Exploring Legislation Initiatives
The New Year began with a new legislative session which brought in a new Governor, many returning legislators and new members in a few districts. The new session included key changes. These changes included Annette Quijano (D-20) coming in as the new Chair of the Judiciary Committee in the Assembly and Craig Coughlin (D-19) as the new Speaker in the Assembly.
The primary sponsors of shared equal parenting legislation re-introduced the bills early in the new session, S273 and A1091. The year for FAN-PAC began with a meeting with the New Jersey Bar Association Family Law Section. This meeting was brokered by Jason Redd, the chief strategist for Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-3). FANPAC was joined at the meeting by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39) and Annette Chaparro (D-33). Both legislative partners were steadfast in support of the legislation while the Bar Association was opposed.
At the end of the last session these bills had twelve sponsors in both houses of the legislature. By the close of the 1st quarter of 2018 there were 18 named sponsors. FAN-PAC expects to announce an additional set of sponsors in the 2nd quarter. FAN-PAC representatives met with fifteen legislators and staff from January through April. This included a day at the Statehouse in Trenton where FAN-PAC met with Eric Peterson (R-23), John DiMaio (R-23) who are both primary sponsors in the Assembly. FAN-PAC also met with Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-31) in the halls of the Statehouse, where he agreed to co-sponsor . the bill FAN-PAC will be conducting a campaign in the Statehouse beginning June 11th. FAN-PAC has been granted exclusive access to promote shared equal parenting legislation in the halls of the Statehouse. This event is to thank all legislators who are currently supporting these bills and to increase awareness throughout the Trenton government community about the importance of this legislation.
The Democratic Party maintains a majority in both houses of the legislature. With the election of Phil Murphy, the Governor’s mansion is also held by the Democratic Party. FAN-PAC is working towards securing the support of additional Democratic Party leaders in both houses and within the Governor’s office.
There is no question FAN-PAC has made great strides in securing support from both sides of the aisle.
It is also important to note the support of both women and men legislators. FAN-PAC will continue the efforts to highlight the positive impact this legislation will have on society. Each child this legislation protects from the conflict of separating parents is one more future mother or father who will have the tools to raise their own children in a healthy environment.