The ORANJ Legislative Committee Handbook contains material that is useful for ORANJ Legislative Committee members and for comparable committees at member CCRCs.
Much of the handbook is simply links to appropriate pages of the website of the New Jersey Legislature. Of special interest to seniors are Sections 3.6 – 3.9 which list the current legislators who are on the four committees of interest to ORANJ (the Senate and Assembly Committees for seniors and for veterans). The table in Section 3.13 lists New Jersey CCRCs, their legislative districts, and indicates whether their legislators are on any of the four committees of interest.
Section 1 – Scope of committee activity
- Identify State Laws that are relevant to CCRC residents.
- Identify new and existing NJ Legislative bills (Senate and Assembly)
- Review Laws and bills, identify sponsors, relevant committees and their members.
- Propose course of action by the Legislative Committee and its members.
- Write letters to Legislators requesting actions, modifications and providing support for selected bills.
- Visit Trenton, Legislators and others to make statements in support of our position.
- Coordinate our Committee activities with our Executive Committee, from time to time.
- Circulate information on bills and our activities to all ORANJ members.
- Issue statements to various news media to publicize our agreed position on certain issues, to gain support.
- Propose to our Executive changes to state laws and regulations, and new state laws, that will be of benefit to our members.
- Meet as a committee at reasonable intervals.
- Communicate by email as much as possible.
- Work with our Communications Committee, our other committees and other NJ organization to further our Committee aims and projects.
- Establish an annual committee budget when requested.
- Request our ORANJ members to support our activities on occasion, through telephone calls and letters.
Section 2 – New Jersey legislature
2.3 Amendments to a Bill in Legislative Debate
When a bill comes to the floor of the Senate or Assembly for debate and a vote, amendments may be offered during debate.
If the Legislative sponsor of the bill does not wish to consider an amendment, then the Legislator will request a motion to table the amendment. A vote is then taken on this motion.
If it succeeds, then the request for amendment is refused. Then the bill is called for a vote.
If the vote for tabling the amendment fails (the motion is not tabled), the Legislators then discuss and vote upon the amendment. This vote may succeed and the amendment is included in the bill, or it may fail and the discussion of the bill will continue.
Finally, the sponsor requests a call for the bill to be voted upon. When a majority agrees (usually a voice vote), the bill will be voted by the Legislature.
Section 3 – NJ Legislature districts, members and committees of interest
Committees of interest to ORANJ
“CCRC Legislators” are those from one of the 18 legislative districts where at least one CCRC is located. The districts with CCRCs are: 3 (one), 6 (two), 7 (one), 8 (three), 10 (two), 11 (three), 14 (two), 16 (one), 21 (one), 23 (two), 24 (one), 25 (one), 26 (one), 27 (one), 30 (one), 32 (one), 35 (one) 40 (one).
3.6 NJ – link to NJ website: Senate Committee for Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens
(Choose “Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens” from the list of committees in the right sidebar.)
3.9 link to NJ website: Assembly Committee for Military & Veteran’s Affairs
Choose “Military & Veteran’s Affairs” from the menu in the right sidebar.
3.12 “CCRC Legislators” & their Committees
There are 40 legislative districts. “CCRC Legislators” are those from one of the 18 legislative districts with a CCRC. The districts with CCRCs are: 3 (one), 6 (two), 7 (one), 8 (three), 10 (two), 11 (three), 14 (two), 16 (one), 21 (one), 23 (two), 24 (one), 25 (one), 26 (one), 27 (one), 30 (one), 32 (one), 35 (one) 40 (one).
To find the legislators in these districts, or any district, see Numerical List of Legislative Districts & their Legislators.
Click on the legislator’s name to learn the committee assignments. Sections 3.6 – 3.9 above list the names of legislators on committees of interest to ORANJ. The “CCRC Legislators” have links in those sections.
3.13 CCRC Legislative Districts
This table, current in January 2016, is an alphabetical listing of ORANJ members, their towns, legislative districts, and an indication of whether a legislator from the district is a member of one of the four committees dealing with seniors or veterans.
Ss=Senate/seniors, Sv=Senate/veterans, As=Assembly/seniors, Av=Assembly/veterans
Note:”CCRC Legislators” are those from one of the 18 legislative districts with a CCRC. The districts with CCRCs are: 3 (one), 6 (two), 7 (one), 8 (three), 10 (two), 11 (three), 14 (two), 16 (one), 21 (one), 23 (two), 24 (one), 25 (one), 26 (one), 27 (one), 30 (one), 32 (one), 35 (one) 40 (one).
Section 4 – Looking for bills of interest and forming a plan of action
- Talk to those in the office of your local Legislators (Senate and Assembly). Ask “What’s New?”
- Search on the web at www.njleg.state.nj.us by
- name of a committee: example Senior or Health
- latest Bill Numbers
- word: Health or Prescription Drugs, or Medicaid, or town tax
- name of your Legislator as a Bill Sponsor or co-sponsor
- Invite your Legislators to talk to your CCRC about events at Trenton, and local problems.
- Read the newspapers and watch TV!
- Contact ORANJ Committee persons within your CCRC and the ORANJ Executive Committee members.
- ORANJ Executive Committee will make recommendations to the ORANJ Legislative Committee, and agree on priorities.
The Legislative Committee member will prepare a “Position Paper” for review and acceptance by both the Legislative and Executive Committees. This will establish the guideline for further action.
Actions — not in any particular sequence or priority
If ORANJ decides to take further action along given guidelines for a given bill, (or propose a Bill), there are several actions that may follow. The sequence and steps taken may well vary.
- Search the Legislative web site (see above), and download the names of the Bill sponsors and the committees involved – both the Senate and Assembly. Also search for any other related Bills.
- Prepare an amended “Position Paper” setting out the ORANJ points of view, both pros and cons, and proposed actions.
- Write to the Trenton Committees’ Chairpersons and members offering comment. Ask to give written and oral comment at scheduled hearings
- Contact other CCRCs askin for write-in support to their Legislators and to the Trenton Legislators’ committees.
- Contact the sponsor and cosponsors if not on the above committees.
- Invite the Legislators to visit a CCRC (or the ORANJ committee), or ask to meet with the Legislator or Legislative Committee.
- Sponsor an ORANJ-wide individual write-in campaign to the Governor, Speaker, Whips, Majority and Minority Leaders, and all other Legislators.
- Email those listed in 7 above.
- Request a response to a “question and answer” or “for” or “against” message to selected (or all) legislators. Publish the results, either locally or statewide.
- Write articles for local or state newspapers on given topics setting out ORANJ attitudes.
- Contact other organizations and ally ourselves with those who agree with our point of view. These could include AARP, League of Women Voters, taxpayers associations (local and statewide), other senior groups.
- Contact our national organization (NaCCRA), and elicit support nationally. Share information.
Section 5 – Tips for meeting with a legislator
- Be on time;
- If several others are attending the meeting, decide in advance who will be the spokesperson, who will make the introductions — who you are and whom you represent;
- Whether alone or with a group, prepare a 90-second presentation that quickly identifies the issue of concern to you, and then be prepared to expand on it as time permits;
- Clearly state what you want;
- Leave a prepared fact sheet which outlines your pbasic message, plus your name and telephone number/email for more information; and
- Follow up with a letter thanking the legislator or aide for his/her time, confirming the points discussed and offering your assistance should additional information be needed. (For a member of Congress, this letter should either be faxed to their Washington office or mailed to their district office.)
Policy makers won’t think you are rude for stating what you want, and may think it odd of you if you don’t.Part of their job is to be asked, and part of your job is to ask.
You can’t be persuasive if you are not understood. Avoid jargon, technical terms or initials unless you are very certain they are being understood. Be prepared to go over the basics.
Staff is okay! Legislators rely heavily on their staff for information and advice, so don’t hold out to meet only with the legislator. The staff member can be a bridge to a future meeting with the legislator.
More tips on meeting with legislators from NFSC (Neighborhood Family Services Coalition).
Section 6 – New Jersey laws of interest
- NJ52:27D 330-358 – The NJ Act which describes CCRCs
- NJAC Title 5 Chapter 19 – CCRC Regulation and Financial Disclosure Act Regulations
- P.L. 2004 Chapter 41 (.pdf) – (Provider Bed Tax)
- P.L. 2004 Chapter 93 (.pdf) – Defibrillators in nursing homes
- P.L. 1999 Chapter 0332 (.pdf) – (S1273 IR) Right to Return Home
- P.L. 2006 Chapter 84 – Prescription Drug Retail Price Registry
- P.L. 2007 Chapter 192 – Resident Member on Board of Directors
- P.L. 2013 Chapter 167 – Bill of Rights for Continuing Care Retirement Communities Residents in Independent Living (update to P.L. 1986 c.103)
Section 7 – Bills of interest
At the top of Bills by Committee is a menu. Click the down arrow, select one of the four committees with “Bills of Interest.” They are: the Senate Committee for Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens; the Senate Law & Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee; the Assembly Committee for Health & Senior Services; and the Assembly Committee for Military and Veterans Affairs.
Section 8 – Useful websites
- http://www.nj.gov/grc/act.html (Freedom of Information)
- usa.gov (aka firstgov.gov)
- pueblo.gsa.gov/links (Federal Citizen Information Center)
- pueblo.gsa.gov/call/toll-free.htm (Federal toll-free numbers)
- house.gov (US House)
- senate.com (US Senate)
- loc.gov (Library of Congress)
- thomas.loc.gov (In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, Legislative information from the Library of Congress)
- bookstore.access.gpo.gov (US Government Bookstore)
- senatenj.com (NJ Senate Republicans)
- assemblydems.com (NJ)
- citizens4propertytaxreform.org (NJ)
- app.com Asbury Park Press Online
- nj.com (for NJ in general, and for several newspapers)
- njleg.state.nj.us/SelectMun.asp (form to send email to legislators)
- ncpssm.org (National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare)
- donotcall.gov (Do not call registry, 1-888-382-1222)
Section 9 – Organizations to contact when lobbying
- Leading Age
- AARP New Jersey
- League of Women Voters of New Jersey
- Leading Age New Jersey
- National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Last updated March 2015