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 would protect first responders with PTSD and hike retirement age for chiefs

By: - March 23, 2022

State lawmakers advanced two law enforcement measures Monday — one that would establish employment protections for first responders diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and another that would allow police and fire chiefs to serve until age 67. Both bills cleared the Senate’s Law and Public Safety Committee despite concerns several legislators and advocates voiced. The […]

Lawmakers mull measure requiring public agencies to report cybersecurity incidents

By: - March 23, 2022

Lawmakers advanced a measure Monday that would require public agencies to report cybersecurity incidents to the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. Mandated reporting would allow authorities to have a statewide strategy in helping agencies more quickly and effectively respond to and recover from such attacks, said Michael Geraghty, the state’s chief information security officer […]

Lawmaker withdraws bill that would hike pre-trial incarcerations for gun crimes

By: - March 22, 2022

A legislator who proposed making it easier to jail people who are charged with gun crimes withdrew his bill Monday in response to critics’ concerns that it could land thousands more people in prison and disproportionately impact people of color. Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union) said he plans to reintroduce the bill next month after he […]

Bill would expand police access to private records in missing persons cases

By: - March 21, 2022

State lawmakers advanced a bill Monday that would allow state police investigating missing persons and human trafficking cases to access — without consent — someone’s cellphone records, medical records, and other private information. Current law requires a crime to have been committed for investigators to access such records. The new legislation, sponsored by Sen. Linda […]

In rejecting ‘inmate,’ N.J. looks to dump a dehumanizing label from state statutes

By: - March 18, 2022

As language evolves, plenty of words have fallen out of favor as dehumanizing or stigmatizing, from “addict” to “ex-con” to “the disabled.” It’s part of a “person-first” trend embraced by folks who say words that have become pejorative labels should be replaced by person-centered phrases like “person recovering from a substance use disorder,” “person who […]

Bill would allow families to use public assistance to buy diapers

By: - March 18, 2022

Parents would be able to use their public assistance benefits to buy diapers under a bill several Democratic state lawmakers introduced earlier this month to offset an essential expense they say can keep working-class families trapped in poverty. Assemblywomen Shanique Speight (D-Essex), Mila Jasey (D-Essex), and Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) sponsored the bill, which is now before […]

Jail’s roof repair a reminder of N.J.’s stalled reforms on youth incarceration

By: - March 16, 2022

A new roof for a state building is the sort of ho-hum thing most New Jerseyans would ignore. Even New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy didn’t think the roof — for a youth prison in Bordentown — was worth a mention in the $48.9 billion state budget proposal he unveiled last week. The roof at the Female […]

Bill would require food delivery drivers to beef up liability insurance

By: - March 15, 2022

New Jersey lawmakers advanced a bill Monday that would set high insurance liability limits for food delivery drivers, with industry representatives and even the lawmakers themselves saying the limits might be too high. The bill, sponsored by Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), would require drivers for companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats to carry […]

Court ruling on police records a win for transparency, advocates say

By: - March 14, 2022

Public officials must release police disciplinary records in New Jersey when the public’s interest in them outweighs an officer’s confidentiality concerns, the state’s top court ruled Monday. Reformers, who have been fighting to open police records for years to increase accountability for misconduct, hailed the decision as a significant win for transparency. New Jersey Supreme […]

Bill would OK civil forfeiture funds for minority recruitment, training

By: - March 14, 2022

A bill now before the New Jersey Legislature would allow law enforcement agencies to spend civil forfeiture funds on diversity training for officers, minority recruitment, and community outreach. The legislation has raised eyebrows among criminal justice reformers, who have long lambasted civil forfeiture as a problematic police practice that disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color. “These are […]

Disgraced ex-Paterson mayor charged anew after making forbidden bid for office

By: - March 11, 2022

Former Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres was charged Friday with criminal contempt for launching a new mayoral campaign despite a 2017 criminal conviction that barred him from seeking public office again. Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin announced the fourth-degree charge against Torres, 63, who said last month he would challenge Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh in this […]

Murphy’s budget plan adds millions in K-12 school aid, expands free preschool

By: - March 10, 2022

New Jersey schools would get an extra $650 million in state funding and millions more to expand free preschool under the $48.9 billion budget proposal Gov. Phil Murphy announced this week. Murphy’s plan would boost K-12 funding to almost $19.2 billion. The governor detailed his school spending plan during a visit Thursday to James Monroe […]