Danielsen-Sponsored Legislation On Military, Smoke-Free Tobacco Moves Through Chamber

State Assemblyman Joe Danielsen.

Two pieces of proposed legislation supported by state Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17) are making their way through the state Assembly.

The first, a bill that would give a second chance to National Guard and Reserve members who could not accept a police or fire fighter job because of their service, won assembly approval on May 22.

The bill, which Danielsen co-sponsored with four other members, “allows a person who previously passed or subsequently passes a civil service examination for the position of police officer or firefighter, but who was unable or is unable to complete any other requirements for employment due to active duty in the National Guard or the Reserves, to have the person’s name placed in order by score on a subsequent eligible list (designated by the person) for the same type of position,” according to a press release.

“It’s unfair to deny these individuals a potential work opportunity because they are on active duty,” Danielsen said in the release. “If a service man and woman has passed the civil service exam, and the only thing preventing him or her from seeing the hiring process through is their duty and service to our county, then we should be able to make an exception.”

This bill states that the privilege would be available to Guardsmen and Reservists called to at least 30 days of continuous active duty after September 11, 2001, and on or before December 28, 2014, known as Operation Enduring Freedom, and on or after January 1, 2015 and on or before the date designated by the President of the United States or the United States Secretary of Defense as the termination date of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, according to the release. Any such person who met the maximum age requirement for a position at the announced closing date of the civil service exam on which the first list of eligible persons is based will be deemed to have met such maximum age requirement on the date that the person’s name is placed on a subsequent eligible list, according to the release.

The bill now heads to the state Senate for action.

The second bill, which would prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco in New Jersey schools, was approved on May 18 by the assembly’s education committee.

Danielsen sponsored this bill with Assemblyman John McKeon (D-27).

“Young people might see smokeless tobacco as a safe alternative to cigarettes without realizing the health risks associated with this product,” Danielsen said in a press release about the bill. “This bill would make it clear to students that using any form of tobacco comes with serious health consequences.”

A sign in every school’s entrance indicating that smokeless tobacco is prohibited, and that violators face fines of between $250 and $1,000, would be required by the bill. Students found to be in violation would not be fined, but would be prohibited from participating in all extracurricular activities.

A town’s Board of Health would have to notify a school district that it has received a complaint that a violation has occurred, and order that appropriate action be taken, according to the release. A board that did not take action would be subject to the same fines.

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