Gov + Legislature

Remaining COVID restrictions in Statehouse are lifted

BY: - March 22, 2022

A panel tasked with managing New Jersey’s capitol has approved the sunset of the final COVID-19 restrictions in place at the Statehouse. The State Capitol Joint Management Commission unanimously voted on a resolution Tuesday that ends a loosely enforced mask mandate and lifts occupancy restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the virus. “We think […]

Lawmaker withdraws bill that would hike pre-trial incarcerations for gun crimes

BY: - March 22, 2022

A legislator who proposed making it easier to jail people who are charged with gun crimes withdrew his bill Monday in response to critics’ concerns that it could land thousands more people in prison and disproportionately impact people of color. Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union) said he plans to reintroduce the bill next month after he […]

N.J. Senate president opposes pump-your-own-gas bill

BY: - March 21, 2022

A push to allow New Jerseyans to pump their own gas may be dead in the water amid a lack of support from the state’s most powerful legislator. Senate President Nicholas Scutari told the New Jersey Monitor in a statement he does not support a recently introduced bill that would allow for self-service gas pumps. […]

Bill would expand police access to private records in missing persons cases

BY: - March 21, 2022

State lawmakers advanced a bill Monday that would allow state police investigating missing persons and human trafficking cases to access — without consent — someone’s cellphone records, medical records, and other private information. Current law requires a crime to have been committed for investigators to access such records. The new legislation, sponsored by Sen. Linda […]

Appellate court to decide whether candidates are subject to bribery law

BY: - March 21, 2022

The question of whether a private citizen seeking political office in New Jersey can legally accept a bribe is now in the hands of a three-judge appellant panel, which heard arguments Monday in the case of ex-Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell. Prosecutors say O’Donnell, who unsuccessfully campaigned to become Bayonne’s mayor in 2018, accepted $10,000 in a […]

Lawmakers poised to fast-track new utility shutoff protections

BY: - March 21, 2022

Lawmakers appear poised to fast-track a bill creating new utility shutoff protections following the lapse of the state’s shutoff moratorium last week. Senate and Assembly committees will weigh a measure Monday allowing residents behind on their utility bills the ability to defer payments while they seek financial assistance from the state. Close to a million […]

In rejecting ‘inmate,’ N.J. looks to dump a dehumanizing label from state statutes

BY: - March 18, 2022

As language evolves, plenty of words have fallen out of favor as dehumanizing or stigmatizing, from “addict” to “ex-con” to “the disabled.” It’s part of a “person-first” trend embraced by folks who say words that have become pejorative labels should be replaced by person-centered phrases like “person recovering from a substance use disorder,” “person who […]

Bill would allow families to use public assistance to buy diapers

BY: - March 18, 2022

Parents would be able to use their public assistance benefits to buy diapers under a bill several Democratic state lawmakers introduced earlier this month to offset an essential expense they say can keep working-class families trapped in poverty. Assemblywomen Shanique Speight (D-Essex), Mila Jasey (D-Essex), and Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) sponsored the bill, which is now before […]

Assembly panel approves bribery statute expansion

BY: - March 18, 2022

An Assembly panel unanimously approved a long-stalled bill Thursday that would make unelected candidates for public office subject to the state’s bribery laws. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (R-Ocean) and first introduced nearly 10 years ago, would provide a legislative fix to court rulings that dismissed bribery charges against two former Hudson County […]

Lawmakers weigh six-month bag ban delay for food pantries

BY: - March 17, 2022

New Jersey’s ban on disposable plastic bags is set to go into effect in May, but the state’s food banks and pantries could be exempted from those rules for a while longer. On Thursday, the Assembly State and Local Government Committee will weigh a bill exempting the aid organizations from the law for an additional […]

After decade in limbo, lawmakers may debate bill to criminalize bribery for office seekers

BY: - March 16, 2022

A bill that would extend the state’s bribery laws to candidates for political office is set to be heard by an Assembly committee Thursday after nearly 10 years in stasis. The bill’s introduction and its apparent renewal were spurred by bribery charges against two former assemblymen whose cases were dismissed after judges ruled the state’s […]

Residents urged to seek aid as utility shutoff moratorium lapses

BY: - March 15, 2022

State officials urged residents behind on their utility bills to seek aid from the state or their utility providers Tuesday, warning the end of a winter moratorium could lead to shutoffs for hundreds of thousands of residents. “The funding is there. We want you to come forward and apply for it. We do not want […]