Gov + Legislature

Bill would set aside $25M annually in down payment aid for first-time home buyers

BY: - May 12, 2022

A Senate panel has unanimously advanced a measure setting aside millions for down payment assistance for some first-time home buyers, but questions remain about the bill’s future. The bill, which cleared the panel in a unanimous vote Monday, would set aside $25 million annually for four years to fund grants of up to $10,000 for […]

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 […]

Months later, fewer worries about prison worker exodus over vaccine mandate

BY: - May 11, 2022

Two months after Gov. Phil Murphy delayed a deadline for workers in congregate settings to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, concerns about a staff exodus at the Department of Corrections have largely abated, with nearly three-quarters of workers vaccinated ahead of the May 11 cutoff. As of April 25, 72% of the department’s staff had completed […]

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 […]

N.J. will seek changes to transgender inmate policy

BY: - May 10, 2022

The New Jersey Department of Corrections intends to change a policy that requires prisons to house prisoners by their gender identity, acting Corrections Commissioner Victoria Kuhn said Tuesday. That policy was enacted as part of a settlement agreement that resolved a suit lodged by a transgender woman who was jailed in several men’s prisons, but the […]

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 […]

Lawmakers hear competing visions for liquor license reform

BY: - May 10, 2022

Competing groups pushed Assembly lawmakers to expand the availability of liquor licenses or keep reforms to a minimum as legislators began the state’s latest push to loosen New Jersey’s liquor laws. Advocates for liquor stores, convenience stores, grocers, and distilleries alternatively urged members of the Assembly’s oversight and reform committee to keep alcohol sales to […]

Senate panel advances bills that seek improvements to unemployment system

BY: - May 10, 2022

Lawmakers hoping to get jobless residents their unemployment benefits faster advanced two bills Monday aimed at improving New Jersey’s unemployment system. One bill (S2357) would make about a half-dozen changes to how the Department of Labor processes unemployment benefits, while the other (S2396) would require an annual report of the department’s work. Both bills passed […]

Governor Murphy wants new language in anti-bribery bill before he’ll sign it

BY: - May 9, 2022

Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed a bill that is intended to make clear New Jersey’s bribery laws apply to candidates seeking office, with his proposed changes explicitly stating a person’s position is no defense against bribery charges. The bill that reached the governor’s desk in March after nearly a decade in legislative limbo would have […]

‘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 […]

Using tracking devices without someone’s consent should be a crime, N.J. lawmakers say

BY: - May 9, 2022

Apple AirTags are intended to give people a way to keep track of things they often misplace, like wallets and keys. But increasingly, those small tracking devices are being used to stalk people and commit other crimes, and legislators want to make that illegal.  “There’s all kinds of great uses of this technology of tracking […]