Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin of the 10th Legislative District presented the 14th Annual “Excellence in Education Award” during a ceremony at the Walnut Street Elementary School in Toms River to second grade teacher, Raymond Roe.
“Mr. Roe has established an admirable reputation at Walnut Street Elementary School where he excels in classroom management and supports his students learning in an enthusiastic and creative environment. It is an honor to present the Fourteenth Annual Excellence in Education Award to such an outstanding educator,” stated Senator Holzapfel.
Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) said that a widespread Verizon Wireless outage that began yesterday affecting many in the region underscores concerns about Verizon’s plan to discontinue traditional landline service in some 10th District communities.
“Many homeowners maintain traditional landlines as a backup for when cell service is unavailable in an emergency,” said Holzapfel. “It’s concerning that many of the same communities where Verizon plans to force homeowners with landlines onto a cellular service called Voice Link were among those that have had a major Verizon Wireless cellular service outage since yesterday.”
Holzapfel Again Calls for Senate President Sweeney to Move Legislation that Would Keep Loaded Guns Away from Unsupervised Kids
Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) said that the Legislature must move forward with efforts to keep loaded firearms out of the hands of unsupervised minors to prevent future tragedies like those experienced in Newtown and Toms River recently.
The Senator’s comments followed reports that no additional votes are planned on legislation (S-2723) sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney to concur with recommendations proposed by Governor Chris Christie in a conditional veto of the legislation.
“When Governor Christie conditionally vetoed the Senate President’s legislation, he did not touch the section that would increase penalties for making loaded firearms accessible to unsupervised minors,” said Holzapfel. “In fact, he specifically noted that this was a critical element of the bill that he supported. The Legislature already approved this once, so we know it has support among our colleagues as well.”
Holzapfel, Wolfe & McGuckin Ask BPU to Look into Verizon Decision Impacting Mantoloking, Bay Head, Brick Customers
Earlier this year, residents in Mantoloking, Bay Head and part of Brick Twp. were informed by Verizon that their traditional land-line phone connection was being discontinued and customers would be required to use its new wireless alternative called Voice Link. The company explained that the copper wiring damaged by Super Storm Sandy was too costly to replace. Last week, Verizon reversed a similar stance it had taken with residents of Fire Island, N.Y. after receiving negative feedback from the community.
Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin do not agree with the company’s change of position for Fire Island but not for these affected towns in New Jersey. In a letter to the Board of Public Utilities, the District 10 legislators asked the BPU to look into the matter as well as explore the option of requiring Verizon to wire these communities with fiber optics in order to ensure that all residents have adequate telephone services.
Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) issued the following statement following the fire that destroyed a large portion of the boardwalk and dozens of commercial establishments in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights:
“Following the anniversary of 9/11 when we remembered the first responders who were lost, we have been shown again in Seaside how those in uniform bravely respond in times of need. It was amazing to see the many fire departments from as close as Toms River and as far away as Cape May rush to help us battle this blaze.
Says Common-Sense Gun Reform Shouldn’t Have Been Included in Controversial Gun Bill
Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) has called on Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-3) to take action to pass a common-sense gun reform that would protect children and the public from both planned and accidental tragedies that result from children having easy access to firearms.
Holzapfel is the sponsor of legislation (S-2729) which would increase criminal penalties for those who leave a loaded firearm within easy access of a minor resulting in injury or death. A version of this measure was included in a much larger bill (S-2723) sponsored by Sweeney that received a conditional veto from Governor Christie.
“Keeping loaded firearms out of the hands of unsupervised minors is something that everyone agrees we need to do,” said Holzapfel. “By jamming this common-sense reform into a huge gun control bill with many controversial elements, the Senate President has decreased the odds that our efforts to prevent unnecessary tragedies will be enacted.”
Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, R-Ocean, said he supports the call for the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to investigate the decision by Verizon to discontinue offering residents and businesses in Mantoloking the traditional land-line phone connection. The telecommunications provider is requiring customers to use its news wireless alternative called Voice Link. Earlier this week, AARP made the request for BPU to look into the company’s decision.
“There is no harm in examining Verizon’s decision to force its customers to use its wireless phone system,” said McGuckin, who serves on the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee. “An explanation is needed as to why Mantoloking is one of the only towns in New Jersey not to have a land-line option. This concern is shared by homeowners and businesses, and is not the ‘rhetoric’ of AARP. The community has a right to express its opinion. If Verizon is concerned about its customers and providing a choice in the service they want, they will listen.”
Legislators representing areas of the Jersey Shore that were hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy have questioned whether a constitutional amendment that would dedicate $200 million annually for open space preservation may come at the expense of ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in future years. Senators Robert Singer (R-30), Christopher Connors (R-9) and Jim Holzapfel (R-10) issued the following statement questioning the inflexibility of the open space funding plan:
“We’ve heard for years how tight the state’s budget situation is, so we are extremely concerned that the constitutional dedication of $200 million of state revenue annually to open space preservation will come at the expense of other critical needs like continuing Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
10th District Legislators Join Forces with Ocean County Prosecutor to Stop Heroin & Prescription Drug Abuse
In response to ongoing prescription drug and heroin problems in Ocean County, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin of the 10th Legislative District recently met with Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato to discuss the changes needed to stop this epidemic.
“We are working alongside the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to reassess and enhance the current state law to allow for more severe penalties for the distribution of specific drugs and to combat the growing heroin epidemic our state currently faces. While there is no quick fix for the growing number of overdoses and heroin related deaths, we must target the distributors. Prescription pill abuse is the new gateway to heroin addiction. Our residents and children need to be educated about the deadly effects before this epidemic gets worse,” the 10th District legislators stated.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) establishing criminal penalties for leaving the scene of a boating accident has been approved by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
“Now that our summer season has begun, residents are anxious to return to the water and safety is always our first concern. With more boaters on our waterways, accidents are bound to happen. This bill will increase the penalty of leaving a boating accident to a second degree offense if the other party dies as a result of their injuries,” said Senator Holzapfel.