Major Week in Trenton
This week was a prime example of how the lame duck session works in Trenton. I could have easily sent you an email each day to update you on the latest happenings, changes, hearings, and back room dealing that went on over the past five days. Our team faced a time consuming and intense week of lobbying, public testimony, and engaging legislators in person, over the phone, and in writing.
The short-term results are in: Win. Win. Win.
The long-term challenges still remain.
Let me explain.
Age Verification for Creating Social Media Accounts
Senate bill 4215/Assembly bill 5750
Director of Advocacy Shawn Hyland testified at the Assembly Health Committee on Monday, Dec 11 and the Senate Health Committee on Thursday, Dec 14 to support these bills – but only as the first step in restoring parental authority in overseeing their child’s online behavior. We urged the committees and bill sponsors to strengthen the bill by giving parents full access to their children’s social media use. An amendment would provide ongoing parental supervision, rather than a one-time grant of permission to open an account. Parental involvement is key to protecting children online. At minimum, the State should mandate that platforms provide certain tools for parental supervision. This includes access to control privacy and account settings of the minor’s account and monitor and limit the amount of time the minor spends on the service. However, by passing the current bill, it will still add New Jersey to a small list of conservative states – Utah, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas—that have passed social-media parental-consent laws.
The New Jersey Family Policy Center was the only voice supporting parental rights and protection of children online at each committee hearing. We were outnumbered by public opposition to this bill from Planned Parenthood, Garden State Equality, The ACLU, and other groups that want to access your children online without your knowledge or consent.
However, with our strong testimony, the bill passed both committees this week and will be heard again on Monday, Dec 18 with any amendments.
Abortion Industry Expansion
Senate bill 2918/Assembly bill 4350
We sent out an Action Alert this past Monday, December 11 urging you to contact your legislators to oppose this bill. Thank you to those that took the time to take action! The legislature knows this bill is deeply unpopular with the majority of New Jerseyans. Why? It allocates an additional $20 million to the Abortion Industry and codifies into law lower standards of medical care for women having an abortion – just so Planned Parenthood can make a greater profit by paying medical workers less money. It is shameful that the Abortion Industry is being treated like a Tourism Industry needing to be revitalized by government cash flow!
We are glad to report that the bill was pulled from the committee agenda the day before it was supposed to be heard and passed.
This bill is not dead yet. It might come up over the next few weeks. The last day of the legislative session is Jan 9, 2024. We will continue to monitor the bill and work with our pro-life coalition to oppose it.
Nominations of New State Board of Education Members
As noted last week, Mary Bennett was removed from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Her nomination hearing is now scheduled for this Monday, Dec 18. In addition, Govenor Murphy has nominated three more individuals this past Wednesday for a total of six replacements to the State Board of Education.
He is only replacing the four voices of dissent to his controversial sex standards and Equity regulation that bans all gendered terms. The other two progressive members now being replaced have already resigned or physically can not make it to the State BOE meetings. Yet, the other progressive members are still free to serve on “hold over” expired status because they are fully committed to ignoring parental concerns to impose the Murphy agenda on all children.
We will be there in Trenton on Monday to oppose these replacements.
Friend, we need your help! We are in the fight! The fight for your children, your rights, and for the soul of our state. As we approach the year end, we need to meet our financial goals.
You can give a tax-deductible gift to New Jersey Family Foundation.
Gifts to NJFF are used to build a stronger church alliance, train pro-family statesmen and keep you informed about issues that affect your family.
You can give a non-tax-deductible gift New Jersey Family Policy Center.
Gifts to NJFPC are used to actively advance legislation to protect your family, rally pro-family New Jerseyans to the polls, and make sure your voice is heard in Trenton.
Allan F. Wright