Three major initiatives were signed into law:
• Planned Parenthood Funding – $7.5 million in grants for health clinics and Planned Parenthood has been put back into the state budget for the first time in eight years.
• Automatic Voter Registration – Those applying for a driver’s license, examination, permit, probationary driver’s license or non-driver identification cards will now automatically be registered to vote; enhancing the ability for participation in our democratic process.
• Student Safety – The “Pass the Trash” initiative requires schools to ask potential employees if they have ever been the subject of child abuse or sexual misconduct investigations and reserve the right to decline their candidacy for employment in order to keep their students safe.
Several bills were placed on the Governor’s desk:
• Equal Pay – New Jersey will historically become the leader in pay equity next week when the Governor signs a law that will close the wage gap between men and women in the workforce, demanding equal pay for equal work.
• Gun Safety – In an effort to build a stronger system of security for our citizens, we passed a six-bill package that aims to keep guns away from those who pose threats, reduce ammunition magazine capacity, enhance background checks, ban armor-piercing ammunition and counter efforts to weaken gun safety regulations.
• Combating Hunger – We took significant steps forward in our efforts to eliminate food insecurities by passing the “Heat and Eat” initiative which allows residents to have additional resources for heat and food assistance as well as the “Breakfast After the Bell” initiative which will require the distribution of a complete and healthy breakfast to students in need.
• Fairness in the Workplace – Most places of businesses will be required to grant sick leave benefits to their employees, leading to a healthier work environment.
• Health Care Reform – Designed to help all New Jerseyans, our “Out of Network” bill reforms the health care delivery system in our state to increase transparency in pricing for health care services, enhancing consumer protections, creating an arbitration system to resolve billing disputes and contains rising costs associated with out-of-network healthcare services. The “New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act” restores the individual mandate ensuring that all New Jersey Residents have accessibility to affordable health care.
• Making New Jersey Environmentally Responsible – By implementing the use of nuclear, solar and offshore wind energy and banning offshore drilling, our state is moving away from unnecessary environmental waste and becoming a more environmentally friendly place to live.
• Protecting Public Sector Employees – The “Workplace Democracy Act” creates a more trusting and productive work environment for union members and their employers.
• Urban Development – By reinstating urban enterprise zones and requiring a report on the effectiveness of these programs, we are creating economic opportunities to spur development for business and create new job opportunities.