If you are Shomer Shabbos, and stuck in New Jersey hospital over Shabbos, you will not be required to sign any paperwork – thanks to (Frum) Assemblyman Gary Schaer.
Two religious accommodation bills Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer championed to protect the sincerely held religious beliefs, observances, and practices of New Jersey residents were signed into law a week ago by Governor Jon S. Corzine.
“Religious freedom has always been one of America’s core values and these bills reflect and build upon that time-honored tradition,” said Schaer (D-Passaic).
One bill (A-3517/S-2377) will prevent hospitals and other health care facilities from requiring patients or their family members to sign admission papers on Shabbos or Yom Tov.
Schaer noted that the bill affecting nursing homes will amend the Nursing Home Bill of Rights first enacted in 1976 to protect the rights of nursing homes residents. Provisions of this law include proper documentation of personal belongings, accommodation for religious observances, protection against various discriminations and protection from undue physical duress. The intent of the measure is to ensure that all nursing home residents have their religious beliefs respected and upheld when residing in a nursing home.
This law will take effect immediately.
A second religious accommodation measure (A-3513/S-2489) will mandate alternate testing dates for days when tests for government-issued professional licenses conflict with days of religious observance. This new law will take effect in 6 months.
The laws are part of a package of seven religious accommodation bills that Schaer has crafted to protect the sincerely held religious beliefs, observances, and practices of New Jersey residents at schools, in employment, and at public facilities such as hospitals.
“As a nation that draws strength from its rich diversity, these measures will help to protect expression of faith and belief,” said Schaer.
Schaer is seeking to have as many as five of the seven legislative proposals signed into law by early 2008.
Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer who is Shomer Shabbos (as reported HERE on YW) represents the 36th Legislative District which includes Carlstadt, East Rutherford, Garfield, Lyndhurst, Moonachie, North Arlington, Nutley, Passaic, Rutherford, Wallington and Wood-Ridge.