In Our Community

Madden Bill to Provide Informational Materials to Parents Regarding Down Syndrome Advances

Read the Press Release at NJ Senate Democrats website

Legislation sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden Jr. and Senate President Steve Sweeney to require information regarding Down syndrome be provided to parents who receive a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis has been approved by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

“Parents who receive a diagnosis should be provided accurate, up-to-date and evidence-based information about Down syndrome so they can make the best choices for treatment and care that will allow their child to reach their full potential,” said Senator Madden, vice chair of the committee. “This bill will ensure that every parent who receives a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis receives this important information.”

“There is nothing worse than being given a diagnosis for your child that you don’t understand,” said Senate President Sweeney. “When I learned of Lauren’s diagnosis, I didn’t know what Down syndrome was or where to turn for help. Giving parents accurate information about what to expect and treatment options will help provide some of the tools they need to ensure their child lives a healthy and active life.”

Senate President Sweeney’s daughter, Lauren, was born with Down syndrome. She weighed two pounds and spent 75 days in a neonatal unit before being released. Senator Sweeney’s experience as a new father of a child with a disability was the reason he entered public service. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21, according to the National Down Syndrome Society. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making Down syndrome the most common genetic condition. Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome and about 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year.

The bill (S475) would require the health care professional providing a diagnosis of Down syndrome to any person who renders prenatal care, postnatal care, or genetic counseling, to provide the parents with the following:  (1) up-to-date, evidence-based, written information about Down syndrome that has been reviewed by medical experts and national Down syndrome organizations, including physical developmental, educational, and psychosocial outcomes; (2) life expectancy, clinical course, and intellectual and functional development and treatment options; and (3) contact information regarding telephone and support services, including information hotlines specific to Down syndrome, resource centers, and other education and support programs. The bill requires that the information should be available in English and Spanish and in a manner that is easily understandable for women receiving a positive prenatal diagnosis or for the family of a child receiving a postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

The bill was approved unanimously by the committee. It next heads to the full Senate for consideration.

NBC10 Interview: Mosquera Bill Package to Combat Domestic Violence Passes Assembly

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On Monday, September 15, 2014, the New Jersey General Assembly unanimously approved a comprehensive six-bill package sponsored by Assemblywoman Mosquera to combat domestic violence by expanding protections for victims and providing law enforcement with better tools to deal with offenders.

Watch the NBC10 interview with Assemblywoman Mosquera to learn more about how these bills will help protect victims of domestic abuse.



Assemblyman Paul Moriarty’s police camera bill signed into law

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By Michelle Caffrey | South Jersey Times 

A law requiring all new municipal police patrol vehicles be equipped with video cameras was signed into law on Wednesday, Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-4 of Washington Township) said.

Moriarty, who sponsored the bill after an in-car camera captured his 2012 DWI arrest and provided evidence that lead to a dismissal of all charges, said Governor Chris Christie signed the bill Wednesday evening.

The bill requires all municipal police departments to equip newly purchased or leased vehicles that are used primarily for traffic stops with an in-car camera, or equip patrol officers with body cameras as a more affordable option.

A $25 surcharge on DWI convictions was set aside by the legislation to provide funding for the new equipment.

The bill was initially approved by both the state Assembly and Senate during the last legislative session, but was pocket-vetoed by the governor when he declined to either veto or sign the bill.

Moriarity re-introduced the legislation this spring, and was approved by the Assembly in May and the Senate in June.

The impetus for the bill came from Moriarty’s 2012 arrest on DWI charges in his hometown of Washington Township, where he previously served as mayor.

A recording of the arrest showed multiple discrepancies between arresting officer Joseph DiBuonaventura’s pursuit of Moriarty and what DiBuonaventura wrote about the incident in subsequent police reports.

Prosecutors cited the video as evidence Moriarty — who has vehemently denied drinking that day — was illegally stopped and targeted by DiBuonaventura, who is now facing 14 criminal charges including official misconduct, falsifying a police report and harassment.

Moriarty has said that the video of the incident was crucial to proving his innocence, and against the odds, since only nine out of the township’s 50 patrol cars were equipped with cameras.

“As recent controversies have shown, it helps to have video footage to back up claims of excessive force and abuse of authority against civilians. Conversely, there are many good officers who have been wrongly accused of impropriety and this measure is designed to ensure their protection as well,” said Moriarty, who also serves as Chairman of the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

NBC10 Interview: Mosquera on Ray Rice & New Jersey Pre-Trial Intervention Law

Watch interview at NBC10

Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera spoke to NBC-10 Philadelphia about the new video evidence that has surfaced showing Rice’s brutal assault on his then fiancé and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s decision to offer Rice Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) instead of jail time.

Mosquera Questions Prosecutor’s Decision in Ray Rice Domestic Violence Case in Light of Graphic New Video

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Calls for Examination of Pre-Trial Intervention Law

Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera on Monday questioned the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s decision to offer Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice in light of the new video evidence that has surfaced showing Rice’s brutal assault on his then fiancé.

Mosquera also questioned whether the state’s PTI law needs to be reexamined so as to limit who is eligible for this alternative to prosecution.
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N.J. law would levy hefty fines against abandoned homes, absentee creditors

(Staff Photo by Tim Hawk | South Jersey Times)

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By Michelle Caffrey | South Jersey Times

At one time, the opulent McMansion at the corner of Greentree Road and Lamson Lane in Washington Township was the definition of a dream home. High ceilings anchored by a crystal chandelier in the foyer, a wrought-iron and monogrammed gate that opens to a three-car garage, an expansive tiled patio surrounding an elevated, in-ground pool, an industrial-grade outdoor kitchen — the list of its amenities goes on and on.
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