Gov + Legislature

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 […]

GOP calls for lawmakers to return to Trenton are met with silence

BY: - September 17, 2021

Republican lawmakers have redoubled their efforts to force legislators to return to Trenton ahead of the November election in recent weeks, but their calls appear to have gone unheeded. On Thursday, Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) and Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-Sussex) called on Democratic chairs Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) and Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex) to […]

300K workers move to N.J.’s unemployment benefits after federal programs end

BY: - September 16, 2021

More than 300,000 workers who relied on pandemic-era unemployment benefits before they expired were automatically moved to the state’s extended benefits program this week, a state official said. Of the roughly 500,000 people who were receiving unemployment payments until Sept. 4, about 310,000 claimants are now receiving the extended benefits, said Thomas Wright, spokesman for […]

As more people grow old without children, advocates demand a stronger safety net

BY: - September 15, 2021

Steve McIntyre and his husband Keith Miller don’t have children. Together for 35 years, they never longed for parenthood. And legal protections for the LGBT community have lagged so far behind other marginalized groups that same-sex marriage wasn’t federally protected until 2015, and same-sex adoptions even later, in 2017. “Given the state of equal rights, […]

Case of Jersey City cop highlights lack of police transparency

BY: - September 9, 2021

It was a fight that started stupidly enough, as fights at boozy bashes tend to do. The party’s host got mad at a guest packing leftovers into a cooler to take home. The host threw tomatoes at him — and then went and grabbed a shotgun. “Today is your day!” he shouted at a few […]

Residents impacted by Ida get state, federal tax filing extensions

BY: - September 9, 2021

New Jerseyans affected by last week’s Ida-related storms will get some leeway on their tax filings, State Treasurer Liz Muoio announced Wednesday. The Division of Taxation will allow filers to submit tax returns and payments due between Aug. 26 and Jan. 3, 2022, on the later date. That includes quarterly estimated income tax payments due […]