Environmental Issues On Assembly Agenda Monday

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TRENTON – Legislation to promote New Jersey farming, protect free saltwater recreational fishing and discussions on school sport concussions, Gov. Christie’s cuts to key environmental programs and post-traumatic stress disorder among New Jersey veterans top the Assembly’s Monday committee agendas.

Also on tap are hearings on the U.S. Census and meetings with New Jersey’s new homeland security director and attorney general.

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All hearings will be streamed live at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.

The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee will take testimony on the environmental impacts of Christie’s cuts to Highlands and clean energy programs.

“The environment should not be mortgaged for a quick fix,” said Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex), the Assembly environment chairman.

The Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee will consider legislation to ensure free recreational saltwater fishing continues in New Jersey. The bill (A-823) answers a federal law that authorized the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to collect a fee beginning in 2011 to cover costs associated with a new saltwater angler registry.

The panel will also consider legislation (A-812) that would establish a statewide motorist sign system – not paid for by taxpayers – that would be easily identifiable and promote agricultural tourism attractions.

Also on the agenda is a bill (A-2305) to promote foods prepared with “Jersey Fresh” ingredients. The bill would designate baked goods and other food products prepared with “Jersey Fresh” produce as “Made With Jersey Fresh.”

The Assembly Judiciary Committee will meet with new Attorney General Paula Dow regarding her legislative priorities, while the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee will hear from Charles B. McKenna, the state’s new homeland security director, to discuss that department’s priorities.

The Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee will discuss whether post-traumatic stress disorder from combat service should be a mitigating factor during sentencings. It will also consider legislation to create a New Jersey Honor Guard Ribbon for the New Jersey National Guard.

The Assembly Education Committee will hold a hearing to examine the impact of concussions and other head injuries on the health and well being of student athletes and will discuss the necessity of creating guidelines for addressing these injuries.

“Head injuries are always traumatic, doubly so when they affect the life of a young athlete,” said Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. (D-Middlesex) the panel’s chair.  “With the competitive, high impact nature of high school sports continuing to intensify, we owe it to these student athletes to look not just at the effects of these injuries, but at the underlying cause of them and how to prevent them.”

The Assembly State Government Committee will hear further testimony on the 2010 U.S. Census and what it means for New Jersey. The committee is expected to hear testimony from invited guests, including civic leaders, community groups, local and county officials and other leaders.

For full agendas visit: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/calendar/030210.htm


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