Results and comments from today’s Senate Voting Session:
The big story: according to media reports, as many as 1,000 protesters stood outside the Statehouse today, and wow–you could hear them chanting and setting off sirens throughout the 80 minute session. They were there in opposition to S2173/A3818, the bills that seek to remove the religious opt-out for vaccinations. Although it wasn’t listed on the agenda, amendments were voted on that will allow private schools and private day care centers to admit unvaccinated children.
At the 31 minute 40 second mark of the livestream, Senator Doherty spoke as a point of personal privilege and acknowledged his constituents who were outside protesting.
Senators Pennachio, Cardinale, and Testa spoke against the bills [fast forward to the 1 hour 10 minute mark on the live stream to hear their comments.] After their comments were heard, the amendments to S2173 passed 18-15, and the amendments to A3818 passed 17-15.
Of the bills I posted about earlier, only one met with significant resistance, broken down along party lines: A5508, which mandates in-network coverage for contraceptives. The bill passed with 21 yes votes, 15 no votes, and 4 members not voting.
S4064 PASSED 29-0, However, there were 11 Senators who were recorded as Not Voting–there was no debate on the bill, so it’s not clear why they sat this one out. The bill calls for the main contractor to be held responsible for debt owed by his subcontractor that result from wage theft claims against the subcontractor, if that theft occurred on a job contracted with the main contractor.
S4226 PASSED 34-4 Permits the Department of Labor to post names of those found to be violation of any State wage, benefit, or tax law on their website.
A5838 PASSED 30-9 permits the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to issue a stop-work order against any employer who is determined by the commissioner to be in violation of any State wage, benefit and tax law. (This bill previously passed assembly by a vote of 67-8 in December 2019, and heads to the Governor’s desk)
S974 PASSED 38-0 Requires all infants born in this State to be tested for the genetic markers associated with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
S2267 PASSED 39-0 allows State Lottery winners to remain anonymous indefinitely
S2849 PASSED 37-0 Designates the Seeing Eye® dog as the State Dog of New Jersey.
S3322 PASSED 37-0 Authorizes the courts to appoint an advocate to represent the best interests of and justice for animals in certain criminal cases.
S4264 And last but not least, the Senate voted unanimously, 39-0, that Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. should have the entire length of State Highway Route 19 designated the “William J. Pascrell Jr. Highway” honoring his more than 30 years of public service .