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Hearing Reassures New Jerseyans of States Efforts to Prevent Spread of H1N1 Flu

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Health and Senior Services Committee Chairman Herb Conaway, MD (D-Burlington) released the following statement following the first special hearing today held jointly by the Assembly Health and Senior Services and Homeland Security and State Preparedness committees on the H1N1 flu and what it means for New Jerseyans:

“In light of today’s closing of a school in Hainesport Township due to two children with flu-like symptoms - raising concern over the possibility of H1N1-Swine Flu infection - this hearing could not have happened at a better time.

“The hearing reassured the public that they are receiving the most up-to-date information and New Jerseyans should feel confident that public places across the state including hospitals, schools and airports are implementing precautionary measures to better protect the safety of all residents.

“Governor Corzine and Health Commissioner Heather Howard should be commended for their quick response and vigilant efforts to ensure that all levels of government are working together to reduce the spread of this respiratory illness.

“The plans shared at today’s hearing detailing the measures being used to stop the spread of this flu should further strengthen the confidence of all New Jerseyans in the state’s swift response in continuing to protect their health, safety and welfare.

N.J. Department of Health and Senior Services Statement on H1N1 Influenza Cases

TRENTON - Governor Jon S. Corzine today announced that samples sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday indicate that five New Jersey residents have confirmed cases of H1N1 Influenza. All five individuals were listed as probable cases as a result of testing conducted at the New Jersey Public Health and Environmental Laboratories in Trenton.

“We have been on top of this from the start and will continue to be vigilant as long as the threat to public safety exists,” Governor Corzine said. “There is no need for alarm but we must all be aware of the situation. I want to assure the people of New Jersey that we are doing everything in our power to contain the spread of this flu virus.”

All five individuals had a mild case of H1N1 Influenza. None were hospitalized and all are recovering at home. The individuals with confirmed cases of H1N1 Influenza are:

A 43-year old Monmouth County female
A 22-year old Bergen County female
A 14-year old Burlington County male
A 10-year old Burlington County female
A 47-year old Burlington County male

The three Burlington County cases were members of the same family. The two Burlington County children did not attend school before becoming sick and have not returned to school.

Four of the five individuals recently travelled to Mexico. The fifth travelled to California.

Beach, Greenwald & Lampitt Promote Event to Prevent Identity Theft

Urge Residents to Attend Camden County’s ‘Spring Shredding’ for Personal Documents

(VOORHEES)—Senator James Beach, Assemblyman Louis Greenwald and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (all D-Camden) today urged residents of the 6th Legislative District to attend a ‘Spring Shredding’ event hosted by Camden County to prevent identity theft.

“With identity theft still a serious threat to residents, it’s important for families and seniors to destroy documents that contain sensitive information, like bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other identifying documents,” said Beach.

Sponsored by Camden County, the ‘Spring Shredding’ is scheduled for May 2nd. During the three-hour event, residents will have the opportunity to destroy their documents containing sensitive personal information that might be used by criminals engaging in identity theft. The event will feature industrial size shredder trucks on site.

“In these troubled economic times, identity theft can be a crushing blow to individuals and families,” said Greenwald. “Shredding private personal information can go a long way in foiling potential identity thieves.”

“It can take years for victims of identity theft to regain control of their financial lives,” said Lampitt. “In just a few minutes at ‘Spring Shredding,’ residents can avoid prolonged financial turmoil by destroying sensitive information before it falls into the hands of criminals.”

NJ Lawmakers Seek to Prevent Co-Payments for Some HIV/AIDS Patients Under Corzine's Budget

Star Ledger
John Reitmeyer/Statehouse Bureau
Tuesday April 21, 2009

Lawmakers suggested today they are exploring ways to head off a provision of Gov. Jon Corzine's proposed budget that would establish co-payments for some AIDS/HIV patients who get their medications through the state.

The governor's $29.8 billion spending plan for the new budget year counts on taking in $1.36 million by requiring co-payments on a sliding scale based on income for AIDS/HIV drugs.

The co-payments were among the many issues discussed this morning when Heather Howard, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Senior Services, appeared before the Assembly Budget Committee to review her agency's spending plan and policies.

Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-Union) asked Howard if a $1.36 million cut somewhere else would be enough to cancel the new co-payments.

"To offset, correct," she said.

"I do find that to be critically important, something we'll have to put back," said Cryan, who is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party. All 80 seats in the Assembly are up for reelection in November, as is Corzine.

Committee Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), suggested state funding for a transportation program benefiting AIDS/HIV patients could be pulled instead to keep the proposed co-payments from making it into the final budget.

"We're happy to talk about anything," Howard said.

Greenwald, Burzichelli, Albano & Milam: Poll Shows New Jersey Should Take Sports Gaming Bet

(TRENTON) – Four Assembly Democratic lawmakers who have long advocated for legalizing sports wagering at Atlantic City casinos today said a new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released this morning strengthens the argument that New Jersey should seek to overturn a federal ban and allow resort gamblers to bet on pro-sporting events.

Assemblymen Louis Greenwald, John Burzichelli, Nelson Albano and Matt Milam have led efforts to pass legislation that would put the issue before voters as a General Election ballot question. Their measure (A-1909) overwhelmingly passed the Assembly in February 2008.

The poll found 63 percent of voters favor making sports-betting legal in New Jersey at Atlantic City casinos, while 32 percent oppose it.

“Sports betting already exists in New Jersey through countless office pools and illegal book-making operations,” said Greenwald (D-Camden). “This poll proves it’s far past time for us to take the blinders off and recognize that its in the state’s best interests to allow sports gaming in Atlantic City’s controlled and regulated atmosphere.”