New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco: NJMVC Fails to Demonstrate Plan to Meet Surge in Demand Upon Reopening

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Says Failure to Detail Staffing Plan Reminiscent of Predictable Failures in Unemployment System

Senator Anthony M. Bucco said the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) has failed to respond to his repeated requests to produce an overview of their reopening plan to demonstrate they will have sufficient capacity to handle a surge in customers that should be expected after agency offices have been closed for months.

Sen. Tony Bucco said the NJMVC has failed to respond to his repeated requests to produce an overview of their reopening plan to demonstrate they will have sufficient capacity to handle a surge in customers that should be expected after agency offices have been closed for months. (Wikimedia Commons)

“Most of our NJMVC agencies are mobbed on a good day with waiting times that can last hours,” said Bucco (R-25). “Unless they prepare a battle plan and significantly increase staffing for reopening, they should expect to be overwhelmed by many thousands of people who have waited months to get driver’s licenses, transfer titles, and conduct other critical transactions that cannot be completed online. I’ve been warning them for weeks to try to prevent a repeat of the staffing failures that led to our unemployment system being overwhelmed, but it doesn’t appear that anyone is listening.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Encouraged by NJDEP’s Changes to Management of Harmful Algal Blooms

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New Policies Would Allow Lakes to Safely Remain Open Longer, Allow People to Make Informed Choices

Senator Anthony M. Bucco said he is optimistic about changes announced by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) regarding the manner in which harmful algal blooms (HABs) in state lakes will be managed and communicated to the public going forward.

A New Jersey lake closed last year due to a HAB. Sen. Anthony M. Bucco said he is optimistic about changes announced by the NJDEP regarding the manner in which harmful algal blooms in state lakes will be managed and communicated to the public going forward. (SenateNJ.com)

“We were deeply concerned when Lake Hopatcong and other recreational lakes around New Jersey were shut down last year for much of the summer due to State standards for algal blooms that were much stricter than virtually anywhere else,” said Bucco (R-25). “That approach hit our lakeside communities and their economies hard. With the current economic challenges of COVID-19, I am encouraged by the fact that the NJDEP listened to our concerns and developed a much more reasonable and nuanced approach to managing algal blooms that will prevent unnecessary additional harm to our lakeside businesses.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Senator Bucco and Morris Business Leaders Release Economic Reopening Recommendations

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A Morris County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) Task Force launched in late April featuring business, health and government leaders formalized its recommended reopening plan today to save businesses and jobs, with safe, risk-based mitigation measures. State Senator Anthony Bucco (NJ-25) will be forwarding the plan to the Governor and legislative leaders encouraging the Murphy Administration to review and adopt its guidance. Bucco will also use insights gained from the conversation with business owners to advocate for additional changes across state government.

A Morris County Chamber of Commerce Task Force featuring business, health and government leaders formalized its recommended reopening plan today to save businesses and jobs, with safe, risk-based mitigation measures. Sen. Anthony Bucco will forward the plan to the Governor and legislative leaders encouraging the Murphy Administration to review and adopt its guidance. (©iStock)

The Task Force is chaired by Bruce Groves, President & CEO of Emilcott & Associates, an environmental health and safety firm, and the report received significant input from health executive and former hospital system CEO Joan White-Wagoner, as well as toxicologist and pathologist Deborah Barsotti, Ph.D. Mike Stanzilis Vice President of the Morris County Chamber also helped bring together key leaders from within the membership to support the Task Force.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Senate Approves Bipartisan Bucco Bill Extending Permits on Already-Approved Government and Private Projects

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Addresses Economic Crisis Created by COVID Lockdown Orders

Senator Anthony M. Bucco’s legislation that would extend the duration of existing permit approvals from state, county and municipal agencies for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency was approved by the Senate today and moves to the Governor’s desk for consideration.

Senator Bucco’s legislation, approved today by the Senate, would extend permits for already-approved projects and help pave the road for the state’s economic recovery once restrictions are lifted. (SenateNJ.com)

When the coronavirus pandemic hit and the Governor locked down the state, the majority of business and government projects screeched to a halt. Bucco’s bipartisan bill (A-3919/S-2346) would ensure those projects can resume without costly delays when restrictions are lifted.

“Work has been frozen. The economy was stopped in its tracks by strict social distancing orders to slow the spread of the virus,” said Senator Bucco (R-25). “Permit approvals can expire during indefinite delays, jeopardizing important construction and placing public and private investment at risk. Extending permits during the state of emergency will prevent important, already-approved work from being abandoned.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco-Sponsored Bill Protecting Already-Approved Private and Government Projects Advances

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Measure Extends Permits for Work Suspended Under Virus Restrictions

When the coronavirus pandemic hit and the Governor locked down the state, the majority of business and government projects screeched to a halt. Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco that would ensure those projects can continue when restrictions are lifted was approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Senator Bucco sponsors legislation, advanced by the Senate budget committee today, to extend permit approvals to ensure important work projects continue once COVID restrictions are lifted. (Wikimedia Commons)

The bipartisan bill, S-2346, would extend existing permit approvals from state, county and municipal agencies for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

“The economy has been stopped in its tracks by strict social distancing orders intended to slow the spread of virus,” said Senator Bucco (R-25). “Work projects have been frozen. Permit approvals can expire during indefinite delays, jeopardizing important construction and placing public and private investment at risk. Extending permits during the state of emergency will prevent important, already-approved work from being abandoned.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Calls for Heightened Staffing Upon MVC Reopening

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In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Senator Anthony M. Bucco wrote a letter to New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commissioner Sue Fulton requesting an overview of agency’s reopening plan.

Sen. Anthony M. Bucco wrote a letter to MVC Commissioner Sue Fulton requesting an overview of agency’s reopening plan. (Wikimedia Commons)

“It’s no secret the MVC is overwhelmed and understaffed on a good day, but I can only imagine the chaos that will ensue upon their reopening, particularly with social distancing and capacity limits in place,” said Bucco (R-25). “While much of the agency is at a standstill, now is the time to strategize to ensure a smooth transition back to ‘normalcy.’ When the MVC reopens their doors, New Jersey residents deserve fully prepared and efficient local agencies, road testing, and inspection facilities across the state.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Introduces Initial Series of Bills to Support Frontline Workers Experiencing PTSD

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One Measure Creates Toll-Free Hotline, Another Calls for Federal Assistance

Senator Anthony M. Bucco has introduced a pair of bills to help front line healthcare workers and first responders who are suffering from the stresses of responding to COVID-19. The first bill creates a toll-free hotline they can call for support, while a resolution calls on the federal government to provide additional resources to combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Sen. Anthony Bucco has introduced a pair of bills to help front line healthcare workers and first responders who are suffering from the stresses of responding to COVID-19. (SenateNJ.com)

“While the overall number of COVID cases throughout New Jersey is dropping, the psychological toll experienced by healthcare workers through constant exposure to sickness, fatalities, and the tragedy of it all remains,” said Bucco (R-25). “Those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder deserve quick and proper assistance to help them better cope with all they have experienced. I am proud to team with Rutgers University to create a 24/7 helpline that will provide an outlet for our healthcare and first responder heroes to safely share their thoughts and connect with peer support and counseling services.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Commends Pay Increase for Direct Support Professionals Who Assist Individuals With Disabilities During COVID-19

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco applauded the three-month temporary salary raise for Direct Support Professionals (DSP) working with the more than 30,000 New Jersey residents with disabilities amid the pandemic.

Sen. Anthony M. Bucco applauded the three-month temporary salary raise for Direct Support Professionals working with residents with disabilities amid the pandemic. (SenateNJ.com)

“DSPs provide invaluable, hands-on support to those in our communities with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping to enrich their lives on a daily basis,” said Bucco (R-25). “The growing DSP shortage was threatening the health and safety of our family members, friends, and neighbors with disabilities across the Garden State. This salary increase will help lower the high turnover rates and attract more to this profession throughout this COVID-19 crisis.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Legislation Would Create PTSD Program for COVID-19 Healthcare Workers & First Responders

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco will introduce legislation to support the mental health needs of COVID-19 healthcare workers and first responders.

Sen. Anthony M. Bucco will introduce legislation to support the mental health needs of COVID-19 healthcare workers and first responders. (Flickr)

“Our healthcare heroes are on the front lines fighting the worst pandemic we have seen in a century. While the physical toll of combating COVID-19 day in and day out is exhausting, the mental toll is devastating, and can be deadly,” said Bucco (R-25). “We must ensure that our hospital workers and first responders have the proper tools and resources they need to cope with the trauma and stress they have endured.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Teams with Morris County Fire Chiefs to Provide PPE to NJ Firemen’s Home

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Urges Fire Departments to Contribute Protective Gear for the Care of Facility Residents

The New Jersey Firemen’s Home in Boonton is fighting an outbreak of COVID-19 that has sickened residents and staff members, and the facility is in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers.

Sen. Bucco shared word of the urgent need for personal protective equipment to ensure the health of residents and workers at the New Jersey Firemen’s Home in Boonton. (SenateNJ.com)

“There is a critical need for medical masks, gloves and gowns to protect the health of nurses and other workers as well as the retired firefighters who reside at the home,” said Senator Anthony M. Bucco. “The pandemic has significantly increased the demand for protective health gear, and there is a temporary shortage as manufacturers struggle to keep pace. The challenge right now is getting the existing stocks to the front lines where they are needed the most. The Firemen’s Home has been hard hit by the virus and is in urgent need of PPE.”

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