Legislators Monday will have a busy day both in the Senate and Assembly as they vote on a number of bills, some health-related.
Laws on gestational carrier agreements, hepatitis C testing, dementia, the reopening of a psychiatric hospital, earned sick leave and opioid prescription warning stickers are at the top of the list on the health care front.
The Senate will vote on a bill that would allow gestational carrier agreements — where a woman agrees to carry and give birth to a child that is not genetically related to her — for an individual or couples seeking to expand their families.
The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Act would outline specific guidelines that the carrier and the intended parents must follow when writing up agreements, including that the carrier be at least 21 years old and have already given birth to at least one child.
Medical and psychological evaluations would be required, according to the bill.
“Some couples spend years trying IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and other fertility treatments, and it takes its toll physically and emotionally,” bill sponsor Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, said in a statement. “This is not a controversial issue; both liberal and conservative states already have similar laws.”
Other bills up for a vote in the Senate on Monday focus on hospitals and health care professionals offering rapid hepatitis C testing to people born between 1945 and 1965, medical records including notations of patients at-risk of wandering due to dementia and the reopening of Hagedorn Gero-Psychiatric Hospital.
Bill sponsors said they want to reopen the Hunterdon County hospital for senior citizens with severe mental illnesses who are living in overcrowded facilities. The state shut down the hospital in 2012 under former Gov. Chris Christie.
Legislators in the Assembly will review concerns on a bill that would require New Jersey employers to give earned paid sick leave to workers in the state.
Employees would be able to accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, according to the bill.
“Workers should not have to choose between caring for their health and keeping their paychecks or jobs,” Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, D-Camden, Burlington, said in a statement. “Guaranteeing workers the ability to earn paid sick days would help ensure workers do not have to choose between their health and their economic security.”
A bill sponsored by Assemblymen Vincent Mazzeo and John Armato, both D-Atlantic, on the implementation of opioid prescription warning labels will get a second reading in the full Assembly on Monday.