…..from a happily chaotic Thanksgiving family week in Los Angeles. Hope you all had a great holiday, and are now enjoying Hanukkah. If you are not lighting the Menorah, make sure you at least eat a couple of potato latkes.
Press Conference at 11 a.m. today in Trenton on government transparency. We will announce our new and very stringent Pay-to-Play bill. This should be part of the “tool kit” because political contributions from state and local contractors definitely add to the cost of government in our state and contribute to our escalating property taxes. This new bill will establish one state-wide standard in New Jersey, and I’ve been working on it with the help of the Citizens Campaign. I will be joined by my colleague Assemblyman Gordon Johnson. We will also call attention to our newly updated Open Public Meetings Act and Open Public Records Act and will ask that they be posted for Committee hearings in December or January. These bills go hand-in-hand with the new issue-advocacy disclosure bill sponsored by Senator Barbara Buono and me. The passage of these bills together will decrease the cost of government and will increase government transparency. We’ve been waiting patiently to hear if the Republicans in the legislature and the Governor will join in a bipartisan effort to get these bill passed.
Medical Marijuana “agreement”? I was a little surprised at the news report and look forward to hearing personally from Senator Nick Scutari. Senator Scutari has been an outstanding advocate for this important issue, and if an “agreement” was reached without his input, at the very least I am disappointed. My husband, Irwin, died from cancer almost 12 years ago. We were both deprived of any meaningful communication during his last days with us because he was treated with morphine. Perhaps medical marijuana could have made him comfortable and would have enabled us to share more experiences during those days. Of course, I will never know that for sure. However, what I do know, is that patients and their doctors should have as much right to be treated with medical marijuana as they today have a right to be prescribed morphine or oxycontin or any other controlled dangerous substance to treat pain in terminally ill patients. Is anybody asking a Doc to warn a terminally ill person to substitute another less effective medication for morphine? Is a doctor forced to tell a seriously ill patient that he must wean that patient off oxycontin every three months? How demeaning to both patient and medical professional. Please don’t tell me that my good colleague, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, made a bad deal with the Governor! I guess we’ll soon find out.
Will be chairing the Senate Health, Human Services & Senior Services Committee this afternoon. Probably one of my bills which will cause the most comment is the requirement that certified advance practice nurses must continue to be supervised by anesthesiologists in the administration of general anesthesia. Lots of pros and cons on both sides of this issue, and I’m sure we’ll hear it all.
So we have a busy December ahead of us with more committee days and another voting session. We’ll be dealing with more “tool kit” legislation and another try at women’s access to family planning. Every Republican in the Assembly voted “No” or abstained on covering more folks under medicaid for family planning and basic medical care. A bill which will result in $9 for every $1 put up by the State. What is wrong with these folks? What has this Governor given them to make so many of them march in unison while they raise so few questions? It’s hard to understand and I must admit, it makes me particularly discouraged about the women of the legislature working together on issues of importance to our families.
Blue Jerseyans & friends Hoernlein, Lento, Parano, Weinberg & Mazza
Hey, a few of us “North Jersey/Blue Jersey” followers, writers and bloggers were invited to join Carol Hoernlein (and Eric) to celebrate a wonderful housewarming in their “tiny house with the big kitchen”. Nick Lento, Carol H, Rocco (of “let’s draft Rocco” and “I still love the Governor” while “I still love Rocco”) Mazza, Dave Parano, Chief Ron Holloway and many others had a lovely afternoon with lots of good company, good food, political talk and we’re all connected through Blue Jersey discussions. Great fun for those of us Bergen County types! Great to see Carol looking so well, happy and coming back to our Blue Jersey blogs.
Note to Jay Lassiter & Rosi Efthim: Maybe you can find Keith Chaudruc of Madison who took on the Governor at the Parsippany Town Meeting and get his side of the story for our own Blue Jersey UTube. According to news reports, Mr. Chaudruc was escorted on and off the stage by a state trooper and never got Mr. Christie to answer any of his questions. Might be an interesting interview.
Keep your voices heard!