2018 – 2019 New Jersey Legislative Session Summary

The New Jersey Legislature concluded its 2019-2019 Legislative session on January 13, 2020. The 219th legislative session began on January 14, 2020 and continues through January 2022.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network 2019 Legislative Priorities and their status:

Cancer Research, Prevention, and Early Detection
The budget for fiscal year 2020, saw funding maintained for vital cancer programs-- in this tight budget year, which saw substantial cuts in funding, we were pleased to see that our priorities remained in the budget.  

  • The 1% cigarette tax dedication that funds the state’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program is funded in the amount of $5,932,000.  New Jersey is spending $7,164,000 on tobacco control programs for FY2020.
  • $2 million in funding for the New Jersey Commission on Cancer (NJCCR).
  • State funding for the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection Program (NJCEED), with a total allocation of approximately $9.5 million in state funds. This important program provides low-income uninsured New Jersey residents with potentially lifesaving cancer screenings including mammograms, pap tests, and colonoscopies. With almost one million uninsured New Jerseyans, state funding for cancer screenings is of increased importance. 

Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

  • E-Cigarette Flavor Ban: On January 21, 2020, Governor Murphy signed A-3178/S-3265  into law. The law prohibits sale or distribution of flavored vapor products. We advocated for the legislation to include ALL flavored tobacco products but were unsuccessful getting menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars included. We plan to address the restriction of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars in the new legislative session.

Improving Quality of Life for Patients and Survivors

  • Palliative Care: On August 9, 2019, Governor Murphy signed A-312/S-2682 into law. The law creates a Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council to identify barriers to the availability of coordinated, supportive care during treatment from the beginning of diagnosis of serious diseases such as cancer. We have strongly advocated for this legislation since 2014.