Gopal Bill Clarifies Provision of Free Beach Badges to Veterans

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - In response to recent events in Belmar where non-disabled veterans were accidentally required to pay to access public beaches, Senators Vin Gopal and Robert Singer are working to introduce a bipartisan resolution to clarify the existing State statute that allows municipalities to provide free beach badges to military veterans.

“I was surprised to hear that officials in Belmar had interpreted current law to mean that non-disabled veterans aren’t allowed to receive complimentary beach badges when other Shore towns like Long Branch, Sea Bright, and Ocean City have been doing that for years,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch). “Our veterans and active servicemembers have done so much in service to this country, and we should make sure that our hardworking local elected officials are fully aware of the small ways in which we can honor that dedication.”

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76sc June 28, 2019

Gopal Bill Cracking Down on Pharmaceutical Abuses Heads to Governor's Desk

TRENTON - Legislation introduced by Senator Vin Gopal that would ban the abusive practice of pharmacy benefits manager (PBMs) "clawbacks" was approved by the Assembly today, and now heads to the Governor for final approval.

"This abusive practice of paying for prescriptions and then retroactively reducing the payment several months afterward does extensive damage, disrupting pharmacies' revenue streams and turning reliability into uncertainty," said Gopal (D-Long Branch). "By banning these tactics, we can drive down the costs of prescription medication and make our system work for patients, not middlemen."

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76sc June 28, 2019

District 11 Legislators Announce $2 Million in Local Funding in Proposed State Budget

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Senator Vin Gopal joined Assembly Members Houghtaling and Downey to announce a combined $2 million in funding allotted to Monmouth County community organizations, nonprofits, and programs under the State Legislature’s new proposed budget.

“These millions of dollars in investment and supportive services have the power to stimulate our economy, revitalize our area’s cultural and historical landmarks, and improve protections for our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch).

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76sc June 26, 2019

Sen. Gopal Sponsors $750,000 in Funding for LGBTQ Healthcare

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Senator Vin Gopal has introduced a line-item budget resolution for New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget that would allocate a full $750,000 to the LGBTQ Community Health Center operated by the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNACJ) in Asbury Park.

“The VNACJ does outstanding work to help underserved or vulnerable communities get the care that they need,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch).

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76sc June 22, 2019

Gopal Introduces Bill to Empower Students in Fight Against Climate Change

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Following a report that at least 9 New Jersey cities are likely to be underwater within the century due to rising sea levels caused by climate change, State Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey joined Senator Vin Gopal to introduce legislation this month that would require schools to teach students about climate change as part of the science curriculum in middle and high school.

“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, and as a clear result of human activity,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch).

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76sc June 17, 2019

Sen. Gopal Introduces Legislation Defending Wildlife Rehabilitators

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - In response to a case where State regulators attempted to fine a Howell woman for taking care of two baby squirrels abandoned by their mother, State Senator Vin Gopal introduced legislation (S-3829) that would protect New Jersey residents from liability for providing temporary care to injured wildlife after making a good-faith effort to contact a licensed rehabilitator.

“I’m glad to see our State agencies working to make sure that at-risk wildlife is well-equipped to survive in its natural habitat, but this was clearly a case where the State was overzealous, and needed to step back and accept the net-beneficial and well-meaning actions of a Good Samaritan,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch). 

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76sc June 12, 2019

New Gopal Bill Cracks Down on Abusive PBM Practices

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - With a goal of cutting costs on prescription drugs and cracking down on abusive practices by out-of-state pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), legislation recently introduced by Senator Vin Gopal would require prescription drug services covered under the Medicaid program to be converted from a managed care delivery system to a fee-for-service delivery system.

“Any New Jerseyan who has visited a hospital or doctor’s office recently has experienced firsthand a crisis of soaring medical bills and skyrocketing pharmaceutical costs,” Gopal (D-Long Branch).

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76sc May 25, 2019

Gopal Introduces Bill Increasing Tax Exemptions for Retirees

TRENTON - Senator Gopal this week introduced new legislation (S-3785) that would increase the amount of pension and retirement income that certain taxpayers are able to exclude from their gross income taxes.

“Our office has heard and sympathized with the frustration of many of our constituents regarding the exceptionally low exclusion amounts for pension and retirement income,” Gopal (D-Long Branch) said.

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76sc May 22, 2019

Sen. Gopal Works to Help School Districts Consolidate, Cut Costs

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Aiming to cut administrative costs and promote a uniform curriculum for students, Senator Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) introduced legislation last Thursday that would require the Commissioner of Education to study the most efficient and effective means of consolidating school districts, with the exception of Pre-K- or K-12 districts, into all-purpose regional school districts.

"Studies have shown that the consolidation of K-5 and K-8 schools into K-12 districts is one of the most powerful tools we have for cutting education costs and saving taxpayer dollars," Gopal said.

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76sc May 17, 2019

Gopal Calls for Increased Aid As Health Care Providers Adjust to Rising Minimum Wage

OCEAN TOWNSHIP – Senator Vin Gopal today called for New Jersey to explore ways to assist health care providers who may struggle to retain and recruit staff following increases in the state minimum wage. Senator Gopal’s concerns follow recent testimony by Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson regarding the potential impact of New Jersey’s new minimum wage law on providers who offer mental health, disability support services, long-term nursing home and home health care for low-income residents.

“After hearing from members of New Jersey’s health care provider community, I believe strongly that we must help providers adjust to our rising minimum wage in order to retain and hire hire employees for these important jobs,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch).

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76sc May 15, 2019

Gopal Bill Promoting Local Produce Becomes Law

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Legislation (AJR-114) introduced by Senator Vin Gopal designating the last full week of July as "Buy Local Week" was signed into law this Monday by Governor Phil Murphy.

“It’s important for farmers to develop relationships with their communities, and extremely rewarding for shoppers to do the reverse,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch).

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76sc May 14, 2019

Gopal Bill Helping Breast Cancer Patients Access Care Advances in Assembly

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal which would require hospitals to provide breast cancers with information concerning reconstructive surgery was approved by the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee today..

“As the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in New Jersey, breast cancer must be one of our top priorities,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch).

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76sc May 14, 2019

Gopal Bill Celebrating Portuguese-American Hero Signed Into Law

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Paying tribute to one of the most famous privates of the Revolutionary War, Senator Vin Gopal released the following statement on his legislation (SJR-101) to designate March 15 of each year as “Peter Francisco Day” in New Jersey, which was signed into law Friday by Governor Phil Murphy.

“I'm proud to see the passage of this important legislation celebrating the valor of this American hero,” said Senator Gopal.

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76sc May 13, 2019

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