Bills to protect breast-feeding mothers, others introduced

TRENTON – Sens. Diane Allen, (R-7), Edgewater Park, and Thomas Kean Jr., (R-21), Westfield have introduced a bill to extend civil rights anti-discrimination protections to breast-feeding mothers.

Under S3060, it would constitute a civil rights violation for a working mother to be fired or discriminated against because of breast feeding during breaks at work.

Among other things, the bill requires employers to provide a location where the employee can breast feed a child in private and imposes a fine for failing to do so.

Fines for an employer would be $500 for a first violation, $750 for a second, and $1,000 for a subsequent violation.

The bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee.

Telecommunications

Sen. Bob Smith, (D-17), Piscataway, has introduced a “Telecommunications-Cable TV Deregulation Ensuring Consumer Protection Act.’’

The goal of the bill is to ensure that phone service remains affordable and that so-called telephone service carrier “of last resort’’ obligations are in place.

It was Smith earlier this year who sought to amend a telecommunications deregulation bill – S2664 – that was criticized by Smith and others as a giveaway to Verizon. After Smith announced his intention to make sure that bill had consumer protections, the bill was pulled from a scheduled vote.

Verizon at the time championed the Market Choice and Competition Act as a jobs-creator that did away with outdated regulations and impediments to progress, but Smith and consumer groups were unswayed.

The bill has been referred to the Economic Growth Committee.

Earlier coverage:

Smith says he wants to amend telecom bill

Property assessments and costs

And Sens. Joseph Kyrillos, (R-13), Middletown and Jennifer Beck, (R-12), Red Bank, have introduced a bill to set up a demonstration program that would explore a cost-effective and accurate property assessment system.

S3059 would have a maximum of four counties participating in a demonstration program designed to address the costs which result from the losses due to successful assessment appeals. The economic impact of addressing the cost of lost assessment appeals offers potential savings many times greater than the proposed savings resulting from consolidated county-based assessment, the bill states.

“The current real property assessment system fails to take full advantage of a collaborative system of property assessment between a county board of taxation, through its administrator, and the municipal assessors employed by each municipality in a county, that would result in a cost-effective and accurate process of real property assessment to benefit real property owners and property taxpayers,” the bill states.

The bill has been referred to the Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Bills to protect breast-feeding mothers, others introduced