Anti-burn furniture sought at colleges
Friday, June 23, 2006
In an action that stems from the fatal Seton Hall University fire of Jan. 19, 2000, the Assembly yesterday unanimously passed a bill that would require all public and private colleges and residential schools to have only fire-retardant furniture in dormitories, classrooms and public places.
Couches and other furniture caught fire in the public area on the third floor of Boland Hall at Seton Hall in South Orange, helping to produce flames and smoke that killed three students and in jured dozens of others.
"Unfortunately, the furniture purchased by many of New Jersey's colleges and universities is not fire- resistant," said Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), a prime sponsor of the measure. "Our institutions of higher education should be required to take fire safety into greater consideration when furnishing students' dormito ries and classrooms."
The bill (A1945) moves to the Senate for consideration. Additional penalties
linked to Megan's Law The Senate yesterday gave unanimous approval to a bill that would increase the penalties for sex offenders who fail to register under Megan's Law or who lie about where they are living.
Offenders who fail to register with the local police department within 48 hours of their release would be punished by a fine of up to $15,000, a jail term of three to five years or both, under the bill (S716).
Those who lie to police about where they live would face a fine of up to $10,000, a jail term of up to 18 months or both. An Assembly ver sion of the bill is awaiting action by the Judiciary Committee. Moving the disabled
to community settings The Assembly yesterday gave final legislative approval to a bill that would begin moving certain developmentally disabled people from state institutions to community housing.
The bill (S1090) stipulates that the Division of Developmental Disabilities must establish a plan to incrementally move residents who want to live in a "community setting."
There are seven developmental centers that are home to about 3,200 people -- half of whom state officials say want to move to a group home, a supervised apart ment, or return to their families.
The bill responds to a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring all states to help willing disabled people leave institutions, and a lawsuit by New Jersey Protection and Advocacy Inc. last year accusing the state of violating civil rights. It now will be considered by the governor. Letting the consumer
compare drug prices New Jersey residents would be able to comparison-shop on the Internet for prescription drugs under a bill that gained final legislative approval yesterday.
The bill would require the state to set up a Web site and toll-free number where shoppers can find retail prices of drugs at various pharmacies. The State Board of Pharmacy also would be required to provide the list of the 150 most popular prescription drugs to pharmacies.
In its original version, the bill would have required pharmacies to compile price lists of dozens of popular drugs and post them in their stores for shoppers to see. Lawmakers eliminated this provision after the N.J. Council of Chain Drug Stores, an industry lobbying group, complained. The bill (S1396) advances to the governor's desk. Ordering window guards
to prevent child deaths Responding to the deaths of three children in Newark, a bill that would toughen requirements on landlords to install window guards in condominiums, co-ops and rental housing won final legislative approval in the Assembly yesterday.
A law enacted 11 years ago re quired the window guards. This bill (A2023) would require a landlord to install metal stops to prevent the bottom window from being raised more than 4 inches. Window guards, missing the metal stops, were involved in two of the three fatal accidents. The bill heads to the governor's desk.
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06-23-2006, 08:05 AM #1
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Anti-burn furniture sought at colleges
06-23-2006, 08:13 AM #2
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