Muñoz Bill to Protect Health Care Personnel Who Work With Chemo Drugs Signed By Governor

 

TRENTON, N.J. – Legislation Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors to protect healthcare personnel who handle hazardous chemotherapy drugs was signed today by Governor Christie.

“Cancer treatment often consists of a combination of chemo drugs, which are very potent. These powerful drugs may expose workers to a number of serious short-term and chronic effects,” said Muñoz (R-Union). “Providing potentially lifesaving medicine and comfort to cancer patients is very rewarding, but can be emotionally stressful. Health care professionals don’t need the added burden of worrying about adverse effects from the drugs they are administering. They deserve a safe work environment.”

The bill (A837/S468), the “Hazardous Drug Safe Handling Act,” requires the state Commissioner of Health, the Director of Consumer Affairs and a stakeholder group, including a NJ State Society of Physician Assistants representative to establish rules and regulations for the safe handling of chemotherapy drugs by health care personnel in a health care setting, including pharmacies, or an animal or veterinary facility. This includes physicians, physician’s assistants, nurses and pharmacists. The regulations will follow the most recent recommendations of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the CDC.

The regulations will provide guidelines on necessary precautions and controls to eliminate or minimize exposure; use of protective equipment; safe handling practices, including handling, receiving, storage, preparing, administering, waste handling, cleaning, housekeeping, labeling and signage, and spill control and response procedures. Employers will also be required to provide hazardous drugs training to all employees who have or are likely to have occupational exposure to hazardous drugs.

Hazardous drugs, including antineoplastic drugs used in chemotherapy, have been associated with a number of adverse acute and chronic effects, including skin rashes, infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, various cancers, and damage to the liver, kidneys, bone marrow, heart and lungs.

Sick-time pay is making taxpayers ill…

Star Ledger – Monday – April 3, 2017

Editorial

Sick pay is for when you’re sick. If you’re not sick and you don’t use it, you lose it. This is the simple policy fix to one of New Jersey’s most maddening problems. Yet, again and again, we have failed to write it into law.

There is no justifiable reason. Sick pay is supposed to protect you from losing income when you’re ill — not amount to a kingly entitlement bonus. You don’t deserve a six-figure payout just for being healthy.

Private-sector employees don’t get that kind of perk. Yet as Colleen O’Dea of NJ Spotlight reports, public workers are still walking off the job with huge payouts of up to $500,000 for their unused sick and vacation days — adding up to a bill of nearly $2 billion, thanks to Trenton gridlock.

Gov. Chris Christie wanted a tough reform, but the Democratic Legislature said no and gave him back a weaker one — and in the end he wouldn’t sign it. Now we don’t even have a weak reform. New bills to cap these payouts haven’t even gotten ahearing.

We are witnessing a total leadership meltdown. In the meantime, the continuing dysfunctional obedience to public worker unions is really costing us big-time. Thousands of public employees are racking up benefits. When Jersey City’s police chief walks off the job, he could set a new record: 444 accrued days of sick leave and vacation that add up to a $503,533 payout — $1,134 per day.

Jersey City is the worst offender in the state; its police department alone has a bigger bill for sick-leave payouts than the entire city of Newark, the second-biggest payer.

The taxpayers are getting soaked, yet Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Union) was blocked by the Democrats last month when she led a Republican effort to push forward a bill to prevent employees from accruing any more of these payouts.

The cap the state put on in 2010 — which stopped the accumulation at $15,000 — was a good first step. But it applied only to new hires; public employees hired previously could still rack up these payouts.

We need a much stronger state solution, and local government also needs to put its foot down. Thanks to the union power that helps elect town officials, public workers are represented on both sides of the table when negotiating these benefits.

If your town gets a perk, the next town wants it, too. It has to end somewhere. Collective bargaining is badly broken in the public sector, and the taxpayers are getting burned.

Bucco-Muñoz Bill Helping Businesses Navigate Red Tape Advances

 

TRENTON, N.J. – Doing business in New Jersey will soon become much easier.  Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco and Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz’s bill creating a business advisory council unanimously passed the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development committee today by a 10 to 0 vote.

“New Jersey’s over-bearing regulations continue to frustrate business owners,” said Bucco (R-Morris), the Assembly Republican Whip. “The Red Tape Review Commission has done a great job of reducing regulations, and this council will help businesses navigate them.”

“We are always looking for ways to improve New Jersey’s business climate,” said Munoz (R-Union), the Republican deputy conference leader. “This council indicates to the business community that New Jersey is committed to its success, and will help them be successful in any way we can.”

The 12-member advisory council will be part of the Business Action Center, advising the center and the state Economic Development Authority on how to improve the New Jersey’s business climate.  Members will vary from small to large businesses in industries across the state – with at least 3 each from North, Central and South Jersey – and meet four times per year.

 

Assembly Passes Muñoz Bill to Ensure Delivery of Oxygen to Patient Homes During Public Emergencies

 

TRENTON, N.J. – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz requiring licensed oxygen providers and pharmacies to have an emergency plan to delivery oxygen to patients’ homes during a public health emergency today received approval from the General Assembly.

“Patients who have emphysema and other chronic pulmonary diseases may experience medical complications as well as anxiety when they do not have access to their supplemental oxygen,” said Muñoz (R-Union). “People who require oxygen at home don’t need the added burden of worrying whether they will have access to it during a public emergency such as Superstorm Sandy when most of the state was virtually shut down. This measure ensures that providers have a plan to deliver life-sustaining oxygen when such a situation occurs.”

The bill (A-680) requires licensed oxygen providers and pharmacies to adopt an emergency action plan to deliver oxygen to a patient’s residence during a public health emergency.

 

Package of Muñoz Domestic Violence Bills Advance

TRENTON, N.J. – An Assembly panel today unanimously advanced a package of bills sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz advocating for more stringent protections for domestic violence victims. The vote was 6 to 0.

“These victims have suffered in silence for too long. We have viewed domestic violence as isolated incidents, not the epidemic it is,” said Muñoz (R-Union). “Domestic violence can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or education level. It has permeated our families and our communities. While we have come a long way in providing protections for victims, our work isn’t done.”

The legislation cleared in committee today includes (A-4045) establishing a statewide therapeutic treatment program for children and families of victims, which is currently available in only 11 counties. Other measures include (A-4046) establishing standards for intervention programs; (AR-162) urging the state Supreme Court to create a technology task force within the court’s State Domestic Violence Working Group; and (AR-163) urging the state Supreme Court and attorney general to add members to their jointly-created County Domestic Violence Working Groups.

“These measures will help victims and provide law enforcement with the tools they need to stem this crisis. Children are especially affected by the violence they see at home,” continued Muñoz. “Studies show they are often depressed, aggressive, have little self-esteem and do poorly in school. Expanding therapy will greatly assist the healing process for these vulnerable, innocent children.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, while one in four men have been physically abused by a partner. Domestic violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime. Likewise, the coalition reports that one in 15 children have witnessed violence toward a parent or loved one in the home.

Muñoz sponsors several other domestic violence bills, including S-2483/A-412 that was signed last week by the governor. It prevents a person convicted of a domestic violence crime or who is under a domestic violence restraining order from possessing or purchasing firearms and requires the immediate surrender of any firearms along with purchaser identification cards and handgun permits.

 

Governor Signs Muñoz Bill to Further Protect Domestic Violence Victims

TRENTON, N.J. – Domestic violence victims will be afforded another layer of protection under legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz and signed today by the governor.

 

The bill (S-2483/A-4126) prevents a person convicted of a domestic violence crime or who is under a domestic violence restraining order from possessing or purchasing firearms and requires the immediate surrender of any firearms along with purchaser identification cards and handgun permits.

 

“For far too long innocent domestic violence victims lived in fear of their abusers who often made threats and ignored court orders, but it’s a new day in New Jersey,” said Muñoz (R-Union). “Such offenders will now face severe consequences for their actions. Disarming them will give their victims additional protections and peace of mind.”

 

The measure also requires stringent mandatory minimum prison terms, including parole ineligibility based on the crime’s severity for offenders who commit physically violent acts.

 

 

Assembly Advances Muñoz Bill Keeping Sexual Assault & Stalking Victims’ Home Addresses Private

Legislation Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors that keeps the home addresses of sexual assault and stalking victims shielded from their assailants was advanced today by the General Assembly.

“Individuals who have been traumatized by sexual assault or stalking live in constant fear of their assailants,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “No one should ever have to fear for their lives or their children’s well-being while living in their own home. This measure will help protect their identity and keep their actual address private.”

The bill (A-3809) expands the state’s Address Confidentiality Program. It was enacted in 1998 to keep the actual address of domestic violence victims confidential on public documents and prevent their assailants from finding them. The program forwards the participant’s mail to their actual address, which remains available only to employees of the program and to law enforcement. It is run through the Division on Women in the Department of Children and Families.

Of the 35 states that have similar programs, 30 protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and 28 states also protect stalking victims.

“Expanding this program can offer many more victims some peace of mind so that their home is a safer place,” said Muñoz.

Muñoz is also the sponsor of the “Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015,” which allows victims to obtain protection without filing criminal charges. That legislation was signed into law by Gov. Christie in November.

 

 

 

 

 

Angelini-Muñoz Bill Preventing Teen Cough Medicine Abuse Signed into Law

Efforts to combat drug abuse by adolescents received important support today as Gov. Christie signed legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans Mary Pat Angelini and Nancy F. Muñoz prohibiting the sale of over-the-counter medications containing dextromethorphan to persons under the age of 18.

Dextromethorphan, commonly known as DXM, is an over-the-counter ingredient found in more than 120 cough and combination cold medicines, including Nyquil, Robitussin, Coricidin, Delsym, Zicam, Theraflu, and Vick’s Formula 44. It can cause hallucinations, seizures and death when taken in large quantities.

“DXM is affordable, easy accessible and legal. Unfortunately, that’s a combination which makes it appealing to teenagers who are taking increased doses to get high,” said Angelini, R-Monmouth. “Using products with DXM to get high is more popular among this age group than cocaine, ecstasy, LDS and meth. Like alcohol, tobacco and pseudoephedrine, we need to make DXM more difficult for youngsters to obtain. That’s the goal of this law, but parents also need to be aware of this very serious health issue.”

“Since DXM is legal, many teens believe it’s less dangerous than illegal drugs. It’s not,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “Taken in large doses, it can cause hallucinations and loss of motor control. It’s often combined with other ingredients like antihistamines and decongestants. High doses of these combined meds can cause fatal liver injury and cardiovascular problems.

“If they aren’t already doing so, parents should pay attention to what’s in their medicine cabinets and who is using what drugs,” she continued.

The bill, A-622,1469/S-2436,  also requires the Department of Health to post a link on its website containing a list of products in which dextromethorphan is an active ingredient.

Christie Signs Muñoz ALS Awareness Bill into Law

A resolution sponsored by Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz to increase public awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” was signed into today by Gov. Christie. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

“ALS takes a physical and emotional toll on those who suffer from the disease and their families,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “While there still is no cure, people who are diagnosed today need to know that recent advancements in research and improved medical care allows many patients to live longer, more productive lives.

“Many may recall the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which helped bring an enormous amount of attention to this debilitating disease,” she continued. “However, the novelty of the campaign has faded. That’s why we need to make sure we continue our efforts to educate the public about ALS.”

Muñoz’s resolution, AJR-67, designates the third Wednesday in May as ALS Awareness Day, and the month of May as ALS Awareness Month in New Jersey. The annual Walk to Defeat ALS, the ALS Association’s national signature event, will be held at various locations in the state during the month of May.

Muñoz Bill Makiing Animal Fighting a Crime Now Law

TRENTON, N.J.  – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz that revises and expands the state’s animal cruelty laws to criminalize animal fighting was signed in law on Monday. The bill increases the level of crime for certain offenses, establishes new criminal and civil offenses and increases criminal and civil penalties.

“Training, promoting and selling animals for the purpose of fighting for amusement or financial gain is despicable and extremely inhumane,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “The injuries inflicted on these poor animals, especially dogs, are very severe, if not fatal. Those that lose the fight but survive are either tortured to death by their owners or left with debilitating injuries.

Specifically, the measure, A-3037/2547/3596/2422/S-736, criminalizes animal fighting and leading an animal fighting network. The latter will be considered “racketeering activity” under the state’s anti-racketeering law.

“Animal fighting, in particular, dog fighting is a secret, underground activity, but it happens everywhere in towns all over New Jersey,” she continued. “It’s a highly profitable, sadistic blood sport and anyone who operates, promotes or in any way participates in this activity should be justly punished.”

Under the bill, assets or property used in animal fighting activities will be seized or forfeited.