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

Diegnan Bill to Help Prevent Over-the-Counter
Drug Abuse Signed Into Law

Measure Prohibits Sale of DXM-Containing Products to Minors 

(South Plainfield) - Legislation Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-18) sponsored to ban the sale of certain over-the-counter medications to young people in New Jersey is now law. The new law (A-622/1469) prohibits the sale of dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors. Under the measure, any person who sells a product containing DXM as an active ingredient to someone under 18 years of age is subject to a maximum civil penalty of $750. The provisions of the law do not apply to a prescription medication dispensed by a pharmacist pursuant to a valid prescription. The law also requires the Department of Health to include a comprehensive list of products that contain DXM as an active ingredient on its website. "When used as directed, products that contain DXM are safe and effective, but when they are abused - which, unfortunately, has become a trend - they can cause a great deal of harm or even be fatal," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). "This law is not only a major step toward preventing young people 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. The new law will take effect on Feb. 1, 2016.

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


patriots corner

Excerpts from Diegnan Unveiling of ‘Patriots Corner,’ Commemorating Active Duty NJ Service Members from NJ Assembly Democratic Office on Vimeo.

Leader in the District

Diegnan a Guest of Honor at India Day Parade
“I had a great time at the India Day Parade and am extremely proud that our district hosts such a successful and internationally renowned celebration of Indian heritage.” –Patrick J. Diegnan Jr.
By: Marc Krauss, tapinto.net
EDISON, NJ - The 11th Annual Official New Jersey India Day Parade took place on Oak Tree Road, New Jersey’s little India. Official estimates place the attendance at 38,000. The parade commenced in Edison and concluded on India Square, in Iselin. The over 1 mile parade route was filled with spectators, in many instances three and four rows deep.

“The success of today’s parade is due to the efforts of many, including our sponsors and volunteers,” Dhiren Amin, president of IBA said.

The largest parade to date, the festivities included marching bands, over 20 floats and dozens of walking groups. Six Bollywood stars, including talk show host Richa Anirudh and “Calendar Girls”Avani Modi, attended the parade. Rounding out the galaxy of celebrities were Prachee Shah, Madalsa Sherma, Sameksha Singh, and Sujata Mehta.

“This was so amazing, a real tribute to India,” Richa Anirudh added.

They were joined by an assortment of state wide elected officials, including Congressman Frank Pallone, State Senators Ray Lesniak and Sam Thompson, Assemblypersons Craig Coughlin, Patrick Diegnan, and Nancy Pinkin, Middlesex County Freeholder Ken Armwood, and Newark councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins. Leading the political delegation were Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey and Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac.

The parade featured a 110 member marching band. Additional highlights included the floats by the Edison Democrat Organization, Air India, TV Asia, Oxigen, Investors Bank, and the SriVari Balaji Temple. Over 100 New Jersey based organizations participated. There were several dance groups as well.

“No matter where Indian immigrate to, they continue to be filled with passion for India,” Calendar Girls, Avani Modi commented.

Another unique feature of the parade was the Young Entrepreneurial Society, a new subchapter of IBA.

“They are our future, we a building for tomorrow” Chandrakant Patel, Chairman for IBA explained.

“We need to promote our local talent,” Manher Shah, IBA trustee added. “New Jersey is filled with young talented artists.”

Oak Tree Road is an internationally known business district filled with Indian stores and restaurants. Mahesh Shah, IBA trustee, described the area as “our Time Square” Asian Indians account for 12.93% of the Middlesex County's total population.viewing Implementation & Participation in the PARCC Test in NJ (A-4165 & A-4190)