What’s Happening Today Thu. 09/19/2013

Why do legislators hold press conferences to promote bills that are not even available yet for people to read? Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) and Senator Chris Bateman (R-16) have done just that with a bill that seeks to overturn state law that protects health privacy and the patient-physician privilege. With this bill (A4380) any investigation of the possibility that someone, knowing he or she was HIV positive, had sex with another individual without informed consent, would be sufficient to permit prosecutors to obtain confidential medical records. Such is now permissible in New Jersey with a 1st degree charge, but these legislators wish to allow it with a lower level 3rd degree offense. Opening up medical records based on the suspicion of a crime sounds like a witch hunt that could do more harm than good to patient/physician confidentiality. Its primary result would be that patients with transmissable illnesses become more reluctant to seek medical care and thus more likely to transmit untreated illnesses.

Christie donors side-stepping pay-to-play: The N. Y. Times reports: “The Republican Governors Association has collected $1.65 million from New Jersey donors during the first six months of the year. The association has, in turn, poured $1.7 million into Mr. Christie’s re-election effort. A third of the $1.65 million the association raised in New Jersey came from people and businesses who had significant contracts with the state, or from utilities, which are prohibited from making any contributions to candidates for governor.”

NJ League of Conservation Voters: releases its legislative endorsements.

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D CD 10): “A complete and total outrage” – expressing his strong opposition on the House floor to the Republican proposal to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $40 billion while “about 1 in 4 children who live right here in the United States go to sleep without adequate nutrition.”

Public Schedules (Your opportunity to jeer or cheer)

Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Milly Silva with New Jersey State Democratic Chairman John Currie and Senator Nellie Pou (D-35): 6:45pm, Passaic County Democratic Committee Cocktail Reception, Macaluso’s, 161 Rea Ave., Hawthorne; Barbara Buono: 7:15pm, Mercer County Democratic Committee Meeting, Mercer Oaks, 725 Village Rd., West Windsor.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: 11:30am, Chris Christie, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill and New Brunswick Development Corporation President Christopher Paladino, groundbreaking for a new University Academic Building and new facilities slated for Rutgers Residential Honors College, Rutgers Hillel and the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick.

Senate candidate Steve Lonegan: fundraiser: 6:00pm, Private VIP Reception with Governor Christie ($1,000), 6:30pm general reception with Christie ($200), both at Forsgate Country Club, 375 Forsgate Drive, Monroe Township.

N. J. Department of Labor: releases unemployment data for August.

Email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

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