Update: The Assembly Education Committee approved the Janet's Law bill Thursday, but moved it to the Appropriations Committee—mirroring action by the Senate in January—instead of directly to the floor of the Assembly for a vote.
Neither committee has scheduled a hearing for their respective versions of the bill yet.
Jim and Karen Zilinski, the Warren residents who launched the Janet Fund after the death of their daughter to sudden cardiac arrest, are in Trenton this afternoon, hoping to see an Assembly committee pass a law requiring automatic defibrillators in schools.
"If it passes the committee Thursday, it will be the farthest an AED law has ever come in New Jersey," Jim Zilinski said this week. The Senate version of the bill, A-1608, passed a Senate Education Committee vote on Jan. 23.
"We already did that 4½ years ago when it passed one committee—no bill has ever gone through both committees, though," Zilinski said. "I am crossing my fingers that we can make history again.
The Senate bill was referred to the Senate's Budget and Appropriations Committee, which could block its progress but Zilinski said supporters will be certain to keep pressure on the legislators to try and keep the bill from languishing.
"We had hoped they would not do that, but we will push forward and see it gets pushed through that committee as well," he said.
Zilinski characterized today's vote a "step two in an about five-step process."
"I hope I can announce on March 1, at our fundraiser, that Janet’s Law has been passed and is now law, but I may be asking too much," he said.