There are several interesting bills pending before the State Legislature. I urge you to contact your State Legislstors and the Committee members for each of these bills.

S1977 Marijuana Decriminalization

S1977 decriminalizes possession of up to 50 grams of marijuana. It treats marijuana possession as a civil offense and sets a fine of $50 for possession that gets paid entirely to the municipality where the offense was committed. Currently possession of up to 50 grams is a disorderly persons offense that can result in a up to 6 month prison sentence and a fine of up to $1,000.

A similar bill, A1465 passed the Assembly in June. A1465 decriminalizes only up to 15 grams of marijuana. If the Senate bill passes the two bills would need to be reconciled or a new Assembly bill would need to be introduced.

The bill is currently held up in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The chair of the Judiciary Committee, Nicholas Scutari, is the primary sponsor of S1977. Other members of the committee include Nia Gill, Christopher Bateman, Gerald Cardinale, Michael Doherty, Joseph Kyrillos, Raymond Lesniak, Kevin O'Toole, Nellie Pou,, Paul Sarlo,, Bob Smith, Brian Stack, and Loretta Weinberg.

A861 Patient Protection and Affordability Act Nullification

Alison McHose introduced this bill back in January. It renders the "Patient Protection and Affordability Act" unenforceable in New Jersey. She is the only sponsor of the bill. She also introduced a similar bill in the last legislative session. The bill is modeled after draft legislation suggested by the Tenth Amendment Center. A861 is currently in the Health and Human Services Committee.

S1952/A2996 Red Light Camera Ban

An assembly bill and a senate bill were both introduced ending the NJ trial of Red Light cameras and banning future use of red light cameras. Additional evidence that these bills should be passed was given last month when the state released a report showing that the number and cost of accidents at intersections with red light cameras has increased. The Senate Bill, S1952, was introduced by Michael Doherty and is setting in the Senate Transportation Committee. Committee members include Chair Nicholas Sacco, Robert Gordon, James Holzapfel, Donald Norcross, and Joseph Pennacchio.

The Assembly Bill, A1996, was introduced in June as is held up in the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee. Committee members include Chair John Wisniewski, Linda Stender, John Amodeo, Marlene Caride, Upendra Chivukula, Thomas Giblin, Charles Mainor, Ruben Ramos, Celeste Riley, Scott Rudder, Brian Rumpf, and David Wolfe