Sweeney-Gopal-Smith Bill Would Ban Smoking on NJ Beaches

Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Bob Smith that would ban smoking on New Jersey’s beaches was approved by the Senate Thursday, June 7. The bill, S-2534, would prohibit smoking on all public beaches by extending the existing provisions of the “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act” to public beaches throughout the state.

The legislation was amended to extend the smoking ban to state, county and municipal parks, making it identical to the Assembly version. Approved by both houses, the measure now goes to the governor.

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Sports Betting Bill Gains Senate Approval

Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Jeff Van Drew and Senator Vin Gopal that would authorize and regulate sports gaming in New Jersey gained the approval of the Senate today.  

The bill, S-2602/A-4111, would put in place the regulatory framework to allow casinos and racetracks to take bets on professional sports competitions and college events that don’t take place in the state or include a New Jersey team. Licensed “sports pool” operators would also be allowed to accept wagers online.

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Senate Passes Gopal Bill to Allow Preventive Firearm Seizures

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 licensed healthcare professionals to pose a threat of serious harm to themselves or others, was passed by the Senate today.

“When someone is suffering from a mental disorder serious enough for them to consider harming themselves or others, healthcare providers could be the safety valve needed to help the patient cope, as well as to keep weapons out of their hands and protect others,” said Senator Gopal.  “Having mental health professionals inform law enforcement when there is a potential risk for violence will help protect the individual, their loved ones and their community from the lethal dangers of gun violence. Not only are we keeping the public safe, we are helping those who suffer from a mental health disorder.”

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Gopal Works to End Gun Violence Epidemic

As communities in New Jersey and throughout the country continue to be ravaged by gun violence, Senator Vin Gopal has proudly joined the fight to end this devastating epidemic.

Friday, June 1, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, marked the beginning of #WearOrange Weekend, during which Americans across the country honored the lives of victims and survivors of gun violence by wearing orange. This bright, powerful color sends a clear message: we demand to be seen and we demand to see change.

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Gopal, Houghtaling, Downey Applaud Completion of Monmouth County Dredging Projects

With New Jersey’s busy summer season just beginning, Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey are pleased that the  New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has completed two dredging projects in the 11th Legislative District.

The NJDOT recently announced the completion of dredging projects in the Shark River and the Shrewsbury River. These projects were vital in restoring these local waterways, many of which had been shoaled in since Superstorm Sandy, limiting boating options, emergency response, and commercial vessel traffic in the area. These channels are now considered to be in a state of good repair for the 2018 boating season, and will provide access to enhanced recreational and economic activity for summer visitors and residents alike.

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Sports Betting Bill Gains Senate Committee Approval

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Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal that would authorize and regulate sports gaming in New Jersey gained the approval of a Senate committee today, capitalizing on the state’s long-fought victory to allow sports betting.

The bill, S-2602, would put in place the regulatory framework needed to allow casinos and racetracks to start taking bets on professional sports competitions and college events that don’t take place in the state or include a New Jersey team. Licensed “sports pool” operators would also be allowed to accept wagers online. It was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee 13-0.

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Gopal Hosts Freehold Small Business Roundtable Discussion

Senator Vin Gopal hosted the second in his series of Small Business Roundtable Discussions on Wednesday, May 30 at Freehold Borough Hall.

“Connecting with our small business community has been such an enriching and eye opening experience,” said Senator Gopal.

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Gopal Speaks at Neptune Senior Center for Older Americans Month

In honor of Older Americans Month, Senator Vin Gopal visited the Neptune Senior Center Thursday, May 24 to speak to local residents about legislative news, upcoming events and ongoing initiatives.

“Here in Legislative District 11, we strive to get out in the community as much as possible to get to know our residents and ensure they know we are here to work for them,” said Senator Vin Gopal.

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Gopal to Host Second Small Business Roundtable Discussion

Following the success of his inaugural Small Business Roundtable Discussion, Senator Vin Gopal will host a second roundtable this month.

The next Small Business Roundtable Discussion will be held on Wednesday, May 30 at 12 p.m. at Freehold Borough Hall, 51 West Main Street, in Freehold. There, the Senator will be joined by NJBIA President Michele Siekerka as the guest speaker.

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Gopal Applauds Signing of Earle Bill

Senator Vin Gopal is pleased to announce Governor Phil Murphy signed bill S1918 into law.

The bill requires new students residing on Naval Weapons Station Earle to attend the Colts Neck School District for grades K-8. Traditionally, students who live on the base -- the residential section of which is located within Colts Neck -- attended school in Tinton Falls. However, the district was not compensated fairly for the additional students and as a result faced an undue financial burden.

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Gopal Introduces Sports Betting Legislation

TRENTON -- Acting in response to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down the federal ban on sports betting, Senator Vin Gopal introduced legislation that would authorize and regulate sports gaming in New Jersey, putting in place the regulatory framework needed to allow casinos and racetracks to start taking bets.

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Gopal Supports Special Education Week

Senator Vin Gopal joined countless community leaders and educators this week in recognizing Special Education Week.

“This is a time to celebrate all of the accomplishments of New Jersey’s special education students as well as the commitment of the parents and teachers who support them,” said Senator Vin Gopal.

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Gopal Thanks Community For Support of Covenant House

Senator Vin Gopal joined the Covenant House Friday, May 11 for the organization’s Sleep Out: Asbury Park Edition to raise awareness for youth homelessness.

“Monmouth County is considered a wealthy area and, often, people forget that our residents also face hardships. Youth homelessness affects our citizens, our neighbors, right here in District 11. As your legislator, I consider it my obligation to do what I can to address this issue and work with organizations like the Covenant House to ensure our homeless youth are taken care of,” Senator Gopal said.

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