N.J. senate not likely to vote on needle bills before McGreevey resigns
The New Jersey senate is not likely to vote on two bills aimed at helping injection drug users get clean needles and avoid infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis before governor James McGreevey's scheduled November 15 resignation, The [Newark] Star-Ledger reports. The bills, which McGreevey says he would sign, were stalled last week in the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. One bill would allow cities and towns to sponsor needle exchange programs when affiliated with hospitals, clinics, or health departments. The other would allow over-the-counter sales of syringes. Both bills passed the state assembly last week. New Jersey is one of only two states that currently bans both needle exchange programs and over-the-counter sales of syringes. The bills were delayed in the senate committee by sponsor Joseph Vitale, who said he is still seeking enough votes to guarantee their passage. It's not likely the full senate will consider the bills until early December.