Governor’s Sixth Veto of Family Planning Funding

Puts New Jersey Women’s Health at Risk

TRENTON, NJ – Last night, Governor Christie vetoed legislation restoring $7.5 million in critical funding for family planning services in the state budget needed to keep New Jersey residents healthy. This comes on the heels of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey’s report, Women’s Health at Risk, which reveals that more than 1.1 million New Jersey women need contraceptive supplies and services and four out of five women with HIV/AIDS are women of color. 

“Family planning is essential health care that women rely on in our state, including cancer screenings and affordable birth control,” said Roslyn Rogers Collins, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metro New Jersey. “Each veto is playing politics with women’s lives.”

In 2010, the Governor eliminated $7.45 million as a state budget line item for family planning and other preventive services including cancer screenings, birth control, testing for and treatment of STIs, breast health services and PAP tests. The funding was never used for abortion services. The Governor has now vetoed legislation to restore the funding six times.

“For many women and teens, accessing family planning services is a primary source of medical care. Many patients only enter the health care delivery system via their need for reproductive health care,” said Lynn Brown, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey. “Without these services, a chasm has opened in the health care delivery system in our state that could have been reduced by restoring these critical funds.”

The Women’s Health at Risk report details the status of women’s reproductive health in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties, compiling gaps in health insurance coverage, incidences of sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy rates and cancer cases across the state. The report also reveals that women of color represent a disproportionate number of New Jersey residents suffering from lack of access to health care. 

“The elimination of family planning funding from the state budget ignores the impact a lack of access to health care has within communities of color,” said Triste Brooks, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern New Jersey. “This funding was a critical step to address the fact that women of color experience higher rates of reproductive cancers, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections than most other groups of Americans.”

African-American women are 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women and Latinas are 20 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women. Latinas are also more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than women of any other racial or ethnic group and African-American women with cervical cancer are twice as likely to lose their lives to this disease than are white women.

In addition to family planning funding bridging a gap in health care access for women across New Jersey, research released by the Guttmacher Institute also shows that investing in family planning services not only provides women with more control over their health, but also proves to be smart fiscal policy for the state. For every $1 we invest in family planning services, we save $7 in the long run. And in 2010 alone, the services provided at publicly funded family planning centers in New Jersey helped save $275,766,000 in public funds.

Governor’s Sixth Veto of Family Planning Funding

Puts New Jersey Women’s Health at Risk

TRENTON, NJ – Last night, Governor Christie vetoed legislation restoring $7.5 million in critical funding for family planning services in the state budget needed to keep New Jersey residents healthy. This comes on the heels of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey’s report, Women’s Health at Risk, which reveals that more than 1.1 million New Jersey women need contraceptive supplies and services and four out of five women with HIV/AIDS are women of color. 

“Family planning is essential health care that women rely on in our state, including cancer screenings and affordable birth control,” said Roslyn Rogers Collins, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metro New Jersey. “Each veto is playing politics with women’s lives.”

In 2010, the Governor eliminated $7.45 million as a state budget line item for family planning and other preventive services including cancer screenings, birth control, testing for and treatment of STIs, breast health services and PAP tests. The funding was never used for abortion services. The Governor has now vetoed legislation to restore the funding six times.

“For many women and teens, accessing family planning services is a primary source of medical care. Many patients only enter the health care delivery system via their need for reproductive health care,” said Lynn Brown, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey. “Without these services, a chasm has opened in the health care delivery system in our state that could have been reduced by restoring these critical funds.”

The Women’s Health at Risk report details the status of women’s reproductive health in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties, compiling gaps in health insurance coverage, incidences of sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy rates and cancer cases across the state. The report also reveals that women of color represent a disproportionate number of New Jersey residents suffering from lack of access to health care. 

“The elimination of family planning funding from the state budget ignores the impact a lack of access to health care has within communities of color,” said Triste Brooks, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern New Jersey. “This funding was a critical step to address the fact that women of color experience higher rates of reproductive cancers, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections than most other groups of Americans.”

African-American women are 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women and Latinas are 20 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women. Latinas are also more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than women of any other racial or ethnic group and African-American women with cervical cancer are twice as likely to lose their lives to this disease than are white women.

In addition to family planning funding bridging a gap in health care access for women across New Jersey, research released by the Guttmacher Institute also shows that investing in family planning services not only provides women with more control over their health, but also proves to be smart fiscal policy for the state. For every $1 we invest in family planning services, we save $7 in the long run. And in 2010 alone, the services provided at publicly funded family planning centers in New Jersey helped save $275,766,000 in public funds.

Pallone Announces Completion of Phase One of Port Monmouth Flood Control Project

LONG BRANCH, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced the completion of the first phase of the Port Monmouth Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project. This $18 million project will reduce the risks that coastal storms pose to residents and businesses in the Port Monmouth area.  The project is federally funded through the Sandy relief package that Pallone fought for and helped to pass in Congress. For the announcement in Bayshore Waterfront Park, Congressman Pallone was joined by Colonel David Caldwell, Commander of the New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Continue reading Pallone Announces Completion of Phase One of Port Monmouth Flood Control Project

Pallone Announces Completion of Phase One of Port Monmouth Flood Control Project

LONG BRANCH, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced the completion of the first phase of the Port Monmouth Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project. This $18 million project will reduce the risks that coastal storms pose to residents and businesses in the Port Monmouth area.  The project is federally funded through the Sandy relief package that Pallone fought for and helped to pass in Congress. For the announcement in Bayshore Waterfront Park, Congressman Pallone was joined by Colonel David Caldwell, Commander of the New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Continue reading Pallone Announces Completion of Phase One of Port Monmouth Flood Control Project

Annual Arts and Crafts Fair Held in Conjunction with Town Street Fair and Film One Fest

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – The Atlantic Highlands Historical Society will be hosting its annual Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday July 18th from 10AM to 4PM at Veteran’s Park on First Ave.

Participants will be on hand with their art, various hand made craft items, and hand made jewelry. In conjunction with the town street fair you will enjoy music, entertainers, and activities for the children, and a variety of food and refreshments provided by local restaurants.  The Society will hold a chance auction to benefit the Society’s restoration and maintenance of the Strauss Mansion Museum.

Continue reading Annual Arts and Crafts Fair Held in Conjunction with Town Street Fair and Film One Fest

Annual Arts and Crafts Fair Held in Conjunction with Town Street Fair and Film One Fest

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – The Atlantic Highlands Historical Society will be hosting its annual Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday July 18th from 10AM to 4PM at Veteran’s Park on First Ave.

Participants will be on hand with their art, various hand made craft items, and hand made jewelry. In conjunction with the town street fair you will enjoy music, entertainers, and activities for the children, and a variety of food and refreshments provided by local restaurants.  The Society will hold a chance auction to benefit the Society’s restoration and maintenance of the Strauss Mansion Museum.

Continue reading Annual Arts and Crafts Fair Held in Conjunction with Town Street Fair and Film One Fest

Hacked Smartphones Mine for Bitcoins

New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Federal Trade Commission, Reach Settlement with Developer of Mobile App

NEWARK – In another victory for the security of New Jersey residents’ computers and mobile devices, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has joined with the Federal Trade Commission in a settlement with the makers of “Prized,” a mobile app that allegedly hacked Android smartphones and/or tablets with harmful malware.

Specifically, the State and the FTC allege that consumers who downloaded Prized onto their devices were also unwittingly downloading malicious software that infected their devices and caused them to “mine” for virtual currencies such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Quarkcoin.

But the “mining” process – which is highly strenuous on computers and even more so for smartphones and tablets – allegedly harmed the owners of the infected devices, and had the potential to leave the devices barely functional.  The smartphone and tablet owners faced the possibility of increased costs for electricity and data usage; shortened life spans for their devices; and money, time, and effort involved in removing the malware.

The defendants in this matter, Ohio-based app developer Equiliv Investments and Ryan Ramminger, offered the Prized app through websites such as the Google Play and Amazon app stores.  

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said, “Consumers downloaded this app thinking that at the very worst it would not be as useful or entertaining as advertised.  Instead, the app allegedly turned out to be a Trojan horse for intrusive, invasive malware that was potentially damaging to expensive smartphones and other mobile devices.”

The Division and the FTC today obtained a settlement with Equiliv Investments and Ramminger in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, in which the defendants are prohibited from marketing or selling products that function as malware, and from using misrepresentations in the sale or advertisement of software products. 

In addition, the defendants must, for the next 20 years, regularly provide the Division and the FTC with financial, personnel, and other records intended to help ensure their full compliance with the terms of the settlement as well as with the Federal Trade Act and Consumer Fraud Act.  The defendants also must pay $5,200 to reimburse the State of New Jersey’s investigative and legal costs.  An additional $44,800 payment will be suspended and vacated within three years, provided the defendants comply with the full terms of the Order. 

The defendants have removed the Prized app from the Google Play and Amazon App online stores, from Equiliv’s website, and from all third-party app stores.  The app is no longer available for download.

Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee said, “This is not the first case we’ve seen in which a software developer sought to take over privately owned devices, without the owners’ knowledge or consent, to mine for virtual currency.  But this case involved smartphones, rather than computers.  This creates a potential for far greater damage, since mobile devices have much more limited processing power and often come with more expensive data plans.”

Background on the “Prized” App:

A Complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court by the Division and the FTC, notes that, among other things:

To entice consumers into downloading Prized and its malware, the app purported to enable users to earn points that would be redeemable for prizes such as clothes, accessories, and gift cards.

The app’s description and terms of use said nothing about the possibility that Prized would hack its users’ devices.  In fact, Equiliv’s terms of use specifically represented to consumers that Prized and its software “are and will be free of malware, spyware, time bombs, and viruses.”

Despite these representations, Prized contained malware that took control of users’ smartphones or tablets and made them mine for the virtual currencies or “cryptocurrencies” known as Dogecoin, Litecoin and Quarkcoin.

Cryptocurrencies, like traditional money, can be used to purchase goods and services from merchants who choose to accept them as payment.  Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Quarkcoin are generated or “mined” through the solving of highly complex algorithms, a process that requires significant amounts of computer processing power.

When a computer is used to mine virtual currency, its available processing power becomes limited.  This process may shorten a computer’s lifespan and create increased electricity costs.  The effects may be even more damaging for smartphones and other mobile devices, which have less processing power than computers, often use more expensive data plans, and may overheat if forced to perform the complex computing functions required for cryptocurrency mining for a prolonged period of time.

In addition to its use of malware, Equiliv also in many instances failed to provide consumers with the redeemable points that the app promised to deliver.

The Division and the FTC allege that Equiliv’s and Ramminger’s actions constitute violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act and New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act.

“Hijacking consumers’ mobile devices with malware to mine virtual currency isn’t just deplorable; it’s also illegal,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “These scammers are now prohibited from trying such a scheme again.”

Deputy Attorneys General Glenn T. Graham and Elliott M. Siebers represented the State of New Jersey in this matter.

Investigator Brian Morgenstern, assigned to the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Cyber Fraud Unit, conducted this investigation.

This case is part of the FTC’s ongoing work to protect consumers taking advantage of new and emerging financial technology, also known as FinTech. As technological advances expand the ways consumers can store, share, and spend money, the FTC is working to keep consumers protected while encouraging innovation for consumers’ benefit.

The Division of Consumer Affairs enforces the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, New Jersey Computer-Related Offenses Act, and other laws that protect New Jerseyans against identity theft, unlawful invasions of privacy, and other computer-related violations.

The Division’s “Cyber Safe NJ” websiteincludes important consumer protection information on “The Basics of Cyber Safety,” “Preventing Identity Theft,” and “Controlling Your Privacy.”

Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.

Hacked Smartphones Mine for Bitcoins

New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Federal Trade Commission, Reach Settlement with Developer of Mobile App

NEWARK – In another victory for the security of New Jersey residents’ computers and mobile devices, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has joined with the Federal Trade Commission in a settlement with the makers of “Prized,” a mobile app that allegedly hacked Android smartphones and/or tablets with harmful malware.

Specifically, the State and the FTC allege that consumers who downloaded Prized onto their devices were also unwittingly downloading malicious software that infected their devices and caused them to “mine” for virtual currencies such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Quarkcoin.

But the “mining” process – which is highly strenuous on computers and even more so for smartphones and tablets – allegedly harmed the owners of the infected devices, and had the potential to leave the devices barely functional.  The smartphone and tablet owners faced the possibility of increased costs for electricity and data usage; shortened life spans for their devices; and money, time, and effort involved in removing the malware.

The defendants in this matter, Ohio-based app developer Equiliv Investments and Ryan Ramminger, offered the Prized app through websites such as the Google Play and Amazon app stores.  

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said, “Consumers downloaded this app thinking that at the very worst it would not be as useful or entertaining as advertised.  Instead, the app allegedly turned out to be a Trojan horse for intrusive, invasive malware that was potentially damaging to expensive smartphones and other mobile devices.”

The Division and the FTC today obtained a settlement with Equiliv Investments and Ramminger in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, in which the defendants are prohibited from marketing or selling products that function as malware, and from using misrepresentations in the sale or advertisement of software products. 

In addition, the defendants must, for the next 20 years, regularly provide the Division and the FTC with financial, personnel, and other records intended to help ensure their full compliance with the terms of the settlement as well as with the Federal Trade Act and Consumer Fraud Act.  The defendants also must pay $5,200 to reimburse the State of New Jersey’s investigative and legal costs.  An additional $44,800 payment will be suspended and vacated within three years, provided the defendants comply with the full terms of the Order. 

The defendants have removed the Prized app from the Google Play and Amazon App online stores, from Equiliv’s website, and from all third-party app stores.  The app is no longer available for download.

Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee said, “This is not the first case we’ve seen in which a software developer sought to take over privately owned devices, without the owners’ knowledge or consent, to mine for virtual currency.  But this case involved smartphones, rather than computers.  This creates a potential for far greater damage, since mobile devices have much more limited processing power and often come with more expensive data plans.”

Background on the “Prized” App:

A Complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court by the Division and the FTC, notes that, among other things:

To entice consumers into downloading Prized and its malware, the app purported to enable users to earn points that would be redeemable for prizes such as clothes, accessories, and gift cards.

The app’s description and terms of use said nothing about the possibility that Prized would hack its users’ devices.  In fact, Equiliv’s terms of use specifically represented to consumers that Prized and its software “are and will be free of malware, spyware, time bombs, and viruses.”

Despite these representations, Prized contained malware that took control of users’ smartphones or tablets and made them mine for the virtual currencies or “cryptocurrencies” known as Dogecoin, Litecoin and Quarkcoin.

Cryptocurrencies, like traditional money, can be used to purchase goods and services from merchants who choose to accept them as payment.  Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Quarkcoin are generated or “mined” through the solving of highly complex algorithms, a process that requires significant amounts of computer processing power.

When a computer is used to mine virtual currency, its available processing power becomes limited.  This process may shorten a computer’s lifespan and create increased electricity costs.  The effects may be even more damaging for smartphones and other mobile devices, which have less processing power than computers, often use more expensive data plans, and may overheat if forced to perform the complex computing functions required for cryptocurrency mining for a prolonged period of time.

In addition to its use of malware, Equiliv also in many instances failed to provide consumers with the redeemable points that the app promised to deliver.

The Division and the FTC allege that Equiliv’s and Ramminger’s actions constitute violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act and New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act.

“Hijacking consumers’ mobile devices with malware to mine virtual currency isn’t just deplorable; it’s also illegal,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “These scammers are now prohibited from trying such a scheme again.”

Deputy Attorneys General Glenn T. Graham and Elliott M. Siebers represented the State of New Jersey in this matter.

Investigator Brian Morgenstern, assigned to the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Cyber Fraud Unit, conducted this investigation.

This case is part of the FTC’s ongoing work to protect consumers taking advantage of new and emerging financial technology, also known as FinTech. As technological advances expand the ways consumers can store, share, and spend money, the FTC is working to keep consumers protected while encouraging innovation for consumers’ benefit.

The Division of Consumer Affairs enforces the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, New Jersey Computer-Related Offenses Act, and other laws that protect New Jerseyans against identity theft, unlawful invasions of privacy, and other computer-related violations.

The Division’s “Cyber Safe NJ” websiteincludes important consumer protection information on “The Basics of Cyber Safety,” “Preventing Identity Theft,” and “Controlling Your Privacy.”

Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.

The American People Will Not “Sit Down and Shut Up”

Tomorrow (June 30) Governor Christie will be announcing that he is officially running for President. In the coming days, as the national media begins to scrutinize the Governor’s record, it will become obvious to the people of America what the people of New Jersey know as fact: Governor Christie is an abject failure as a public servant.

If anyone needs immediate proof, all one needs to do is read the front page article of Sunday’s Star Ledger titled, “Sandy recovery: another summer of discontent.”

As noted in the article, we have moved into the third summer after hurricane Sandy devastated our state, and yet, more than 9,000 families in the state’s RREM program are not back home. 

Governor Christie said in 2014 that getting Sandy families back home would be the top priority of his administration. He said that getting Sandy families back home would be his mission. He said that he would not rest until every family was back home. 

Governor Christie lied. 

When I challenged him on his record on Sandy recovery and demanded accountability, his response was for me to “sit down and shut up.” As I have made clear, I will do neither. That is why I am running for the NJ State Assembly in the 30th District. The people of New Jersey need a voice. The Governor must be held to account.

While our fellow New Jersey residents continue to suffer, Governor Christie has spent more than 200 days of the last year out of New Jersey campaigning for a job that he will not get, while ignoring the job that the people elected him to do. He should be in his office right now doing the work to get those Sandy families back home. 

Along with the mess that the Governor has made of Sandy recovery – New Jersey’s economy is still in recession; our unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation; our public infrastructure is crumbling; and our pension fund is on the brink of insolvency.

Fiscal dishonesty, failed public policy, absentee leadership and flat out lies – these are the hallmarks of Governor Christie’s tenure. The people of New Jersey have overwhelmingly rejected him and so will our fellow citizens throughout the nation. 

America deserves leaders who are committed to service, who believe in transparency, fiscal honesty, and the promotion of the common good.  Governor Christie is none of these.  He is everything that is wrong with politics in America.

 

Jim Keady
Candidate for NJ Assembly (30th District)

The American People Will Not “Sit Down and Shut Up”

Tomorrow (June 30) Governor Christie will be announcing that he is officially running for President. In the coming days, as the national media begins to scrutinize the Governor’s record, it will become obvious to the people of America what the people of New Jersey know as fact: Governor Christie is an abject failure as a public servant.

If anyone needs immediate proof, all one needs to do is read the front page article of Sunday’s Star Ledger titled, “Sandy recovery: another summer of discontent.”

As noted in the article, we have moved into the third summer after hurricane Sandy devastated our state, and yet, more than 9,000 families in the state’s RREM program are not back home. 

Governor Christie said in 2014 that getting Sandy families back home would be the top priority of his administration. He said that getting Sandy families back home would be his mission. He said that he would not rest until every family was back home. 

Governor Christie lied. 

When I challenged him on his record on Sandy recovery and demanded accountability, his response was for me to “sit down and shut up.” As I have made clear, I will do neither. That is why I am running for the NJ State Assembly in the 30th District. The people of New Jersey need a voice. The Governor must be held to account.

While our fellow New Jersey residents continue to suffer, Governor Christie has spent more than 200 days of the last year out of New Jersey campaigning for a job that he will not get, while ignoring the job that the people elected him to do. He should be in his office right now doing the work to get those Sandy families back home. 

Along with the mess that the Governor has made of Sandy recovery – New Jersey’s economy is still in recession; our unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation; our public infrastructure is crumbling; and our pension fund is on the brink of insolvency.

Fiscal dishonesty, failed public policy, absentee leadership and flat out lies – these are the hallmarks of Governor Christie’s tenure. The people of New Jersey have overwhelmingly rejected him and so will our fellow citizens throughout the nation. 

America deserves leaders who are committed to service, who believe in transparency, fiscal honesty, and the promotion of the common good.  Governor Christie is none of these.  He is everything that is wrong with politics in America.

 

Jim Keady
Candidate for NJ Assembly (30th District)