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Panel OK’s Scalera/Mckeon/Greenwald Bill For Tax-Deductible Contributions To College Fund

Measure Would Exempt First $5,000 in Annual Contributions To NJ BEST College Savings Plan from State Income Taxes

(TRENTON)-An Assembly panel has released legislation Assemblymen Fred Scalera, John McKeon and Louis Greenwald sponsored to provide a state income tax deduction to residents who save for their children’s higher education through a state-administered college savings plan.

“Money being saved to pay for a child’s college education should be safeguarded, not taxed,” said Scalera (D-Essex/Bergen/Passaic). “This tax deduction will provide families with an incentive to plan for meeting the mounting costs of higher education.”

“Saving for a college education is more important today than it ever has been,” said McKeon (D-Essex). “We need to reward parents who have the foresight to put aside money now for their children’s higher educations.”

The Scalera/McKeon/Greenwald bill (A-912) would provide a state gross income tax deduction for the first $5,000 contributed annually to the New Jersey Better Educational Savings Trust (NJ BEST) program. NJ BEST is a 529 college savings plan administered through the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority and managed by Franklin Templeton Investments.

Assembly Advances SBS Info Legislation

Gloucester County Times
February 6, 2009
GCT Staff

Legislation that would require the state include information about Shaken Baby Syndrome to new parents cleared the state Assembly on Thursday.

The legislation (A-725) would require the state to include information on Shaken Baby Syndrome in the resource guide it provides to new parents. The guide also would be published in Spanish.

A health care professional would be required to review information in the guide with new parents as part of the discharge procedure under the legislation sponsored by Democratic Assemblymen Louis D. Greenwald of Cherry Hill and Douglas H. Fisher of Bridgeton.

According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, 1,200 to 1,400 children nationwide annually receive medical treatment for injuries attributed to being violently shaken by a caregiver.

Nearly 30 percent of those injuries prove fatal, and about 80 percent of survivors incur lifelong brain injuries that can lead to learning and physical disabilities, blindness, hearing and speech disabilities, cerebral palsy and behavior disorders.

The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

Assembly Approves Greenwald/Fisher Bill To Educate Parents On Shaken Baby Syndrome

ASSEMBLY APPROVES GREENWALD/FISHER BILL TO EDUCATE PARENTS ON SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME

(TRENTON) – The Assembly today voted 77-0 to approve legislation Assembly members Louis D. Greenwald and Douglas H. Fisher sponsored to require the state include information about Shaken Baby Syndrome to new parents.

“All new parents need to be absolutely aware of how devastating this syndrome can be,” said Greenwald (D-Camden). “Learning about Shaken Baby Syndrome will hopefully prevent parents from harming their babies.”

According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, 1,200 to 1,400 children nationwide annually receive medical treatment for injuries attributed to being violently shaken by a caregiver.

Nearly 30 percent of those injuries prove fatal, and about 80 percent of survivors incur lifelong brain injuries that can lead to learning and physical disabilities, blindness, hearing and speech disabilities, cerebral palsy and behavior disorders.

The legislation (A-725) would require the state to include information on Shaken Baby Syndrome in the resource guide it provides to new parents. The guide also would be published in Spanish. A health care professional would be required to review information in the guide with new parents as part of the discharge procedure.

Greenwald Applauds Children’s Health Measure

Praises Obama Measure to Expand Health Insurance for New Jersey Kids

(VOORHEES)— Assembly State Budget Committee Chairman and longtime children’s health advocate Louis Greenwald (D-Camden) today praised President Obama for signing into law a bill that will expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). Known in New Jersey as NJ FamilyCare, the expansion will include up to an additional 100,000 uninsured New Jersey children through an increased federal funding guarantee.

“Children are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and not having health insurance can prove devastating to them and their families. I congratulate President Obama for his leadership on this critical issue,” said Greenwald. “As a parent of young children who are fortunate enough to have health insurance, I believe this is long overdue.”

The New Jersey Department of Human Services estimates 130,000 low-income children and 119,00 low-income adults are currently covered by NJ FamilyCare. With a deepening recession and increasing unemployment, that number is likely to grow.

“This measure is a huge step in the right direction,” said Greenwald, “In this economy, NJ FamilyCare will have additional funding to be the safety net for families struggling to afford health care.”

Call Renewed for Legalized Sports Betting in NJ

Bergen Record
January 28, 2009
By John Brennan

Two South Jersey assemblymen, noting today that Las Vegas casinos may take on $100 million or more in bets on Sunday’s Super Bowl, renewed their call to legalize betting on professional sports in Atlantic City.

Assemblymen Louis Greenwald, D-Camden, and Nelson Albano, D-Cumberland, hope their bill, which passed the Assembly last year, also will pass in the state Senate. The bill calls for a referendum in November that would ask New Jersey voters whether they approve sports betting — excluding college sports.

New Jersey is one of 46 states banned from allowing such betting under a 1992 federal law. Only Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana are exempt from that law.

Delaware officials last month floated a plan to allow “parlay bets” at its casinos, meaning a bettor would have to choose two or more games to bet. The more games selected, the longer the odds and the bigger the potential payout. Sports betting in Delaware could cut into already faltering Atlantic City casino revenues.

Greenwald said the state’s struggling economy makes sports betting more attractive.

“We have to look at things that we didn’t have the courage to try before,” Greenwald said. “And the concerns that people had in the 1970s about organized crime getting involved in the casinos hardly exist anymore.”