Gov + Legislature

‘What am I going to do?’: When a signing bonus can’t help the jobless

BY: - September 30, 2021

Nicole Squitieri needs the $500 signing bonus New Jersey is using to lure the unemployed back to work. She said she has no choice but to turn it down. Squitieri is a mom with three kids — two of them have already had to stay home from school after coming into close contact with a […]

Lawsuit seeks to block tax breaks for nonprofit hospitals

BY: - September 30, 2021

A progressive group and a teacher’s union have lodged a lawsuit seeking to strike a recent law that exempts nonprofit hospitals from taxation regardless of whether they host for-profit activities. The suit filed by New Jersey Citizen Action, the American Federation of Teachers, their leaders, and two New Jersey residents Tuesday seeks to undo a […]

Divides clear in first gubernatorial debate

BY: - September 28, 2021

Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli met on the debate stage for the first time in Newark Tuesday night in what became a raucous hour that drew a clear divide between the two men seeking New Jersey’s top elected post, replete with repeated jeering from the crowd. The attacks started just minutes […]

N.J.’s top court strengthens consent standard in sex assault cases

BY: - September 28, 2021

For years, sexual assault victims typically were treated like criminal defendants, forced to prove their innocence, until the Me Too movement in 2017 sparked systemic reforms and conversations about consent. Still, in a 2018 sexual assault case, a New Jersey appellate court used a legal standard that applies to criminal defendants to decide that a […]

New Jersey offers wage subsidies, signing bonuses in bid to fill jobs

BY: - September 28, 2021

In its latest bid to jumpstart the state’s stalled economic recovery, New Jersey will offer wage subsidies to certain small businesses and signing bonuses for unemployed people re-entering the workforce, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday. The new program, dubbed “Return and Earn,” makes businesses with fewer than 100 employees eligible to receive up to $10,000 […]

New law aims to cut teacher shortages

BY: - September 27, 2021

In an effort to reduce longstanding teacher shortages, Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed a law that will create new pathways to the classroom for would-be teachers who lack the proper credentials. Under the law, the state Department of Education will create a five-year pilot program in which officials will issue “limited certificates of eligibility” […]

Democratic state senators must be vaccinated by Oct. 18

BY: - September 24, 2021

New Jersey’s 25 Democratic state senators must be vaccinated by Oct. 18, according to a memo from the Senate Majority Office. The vaccine policy will apply to lawmakers, staffers, and district office employees, and there will be no testing option, two Senate officials said. Lawmakers must attest to their vaccination in writing by Oct. 18, […]

Judges can’t ignore jury verdicts in deciding sentencing, N.J.’s top court rules

BY: - September 23, 2021

Judges cannot consider conduct defendants are acquitted of in deciding how to sentence them when they are found guilty of lesser offenses, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision issued Thursday. The ruling came in the consolidated appeal of two defendants who were tried in unrelated cases that left three people dead […]

State comptroller scolds Egg Harbor for selling water systems ‘in violation of law’

BY: - September 23, 2021

Egg Harbor City failed to hire an independent financial adviser, as state law requires, in the sale of its water and wastewater systems, and instead improperly paid its municipal engineer to do the job, according to the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller. But the municipal engineer was far from independent: In 2018, in […]

With little hope of winning, third-party candidates aim high anyway

BY: - September 21, 2021

Brian Kulas is an engaged citizen, by any measure. Kulas has testified before the Legislature on everything from wage theft to the minimum wage to earned paid sick leave. He has given speeches beside lawmakers at bill signings. He was among the hundreds of people arrested in 2018 during Capitol protests and sit-ins before Brett […]

Business owner can get names, addresses of dog owners, N.J. top court rules

BY: - September 20, 2021

In a win for advocates of governmental transparency, the New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday sided with a dog-fence vendor who fought for the names and addresses of Jersey City dog owners, declaring such information is public record regardless of who asks and why. Justice Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina rejected Jersey City’s argument that businesses shouldn’t […]

Judge swap delays party line suit, but decision still likely months away

BY: - September 20, 2021

A lawsuit to eliminate a controversial element of New Jersey’s ballot design has been delayed by a June transfer to a newly confirmed federal judge, but the deferral is likely just a speed bump in a case that could stretch for months or even years. The suit to eliminate the party line — which groups […]