Gov + Legislature

All eyes on New Jersey as it grapples with letting cops use cannabis

BY: and - April 29, 2022

During his decade in law enforcement, AJ Jacobs fell into a trap of cracking open a beer after a long, stressful shift in the suburbs of Phoenix. Jacobs didn’t spend much time with his family — he had the “super cop” mentality to work all the time, he said. But after 11 years on the […]

Lawmakers grill N.J. health commissioner on N.J.’s COVID response

BY: - April 26, 2022

Lawmakers sparred with Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli during a budget hearing Monday, criticizing the state’s COVID response and blasting Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration for the high death toll in the state’s nursing homes. Persichilli appeared in front of the Assembly Budget Committee to discuss some of the initiatives the Department of Health wants […]

College presidents urge lawmakers to expand higher education aid

BY: - April 26, 2022

New Jersey’s public colleges and universities need more state funding to counter long-standing deficiencies in how the state funds higher education and to offset challenges the pandemic created, several university presidents told lawmakers Monday. The presidents, who appeared before the Assembly’s budget committee, said despite Gov. Phil Murphy’s plans to boost state aid for higher […]

N.J. officials not worried about weed supply going into first weekend of recreational sales

BY: - April 22, 2022

People had plenty of reasons to worry that New Jersey would fumble the rollout of recreational weed sales Thursday morning. Between the delays in launching the market to worries over low supply, some were concerned about how Day 1 would go. But the launch of recreational marijuana sales went relatively pain-free, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory […]

Gender identity a lightning rod in N.J. sex ed curriculum debate

BY: - April 22, 2022

Avery Heimann knew before they even started school that they were queer. Their classmates caught on to their difference immediately and were not kind. “From kindergarten to fifth grade, when my parents pulled me out of public school and put me into a private school, it was nonstop bullying,” Heimann remembered. As unwelcome as that […]

Education advocates praise boosted school aid, but some worry over cuts

BY: - April 22, 2022

Lawmakers on the Senate Budget Committee heard praise Thursday for Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to boost state school aid, but they also heard familiar complaints about how changes to New Jersey’s school funding formula impacted some districts. The governor’s $48.9 billion budget proposal, announced in March, provides for an extra $650 million in state funding […]

‘It’s cannabis Christmas!’ N.J. celebrates the first day of legal recreational marijuana

BY: and - April 21, 2022

Nearly 48 years ago, Marie Holmes sparked a joint for the first time. Since then, she’s experienced the stigma surrounding cannabis usage, the ways consuming weed has changed, and finally, legalization in her home state. “And now I get to use my senior discount,” she laughed. “It’s been way too long since we needed this […]

Use federal COVID relief for housing, education, and health care, activists urge

BY: - April 20, 2022

New Jersey is flush with federal pandemic relief funds, sitting on $3 billion still undesignated. Progressive activists see that as an opportunity for state officials to reach out to vulnerable populations and help all residents recover from the pandemic. During a virtual event Tuesday they dubbed a “People’s Hearing,” the activists criticized the state Legislature for […]

Sex-ed curriculum controversy inspires bill intended to increase transparency

BY: - April 20, 2022

With the furor still in full-swing over New Jersey’s new school standards on health and sex education, one state lawmaker said Tuesday he’ll introduce legislation intended to increase transparency and squash “misinformation and false claims.” Schools would be required to post all curriculum to district websites two weeks before the start of the school year […]

Biden administration will appeal ruling on travel mask mandate — if CDC says it’s needed

BY: - April 19, 2022

The Biden administration will appeal a federal judge’s order striking down a mask mandate for air travel and public transit, subject to a decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Justice Department said in a Tuesday night statement. The CDC has yet to conclude that the mandate — which applied in […]

Most residents approve of plastic bag ban, but paper contentious, poll finds

BY: - April 19, 2022

New Jersey’s ban on single-use paper and plastic bags will start May 4, and most Garden State residents are OK with that, a new poll found. A Monmouth University poll released Tuesday found a majority of New Jersey adults, 61%, support the looming ban on disposable plastic bags, but they’re less certain about a provision […]

Solving N.J.’s judicial vacancy problem would be giant task for Governor Murphy

BY: - April 19, 2022

Judiciary leaders have warned about an overtaxed stable of judges as they work to clear a staggering case backlog, but if Gov. Phil Murphy wants to give the courts a full cohort this year, he’d have to get more judges confirmed than he has since taking office in January 2018. Seventy-three seats on the Superior […]