Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin, all R-Ocean, to protect pet owners and their boarded animals was approved by the New Jersey Senate. The bill now heads to Gov. Christie for his consideration.
“Betsy’s Law” was drafted in response to the death of a dog following a minor veterinary procedure. Betsy was boarded overnight and hanged herself in her crate as a result of a lack of animal supervision.
Holzapfel-Wolfe-McGuckin Bill Protects Homeowners from Utility Infrastructure Replacement Costs Following Natural Disasters
To protect residents from being billed directly for utility infrastructure replacement costs when their homes or property are damaged by a natural disaster, Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin have introduced legislation (S-3064) prohibiting utility companies from charging customers for the cost of such upgrades.
“Recovery from Sandy has been a long, drawn out process for so many who live at the Shore, especially those on the barrier islands who had to elevate their houses,” said Holzapfel. “It’s unfathomable that these homeowners are being charged for utility infrastructure work.”
Continuing their efforts to prevent the cruel treatment of animals, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin (all R-Ocean) have introduced legislation to prohibit the inhumane tethering of dogs.
“As legislators and pet owners, we have always been passionate about protecting animals from abusive pet owners,” said Holzapfel. “It’s difficult to understand why someone would chain or restrain their ‘pet’ for long periods of time to the point where the dog cannot care for itself. It’s deplorable.”
The bill, S-3061/A-4628, makes it unlawful to tether a dog that poses a risk of entanglement, strangulation, drowning or other harm to the health or safety of the dog. It also prohibits the tethering of a dog during severe weather conditions. Dogs at risk of imminent harm may be seized by authorities. Violators face fines and jail time.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) addressing firearms purchases by those with histories of mental health issues has been approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
The bill, S-2360/A-3593, requires law enforcement officials to be notified when a person applies to the court to have their mental health record expunged for the purposes of purchasing a firearm.
“Law enforcement officials are not currently involved in the determination of whether the mental health record of a prospective firearm purchaser should be expunged,” said Holzapfel. “This bill will ensure that police officers have the opportunity to inform judges of pending charges, criminal histories or abnormal behavior that may be relevant to determining whether it is safe for the applicant to own a firearm.”
Singer, Holzapfel Call for Public Hearings on Casino Expansion, Including Hearing for Monmouth and Ocean Counties
Senate Republicans Robert Singer and Jim Holzapfel called for a series of public hearings across the state, including in Monmouth and Ocean counties, about the possible authorization of a casino outside of Atlantic City. To expand gambling beyond Atlantic City voters would need to approve a ballot question authorizing the expansion.
“Before this matter is put on a ballot for a vote or any gaming expansion is limited to one specific location we need to make sure residents across the state are given the opportunity to weigh in and hear how expanded gaming could benefit or impact their community,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “One of those hearings should take place in Monmouth or Ocean counties, where I believe the addition of a casino would not only bring jobs to the local community but would add to the array of attractions that are already here and increase the appeal of the collective shore region.”
Holzapfel, McGuckin & Wolfe Legislation Amending Rules of Evidence Regarding Marital Communications Advances
Bill Changes Marital Communication Privileges During Criminal Trial
In response to a decision by from the New Jersey Supreme Court in the case of State v. Terry, legislation sponsored by the 10th District legislators to amend the rules of evidence to establish a crime-fraud exception to the marital and civil union partnership communications privilege has advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe amends “The Evidence Act, 1960″ which currently provides that no person shall disclose any communication made in confidence between such person and his or her spouse or civil union partner unless both consent to the disclosure.
“The purpose of this bill is to thwart ongoing criminal conspiracies that hide behind an evidentiary privilege designed to protect the sanctity of marriage,” stated Senator Holzapfel.
The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) that is designed to fight the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse.
The legislation, a Senate committee substitute for S-1998 and S-2119, would update the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) to ensure additional scrutiny of prescriptions for certain medications that are frequently abused.
“Too many people have figured out the loopholes in our prescription drug system to get hold of and abuse dangerous painkillers,” said Holzapfel. “We cannot ignore that many of the most addictive and abused drugs are dispensed at pharmacies, not purchased on street corners.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel, R-10, which prohibits the manufacture, sale or installation of counterfeit or nonoperational air bags in motor vehicles has passed the New Jersey Senate.
“Across the nation we have seen countless reports of auto repair shops and used car dealers putting customers at risk through the sale and repair of ineffective and nonfunctioning air bags,” said Holzapfel. “An air bag that has deployed in a collision can no longer be used, even if the vehicle’s diagnostic system indicates that air bag is operational.”
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe of the 10th Legislative District will introduce legislation allowing courts to hold certain offenders responsible for the cost of rescue and recovery operations.
The measure was drafted after a pickup truck fell through the ice after being driven onto the frozen Toms River, reportedly to do “donuts,” prompting an emergency search and recovery effort by local emergency responders and the State Police and Coast Guard.
“The massive emergency rescue mission in Toms River resulted from intentional activity that likely violated the law,” said Holzapfel. “Taxpayers should not have to bear the burden of paying for someone else’s stupidity.”
Gas Explosions Leveled Two New Jersey Homes in Less Than a Week
In response to recent gas explosions that leveled a pair of New Jersey homes, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin of the 10th Legislative District have drafted legislation requiring explosive gas detectors to be installed in homes and other dwellings.
Dashcam video provided by the Stafford Township Police Department captured a natural gas explosion destroying a home on February 24, 2015.
Explosive gas detectors alert residents to the presence of dangerous quantities of methane or propane gas in the air. Methane is the primary component of natural gas used to fuel many furnaces, hot water heaters, fireplaces, stoves and ovens.
“While the use of natural gas and propane for heating and cooking in our homes is extremely safe, the recent house explosions in Pt. Pleasant Beach and Stafford Township have reminded us that gas leaks do pose some risk,” said Holzapfel. “We can lower the risk of gas leaks by modeling our response on the successful rollout of carbon monoxide detectors that are now present in nearly every home.”