A4576/S1771 Passes the NJ Legislature, Heads to the Governor’s Desk – NJAID Press Release

A4576/S1771 passed yesterday in the NJ legislature. The vote was 47-22 with 1 abstention in the Assembly and 36-0 in the Senate! It now heads to the Governor’s desk, and he has 7 days to sign it into law. NJAID’s press release is here. Please call Governor Christie’s office, 609 292-6000, and ask him to sign A4576 into law! It’s time to bring fair and reasonable prison and jail phone rates to New Jersey.

Note: New Jersey’s Rate Payer Counsel Stefanie Brand sent the following letter in support of the bill to the entire legislature:
Rate Payer Counsel Letter in Support of S1771 & A4576.

Calls Needed – S1771/A4576 both up for floor votes on Monday. Call Your Legislators and Ask for a Yes Vote!

We are very close to getting phone rates legislation! Both S1771 and A4576 will be posted for floor votes on Monday, the last day of the legislative session.

Call your legislators Monday between 9am and noon and tell them to vote to reduce prison and jail phone rates! We need Yes votes on S1771/A4576!

You can find your legislators here.

A4576 Posted for a Vote in the Assembly Jan 11th at 1pm – Calls Still Needed to Senate President Sweeney

A4576 has been posted for a vote in the Assembly on January 11th at 1pm!

Please continue to call NJ Senate President Sweeney and urge him to post the prison and jail phone rates bill for floor votes by January 11, 2016. This will be the last floor vote before the new legislative session.

Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (856) 251-9801 (West Deptford)
(856) 339-0808 (Salem)

Here’s a sample script:

I am calling to ask Senator Sweeney to post S1771 for a floor vote. It is a bill to reduce phone rates for people incarcerated in New Jersey, including immigrant detainees. Studies have shown that maintaining relationships outside of prison helps with re-entry. Also, detainees need reasonable phone rates, not only to stay in touch with their loved ones, but to help prepare their immigration cases. Government and private prison companies should not be profiting off of those who can least afford it.

Calls of support for the bill can go to Senator Turner’s office as well:
(609) 323-7239

Our fact sheet on the bill is here.

Bill sponsors and status:
S1771 is sponsored by Senator Turner and co-sponsored by Senator Weinberg and passed the Senate Law & Public Safety committee unanimously in June 2015 and passed the Senate Budget committee in December.
A4576 is sponsored by Gordon Johnson and Benjie Wimberly and passed the Assembly Appropriations committee in December.

Calls Needed to Pass Phone Rates Bill, S1771/A4576

Please help call NJ Assembly and Senate leaders and urge them to post the prison and jail phone rates bill for floor votes by January 11, 2016. This will be the last floor vote before the new legislative session.

Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (856) 251-9801 (West Deptford) (856) 339-0808 (Salem)
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (201) 770-1303 (Secaucus)

Here’s a sample script:

I am calling to ask [Senator Sweeney/Assembly Speaker Prieto] to post S1771/A4576 for a floor vote. It is a bill to reduce phone rates for people incarcerated in New Jersey, including immigrant detainees. Studies have shown that maintaining relationships outside of prison helps with re-entry. Also, detainees need reasonable phone rates, not only to stay in touch with their loved ones, but to help prepare their immigration cases. Government and private prison companies should not be profiting off of those who can least afford it.

Bill sponsors and status:
S1771 is sponsored by Senator Turner and co-sponsored by Senator Weinberg and passed the Senate Law & Public Safety committee unanimously in June 2015 and passed the Senate Budget committee in December.
A4576 is sponsored by Gordon Johnson and Benjie Wimberley and passed the Assembly Appropriations committee in December.