Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Legislative Roundup

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Legislative Roundup

Article excerpt

A full voting session of the state Senate led to the passage of several bills on Monday, including one that limits firearm magazines to 10 rounds, but still needs Assembly approval before heading to Governor Christie. Also approved was a bill regulating state privatization contracts. The Senate created a panel that would study ways to make college more affordable.

* Magazine capacity limit: Lawmakers debated the bill on the Senate floor for 45 minutes Monday, with Republicans arguing it would do little to reduce gun violence or save lives and Democrats countering that forcing gunmen to change magazines more frequently gives people more time to escape during mass shootings.

The 10-round restriction passed along party lines in a 22-17 vote. The Assembly, which passed it 46-31 in March, will need to vote on it again to approve an amendment added by the Senate.

"Today we're taking another step to fulfill a promise that many of us here made to the parents of children of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut," said state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D- Teaneck, one of the bill's sponsors.

But Sen. Gerald Cardinale, R-Demarest, said the limit would not have much effect because "the criminals and the mentally unstable are not going to worry about this law."

Christie hasn't said whether he supports the measure.

* Adoption rule changes: The Senate approved Governor Christie's changes to a bill that would allow adoptees more access to birth records Monday.

Under the bill, a long-form birth certificate would be available to adoptees in most circumstances once they turned 18. Parents could specify what kinds of contact they preferred from three choices: direct interaction with the child, contact through an intermediary or a preference for privacy with only medical information being shared.

Christie's veto of the original bill passed by the Legislature allowed for a longer transitional period for parents to file their preferences.

For adoptions after Aug. …

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