Bipartisan bill aims to ease regulatory restrictions imposed on breweries

OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ - A bi-partisan group of state lawmakers including Senator Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch), Senator Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver), and Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese (D-Cliffside Park) introduced legislation this week that would ease the restrictions imposed on the state’s breweries by the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control’s new rules.  

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Gopal, Stanfield ‘Recovery Tax Credit Program’ Legislation Clears Economic Growth Committee

TRENTON – In an effort to incentivize the hiring and continued employment of certain individuals in recovery from substance use disorder, the Senate Economic Growth Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Jean Stanfield that would establish the “Recovery Tax Credit Program” within the Department of Human Services.

“People who have struggled with addiction have sometimes found difficulty in landing or keeping a job, even in good hiring climates,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “When someone is in recovery, they need all the support they can receive, from their families, their communities, and their employers.”

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5sc June 21, 2022

Senate Clears Gopal Legislation Recognizing ‘Purple Star Schools’ That Aid Military Families

TRENTON – The Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Jean Stanfield that further supports New Jersey’s military-connected families, specifically by recognizing schools that place emphasis on assisting children of active duty military and helping families to more easily navigate the often difficult educational path for military dependents and spouses.

This bill, S-1800, would create a “Purple Star Schools” Program to annually recognize, as Purple Star Schools, schools that provide for, or have made significant progress to respond to, the educational and social-emotional challenges military-connected students encounter during the transition to a new school when the student’s active-duty military parent or guardian is relocated. The bill would also create a working group to develop criteria to be used in the designation of schools as Purple Star Schools.

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5sc June 21, 2022

Gopal Bill Requiring Insurance Providers, Medicaid Cover Telehealth Becomes Law

TRENTONSenator Vin Gopal’s bill guaranteeing that health insurance providers and Medicaid continue to pay healthcare providers the same amount for virtual healthcare as in-person visits has become law.

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Gopal Bill Establishing Commission on Asian Heritage Within DOE Clears Committee

TRENTON – In an effort to bring greater awareness to contributions made by Asian Americans, and to better educate students about Asian American culture and thereby attempt to stem anti-Asian racism and violence in society, the Senate Education Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Loretta Weinberg to establish a Commission on Asian Heritage within the Department of Education.

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4sc December 16, 2021

Gopal Voices Support for Bill to Bolster Library Construction and Improvement

TRENTON – Recognizing the vital role that public libraries continue to play in our democracy and their importance as centers of learning and enrichment in our communities, where anyone and everyone can utilize their services, Senator Vin Gopal today reiterated his strong support for newly introduced legislation that appropriates $37,174,636.71 from the “New Jersey Library Construction Fund” to provide grants for construction, reconstruction, development, extension, improvement, and furnishing of New Jersey's public libraries.

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4sc December 14, 2021

Gopal, Ruiz Legislation to Include AAPI Education in Classroom Curriculum Advances

Trenton – In an effort to expand the cultural education of New Jersey students, the Senate advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, which would require school districts to provide instruction on history and contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) as part of the implementation of New Jersey student learning standards in social studies.

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Gopal, Ruiz Honored as Legislators of the Year at New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Legislative and Business Awards Reception

Gopal, Ruiz Honored as Legislators of the Year at New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Legislative and Business Awards Reception

Trenton – Senator Vin Gopal and Senator M. Teresa Ruiz yesterday were awarded the title of Legislators of the Year by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce (NJCC) at their 2021 State Chamber Legislative and Business Awards Reception.
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4sc October 21, 2021

Murphy Signs Small Business Relief Package Legislation

Brings Total to More than $600 Million in Small Business Relief Since the Start of the Pandemic
 
TRENTON – As New Jersey continues to recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy today signed five bills – A5704, A5705, A5706, A5707, and A5709 – which provide additional aid to small businesses that continue to suffer from the economic effects of the pandemic. Together, the bill package provides $235 million to small businesses throughout the state, allowing the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to fulfill all eligible applications submitted during Phase IV of the EDA’s Small Business Emergency Grant Program. 
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4sc June 23, 2021

OP-ED: Why Homegrow Needs to Be Legalized in New Jersey

What is legalization of marijuana if people are not allowed to grow the plant themselves at home?

Back in November of 2020, the people of New Jersey overwhelmingly voted in favor of legalizing the possession and use of marijuana, in addition to allowing the cultivation, processing, and sale of retail marijuana.

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4sc June 16, 2021

Independent pharmacies should have a shot at getting the COVID-19 vaccine

In a time when everyone is doing all they can to help in any way, local mom and pop and independent pharmacies are no exception. These pharmacies have been eager to help their communities receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and have taken all of the necessary precautions to help administer the shots to their patients, yet the state has not allotted them the vaccines they need throughout this rollout, and has instead prioritized the big-box stores such as CVS, RiteAid, and Walgreens. Why does New Jersey prioritize corporations over mom-and-pop small-businesses, many in areas nowhere near a vaccine site?

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4sc March 12, 2021

Gopal, Democrats introduce bill to notify parents of first underage marijuana offense

Legislation will change parental notification from the second offense to the minor’s first offense.
Legislators and Advocates Urge for Immediate Action

TRENTON — Senate Majority Conference Leader Vin Gopal, Senator Joe Lagana, Senator Dawn Addiego, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey will be introducing legislation to the New Jersey Legislature that will amend P.L.2021, c.25. The new legislation would require parental notification upon the first violation of underage possession or consumption of alcohol, cannabis item, marijuana or hashish for individuals under the age of 18. As the law stands, parental notification is currently only required at the second incident. 
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4sc March 08, 2021

Gopal, Houghtaling & Downey Urge Governor to Prioritize Teachers for Vaccine Distribution

The legislators request Governor Murphy add teachers, support staff and daycare workers to Group 1B for vaccine distribution across the state.


OCEAN TWP - Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey sent letters to Governor Murphy and the Department of Health requesting teachers, school support staff and daycare workers be added to Group 1B for vaccine distribution across the state. Understanding that demand is currently also greater than supply, Gopal, Houghtaling and Downey are also urging the Murphy Administration to begin meeting with school districts to discuss their potential vaccination plans for their employees who wish to receive it between now and this August. Planning now can help get districts ready for full in-person learning and normalcy for September 2021 which will greatly benefit our students, teachers and families.

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