Author

Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo comes to the New Jersey Monitor from WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR station, and the Philadelphia Daily News, a paper known for exposing corruption and holding public officials accountable. Prior to that, she worked at newspapers in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and suburban Philadelphia and has freelanced for various local and national magazines, newspapers and websites. She lives in Central Jersey with her husband, a photojournalist, and their two children.

Bills on school transparency, menstrual products spark outcry during N.J. senate hearing

By: - May 10, 2022

The lawmakers who sit on New Jersey’s Senate Education Committee usually hear from the public on things like learning loss, bullying, students’ mental health, and school lunches. On Monday, their meeting veered into uncharted territory. “Let’s ban Dr. Seuss, but books normalizing children having sex, using sex toys, experiencing glory holes, and crossing boundaries of […]

‘Menstrual equity’ bills would expand access to menstrual products, care

By: - May 9, 2022

Assemblywoman Sadaf Jaffer remembers walking into a bathroom during her graduate studies years ago at Harvard University and seeing a basket of menstrual products on the sink counter. “I just felt like, wow, this is luxurious! They’re just really available, and this is the height of luxury!” she said, laughing. “But when you think about […]

New lawsuits over nursing home COVID deaths claim ‘state-created danger’

By: - May 6, 2022

The families of two women who died after catching COVID in the private nursing homes where they lived have sued state officials, saying the state ignored repeated warnings in the pandemic’s first weeks that its controversial approach to containing COVID in long-term care facilities would be deadly. The lawsuits come nearly five months after the […]

N.J. school officials stand firm on new sex education standards

By: - May 4, 2022

New Jersey education officials didn’t act Wednesday to change new state standards on health and sex education, despite outcry from some parents, lawmakers, and even members of the board that passed the standards. Acting Education Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan spoke for nearly a half-hour during the state Board of Education’s monthly meeting, saying she “wholeheartedly disagrees” […]

Abortion is a frequent, favorite driver of legislation in New Jersey

By: - May 4, 2022

Reproductive rights advocates breathed a sigh of relief this week that abortion access is well-protected in New Jersey, after a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision signaled the nation’s top court could soon allow states to ban the procedure. But state lawmakers have introduced a long list of abortion bills since January — and […]

Governor Murphy urges Congress to protect abortion access in advance of Supreme Court ruling

By: - May 3, 2022

With the U.S. Supreme Court now poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, federal lawmakers must act to protect and codify abortion rights as New Jersey legislators recently did, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday. The Democratic governor railed against “this court stacked with Trump appointees” in condemning the “enraging” leaked draft of an opinion that […]

GOP lawmakers aim to increase punishment for car thieves

By: - May 3, 2022

Two Monmouth County Republicans plan to introduce legislation this week to toughen penalties against some car thieves, saying “liberal, failed policies” have “tied police hands” and led to rising rates of car theft. Assemblywoman Vicky Flynn and Assemblyman Gerard Scharfenberger announced their plans after acting Attorney General Matt Platkin announced Friday the state is reversing a […]

Cops can’t contradict or diminish Miranda warnings to coax suspects to talk, court rules

By: - May 2, 2022

Police who read suspects their rights before interrogations cannot then lie or contradict the Miranda warning to entice them to talk or confess, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, who wrote the opinion, upheld an appellate ruling that suppressed statements a man made in 2013 to a Hackensack detective […]

N.J.’s top court to weigh recommendations to reduce bias in jury selection

By: - May 2, 2022

New Jersey courts would ask prospective jurors their race, ethnicity, and gender, allow people with certain criminal convictions to serve on juries, and pay jurors more, if the state Supreme Court adopts recommendations made last week to reduce bias in jury selection. The Committee of the Judicial Conference on Jury Selection made 25 recommendations in […]

In reversal, New Jersey to again allow cops to chase car thieves

By: - April 29, 2022

New Jersey officials announced Friday they will curb a spike in car thefts statewide by again allowing police to engage in pursuits of car thieves and by spending $10 million to expand the use of license plate recognition technology. Law enforcement previously had only been allowed to pursue vehicles as a last resort to prevent […]

All eyes on New Jersey as it grapples with letting cops use cannabis

By: and - April 29, 2022

During his decade in law enforcement, AJ Jacobs fell into a trap of cracking open a beer after a long, stressful shift in the suburbs of Phoenix. Jacobs didn’t spend much time with his family — he had the “super cop” mentality to work all the time, he said. But after 11 years on the […]

N.J. police officers are overwhelmingly white and male, data shows

By: - April 28, 2022

Citizens can now investigate the demographics of their police departments in a new public database unveiled Thursday by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. The police diversity dashboard is intended to increase transparency, two years after state lawmakers passed a law requiring agencies to work toward making their staff as diverse as the communities they serve. […]