From the Senate: Stand Strong Against The Cell Tower

I stand behind the residents of Freehold Township who oppose the construction of a T-Mobile Cell Tower on Robertsville Road.

Residents have been fighting this project for almost 10 years now. The Zoning Board of Adjustment originally rejected T-Mobile’s application to construct the cell tower, a decision I firmly believe was made in the best interest of the residents of Freehold Township and to protect the Lake Topanemus Watershed as well as its scenic road designation.

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Gopal Introduces Bill Upgrading Penalties For Certain Drug Crimes

Senator Vin Gopal introduced a bill that would upgrade the penalties for certain crimes involving heroin and fentanyl.

“Heroin continues to plague our communities. From Asbury Park to Colts Neck, no community has been spared from heroin’s fatal grip,” said Senator Vin Gopal.

“Our law enforcement officers are combating this epidemic in the streets. Our teachers, in our schools. Our doctors, in our hospitals and treatment facilities. And we, your state legislators, are combating this epidemic in Trenton.

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Gopal Appointed to Biotechnology Task Force

Senator Vin Gopal has been appointed to serve on the New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force by Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

This task force was established by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to develop policy recommendations to retain and attract new biotechnology companies in the state.

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Gopal Offers Condolences to the Family of Assemblyman Green

In response to the passing of Assemblyman Jerry Green, Senator Vin Gopal issued the following statement:

“Assemblyman Jerry Green was a loyal public official who dedicated nearly 40 years of his life to serving the people of New Jersey and was the longest-serving member of the Assembly,” said Senator Vin Gopal.

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Gopal Supports New Jersey Manufacturing Industry

New Jersey manufacturers are faced with the difficult decision to either cut expenses or increase their prices due to sharp increases in the price of steel and aluminum.

The price increases are the direct result of the Trump Administration’s decision to impose tariffs on some foreign countries which produce these products.

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Gopal Co-sponsors Bill Requiring Board of Chosen Freeholders to Change Title

Senator Vin Gopal has co-sponsored a bill that requires the board of chosen freeholders to alter its title.

Recently, New Jersey Legislators have been pushing to change the title of the board of chosen freeholders, due to the negative connotations and discriminatory roots of the term “freeholder.”

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Gopal Bill To Allow Certain Firearm Seizures Advances

Legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal that would require law enforcement, upon order of the court, to seize a firearm that is in the possession of a person determined by certain licensed health care professionals to be likely to engage in conduct that poses a threat of serious harm to the patient or another person advanced from the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee today.

Under current law, the “duty to warn and protect” is incurred by a healthcare professional if an individual communicates a clear threat of violence to him or herself or a readily identifiable person or circumstances are such it would be reasonable for the professional to believe the patient intends to carry out an act of violence.   A health care professional is defined as a person licensed to practice psychology, psychiatry, medicine, nursing, clinical social work, or marriage and family therapy.

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Sen. Gopal Supports Gov. Murphy Opportunity Zone Program

Senator Vin Gopal supports Governor Phil Murphy’s designation of 169 Opportunity Zones throughout the state, including six in Monmouth County. These include: Asbury Park, Freehold Borough, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune Township and Red Bank.

“I am grateful to Gov. Murphy for including these Monmouth County communities in the Opportunity Zone Program. I am confident this initiative will encourage long-term capital improvements in each of these communities and in turn, generate economic growth on a local level.

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Gopal Supports Extension of Urban Enterprise Zone Program

Senator Vin Gopal offers his full support of a bill (S846) seeking to extend the designation of all previously designated Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZ), including Asbury Park and Long Branch.

The bill, which was approved by both the Senate and Assembly on Thursday, April 5, would extend the designation of UEZs for a one-time period of 10 years, allowing participating cities continue their involvement in the program.

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Gopal, Houghtaling and Downey Urge Volunteer Fire Departments to Apply for Federal Assistance Program

Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey encourage all local volunteer fire departments to take advantage of The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response [SAFER] federal assistance program.

SAFER will provide $345 million in total grants for local fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations around the country. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the NFPA (NFPA 1710 and/or NFPA 1720).

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Sen. Gopal Supports Governor Murphy Firearms Executive Order

Senator Vin Gopal stands behind Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order pertaining to gun violence.

Signed today at Asbury Park Middle School, the order directs the Department of Law and Public Safety to consider all reasonable efforts to publicly release information on guns used in the commission of crimes in the state. The information is to be posted on the website of the State Police and the Department of Law and Public Safety.

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Gopal Appointed to Two Senate Positions

Senator Vin Gopal was appointed to serve as Senate Majority Conference Leader and as Chairman of the bipartisan Legislative Manufacturing Caucus by Senate President Steve Sweeney Wednesday, April 4.

“I am grateful to Senate President Steve Sweeney for entrusting me to serve in these positions,” said Senator Gopal.

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Princess Prom Project Returns for Third Year

Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey are pleased to announce the Princess Prom Project is back for the third year.

The expenses related to prom can add up quickly, especially for a family living on a tight budget. The Princess Prom Project works to alleviate a major expense by providing local high school students with a dress and accessories to ensure every student has the opportunity to enjoy prom.

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