Briefs

New Jersey expanding program pairing cops with mental health counselors

BY: - June 6, 2022

A program that pairs plainclothes state troopers with mental health experts to better respond to mental health crises will expand to Elizabeth and Linden in Union County, acting Attorney General Matt Platkin announced Monday. The program is intended to deescalate potentially volatile encounters between police and people in crisis from emotional distress or a mental […]

Bill would require annual report on jobless claims

BY: - June 6, 2022

Lawmakers keep looking for ways to require more legislative oversight of the Department of Labor, which has come under sharp criticism for its handling of unemployment claims. Under a new bipartisan bill (A3810) approved last week, the state’s labor commissioner would be required to issue annual public reports detailing, among other things, the time it […]

Lawmakers want utility companies to reimburse customers for goods spoiled during power outages

BY: - June 2, 2022

As catastrophic storms become more common in the Garden State, lawmakers are scheduled to discuss two measures Thursday that would require public utility companies to reimburse customers for goods spoiled during extensive power outages.  The two measures — A1896 and A3313— would both require public utilities to reimburse customers who lose power for more than 72 hours, including […]

Lawsuit targeting disputed ballot design as unconstitutional can proceed, judge says

BY: - May 31, 2022

A federal lawsuit targeting the county line — the ballot system used in most New Jersey counties that gives a boost to party-backed candidates facing primary challenges — as unconstitutional may proceed, a judge ruled Tuesday. The order by Judge Zahid Quraishi was hailed by progressives who have long argued the ballot design in question gives […]

Few firearm restrictions in states sending crime guns to N.J.

BY: - May 30, 2022

Inspired by a pair of deadly mass shootings, New Jersey lawmakers and Gov. Phil Murphy have called on Congress and states with laxer gun laws to enact new regulations on firearms. New Jersey’s gun laws are among the nation’s strictest, but the same can’t be said of neighboring Pennsylvania and other states along the eastern […]

Electric school bus bill sparks debate during N.J. Assembly session

BY: - May 27, 2022

Republican and Democratic lawmakers clashed in the Assembly Thursday over a GOP assemblywoman’s push to derail discussion of a bill championed by environmentalists. The measure (A1282) would require the Department of Environmental Protection to implement a program replacing diesel school buses with electric buses over three years at as many as 18 school districts, at […]

Senate rejects Democrat’s request for probe of nursing home deaths

BY: - May 26, 2022

State Sen. Nia Gill on Thursday demanded lawmakers vote in favor of forming an oversight committee with subpoena power to investigate the 9,100 COVID-19 deaths in New Jersey nursing homes, but Gill’s move was rejected by a narrow vote. Gill (D-Essex) characterized a probe into the deaths as one of “transparency and accountability” for the […]

N.J. Supreme Court among country’s most diverse. That’s not saying much

BY: - May 24, 2022

Even with multiple seats vacant, New Jersey’s Supreme Court is among the most diverse in the nation, but its diversity still lags behind that of its citizenry, according to a new report. A study released Friday by the Brennan Center for Justice found nine states have more diverse supreme courts than New Jersey. That figure […]

N.J. lawmakers seek to curb cannabis use

BY: - May 16, 2022

As New Jersey nears the end of its first month of legal recreational marijuana sales, lawmakers have introduced a series of bills aimed at restricting what types of workers can use cannabis off the job. One measure (S2518), sponsored by Sen. Robert Singer (R-Ocean), would amend the state’s recreational marijuana law to ban cannabis consumption […]

Prisoner reentry group announces mental health, addiction services for vets

BY: - May 13, 2022

The New Jersey Reentry Corp. will partner with health organizations to offer mental health and addiction services to veterans who received an other-than-honorable discharge, former Gov. Jim McGreevey announced Thursday. The services will include acute short-term psychiatric care provided by Hackensack Meridian Health, a 30-day program for veterans with substance use and mental health disorders […]

Bill would require in-person motor vehicle services for senior citizens, people with disabilities

BY: - May 12, 2022

All Motor Vehicle Commission locations would be required to provide in-person services to senior citizens and people with disabilities under a new bill set for introduction this week. Sen. Tony Bucco (R-Morris), who said he plans to introduce the measure Thursday, said the requirement would end the “confusing, inconvenient policies that have plagued New Jersey […]

Proposed constitutional amendment takes aim at school redistricting

BY: - May 11, 2022

While a Superior Court judge weighs whether New Jersey schools are unconstitutionally segregated, two Republican lawmakers want to amend the state constitution to bar the kind of school redistricting experts say could help desegregate schools in the Garden State. Sussex County Assemblymembers Hal Wirths and Parker Space introduced a proposed constitutional amendment last week that aims […]