Assembly To Take Up Controversial Bills

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TRENTON – Assembly Democrats will make another attempt to restore funding for women’s health care and challenge the Christie administration’s medical marijuana use rules today. Lawmakers will also consider a bill to abolish the Council on Affordable Housing.

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

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The Assembly Appropriations Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to consider legislation (A-3273-3274) to appropriate $5 million in untapped funds from another account to restore funding cut by Republicans for women’s health programs in New Jersey, while also requiring the state to apply for federal matching dollars for Medicaid-eligible health care consumers. The governor vetoed a similar bill earlier this year, saying that the state couldn’t afford to fund the programs.

“This is an issue of paramount importance, one that cannot be treated with casual indifference by those looking to pander to the governor,” said Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union), who is among the bill sponsors. “We have put two new viable solutions on the table. Anyone unwilling to consider them must accept responsibility for denying women access to crucial medical care and prevention screenings.”

The Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to consider a bill (ACR-151) sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) to declare the Christie administration’s rules for medical marijuana usage as inconsistent with legislative intent. Critics believe that the regulations are too restrictive. The bill would give the state health and senior services commissioner 30 days to revise the proposed rules.

The Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee will meet at noon to consider legislation to abolish the Council on Affordable Housing and revise affordable housing laws.

The Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee will meet at 2 p.m. to consider legislation (A-3143) to expand the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act and the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009. It will also consider a bill (A-3389) to revise the financial assistance available under the Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant Program.

The complete Assembly committee agendas can  be found at:             http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/legcal.asp


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