Bills to hike cell phone fines, have monitors for projects pass the Assembly

 TRENTON – The Assembly on Thursday passed bills that would have monitors for rebuilding projects and hike fines for talking on cell phone while driving,

Bill A60 authorizes integrity monitors to oversee Hurricane Sandy recovery and rebuilding projects.

The Assembly passed an earlier version last month unanimously. Then the Senate passed an amended version, which brought it back to the lower chamber for another vote.

The amendments, among other things, narrow the oversight to those contracts with a government; require the Treasurer to consult the Comptroller in developing reporting methods; and clarify that some aspects of the measure depend on federal funding being available.

The bill passed 70-0. It was sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6) of Voorhees.

Talking on cell phone while driving

Bill A1080/S69: This bill increases fines for talking on a cell phone or texting while driving.

The amended bill increases the fines to $200 to $400 for a first offense, $400 to $600 for a second offense, and $600 to $800 for third or subsequent offenses.

The amended bill also permits the court to suspend a driver’s license for 90 days.

Further amendments stated that 50 percent of the fines collected are to be divided equally between the county and municipality where the violation occurred, and 50 percent are to be paid to the state Treasurer for allocation to the Motor Vehicle Commission for use in the public education program.

The bill passed 72-2. Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande voted no.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20) of Union.

Bills to hike cell phone fines, have monitors for projects pass the Assembly