Welcome to Powered by Senior Community Media

Promote Your Community Event - Submit Event Flyer for publication

Submit Event Flyer

Advertise your business

Jul 2024

9th Legislative Update - July/August 2024

Committee Advances 9th LD Delegation's Bill to Create Offense of Elderly Financial Exploitation
The Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced legislation, S-1887, introduced by Senator Carmen Amato, which would create a new theft offense referred to as "financial exploitation of the elderly."  Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblyman Gregory Myhre have introduced, A-4593, the Assembly companion legislation.
The 9th District Delegation issued the following statement following the advance of their legislative initiative to protect the elderly:
"Elder fraud continues to be a serious criminal concern in the state and, as a large segment of our constituents are senior citizens, we want to enhance protections under the law to combat this reprehensible crime committed against vulnerable persons.
"The provisions of our legislation would apply to circumstances when a person in a position of trust compels or induces an 'elderly person' to deliver property to the person in a position of trust or to a third person by means of fraud, false promise, extortion or intimidation.  Persons in a position of trust would include, but not be limited to, a person who has a fiduciary obligation to an elderly person or who receives monetary or other valuable consideration for providing care for the elderly person.
"Elderly persons who would be specifically protected under our legislation include any person who is 60 years of age or older and is suffering from either a disease or infirmity associated with advanced age, or a mental disease.
"State law should absolutely be strengthened to crack down on criminals who deliberately prey on seniors to scam them out of their money or possessions."
Under the delegation's legislation, the theft offense of financial exploitation of an elderly person would be graded as a crime of the fourth degree, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both, if the amount involved is less than $200.  When the amount involved is at least $200 but does not exceed $75,000, it would be graded as a crime of the third degree, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.  A theft involving an amount over $75,000, would continue to be graded as a crime of the second degree, punishable by a fine of up to $150,000, a term of imprisonment of five to 10 years, or both, as it is currently.
District 9 Legislators Urge BPU to Reject Excessive Natural Gas Rate Increase
Senator Carmen Amato and Assemblymen Brian Rumpf and Greg Myhre submitted written testimony in a follow-up letter to the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) urging utility officials to reject a petition filed by New Jersey Natural Gas that would increase heating bills by 24% for utility customers.
"Senior citizens as well as low-middle and fixed-income residents comprise a considerable segment of our constituency and represent those most at risk of the prospect of losing their housing due simply to an inability to pay such an exorbitant rate increase for a single utility service," said the Delegation in their submitted testimony to BPU President Christine Guhl-Sadovy.
The Delegation sent a letter calling on the BPU Commissioner to reject the petition filed by New Jersey Natural Gas in February.
The full text of their most recent letter can be read below:

Dear President Guhl-Sadovy:

This outreach concerns virtual public hearings which are to be held with respect to the petition filed by New Jersey Natural Gas seeking approval for a 24 percent rate increase.
Attached is testimony submitted for entry into the official public record of testimony which conveys, in no uncertain terms, our Delegation's unalterable opposition to this completely unreasonable rate increase petition which undoubtedly will have profoundly negative financial hardships for ordinary residents. As stated in our testimony, senior citizens as well as low-middle and fixed-income residents comprise a considerable segment of our constituency and represent those most at risk of the prospect of losing their housing due simply to an inability to pay such an exorbitant rate increase for a single utility service.
Moving forward, we urge the Board in the strongest terms to reject the rate increase petition submitted by New Jersey Natural Gas. Thank you, in advance, for your attention to this urgent communication sent in representing the people of the 9th Legislative District.
Carmen F. Amato, Jr., Brian E. Rumpf, Gregory E. Myhre

9th District Bill Would Require Impact Studies as Part of So-Called "Affordable Housing" Law

Amato-Rumpf-Myhre Bill Requires Traffic, School, Storm Water & Carbon Impact Studies Before Building Starts
Senator Carmen Amato, Jr., Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblyman Gregory Myhre have introduced companion legislation, S-3271 and A-4410, to require traffic, school and storm water impact studies for municipalities in which newly-built affordable housing developments of 10 units or more are to be built.
The legislation also calls for a carbon impact study for a newly-built inclusionary development requiring the clearing of more than one acre of land which would be required to be designed, constructed, and certified to at least LEED silver standards, or equivalent green building system standards, if the development consists of 10 or more units or four or more floors.
The 9th District Delegation's legislative proposal was introduced in response to the enactment of the so-called "Affordable Housing" law signed by Governor Murphy on March 20 of this year.
Amato, Rumpf and Myhre issued the following statement explaining their motivations for introducing the legislation:
"The so-called 'Affordable Housing' which is nothing other than government subsidized housing, was enacted without proper consideration given to the serious ramifications for the residents of impacted municipalities that will be felt on an everyday basis.  This includes traffic congestion, increased school enrollment as well as environmental concerns that will come into play as a consequence of the mandated building of affordable housing complexes.
"We represent an environmentally conscience constituency, comprised of residents living coastal and Pinelands communities who reject uncontrolled building mandates imposed on their towns.  Moreover, many of our constituents live in communities in which local school districts faced drastic cuts in State education aid.  Based on experience, we do not trust that the state's school funding formula will be modified to compensate school districts where affordable housing drives up student enrollment.
"Since officials in Trenton did not see the need to think things through, our Delegation has introduced legislation requiring traffic, school, storm water and carbon impact studies for affordable housing developments.  This is a common sense proposal that would address deficiencies in current law and protect the quality of life for residents who don't want overdevelopment to disrupt their communities.
"While the enactment of the so-called 'Affordable Housing' law may have been politically expedient for certain interests, it is residents of impacted towns who will ultimately have to live with the consequences.  If  Trenton truly wants to comprehensively address the state's affordability crisis, then it should control spending and stop raising taxes, fees and tolls at every opportunity.
Upon introduction, S-3271 was referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee while A-4410 was referred to the Assembly Housing Committee.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide this legislative update as your 9th District Legislative Delegation and open line of communication with you. 
As always, our Delegation is ready is to serve you! If you or a family member has an issue regarding State Government, please do not hesitate to contact us via email: [email protected] or via phone: 1-609-693-6700.