ASSEMBLY ADVANCES MUÑOZ BILL TO PROTECT SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS

Legislation Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors that provides sexual assault victims with protection against their offenders today won General Assembly approval.

The “Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015” (A-4078), allows victims to obtain protection without filing criminal charges.

“Sexual assault is physically and psychologically devastating; and victims too often are embarrassed or feel they are in some way to blame for the attack,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “As a result, only a very small percentage of victims file criminal charges. Unless they report the crime, they cannot obtain a restraining order. This leaves their attacker free to harass or assault them again.”

The bill allows the court to issue a temporary protective order regardless of whether the alleged victim has filed criminal charges. It prohibits the alleged offender from having any contact or communication, including personal, written, telephone or via electronic device, with victims and their family members, employers, and employees.

Under current law, restraining orders are predominately used for victims of domestic violence.

In addition, the measure prohibits stalking, following or harassing, including cyber-harassing, the alleged victim.

GOVERNOR SIGNS MUÑOZ-O’SCANLON BILL ALLOWING MORE RESPONDERS, HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS TO GIVE OVERDOSE ANTIDOTES

To save lives in cases of a heroin overdose, Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon sponsor legislation that allows more first responders and other healthcare professionals to administer drug overdose antidotes and protects them from liability. The bill was signed into law today by Gov. Christie.

“Heroin overdoses can take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes to turn deadly. Every second counts when reacting to an overdose situation,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, who is a registered nurse. “Allowing more first responders and other professionals to administer this critical first aid without fear of legal repercussions will help prevent more unnecessary tragedies.”

Under the current “Overdose Prevention Act,” healthcare practitioners and pharmacists are protected from liability when prescribing, dispensing, or administering an opioid overdose antidote. This bill, S-2378/A-3720, expands the list of people authorized to administer an opioid antidote and provides them immunity from liability, including sterile syringe access program employees, law enforcement officials, emergency medical technicians, and other emergency responders. In addition to heroin, opioids include drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and codeine.

“Our first responders will now have the necessary tools to save lives when time is of the essence,” said O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth. “They no longer will need to worry about liability when someone’s life is on the line. This law allows them to treat those in need without second guessing themselves and risking catastrophe.”

The measure also authorizes needle exchange programs to obtain a standing order permitting their employees to carry/dispense opioid antidotes, and provide overdose prevention information to clients.

A recent national trend of rising heroin overdose deaths across demographic groups has been reflected in New Jersey. Last year, more than 500 residents died from heroin overdoses – nearly double the number reported in 2010.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have implemented laws making it easier for responders to give life saving antidotes to reverse overdoses.

MUÑOZ BILL ALLOWING APNS TO DETERMINE CAUSE OF DEATH CLEARS COMMITTEE

As Assembly panel today advanced legislation Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors that will allow an attending advanced nurse practitioner (APN) to determine their patients’ cause of death.

“An APN is licensed to treat, order tests, make referrals to surgeons, diagnose and manage long-term illnesses. As the patient’s primary treating health professional, they are often with the patient at time of death,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “End of life is a very emotional time for family members. It’s not only appropriate, it’s common sense to allow the attending APN to make such a call. Doing so in a timely manner will help the grief-stricken family.”

The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee cleared the bill, A-1319/S-1152, which allows an APN to determine the cause of death and execute the death certification of a patient when the nurse is the patient’s primary caregiver and the collaborating physician is not available.

ASSEMBLY ADVANCES MUÑOZ BILL TO PROTECT STALKING VICTIMS

To protect stalking victims, repeat offenders face increased jail time under legislation Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors. The bill, A-3841, today received General Assembly approval.

“Restraining orders often aren’t enough of a deterrent for stalkers. Regardless of their motivation, the goal is the same – to instill constant fear in their victims,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “They are also at an increased risk of being attacked or killed. In addition to the threat of physical harm, the psychological trauma is devastating. Repeat offenders continue to harass their victim with terrifying consequences. These criminals will no longer receive a slap on the wrist. Instead they’re going to face several years in prison.”

The measure increases prison time and fines for persons convicted of subsequent stalking offenses. Under current law, repeat offenders face up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. Under Muñoz’ bill, such an offense is upgraded from a fourth degree crime to a third degree which carries a 3 to 5-year prison term and a fine up to $15,000.

MUÑOZ LAUDS COMPTROLLER’S REPORT ON WASTE AT UNION COUNTY NON-PROFIT

Deputy Assembly Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz commended the Office of the State Comptroller today for uncovering the wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars by Union County to a non-profit agency.

The comptroller issued a report showing the county issued no-bid contracts to the Union County Alliance (UCA) between 2008 and 2011. The county gave UCA $1.5 million over a four-year period to market economic development. The only material produced by UCA was the publication of a newsletter that was issued twice a year. Previously, the newsletter had been published by the county.

“Union County taxpayers are picking up an expensive tab and getting little in return,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “The comptroller did a lot of digging and research to find the lack of accountability and oversight that exists. Homeowners and families are challenged each day to ensure they receive the services they pay for. The county must implement the best practice recommendations made by the comptroller to improve transparency and save wasted tax dollars.

“More oversight is needed to make certain competitive bidding for contracts is open and fair,” continued Muñoz. “Union County residents pay more than their fair share in property taxes. They are entitled to know that expenditures are made prudently and are justified.”

ASSEMBLY PANEL APPROVES MUÑOZ RESOLUTION DESIGNATING JULY 1 AS ‘ U.S. CADET NURSE CORPS DAY’

Assembly Republican Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors a resolution memorializing the contributions of the women in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. AJR-84, approved unanimously by the Assembly Women and Children Committee, designates July 1 of every year as “U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Day.”

Muñoz said her mother was a Cadet Nurse, trained in one of the final classes at the end of World War II. Muñoz followed her footsteps into the healthcare profession. “The Cadet Nurse Corps changed the face of nursing in this county,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “The program paved the way for improvements in educational standards and training, and helped launch more than 124,000 young women into careers at a time when there was a desperate need for nursing.”

“During the war, with so many nurses committed to military service, there was a critical shortage of skilled nurses on the home front,” Muñoz said. “Within two years of the formation of the corps, Cadet Nurses accounted for 80 percent of American nursing care. These young nurses were World War II heroes in every sense. We should celebrate their efforts and preserve their memory.”

American nursing schools, which previously only accepted white students, were integrated by the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, which recruited thousands of African-American women nurses.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES MUÑOZ & O’SCANLON BILL EXPANDING USE OF LIFE-SAVING OVERDOSE ANTIDOTE

Assembly Republicans Nancy F. Muñoz and Declan O’Scanlon sponsor legislation, approved today by the General Assembly, to allow more first responders and other healthcare professionals to administer drug overdose antidotes and protects them from liability.

“Every second counts when reacting to an overdose situation,” said Muñoz, a registered nurse and the Deputy Republican Leader in the Assembly. “Allowing more first responders and other professionals to administer this critical first aid will help prevent more unnecessary heroin-related tragedies,” continued Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset.

Currently, under the “Overdose Prevention Act,” healthcare practitioners and pharmacists are protected from liability when prescribing, dispensing, or administering an opioid overdose antidote. This bill, A-3720, expands the list of people authorized to administer a potentially life-saving antidote and provides them immunity from liability.

Under Muñoz and O’Scanlon’s bill, opioid antidotes may be administered by sterile syringe access program employees, law enforcement officials, emergency medical technicians, and other emergency responders. In addition to heroin, opioids include drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and codeine.

“We need to provide our first responders with all the necessary tools to save lives when time is of the essence,” said O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth. “When someone’s life is in the balance, emergency workers need to be able to react appropriately, without the fear of liability. This bill permits them to provide life-sustaining treatment without second guessing themselves.”

A recent national trend of rising heroin overdose deaths across demographic groups has been reflected in New Jersey. Last year, more than 500 residents died from heroin overdoses – nearly double the number reported in 2010.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have implemented laws making it easier for responders to give life saving antidotes to reverse overdoses.

MUÑOZ BILL TO ALLEVIATE CHRONIC FLOODING WINS ASSEMBLY APPROVAL

Legislation Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors that will help reduce flooding in many of the state’s flood-prone areas by making it easier for local officials to clean streams won unanimous approval today from the General Assembly.

“Residents in numerous towns in Union, Morris and Somerset counties and throughout the state live under the constant threat of flooding every time we have a major storm,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “Removing accumulated sediments, debris, garbage and vegetation from streams helps reduce flooding risks in our communities which can be devastating and costly. Restrictions on sediment removal in current law make stream cleaning difficult for local officials yet it is vital to keeping our waterways flowing which helps prevent flooding.”

The bill, A-3507, allows municipalities and counties to de-snag more streams by increasing the number of streams eligible for cleaning without obtaining a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permit. Under current law, only stream beds 15 feet or less in width may be cleaned without DEP approval. Muñoz’s bill increases the width to 30 feet.

MUÑOZ BILL TO PROTECT STALKING VICTIMS ADVANCES

To protect victims of stalking from repeat offenders, Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors legislation authorizing the courts to order electronic monitoring of such offenders. The bill, A-3841, won approval today from the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

“Stalkers can have a range of motivations, but their goal is the same – to instill constant fear in their victims,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “Stalking puts victims at an increased risk of being attacked or killed. Regardless of physical harm, the psychological trauma they inflict on their victims is devastating. Restraining orders often aren’t enough of a deterrent. Repeat offenders continue to harass their victim with terrifying consequences. Monitoring stalkers can help give victims better protection.”

The measure allows the courts to order the electronic monitoring of an individual who has been convicted of a second offense of stalking against the same victim. It also requires the Administrative Office of the Courts, state Attorney General, State Police and county and municipal law enforcement agencies to share criminal incident information with each other and the monitoring equipment program contractor.

MUÑOZ, MCHOSE MEMORIALIZE U.S. CADET NURSE CORPS WITH RESOLUTION APPROVED BY ASSEMBLY PANEL

A resolution by Assembly Republicans Nancy F. Muñoz and Alison Littell McHose commemorating the life-saving contributions of women in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps earned unanimous approval of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee today. The resolution (AR-129) designates July 1, 2015 as U.S. Cadet Nurses Day.

“The Cadet Nurses Corps changed the face of nursing in this country,” said Muñoz, whose mother was a member of one of the final Corps classes. “World War II was still going on, and she became a nurse through the program.”“Cadet Nurses were World War II heroes on the home front,” said Munoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “During the war, with so many nurses committed to military service, there was a critical shortage of skilled nurses for the nation’s hospitals. Within two years of the formation of the corps, Cadet Nurses accounted for 80 percent of American nursing care. We should celebrate their efforts and preserve their memory.”

American nursing schools, which previously only accepted white students, were integrated by the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, which recruited thousands of African-American women nurses.

The Corps developed more than 124,000 desperately needed nurses, and was responsible for increasing the educational standards of many of the country’s nursing schools. While war waged overseas, the U.S. Cadet Nurses battled polio and tuberculosis epidemics, and after the war, many continued to work in the nursing field.“The Corps provided opportunity, scholarships and stipends for many young women who could not have otherwise afforded the education,” said McHose, R – Sussex, Warren and Morris. “And without the addition of these young caregivers, the nation’s hospitals would never have been able to meet the patient demands. They were tireless young women who responded to the challenge and exceeded expectations.”