Leader in Education:

Diegnan on Reviewing Implementation & Participation in the PARCC Test in NJ (A-4165 & A-4190) from NJ Assembly Democratic Office on Vimeo.

In this video press release, Assembly Education Committee Chair Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. (D-Middlesex) discusses his legislation that examines the current implementation of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) standardized test in New Jersey's schools.
The PARCC is replacing the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge and will be administered to all students in grades 3-11 in March.
Diegnan's parental opt-out legislation (A-4165) was slated for discussion only in the Education Committee.
The second bill (A-4190) would prohibit the state Department of Education from using the PARCC test to determine a student's placement in a gifted and talented program, placement in another program or intervention, grade promotion, as the state graduation proficiency test, or as a component of any evaluation rubric submitted to the DOE for three years, beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.

Breaking news

Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan Receives Legislative Award

(Picture from L-R: Linda Piff, Patrick Diegnan, Anna Marie Pittella and Shireen Meistrich)

South Plainfield - Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) was recognized for his outstanding leadership by the New Jersey Council of Collaborative Practice Groups at a reception held at Olio’s in Woodbridge. Asm. Diegnan was a prime sponsor and spearheaded passage of the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act (NJFCLA) in the State Legislature.

The new law, P.L. 2014, C. 50, empowers families to divorce with dignity and self-esteem, without resort to conventional litigation. Widely praised, the new bipartisan law passed all legislative committees and both Houses without a single ‘no’ vote. The new law gained widespread endorsement of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), New Jersey Law Revision Commission (NJLRC), and all five New Jersey Uniform Law Commissioners.
Speaking upon passage of the new Act, Asm. Diegnan said, "Our judicial system benefits when everyone sits down together and collaboratively work out solutions to issues that a family understands far better than any judge, attorney or third party. You get better outcomes when people respectfully talk out their problems instead of running towards the courtroom."
This unified and cooperative effort to secure enactment of the new law was led by Council Co-Chairs Linda Piff, Esquire, Anna Maria Pittella, Esquire, and Shireen Meistrich, LCSW and members of the Council’s Legislative Committee.

Linda Piff, a national expert on collaborative law from Wall Township, said, "Thanks to Assemblyman Diegnan, the new law will empower families to divorce with privacy and dignity and avoid the emotional and financial strain of conventional litigation. Collaborative law is a powerful idea whose time has come."

The NJ Council of Collaborative Practice Groups also recognized Thomas Lynch, Chief of Staff to Asm. Diegnan, and Laura C. Tharney, Esq., Executive Director of the NJ Law Revision Commission for their outstanding service.
The New Jersey Council of Collaborative Practice Groups supports excellence among the community of collaborative professionals, and promotes and expands the use of quality Collaborative Practice throughout New Jersey. The Council serves as a unified voice and central resource for education, training, networking and development of standards of practice as well as expanding public and professional awareness.

My political philosophy:

These are challenging times for our state and our nation. For the first time many Americans fear for the future of their children and grandchildren. We are the greatest democracy in the history of mankind. We must work together, regardless of party affiliation, to return New Jersey to its history of achievement and innovation. This is where Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein literally changed the world as we know it. Where Frank Sinatra taught us about "My Way" . . . where The Boss was Born to Run and Boni Jovi told us to Make a Memory. I am a firm believer that New Jersey's best days lie ahead and I am proud and honored to be able to contribute to that bright future as a member of the legislature.

– Assemblyman Partick Diegnan
18th Legislative District

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Leader in the District

Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan Teams With Councilwoman Rasmussen on Bill to Prevent Drug Abuse Gains Approval

(Picture  L-R: Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, Councilman James Wallace, Councilwoman Dorothy Rasmussen, Senator Peter Barnes and Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan)

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan has unanimously passed the Assembly Health Committee  and heads to Assembly for floor vote.

The bill  A-622  prohibits sale of dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors. Under the bill, any person who sells a product containing DXM as an active ingredient to someone under 18 years of age would be subject to a maximum civil penalty of $750. The provisions of the bill would not apply to a prescription medication dispensed by a pharmacist pursuant to a valid prescription.

The bill would also require the Department of Health to include a comprehensive list of products that contain DXM as an active ingredient on its website  for use by pharmacies and stores .“When used as directed, products that contain DXM are safe and effective, but when they are abused – which, unfortunately, has become a trend  among young people  – they can cause a great deal of harm or even be fatal,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This legislation is not only a major step toward preventing teenagers from purchasing dangerous over-the-counter drugs but also a declaration to them that these products can be just as hazardous as the alcohol and cigarettes they’re also barred from buying.”

DXM is an active ingredient found in many cough suppressants and cold medicines in the form of over-the-counter cough syrup and cough and cold tablets or gel caps.  Brand names include Vicks 44, Robitussin Maximum Strength and St. Joseph Cough Suppressant. Assemblyman Diegnan credited Metuchen Borough Councilmember Dorothy Rasmussen with bringing the problem to his attention.  "Councilmember Rasmussen has been a tireless advocate for young people threatened by addiction from what may be perceived as the harmless act of purchasing a bottle of cough medicine.  I want to publicly thank her for her invaluable assistance in advancing this bill towards becoming the law of New Jersey."