannot afford private internet providers’ higher-priced rates and rural areas that are too remote for providers to bother setting up a network.

Under the bill (A-850), an 11-member commission would be created to study several aspects of these networks and report back to the Governor and Legislature one year later with its findings.

The commission would study the possible advantages of utilizing already established broadband infrastructure, look into cost-effective methods for establishing networks and what methods other areas of the country have used, investigate all possible funding sources, and more.

“One of the many lessons we have learned from this pandemic is just how important internet access is for many aspects of modern-day life,” said Assemblyman Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). “In order to avoid exposure to a deadly virus, many of our residents have been forced to rely on technology more than ever before to conduct their business. Yet far too many residents lack access to high-speed internet, which is why we need to look into ways we can ensure access for everyone.”

Data from the Census Bureau shows that residents of cities and poor rural areas have less access to the internet than those in wealthier suburbs. New Jerseyans in the lowest income brackets have around half the rate of internet access as those in the highest income brackets.

“Working from home, attending online classes, speaking with doctors, shopping for essentials and staying in touch with loved ones are just some of the many ways the internet is used every day by our residents,” said Assemblyman Karabinchak (D-Middlesex). “Without access to reliable internet – none of that is possible. That’s why we need this commission to look into community broadband networks that could potentially provide affordable service to our least-connected communities.”

“Guaranteeing internet access for all residents is a matter of equity,” said Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson (D-Hunterdon, Mercer). “We cannot let any New Jersey family get left behind simply because they live in an area that private companies do not find lucrative or because they don’t make enough to afford expensive internet charges. This commission will help us understand how to make the idea of a broadband network – which would have the best interests of local communities in mind – a reality.”

The bill will now head to the Senate.


Check out my Newsletter


#takedownbayonnetalksfreely

I woke up this morning to words and images of hate posted on a private Facebook page which I am not a member. The page supposedly represents views from my community – Bayonne. It does not! Just because we live in the most diverse region of our country does not mean that we are protected against bigots and racist. The idea that someone thinks it is ok to post images of a man hanging from a tree and others endorse lynchings sickens me. There is no place in our society for such hatred.
I am so upset and pissed off it is tough to respond intellectually. But I remember the work of John Lewis and Martin Luther King – I will not react in anger, but instead react with truth. I have reported the page to Facebook and I have sent a note to the Bayonne Police Department, Hudson County Prosecutor and Attorney General asking him to investigate the matter. I believe the image was intended to incite violence and believe those involved should be investigated.

Link here for link to article!


Statement On The Passing Of Congressman John Lewis


July 7th

 


Bonding statment


Bayonne Public School students on display to celebrate Youth Art Month


UPDATE

Dear friend, 

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 asmchiaravalloti@njleg.org

Read more

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! 

 

 


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.


Legislative Accomplishments

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.



Hospital Transparency
All three bills part of my hospital transparency package, A5916, A5917, and A5918,  were signed into law by Governor Murphy this week.

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.

Data Sharing
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.

Environmental protection

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 ActionLegal 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.
Nicholas

 

 


Legislation to Require Further Financial transparency in hospitals passes Assembly Committee 

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.


Fall 2019 Newsletter


Introduces Legislation to Require Further Financial Transparency in Hospitals

Bill Package Spurred by the Current Bayonne Medical Center Financial Situation

                      (TRENTON) – 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, Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti has introduced a three-bill package aimed at increasing hospitals’ transparency to help prevent the abrupt loss of important healthcare services in local communities.

“The Bayonne Medical Center is quite literally vital to the people of this city,” said 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 better communication between hospitals and elected officials is so critical.”

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 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 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. Newly proposed legislation 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 more transparency and oversight, we can prevent hospitals from engaging in questionable business practices that could lead to over-priced medical bills for patients,” said Chiaravalloti. “We can also make sure that no hospital ever reaches a point where their previously undisclosed financial situation is so dire that they are forced to close the facility – leaving community members with a complete loss of access to care.”

The legislation is scheduled to be considered in the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee next week.


We need your help to keep Bayonne Hospital Open!

Last Monday I, along with Mayor Davis, Senator Cunningham, County Executive Tom DeGise, Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, and other representatives sounded the alarm on a crisis that could impact our community. It is unimaginable that the BayonneMedical Center that has been a pillar in our community well over 100 years might soon no longer be here. 

The fact is that this hospital is an integral part of our community that we can’t do without. This week we met with Acting Commissioner of Health Judith M. Persichilli and other stakeholders to discuss the preservation and future of Bayonne Hospital and what we are doing to protect our residents. We are working tirelessly to solve this crisis, the quality of care for our community is our first priority. 

We can’t do this without your help and support. Please sign and share this link to make your voice heard and send the strong message that Bayonne Hospital must remain open. 


An Inspired Day!

 


Recently I had the opportunity to stop by Comcast Newsmakers and talk about my Civil Asset Forfeiture legislation. Check out the segment below!


2019 National Night Out

Another fantastic National Night Out! This annual event helps us bridge the gap between residents and our law enforcement officials to create a greater sense of community. Thank you to Bayonne PD and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office for organizing this event.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table to pick up reusable bags!

 

 


Summer 2019 Newsletter

 


Asm. Chiaravalloti’s statement on anti-semitic graffiti found in Bayonne


Come get your reusable shopping bags #GoGreen

As we continue moving away from plastic bags and become ever more conscious of the effects of climate change, I am happy to announce that my office will be giving away reusable shopping bags.  They can be picked up at 836 Broadway Bayonne Monday through Thursday, 10AM to 4PM or by appointment on Saturday. we’re going to limit them to one per adult for residence of the 31st legislative district! #gogreen


No. 1 bus route in Jersey City


"Innocent until proven guilty” – except in the case of civil asset forfeiture

INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY is a tenant of US Law. Today, we took the step of assuring that individuals are protected from having their cash/property taken without being charged with a crime. Civil Asset Forfeiture is an outdated system and today is the first step! 

New Jersey Police Seize $171 From Man, Charge Him $175 to Challenge It


Chiaravalloti to Introduce “Patient Protection Act” Bill


Learning is for Everyone


Bill to Expand Sexual Assault Law between Teachers and Students

Mukherji, Lampitt, Chiaravalloti, Vainieri Huttle & Armato Bill to Expand Sexual Assault Law between Teachers and Students

Clears Senate

Bill Would Criminalize Sexual Contact Between

Teachers and Students under Age 20

(TRENTON) – Continuing efforts to combat sexual assault between teachers and students, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Raj Mukherji, Pamela Lampitt, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and John Armato that would criminalize sexual contact between teachers and students under 20 years old has cleared the Legislature and now heads to the Governor for further consideration.

“We see countless cases of inappropriate student-teacher relationships nowadays, perhaps due to the fact that technology and social media have bridged the personal space that once existed between students and teachers,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson).  “Regardless, even when a high school student reaches the age of 18, a teacher’s supervisory power makes any sexual relationship inherently coercive and inappropriate.  This bill will make that explicitly clear.”

“Even though an 18-year-old student is legally an adult, the power a teacher or other school employee holds over him or her makes any sexual relationship innately compulsory,” said Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington). “It’s never appropriate for a teacher to engage in any kind of sexual contact with a student, no matter their age. These teachers should be held accountable.”

The bill (A-1909) makes a person guilty of sexual assault if he or she commits an act involving the sexual penetration of a victim who is 18 years old or older and less than 20 years old, if the victim is a student in a school where the actor is a teaching staff member, substitute teacher, school bus driver, other school employee, contracted service provider or volunteer and has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim.

The measure expands current law, under which a person with “supervisory or disciplinary power of any nature or in any capacity” over a minor at least 16 but less than 18 years old who commits an act of sexual penetration with that minor is guilty of sexual assault.

Sexual assault is a crime of the second degree and is typically punishable by a term of imprisonment of five to 10 years, or a fine of up to $150,000, or both.

“The number of improper instances between teenagers and teachers appears to be increasing,” said Chiaravalloti (D- Hudson).  “Teachers, who are authority figures, need to understand that the power imbalance supersedes any ‘consent’ received by students and that such relations are inappropriate.  We need to close this loophole to make that message clear.”

“By pursuing a sexual relationship with a student, a teacher has taken advantage of the power they hold over that student,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Whether that student is 16 or nearly 20, that behavior should not be tolerated in New Jersey.”

Under the bill, “teaching staff member” is defined under existing law as a member of the professional staff of any district or regional board of education, or any board of education of a county vocational school, holding office, position or employment of such character that the qualifications, for such office, position or employment, require him to hold a valid and effective standard, provisional or emergency certificate, appropriate to his office, position or employment, issued by the State Board of Examiners and includes a school nurse and a school athletic trainer.

“It’s my hope that this bill will bring justice for all students who have become victims of sexual assault by their teachers,” said Armato (D-Atlantic). “The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority.”

If enacted, New Jersey would join 10 other states – Alabama, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington – that have laws criminalizing sex between school employees and students over the age of 18.

The bill was approved by the Assembly in January, 76-0.

 


BAYONNE RECEIVES FULL PRE-K FUNDING

BAYONNE -​ This week the Bayonne Board of Education received notice that they will receive over $6.7 million from the New Jersey Department of Education that will allow them to offer full-day pre-k in September 2019. Last year, Bayonne received $3.4 million in state funding for pre-k. With limited space and funds, the Bayonne Board of Education had only 65 full-day pre-k students. Under the approved plan, Bayonne will potentially serve 585 students.

“Pre-K access has been linked to improved educational success later in life,”​ said Governor Phil Murphy. ​“But for too many in our state, access to pre-k has been defined by zip code and income level. Those days will soon be behind us. Our Administration is making strides in leveling the playing field for New Jersey’s children and we are proud to work with Senator Cunningham, Assemblyman Chiaravalloti, Assemblywoman McKnight, and Mayor Davis, to expand pre-k access for Bayonne’s children.”

“Behind every successful initiative like this one are real children and real families who benefit,” said​ ​Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet.​ “We know that high-quality preschool helps children build the readiness skills they need for success later on in school, and these foundational skills continue to pay dividends throughout a person’s life.”

“This is a potential game changer for the City of Bayonne. I commend Governor Murphy and Commissioner Repollet for their vision in making funding public education a priority in New Jersey,” ​stated Mayor James Davis.​ “In the past two years, Bayonne has seen significant increases in funding for our schools. Our dedicated team in Trenton, led by Senator Cunningham, Assemblyman Chiaravalloti and Assemblywoman McKnight, have delivered for Bayonne. On this issue, I know how passionate Nicholas was in assuring that Bayonne be able to provide full-day pre-k in 2019-2020.”

“We are excited about the opportunity this offers our parents and children. This award is the result of the efforts of the Cabinet and Early Childhood team at the Board of Education and Assemblyman Chiaravalloti. From the moment we discussed this possibility, Nicholas has made securing these funds his top priority,” ​stated Dr. Michael Wanko, Interim Superintendent.

“Data has shown that full-day pre-k impacts a child’s future academic success. Bayonne children now have the same opportunity as other children in New Jersey. Bringing Pre-K for all to Bayonne has been a major goal of mine since joining the Assembly in 2015. I am very thankful to Governor Murphy and Commissioner Repollet for their commitment to public education,”stated Assemblyman Chiaravalloti​. “This is about the future of Bayonne. Extended-day preschool has dramatic and lasting effects when it is high quality. I congratulate the staff and leadership at the Board for responding to the challenge and preparing a superior application.”