The New Jersey Senate unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen) that aims to prevent suicides on college campuses by providing students with greater access to mental health professionals.
“It’s great that we were able to come together as a senate to support our students, especially the ones that might be dealing with internal struggles,” O’Toole said. “We need to reach these young men and women and tell them they are not alone. This legislation will ensure our college students will always have someone to lean on in their darkest hours.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) advocating for military personnel serving in combat zones, including those injured in the line of duty, has cleared the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
“We must do everything we can to support the thousands of New Jerseyans serving in war-torn areas across the globe,” Senator O’Toole said, “Carrying the weight of New Jersey’s high taxes is an immense burden on military families, and one that they should certainly not have to bear alone. Offering financial relief is the least we can do to honor their selfless service to this country.”
Senator Kevin O’Toole petitioned Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Paul Sarlo to hold an inquiry to uncover the extent of reported abuses by the New Jersey Schools Insurance Group and to examine potential legislative reforms.
“As members of the Budget Committee we are tasked with ensuring every taxpayer dollar achieves the maximum benefit for all the New Jerseyans,” said O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic). “I was utterly dismayed to read about this obscure agency apparently using taxpayer funds for frivolous trips and lavish dinners.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen) to prevent suicide on college campuses has cleared the Senate Higher Education Committee. The “Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act” is named for the Bergen County native, who committed suicide while attending the University of Pennsylvania.
“We cannot erase the pain and heartbreak of losing a young loved one to suicide, but we can fight harder to ensure students who are struggling do not have to bear that weight alone,” Senator O’Toole said. “No one, especially our youth, should be forced to suffer in silence. Raising awareness and ensuring students in crises have access to support 24 hours a day will save countless young lives for years to come.”
Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) and Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) to update the state’s invasion of privacy laws to prohibit “upskirting” was advanced by the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee.
“Upskirting” occurs when a person is photographed or filmed underneath their clothing without their consent and when they would not expect to be exposed in that fashion.
“While technology and the Internet have made it easier for voyeurs to violate people’s privacy, our laws have not kept pace with the growing problem of ‘upskirting,'” said Kean. “Once a picture or video is uploaded or shared, it may online forever, leading to long-term consequences for women who are the most common targets.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) to assure that any child having an anaphylactic reaction at a New Jersey youth camp will be administered epinephrine was signed into law today by Gov. Chris Christie.
The new law, last legislative session’s S-2201, authorizes youth camps to maintain supply of epinephrine and permit trained employees to administer epinephrine to camp members suffering from anaphylaxis.
“With the enactment of this law, we can now ensure the safety of the growing number of children and young adults with potentially fatal allergies, whether they are at a K-12 school, college campus or, now, at a camp,” O’Toole said. “This law is vital because a child may experience his or her very first insect or food allergic reaction while at camp. Camps can now be prepared to respond immediately in the case any student has an allergic reaction. Receiving an immediate dose of injectable epinephrine for anaphylaxis is a life-saving measure.”
State Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-40 Bergen, Essex, Morris, and Passaic Counties) has announced that he will not be running for re-election in 2017. Senator O’Toole will finish his current term and retire from the Legislature in January of 2018; culminating a 22 year career that included 11 years in the General Assembly and 11 years in the State Senate.
Senator O’Toole is a former three-term Mayor in his hometown of Cedar Grove, where he voluntarily stepped down after 7 years when elected to the General Assembly. O’Toole also served as Chairman of the Essex County Republican Committee for 12 years before retiring from that position in 2011.
O’Toole said, “It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve the people of New Jersey, I can never repay the debt of gratitude I owe the voters and constituents for having entrusted me to represent them.” O’Toole continued, “When I first ran for office in 1989, at age 24, I never dared dream that I would be fortunate enough to serve the public for 29 years – when my term ends. It’s now time for me to move on and experience new and exciting opportunities that life has to offer. As when I voluntarily left the Cedar Grove Town Council after 7 years, the party Chairmanship after 12 years, and now 22 years in the Legislature, I believe it is time to create opportunities for the next – younger – generation of dedicated public servants to have their chance to make a difference.”
Health Database Will Improve Health Care Quality, Reduce Costs
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole to create an integrated data system was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
S-3220, will establish the Integrated Population Health Database at Rutgers University’s Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research to collect a wide range of information that would be used to improve health care delivery. It will develop an effective means for improving the health, safety, security, and well-being of high-risk residents and reduce the overall cost-efficiency of programs that address their medical needs.
“Layers of laws and bureaucratic hurdles significantly impede health data access and connections, while increasing costs,” O’Toole said. “Residents, especially those facing complex medical and social issues and those incurring the highest costs, rely on multiple public systems and services. Linking different datasets that already exist within these systems and programs is essential for a holistic understanding of patient needs.”
The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) to address several reported issues regarding the unsafe restraint of special education students, as depicted in a series of investigative reports by News 12 New Jersey’s “Kane in Your Corner.”
“We cannot turn a blind eye to the dangerous and sometimes deadly practice of prone restraint that some students with disabilities have been subjected to,” said O’Toole. “We owe it to the children to ensure that physical restraints are conducted safely when necessary, and to be transparent with parents whenever they occur.”
Editorial: In Redistricting Debate, N.J. Should Adopt Spirit of ’66 Rather than Constitutional Amendment
The following editorial by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-40) on a state constitutional amendment proposed by Democrats that would result in fewer competitive legislative elections was published by the Star-Ledger on NJ.com on December 23, 2015:
New Jersey’s Constitution was created to protect all citizens at the expense of political partisanship.
Unfortunately, as of late, the Democratic Party has begun a barrage of amendments to the constitution to protect the will of their political party at the direct expense of all New Jerseyans.
A glaring example of that is their last-minute push to pass SCR-188, a constitutional amendment that Democrats purport would create competitive elections. In fact, this amendment would enshrine in the constitution as many as 30 “safe” legislative districts, meaning taxation without representation for as many as 75 percent of voters.