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.

Motorist sues N.J. state troopers for roadside beatdown

By: - May 19, 2022

New Jersey state troopers who stopped a motorist they suspected of road rage beat the unarmed man so badly he needed surgery to recover, according to allegations in a new federal civil rights lawsuit. The Wayne resident accuses the New Jersey State Police and multiple named and unnamed troopers of excessive force, unlawful arrest, wrongful […]

GOP senator introduces bills to loosen gun restrictions in New Jersey

By: - May 18, 2022

A freshman state senator inspired to run for public office after he was denied a concealed carry permit has introduced a bevy of bills that would expand gun rights in New Jersey. Most of the legislation sponsored by Sen. Ed Durr (R-Gloucester) seeks to loosen some of the famously tight restrictions New Jersey places on […]

Calls mount for increased funding for New Jersey’s state parks

By: - May 17, 2022

Sylvia Kocses had a great second date in 1967 at Washington Crossing State Park with the man who would become her husband. When they had kids, the park in Mercer County became their go-to, with its playgrounds, nature center, open-air theater, and 13 miles of trails. Now 71, Kocses takes her grandchildren and husband for […]

Drivers fleeing a crash with multiple victims can only be charged once, court rules

By: - May 16, 2022

Drivers who flee crashes that leave multiple people dead can only be charged once with fleeing the scene, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday in an opinion that upholds the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition of multiple punishments for the same offense. Judge Jose Fuentes, writing for the court, said justices based their decision in […]

Governor Murphy announces bills to expand abortion access, protect patients and providers

By: - May 11, 2022

With a U.S. Supreme Court decision looming that observers believe will allow for greater abortion restrictions nationwide, Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday announced a wide-ranging plan to expand abortion access and protect patients and abortion providers in New Jersey. New measures, if passed, would require the state to create a fund to help uninsured and […]

Report recommends N.J. build three small youth prisons and close existing ones

By: - May 11, 2022

Four years after state officials vowed to close two of New Jersey’s three youth prisons, a state-convened task force on Tuesday recommended the construction of three new youth prisons, a move some reformers rebuked as wasteful and contradictory to their goals of reducing racial disparities. The Task Force for the Continued Transformation of Youth Justice […]

N.J.’s top court orders ex-Black Panther freed after 49 years behind bars

By: - May 10, 2022

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the state to free Sundiata Acoli, rejecting the state Parole Board’s claims that the 85-year-old should stay in prison for the 1973 slaying of a state trooper. The ruling, split 3-2 along party lines, brings to a close a decades-long battle by Acoli’s supporters to release him […]

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 […]