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 […]

Make New Jersey one of the first presidential primary states, Democratic chair says

BY: - March 17, 2022

New Jersey Democrats want a bigger say in presidential primaries. Democratic State Chairman LeRoy Jones urged Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison in a letter Wednesday to consider adding New Jersey to the list of early primary states as the national Democratic organization considers retooling its nomination calendar to better reflect the party’s demographics. “It […]

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 […]

Disgraced ex-Paterson mayor charged anew after making forbidden bid for office

BY: - March 11, 2022

Former Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres was charged Friday with criminal contempt for launching a new mayoral campaign despite a 2017 criminal conviction that barred him from seeking public office again. Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin announced the fourth-degree charge against Torres, 63, who said last month he would challenge Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh in this […]

Lawmakers spar with labor commissioner over unemployment problems

BY: - March 11, 2022

State senators grilled Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo during a contentious three-hour hearing Thursday, criticizing him over the state’s handling of the unemployment crisis at the height of the pandemic and questioning him about why they still hear from residents who say they haven’t received benefits they should have received long ago.  Senators relayed heartbreaking stories […]

Murphy budget proposal boosts criminal justice spending

BY: - March 9, 2022

New Jersey’s correctional officers would get fatter paychecks, prisoner re-entry programs would get millions more in funding, and corrections oversight would be beefed up under the $48.9 billion budget proposal Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday. The plan, which Murphy detailed during an hourlong address in the Statehouse in Trenton, hints at the governor’s criminal justice priorities […]

Murphy proposes $60M ‘fee holiday’ for state parks, marriage and driver’s licenses

BY: - March 8, 2022

If you’re one of those people whose eyes glaze over when talk turns to taxes and things like debt defeasance, Gov. Phil Murphy has one word for you: freebies. One of Murphy’s budget recommendations is a year’s worth of fee waivers for a hodgepodge of items, an idea mocked as a gimmick by the governor’s […]

Bill advances that would allow election officials to count ballots early

BY: - March 4, 2022

The Senate’s government committee advanced a bill Thursday that would allow election officials to begin counting mail-in and early-vote ballots before polls close, a move that comes as lawmakers have become more frustrated with delays in reporting election results. The bill, which cleared the panel in a 4-1 vote, would allow county election boards to […]

N.J. cannabis panel mulls how to spend proceeds from recreational weed

BY: - March 3, 2022

Expungement clinics. School buses. Wheelchair ramps. Cannabis community centers. Training for rookie entrepreneurs. Grants and no-interest loans. The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission heard all sorts of ideas Wednesday night from 15 people during an hourlong virtual public hearing held to solicit input for how the state should spend tax revenue from the new recreational […]

Lawmakers revive long fight to let New Jersey drivers pump their own gas

BY: - March 1, 2022

In a state oft-maligned for its traffic, taxes, and more, the list of uniquely Jersey perks is short but persuasive. Wherever you go, you’re within 100 miles of the ocean. You might run into Bruce Springsteen at any time. And you never have to pump your own gas. But several lawmakers are looking to upend […]

Veteran municipal manager joins N.J. Assembly with budget-busting in mind

BY: - February 24, 2022

Brandon Umba grew up with the sound of sirens. He was just 16 when he followed his father and grandfather into the volunteer fire service. He remembers sprinting on foot to the firehouse whenever there was an emergency, until he got his driver’s license. He’d dry off the firetruck after calls and otherwise contribute however […]

Scrutiny of Bridgewater mall fight leads to A.G. warning on racial profiling

BY: - February 18, 2022

In response to the outcry surrounding the actions of police officers who handcuffed a Black teen at the Bridgewater mall, acting Attorney General Matt Platkin reminded law enforcement in a letter Friday of a directive banning “racially influenced policy.” Platkin, who assumed the role of the state’s chief law enforcement officer on Monday, notes in the letter […]