Thursday will be a committee-heavy day at the New Jersey State House, with several high-profile bills up for discussion.
On the Senate side, lawmakers will consider bills to rework the state’s regulations for safe drinking water, change procedure for investigations into deaths involving the police, and offer additional insurance coverage to women who are trying to conceive.
Assembly committees will be considering that same measure to expand coverage for infertility treatments, as well as a suite of bills aiming to change the way the state collects on student loans.
Expect lively debate as a Republican State Senator contradicts Governor Chris Christie on lead abatement funding and lawmakers take on the state’s student loan laws, which are some of the most onerous in the country.
Senate Environment and Energy – 10:00AM – Committee Room 10
S2468 – Would have the state DEP adopt new standards for drinking water, following recommendations from the Drinking Water Quality Institute to test for 16 additional contaminants. Sponsored by State Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20).
S2062 – Would allocate $20 million from societal benefits charge to the DEP address lead contamination in public buildings, including schools. Governor Chris Christie has already proposed $10 million to address elevated levels of lead in Newark’s public schools, and in other districts across the state. Sponsored by State Senator Kip Bateman (R-16).
Senate Budget and Appropriations – 1:00 PM – Committee Room 4
S2469 – Would have the state Attorney General handle investigation and prosecution in cases where a person dies in police custody or at the hands of police rather than having the county prosecutor conduct the investigation. Also requires that the trial take place outside the county where the incident occurred. Sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), State Senator Ronald Rice (D-28) and State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37).
Senate Commerce – 1:00PM – Committee Room 6
S1398 – Would revise the definition of “infertility” in New Jersey’s current insurance statutes. Currently, women can only receive insurance coverage for their attempts to conceive if they have not been able to become pregnant over a year or more of unprotected sex. This bill would change the criteria to a diagnosis from a licensed physician, which would offer coverage to lesbians, single women, and women who use protection with their male partner. Sponsored by Loretta Weinberg.
Assembly Higher Education – 10:00AM – Committee Room 15
A2761 – Would require New Jersey’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, the agency which issues student loans, to forgive certain student debt in the event of the borrower’s death. Sponsored by Assembly members Vince Mazzeo (D-2), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37), Gary Schaer (D-36), Patricia Egan Jones (D-5), Tim Eustace (D-38), Bruce Land (D-1), Reed Gusciora (D-15) and Bob Andrzejczak (D-1).
A2926 – Would repeal state law suspending professional licenses, registrations and certifications for failing to pay back student loans. Sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6), Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Gary Schaer.
A4050 – Would direct HESAA to forgive certain student loans in the event of the borrower’s death or total and permanent disability. Would also allow deferment for temporary total disability. Sponsored by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16).
A4051 – “Directs Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to forgive certain student loans in event of student borrower’s death or total and permanent disability.” Sponsored by Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-27) and Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-14).