Timeline of Steps Taken Towards Legislation

This timeline covers major events in the process of pursuing New Voices Legislation in New Jersey. The timeline has the most recent events at the top and will be updated as warranted. Scroll down to see older events.

Color Code: Yellow = Student Chapter, Orange = Legislative meetings and updates, Red = Introduction or major changes to bill, Green = Everything else

High School Students get Involved

September 14, 2018

Three high school students have shown interest in actively working toward the passage of New Jersey’s New Voices Bills. Aine Pipe is an 11th-grade student journalist from Cherry Hill East, Mariyum Rizwan is an 11th-grade student journalist from Bergenfield High School and Kaitlyn Cleary is a 12th-grade Political Science student from Hunterdon Central High School who is working on it as a year-long class project.

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Senator Shirley Turner Sponsors S1176

September 13, 2018

Education Committee Vice Chair Senator Shirley Turner became a primary sponsor of S1176. She joins Senator Nia Gill as the sponsors of the bill. Both are Democrats.

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E-mails sent to Senate Education Committee Members

August 15, 2018

E-mails are sent to members of the Senate Education Committee members through their legislative web pages. Senator Beach and Senator Turner respond with Turner showing interest in sponsoring the bill S1176.

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Assemblyman Caputo Becomes Primary Sponsor

May 30, 2018

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo becomes Primary Sponsor of A238 along with Assemblyman Harold Wirths. Caputo (D) is a member of the Education Committee. The bill now has bipartisan sponsorship.

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Student Sends Letter to Assembly Ed Chair

April 15, 2018

Cherry Hill East 10th Grader, Joshua Pipe sends a letter to Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Pamela Lampitt. As a journalism student in her district, Pipe urges Assemblywoman Lampitt to support Bill A238. He also shows interest in leading a renewed GSSPA Student Chapter.

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Conference Call with Assemblyman Wirths

February 1, 2018

John Tagliareni discusses the bill with Assemblyman Wirths. Develop plans for co-sponsors.

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Bill Reintroduced in the Senate

January 25, 2018

The New Voices Bill (S2506) that expired at the end of the last session was reintroduced by Senator Nia Gill (D). The new number of the bill is S1176, and it is active until the end of 2019.

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Bill Reintroduced in Assembly

January 9, 2018

The New Voices bill that expired in the last session was reintroduced by Assemblyman Harold J. Wirths (R). Assemblyman Wirths won the seat vacated by Gail Phoebus. The bill number is now A238 and is active until the end of 2019.

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Election Day Losses

November 7, 2017

Election Day leads to losses of all but one sponsor: Senator Diane Allen and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus did not seek election. Assemblyman Troy Singleton ran for the Senate (and won). Senator Jennifer Beck lost her reelection bid. Only Senator Nia Gill remains of this session’s five sponsors of the bill. Both bills expire at the end of the year.

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GSSPA Fall Conference

October 30, 2017

The annual fall conference that draws more than 400 New Jersey students and teachers included sessions on New Voices and GSSPA’s Student Chapter. It was held at Rutgers University.

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NJEA Review Article

June 1, 2017

A short article is published in the New Jersey Education Association’s Review magazine. Editor requests that John Tagliareni and Tom McHale submit a longer article sometime in the future.

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NJ Principals and Supervisors Assoc. Meeting

May 5, 2017

A teleconference, hosted by Debra  Bradley, the Director of Government Relations was held with John Tagliareni and a committee of the association.

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Letters sent to Legislators

April 21, 2017

  On the advice of NJPA’s George White and Princeton Affairs Group’s David White, letters are drafted and sent to Education Committee Chairs and leaders of the Senate and Assembly asking that the bills be heard in the next committee meetings. No response is received to any of the letters.    

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NJ Collegiate Press Awards Presentation

April 8, 2017

Professors Holly Johnson, Lew Wheaton and NJPA Executive Director Geroge White present a session on New Voices Bills at the state-wide college journalism awards ceremony.

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NJPA Government Action Committee Teleconference

March 14, 2017

The New Jersey Press Association’s Government Action Committee discussed the New Voices bills during a teleconference hosted by Executive Director George White. A mini-task force was formed to work on NJPA’s decision to support the bills and how that support will take shape.

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Editorial Published

March 8, 2017

An Op-Ed written by high school journalism teacher Tom McHale and Holly Johnson, a newspaper co-advisor and professor of English and New Media at Mercer County Community College, is published in the Trenton Times and online at NJ.com  It is also picked up and published in the College Media Review

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E-mail to College Advisers

February 8, 2017

Professor Holly Johnson from Mercer County Community College (along with Bergen County Community College Professor Lew Wheaton) sent an e-mail out to dozens of college advisers and publications informing them about the importance of the legislation and asking for their support.

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NJ Society of Professional Journalists Meeting

January 22, 2017

NJ Society of Professional Journalists Meeting

Meeting was attended by SPJ members, college journalism advisers, NJPA’s Executive Director George White and Frank LoMonte, SPLC Executive Director. Met with Professor Holly Johnson from Mercer County Community College and Lew Wheaton from Bergen County Community College. The meeting was important in building our network with college advisers and students and working to get support from the New Jersey Press Association.

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Kent State Symposium

November 18, 2016

John Tagiareni and I attend symposium at Kent State University – State Legislation Protecting Student Press Freedom: New Voices on the Move. We use materials and notes on what was presented to develop a strategy to prepare for committee hearings and beyond.    

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GSSPA 2016 Fall Conference

October 24, 2016

700+ students and dozens of advisers attend Garden State Scholastic Press Association’s Fall Conference and are presented with the progress of the bill. This whitepaper is handed out that encourages students to write to their legislators and join Facebook groups for Student Chapter and GSSPA to keep up with updates. Student Chapter presents two sessions…

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Conference call with Frank LoMonte

September 21, 2016

Conference call with Darrell DeTample, Tom McHale, John Tagliareni, and Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the SPLC. We plan next steps to take in the process, how we can broaden our support, and craft our message.

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Bill S2506 introduced in Senate

September 8, 2016

  Identical Bill is introduced in the Senate (S-2506) by Senator Diane Allen (R) with Senator Nia Gill (D) as the co-primary sponsor and Senator Jennifer Beck (R) as co-sponsor. We now have identical bills in both the assembly and senate and both have been referred to their education committees.    

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Press coverage of reintroduction of the bill

July 13, 2016

  July 13 – July 21: Article about the reintroduction of the bill appear in the following publications: An article is published on SPLC that includes quotes from Assemblyman Singleton, John Tagliareni and Tom McHale Article is published by the Hunterdon Democrat that uses information and quotes from SPLC article. Editorial appears in all Gannett owned newspapers. It contains an error saying this bill would prohibit prior review. Editorial appears on nj.com written by the Editorial Board of the Times of Trenton.

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E-mail sent to Senator Diane Allen

July 7, 2016

  Sent e-mail to Senator Allen letting her COS know that the bill was reintroduced in the Assembly and asking her to sponsor bill in the Senate.    

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Bill A4028 reintroduced in Assembly

June 30, 2016

Bill is reintroduced in the Assembly as A4028 with Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D) and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus (R) as primary sponsors. It has been referred to Assembly Education Committee. Legislature will be on break for the summer

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Meeting with Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus

June 8, 2016

  John Tagliareni, Jane Primerano from SPJ, and Ron Miskoff (former Rutgers University Professor) meet with Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus and her chief of staff Louis Crescitelli. They reserved the bill to be reintroduced. Phoebus worked with Donna Simon and learned about the bill from her. They agreed to work with Singleton as co-prime sponsor.    

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Meeting with Assemblyman Singleton’s COS

May 27, 2016

  Darrell DeTample and I meet with Hilary Beckett (Assemblyman Singleton’s Chief of Staff) about having Singleton as primary sponsor. Learn that he has agreed to sponsor the bill, but that it was already reserved for reintroduction by someone else.    

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Letters sent to Senator Diane Allen and Assemblyman Troy Singleton

April 12, 2016

Chose two possible primary sponsors who serve on their houses’ education committee. Send lLetters, whitepaper, and SPLC Myth vs. Reality sheet to Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D) and Senator Diane Allen (R).    

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Podcast hosted by SPJ

February 20, 2016

Participate in a podcast hosted by Society of Professional Journalists that includes Frank LoMonte and is moderated by Jane Primerano

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Meeting with lobbyist Dale Florio

February 12, 2016

Powerful Lobbyist Dale Florio from Princeton Public Affairs Group. He recommended: Finding a Primary sponsor who is a Democrat because they hold the majority. Find a person that will actually push the bill. Get a Republican Co-primary sponsor Have student leader present letter requesting additional sponsors Ask if they know of other groups/people that may be interested in supporting Work Senate at same time Once bill is re-introduced, send letter to all 116 other legislators Send Letter to Chairman of Education Committee to add bill to list, and also ask prime sponsor to reach out to Chairman If possible, have students speaking at committee meetings Lobby day – once out of committee and before bill goes for a vote. Students meet legislatures in halls during voting session, introduce themselves and give them a handout that briefly outlines the bill Primary Sponsor requests Senate Pres/Speaker to post bill for vote Request editorial board session with major daily papers

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New legislative session; bill becomes inactive

January 11, 2016

Beginning of new two-year legislative session. Bill A4912 is now inactive and needs to be reintroduced.

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Petition on Change.org created

January 9, 2016

Petition on Change.org created

  Online petition is addressed to Assemblyman John McKeon, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, Assemblyman Paul Moriarity, Assemblyman Troy Singleton, Assemblyman Patrick Deignan, State Senator Loretta Weinberg, Teresa Ruiz, Diane Allen, Shirley Turner who are leaders in the Assembly and Senate or on the education committee.    

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Bill A4912 introduced

December 17, 2015

Bill A4912 is introduced by Assemblywoman Donna Simon.  She is the only sponsor. The bill is listed as “concerns speech rights of student journalists at public schools and public institutions of higher education.” 

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Changes suggested to bill

November 25, 2015

  Questions and suggested changes are sent to Laura Hahn by Darrell DeTample from his AP Students after we reviewed their comments. One of these changes is incorporated in a revision made by the Office of Legislative Services. Frank LoMonte and John Tagliareni work with Assemblywoman Simon’s office to suggest other changes. Revisions will be made by the Office of Legislative Services before the bill is introduced.    

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Bill Presented to NJEA Working Conditions Committee

November 12, 2015

  John Tagliareni and I met presented the bill at a meeting of the NJEA Working Conditions Committee. They voted to send it to the Committee and recommended that it be supported.    

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Primary sponsor loses Re-election bid

November 3, 2015

  Although Assemblywoman Simon lost her re-election bid, Laura Hahn (her Legislative Director) contacted us asking when they could “drop the bill,’ and offering dates when it could be introduced.    

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GSSPA 2015 Fall Conference

October 26, 2015

  Mary Beth Tinker was keynote speaker. Attended by over 700 students and advisers. Proposed legislation mentioned. Student Chapter presented a session and signed up new members.    

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New Voices of New Jersey Social Media Created

October 16, 2015

The Student Press Law Center set up a Facebook page and Twitter account for us and others who are working on passing legislation in their states. They are all networked as New Voices. We are the New Voices of New Jersey.

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Bill Drafted

October 15, 2015

Assemblywoman Donna Simon has a bill drafted using our outline by the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services. The bill is shared through Google Docs for comment by GSSPA Board, Darrell DeTample’s AP Government class and other interested parties. Changes are discussed and sent to the Assemblywoman’s office.

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Meeting with Assemblywoman Simon

August 24, 2015

John Tagliareni and I meet with the Assemblywoman for an hour at her office in Flemington. We shared documents including bills from North Dakota and the California law, this at a glance document, and a copy of the legislation John worked on in 1988. She seemed very passionate about sponsoring the legislation. She indicated that she has a committee meeting September 26 in which she may be able to introduce it. If…

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Student Chapter Grows and Plans for Fall Conference Session

July 12, 2015

Student Chapter Officers hold Facebook chats on July 12, August 12 and August 19 to discuss ideas for student-run Fall Press Day Sessions. Group has grown to 34 students interested in supporting bill.

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Assemblywoman visits classroom; shows interest in bill

June 4, 2015

NJ Assemblywoman (and education committee member) Donna Simon speaks at Darrell DeTample’s Polysci class at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. She is asked whether she would support a student free expression bill and answers: “absolutely.”

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NJEA Associate Director Responds

March 26, 2015

E-mail and phone communication with Beth Schroeder Buonsante, Associate Director of New Jersey Education Association’s Government Relations Committee. She says the usual process for member-driven legislation is to refer it to the NJEA Working Conditions Committee.  After their review, they would forward a recommendation to the NJEA Delegate Assembly to pass a resolution or NJEA policy to advocate for legislation to protect journalism teachers.

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North Dakota Bill Passes Senate

March 25, 2015

A student free expression bill passed the North Dakota Republican controlled State Assembly by a vote of 92-0. I e-mailed Representative Alex Looysen who introduced the bill. He put me in touch with Steve Listopad an assistant professor at  Valley City State University.

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Mary Beth Tinker agrees to be Keynote for GSSPA Fall Conference

March 12, 2015

Mary Beth Tinker agrees to be Keynote for GSSPA Fall Conference

Mary Beth Tinker agrees to be the Keynote Speaker at Fall Student Press Day at Rutgers University on October 26, 2015. She will also spend the day meeting with teachers and students in support of a proposed bill.

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E-mail describes North Dakota’s Process

March 6, 2015

Steve Listopad sends a long e-mail that describes in detail the steps that were taken. Many of the people who worked on and supported the bill were copied on this e-mail. This document contains the e-mail along with steps that were taken later that led to the John Wall New Voices Act becoming law. Mary Beth Tinker is copied on the e-mail and offers her support.

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First Student Chapter Chat

January 17, 2015

First Student Chapter Chat

GSSPA Student Chapter Facebook Group created. First chat with students on January 17th to explain the purpose of the group and establish goals. Second chat on February 19th to discuss officer positions. About twelve students participate.

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Student Chapter Created

October 27, 2014

Generated a list of interested students during Fall Student Press Day 2014 to form a Student Chapter of the GSSPA

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Master’s Project

May 12, 2014

Committee is approved for Master’s Project for Kent State’s Masters in Journalism Education program. Begin researching for proposal. Focus of the project is.on how to get state legislation protecting student journalists passed and how to encourage students to become advocates for their rights.

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The Journey Begins

January 27, 2014

Discuss pursuing state legislation with John Tagliareni at Garden State Scholastic Press Association Board Meeting in response to censorship issues going on at two New Jersey high schools – Pemberton and Northern Highlands. John almost got a state law passed in 1988.

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