For Whom the Bell Tolls:
Van Drew, Brown, Mazzeo and More!
By HARRY HURLEY
Colin Bell will be leaving the New Jersey Senate shortly, after having been appointed to serve the remainder of the late Senator Jim Whelan’s term.
While I strongly disagree with the brazen political gamesmanship that has led to Bell’s wife being nominated for a New Jersey Superior Court Judgeship; Bell has done some good things while serving briefly in the upper chamber of the majority party in Trenton.
For example, The Senator Jeff Van Drew/Bell bill to enhance business incentives has cleared the Senate. It will make the Atlantic City International Airport and surrounding area an official Garden State Growth Zone.
This is part of the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program. Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, D-2 has sponsored this same legislation in the New Jersey General Assembly. This will help to attract new businesses.
The GSGZ areas are Patterson, Passaic, Trenton, Atlantic City and Camden. This will help spawn economic revitalization. This zone expands to the Atlantic City International Airport and the Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center; along with a one mile outer radius.
“We need to do everything possible to diversify Atlantic City’s economy, said Van Drew, who is the front-runner for the House of Representatives in District 2. “Making businesses in and around the Atlantic City Airport eligible for these benefits will no doubt make the area more appealing to new businesses and help in the effort to grow jobs for our residents,” said Van Drew.
Grow New Jersey is a tax incentive program that rewards those who create jobs and promise to keep them in New Jersey.
Bell is not going out with a whimper. He has been a flurry of activity. Bell has sponsored other bills such as immunity for emergency personnel who administer multiple doses of opioid antidote to assist with overdoses.
This bill was also sponsored in the past by Whelan. “Fentanyl is so potent, it may require several doses of naloxone to bring someone out of a fentanyl overdose,” said Bell. “First responders who encounter overdose victims should only worry about saving lives and not about potential liability. I am proud to sponsor this legislation in memory of Senator Whelan’s tireless struggle for the most vulnerable and for those he has represented,” said Bell.
I couldn’t agree more with Bell on this point. This is important legislation that can make a real difference. In 2015, there were more than 400 deaths and in 2016 this number climbed to more than 800 deaths.
Those who will be exempted from any liability include: Emergency medical technicians, paramedics and firefighters, as a part of the “Overdose Prevention Act.”
Additionally, they will not be required to obtain prior approval of a third-party physician or other medical professional to administer multiple doses of an opioid antidote to the same victim.
Bell has also sponsored legislation for the rescue of animals from vehicles under inhumane conditions. A good Samaritan will be able to break and enter a car without exposure to civil or criminal liability.
The good Samaritan will be required to contact a law enforcement officer or certified animal control person, so that proper care for the animal may commence promptly.
The following states have also addressed this issue: California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin have similar laws to protect the good Samaritans.
A car can heat-up to deadly conditions within minutes when an animal is left inside a closed vehicle.
This clearly demonstrates that in a short period of time, you (Bell) can help get a lot done. The current lame duck session has the potential to accomplish some very good things. Many times things get done that otherwise would not occur without the sense of urgency of the legislative clock clicking away.
2018 is going to be a very interesting year. Van Drew is running full speed to win the open Congressional seat in District 2. Mazzeo is fresh off of a mandate, which removed any doubt that his brand was damaged. Mazzeo was so strong during the recent past General Election that he carried-in with him a totally unknown, obscure Buena Vista Township Committeeman, John Armato to victory in the General Assembly.
Assemblyman Chris Brown has his work cut-out for him in the new year, as he heads to the upper chamber as the next State Senator from District 2. The Democratic Majority doesn’t like him in the slightest. They haven’t even let him co-sponsor friendly legislation over the years.
With Governor Phil Murphy and the Democrats solidly in charge of both Houses of the New Jersey Legislature, this is a critical year.
Additionally, it’s a fast-approaching mid-term election at the national level. Democrats are currently salivating at the prospects of winning one or both houses of Congress.
Right here in this space, you will have the best seat in the house for all of the electoral/political Kabuki that will be playing out in 2018.
Harry Hurley is the president of Harry Hurley Consulting and Communications, LLC. He hosts the daily talk radio program “Hurley in the Morning” 6-10 a.m., weekdays on Townsquare Media, WPG Talk Radio 104.1 FM & 1450 AM, where he also serves as the senior programming consultant. Harry was elected to both the Philadelphia (2014) and New Jersey (2015) Radio Broadcasting Hall of Fame. He has hosted various programs for local television and is the editor and publisher of his news and information website, www.harryhurley.com. Send comments to HarryHurley@aol.com