Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. and Senator Vin Gopal, which would require all school buses have a phone number or website displayed on the back of the bus so drivers can report bus driver misconduct if they witness anything concerning, was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.
“All members of the public have a vested interest in making sure school bus drivers are driving safely and paying close attention to their surroundings,” said Senator Gopal.Read more
EATONTOWN - Senator Vin Gopal will be hosting a community Town Hall event on Monday, April 8 from 6 to 8 PM. The Town Hall will take place in the Eatontown Community Center, located at 72 Broad Street.
“As a legislator, doing my job without the feedback of my constituents is like trying to ride a bicycle without handlebars,” said Senator Gopal.Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Senator Vin Gopal today introduced Senate Bill S3611, which would prohibit any individual under the age of 18 from being issued a trapping license. Senator Gopal issued the following statement regarding this legislation:
“Last December, I was shocked and angered by a disturbing and widely circulated video that showed two teenagers cruelly beating an innocent racoon whose leg had become caught in a trap. This is not an isolated incident, and its implications are troubling.Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, and Assemblywoman Joann Downey issued the following statement in response to the announcement by Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe that the State of New Jersey had joined a motion in federal court seeking to block drilling-related seismic testing activity:
“No matter how you look at it, proposals for offshore drilling are more than unnecessary to New Jersey’s economy - they are potentially harmful,” said Senator Gopal.Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Senate Majority Conference Leader Vin Gopal issued the following statement in response to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s release of Senate Bill S477, which removes the statute of limitations in certain civil actions for sexual abuse and expands the categories of defendants liable in such actions.
“Sexual abuse ruins lives, but many child predators are able to go unpunished for their crime because of a loophole in our state's judicial system,” said Senator Gopal. “This is more than unacceptable - it is horrific.Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Senator Vin Gopal issued the following statement in response to the new rule proposed by the Trump administration stripping millions of dollars in Title X funding from family planning clinics:
“According to the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, in 2017, New Jersey received $8.5 million in federal Title X funding to support 45 service sites across New Jersey. With this funding, New Jersey’s Title X providers served 99,844 people. Planned Parenthood affiliates in New Jersey operate 22 health centers which see more than 70 percent of all Title X patients in the state.Read more
As conversation surrounding eliminating statewide PARCC testing for students continues, Senator Vin Gopal continues to push back against high stake testing as a graduation requirement in NJ.
“High stakes standardized testing does not benefit students, teachers, or parents,” said Senator Vin Gopal.Read more
Senator Vin Gopal stands in strong opposition to the newly agreed upon minimum wage deal by Democratic Party leadership, which stands to negatively impact the local small business community.
This deal will be crushing for small businesses which are just over five employees.
“The deal announced today by the Democratic Party leadership is a disastrous deal that will issue a devastating blow to our small business community and inevitably result in the closure of countless mom and pop shops,” said Senator Vin Gopal, an avid supporter of the small business community in District 11 and New Jersey at large.
“These are not large corporations that can absorb the blow. Forcing small business owners to drastically raise their minimum wage over this short period will result in layoffs and closures, which will ultimately hurt our local economy and will only empower bigger corporations.
“The owner of a coffee shop or an ice cream parlor does not make a six-figure salary. Often, these business owners don’t make a profit for the first several years of business. We cannot jeopardize our small business community with a frivolous minimum wage policy. The majority of the mom and pop businesses, already facing very high rents here in Monmouth County, will, without question, suffer as a direct result of this deal. The plan also offers no concrete economic study to determine the impact on a regular basis. ”
Senator Gopal Lauds Governor’s Second Round of Funding of $27 Million in Preschool Expansion Aid to 33 School Districts
Governor Phil Murphy today announced a second round of state funding to create or expand preschool programs in 33 school districts – marking the first time those communities have received state aid for preschool. The $26.9 million in Preschool Education Expansion Aid (PEEA) ensures that 2,320 children will start 2019 in a high-quality preschool classroom.
“I was pleased to see the Governor’s funding announcement for the Preschool Education Expansion Aid today,” said Senator Vin Gopal.
“It’s clear that preschool provides a strong foundation for a child’s future academic and economic success. Therefore, expanding access to preschool in low-income communities throughout the state will not only improve the lives of the youth enrolled, but it will strengthen all of New Jersey for the future. In the coming years, I hope we can do even more to improve our early childhood development programming.”Read more
Freshman Senator Vin Gopal has been appointed to serve as Chairman of the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“I am honored to take on this new and important role as Chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee,” said Senator Gopal.
“As a State Senator, I have striven to support veterans both in my district and throughout the state. I look forward to continuing my support of the service members in New Jersey who have fought for our state and our country. These men and women deserve the utmost care from our communities and I plan on facilitating that as best I can.”Read more
In an effort to support New Jersey’s long-term care facilities and the patients they serve, Senator Vin Gopal has introduced a bill providing corporation business tax credits for these businesses.
The bill (S3319) allows long-term care facilities licensed by the State to claim a credit against the corporate business tax if it pays for the training and certification of an individual to become a certified nurse aide.
“New Jersey’s long-term care facilities provide vital care for some of our most vulnerable residents,” said Senator Vin Gopal.Read more
As personal drones continue to grow in popularity, Senator Vin Gopal is working to ensure the privacy and safety of his constituents.
On Monday, December 17, Senator Gopal introduced his bill (S3318) to amend current law to clarify that the crimes of invasion of privacy and trespassing include the use of drones.
“After speaking to a number of concerned constituents, I became extremely concerned about the privacy and safety of New Jersey residents,” said Senator Vin Gopal.
“Residents can easily purchase and outfit a drone with recording equipment. The accessibility of this equipment causes concern. While I am confident that the average drone user is not utilizing this equipment to violate anyone’s privacy, it is important that we protect our residents against the small minority who may feel tempted to misuse their drone.”
Senator Vin Gopal is working to increase awareness for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and protect New Jersey residents living with this pervasive condition.
On Monday, December 17, Senator Vin Gopal introduced a bill (S3300) establishing a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Police Awareness Program that allows licensed drivers to self-identify as having been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a severe mental illness that affects more and more New Jerseyans each year,” said Senator Vin Gopal.
“Symptoms of PTSD can, at times, present in ways that law enforcement officials may interpret as aggressive. This system allows law enforcement officials to understand the unique needs of individuals with PTSD and respond accordingly. By removing any unnecessary fear from an interaction between an individual with PTSD and a police officer, we can keep both our civilians and our law enforcement officials safe.”Read more