Ask The Senator: Shore Senator Jim Holzapfel seeking stricter penalties for heinous crimes
Finding solutions to end New Jersey's drug epidemic, enforcing stricter penalties on child porn peddlers, protecting pets from animal cruelty and child safety near school buses were among vocal points Shore Senator Jim Holzapfel made on Ask The Senator this week on WOBM.
Anyone making or selling fentanyl drugs in New Jersey would face even stricter penalties under a bill being pressed onward by Holzapfel.
He addressed one callers fears on the problem by explaining that his measure would make it a first degree crime.
"If someone goes out and is prepared to deal death, then they should be prepared to the substantial sentence so when they come out they won't be in this business any longer," said Holzapfel.
He adds the bill would make a first degree offense a 10-20-year sentence in prison and put the dealers behind bars.
"Any of these individuals who are the dealers, and major dealers at that...I'm not talking about the simple user...any dealers you can take off the street has got to help," said Holzapfel.
New Jersey's 10th-Legislative District continues their efforts to enforce stricter penalties on people committing the heinous crime of child porn possession and distribution.
Legislation recently introduced by Holzapfel would hold everyone involved accountable but penalties for the leader of a network would be the most severe offense.
"It's no less than 10-20-years in state prison and it would qualify for the 85-percent rule," said Holzapfel, which means a prisoner must serve 85-percent of their sentence.
He says network leaders are often found in possession of a disturbing amount of images and it needs to stop.
"Some of these guys have hundreds of thousands of these photographs that they disseminate," said Holzapfel.
Holzapfel joined alongside Shore Senator Bob Singer have worked on a bill that passed the senate in March to protect pets from cruel treatment by their owners.
Holzapfel said it's mind boggling that owners of pets would treat a member of their family so poorly and abuse them.
"Why would you have them in a circumstance where it can't get out from under the bad weather, it doesn't have anything to eat or drink, and it has a heavy chain tied to a tree at a 10-foot length?" said Holzapfel. "It's things you wouldn't want to do to something that you love, yet there are people out there that do it."
Under the legislation owners would face hefty penalties for violating the law may even lose custody of their pet.
A similar bill passed through the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Thursday introduced by Senator Christopher "Kip" Bateman which would make trafficking stolen pets a third degree offense.
We've all seen it done and unfortunately on a daily basis, and hopefully none of us are guilty of doing it ourselves...passing a school bus while its flashing its stop sign and lights at a pickup of kids heading to school.
Passed in January in the senate, a bill introduced by Holzapfel allows buses to use video monitoring cameras to catch drivers trying to pass them on the road which puts kids at risk of being hit by you or another car.
"I wouldn't wish this on anyone, but if it was your child that gets killed...then all of the sudden everyone's going to ask, 'what can we do?' or 'why didn't we do it?'," said Holzapfel.
He explains that if you do choose to break the law, fines of up to $500.00 and points off your license will head your way.
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