Gov + Legislature

Bill expanding contraceptive access advances in N.J. Senate

BY: - December 6, 2021

A bill that would require health insurers to cover contraceptives for 12 months at a time — instead of the six months now mandated by state law — advanced in the New Jersey Senate Monday. Testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee, bill sponsor Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) said the change will help reduce abortions by […]

Bill would allow mail-in ballots to be counted before Election Day

BY: - December 6, 2021

After widespread dismay about lagging and often opaque vote counts, a Republican legislator plans to introduce a bill Monday that would allow county election officials to begin tallying vote-by-mail ballots before Election Day. The measure, sponsored by Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips (R-Bergen), would permit county election boards to open and canvass mail-in ballots as they are […]

Protesters descend on Trenton to rally support for progressive bills

BY: and - December 3, 2021

More than 100 activists converged on the Statehouse in Trenton Thursday to rally for causes that were decades, and even centuries, in the making. Reparations for slavery. Protections to preserve abortion rights. Reforms to hold police accountable for brutality. School curriculum that reflects communities’ diversity. They’ve rallied before, countless times, in a crusade for change […]

Legislature approves bill expanding child tax credit

BY: - December 3, 2021

A fracas over Statehouse vaccine rules waylaid much of the Assembly’s legislative agenda for Thursday, but the chamber did clear a handful of bills. Lawmakers in both chambers unanimously approved a bill expanding New Jersey’s child tax credit. Residents with annual taxable income of $150,000 or less will be eligible for the tax credit. The […]

Chaotic day in Trenton as Republicans cry ‘tyranny’ over vax rules

BY: , and - December 2, 2021

Republican lawmakers had a heated standoff with state troopers in the Statehouse Thursday after flouting a new policy requiring them to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test to enter the legislative chambers. The ruckus began when lawmakers were getting ready to take their seats ahead of their 1 p.m. session. Eight troopers […]

Abortion bill’s path remains uncertain as SCOTUS weighs Roe

BY: - December 2, 2021

Abortion rights activists this week renewed a push to advance a long-stalled bill that would codify New Jersey’s abortion protections and make a series of related reforms, but the bill’s path into law remains muddy amid U.S. Supreme Court cases that advocates fear could upend Roe v. Wade. Supporters of the bill held an event […]

Journalism teachers urge lawmakers to pass bill protecting freedom of speech for students

BY: - December 2, 2021

After Gov. Phil Murphy issued a conditional veto on a bill aimed at protecting student journalists, supporters of the law are making another push for it. The measure (S108) unanimously passed both houses of the Legislature before landing on the governor’s desk in June. In his veto, Murphy said while he applauds efforts to protect […]

GOP leaders file suit to block N.J. Statehouse vaccine policy

BY: - December 1, 2021

Republican lawmakers from both chambers filed a suit against the State Capitol Joint Management Commission Wednesday in a bid to block vaccine rules the panel approved last month. The filing from Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) and Assemblyman John DiMaio (R-Warren), who will lead Republican caucuses in their respective chambers in the next legislative session, alleges […]

Groups push for N.J. lawmakers to create reparations task force

BY: - December 1, 2021

As lawmakers prepare to vote on a slew of bills during the first voting sessions since Election Day, several advocacy groups are pushing them to support a bill that would create a task force to explore reparations over slavery. The bill, A711/S322, hasn’t received a vote since it was introduced in January 2020. Activists say reparations […]

Feds order state to restore funding cuts to poorest school districts

BY: - December 1, 2021

The federal Department of Education has ordered New Jersey to restore millions of dollars in funding cuts the state made to 80 of its poorest school districts after lawmakers in 2018 changed how the state provides aid to local schools. The cuts violate a provision in the American Rescue Plan’s relief fund for elementary and secondary […]

Panel approves nearly $740M in spending funded by pandemic windfalls

BY: - November 30, 2021

A bicameral panel approved nearly $740 million in spending using federal dollars and millions from a fund established to ease the state’s debt burden. Gov. Phil Murphy last week submitted a series of spending proposals to the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, which must approve expenditures made using federal aid dollars provided under the American Rescue […]

Bipartisan bills aim to protect victims of human trafficking

BY: - November 30, 2021

Two state lawmakers from Monmouth County have introduced four bills to strengthen protections for human trafficking victims in New Jersey. The bills introduced by Sen. Vin Gopal, a Democrat, and Republican Assemblyman Ronald Dancer would: Eliminate the statute of limitations for prosecuting human trafficking crimes (current law requires prosecutors to bring charges within five years of […]