State Senate passes dozens of bills

Lawmakers in the state Senate were busy Monday passing dozens of new bills.

The State Senate passes dozens of bills in New Jersey

The State Senate passes dozens of bills in New Jersey (5/18/15)

TRENTON - Lawmakers in the state Senate were busy Monday passing dozens of new bills.

One bill uses the power of fighting organized crime to stop dog-fighting rings. Using the RICO act, which targets racketeering, those found guilty of organizing dog-fighting rings can get harsher penalties.

"This legislation makes restitution to take care of the dogs involved in dog fighting, so they don't have to be put down," says Sen. Ray Lesniak. A similar bill has been introduced in the Assembly.

Another bill passed by the Senate aims to improve transparency at the New York and New Jersey Port Authority.  The bill would make the organization subject to New York and New Jersey public record laws.

Gov. Chris Christie previously vetoed a Port Authority reform bill.

State senators also passed a bill that would allow kids to make money shoveling neighbor's driveways without getting a permit from a town. This was in response to a case in Bound Brook in January where two teens were asked to stop soliciting shoveling jobs.

Finally, several bills were passed restricting standardized testing in New Jersey schools. One such bill includes a plan to ban standardized testing in kindergarten and first and second grade.

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