ASSEMBLY, No. 2653

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 20, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Amends “Law Against Discrimination” to provide every person engaged in raising a dog for guide or service the right to access public facilities.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the Law Against Discrimination and amending Title 10 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 5 of P.L.1977, c.456 (C.10:5-29.3) is amended to read as follows:

     5.    [A service or guide dog trainer] Every person, while engaged in the actual training process and activities of service dogs or guide dogs, shall have the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities, and the same responsibilities as are applicable to a person with a disability if:

     a.     the service or guide dog is wearing a collar, leash, or other appropriate apparel or device that identifies the dog as participating in a training program with an accredited program for service or guide dogs; and

     b.    the service or guide dog is being held on a leash, and is under the control of the person raising the dog for an accredited training program; and

     c.     the person has in his possession, and available for inspection, credentials from an accredited program identifying him as a participant in a service or guide dog training program.

(cf: P.L.2003, c.180, s.21)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would amend the New Jersey “Law Against Discrimination,” P.L.1977, c.456 (C.10:5-29.3), to provide every person engaged in raising a dog for guide or service, the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities as a person with a disability, for dog training purposes.

     Under current law, professional service and guide dog trainers, who typically begin training dogs at 18 to 20 months of age, have the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities as persons with disabilities.  However, there are volunteers who often raise service and guide dogs prior to their entering formal training, from approximately eight weeks to 18 months, who do not have the same rights as persons with disabilities or professional trainers.  This bill would extend the rights and privileges of persons with disabilities with respect to access to public facilities, to persons who volunteer to raise service or guide dogs, subject to them meeting the requirements in this bill.

     This bill requires that in public facilities a service or guide dog in training must (1) wear a collar, leash, or other appropriate apparel or device that identifies the dog as a participant in a training program with an accredited service or guide dog training program; and (2) be held on a leash, and under the control of the person raising the dog for an accredited program.  The bill also requires that the volunteer have in his possession, and available for inspection, credentials from an accredited program identifying him as a participant in a service or guide dog training program.