Social Justice

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 […]

As Tax Day nears, undocumented immigrants again call for $1 billion in state aid

BY: - April 15, 2022

Undocumented immigrants are calling again for more financial aid from the state, saying they deserve more for the billions they contribute in state and local taxes.  Timed for the April 18 deadline to file federal taxes, Latino activists and undocumented immigrants rallied in Paterson to demand $1 billion to help people who were excluded from […]

In some N.J. towns, groups attempt to block legal weed sales

BY: and - April 6, 2022

When New Jersey voters approved a 2020 referendum to make recreational marijuana legal, the residents of Princeton emerged as some of legalization’s biggest champions. Seventy-five percent of voters in this progressive college town gave legal weed a thumbs-up, compared to 68% of voters statewide. But nearly two years later, as talk turns to where to […]

State moves to make controversial civil forfeiture more transparent

BY: - April 6, 2022

The state Attorney General’s Office inched toward making the controversial police practice of civil forfeiture more transparent. The state opened an online portal Tuesday for prosecutors to report what law enforcement officers in their counties have seized from citizens, when and why they seized it, what it was worth, and how they spent the money […]

Lawmakers unveil $350M plan to improve child care, eliminate ‘day care deserts’

BY: - April 5, 2022

Several state lawmakers announced a $350 million, nine-bill legislative package Tuesday supporters say would make day care more affordable in a state where more than 35,000 babies and toddlers live with low-income, working families without access to child care. The bills aim to eliminate “day care deserts,” cover child care costs for more low-income families, […]

Bill would require state documents to be translated into 15 languages

BY: - March 30, 2022

More than 150 languages are spoken in homes across New Jersey, one of the most diverse states in the country. Yet, important state documents and forms are usually required to be printed in only one language: English. A new bill seeks to increase that number to 15 languages, a move its supporters say would encourage […]

N.J. commission says state isn’t ready to start sales of recreational weed

BY: - March 24, 2022

The commission overseeing the state’s cannabis industry on Thursday gave conditional approval to dozens of potential weed growers and labs, but did not set dates for the start of recreational marijuana sales. The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission also halted a move to allow the existing eight medical marijuana dispensaries to start selling recreational weed […]

Low-income families in N.J. least likely to have claimed expanded child tax credit, study finds

BY: - March 17, 2022

The expanded child tax credit was a lifeline to low-income families, who spent the majority of the benefit on necessities like food, clothing, rent, and utilities, according to a new report by the Rutgers Center for Women and Work and the New Jersey State Policy Lab. And though nearly every household with children qualified for some form […]

Court ruling on police records a win for transparency, advocates say

BY: - March 14, 2022

Public officials must release police disciplinary records in New Jersey when the public’s interest in them outweighs an officer’s confidentiality concerns, the state’s top court ruled Monday. Reformers, who have been fighting to open police records for years to increase accountability for misconduct, hailed the decision as a significant win for transparency. New Jersey Supreme […]

Bill would OK civil forfeiture funds for minority recruitment, training

BY: - March 14, 2022

A bill now before the New Jersey Legislature would allow law enforcement agencies to spend civil forfeiture funds on diversity training for officers, minority recruitment, and community outreach. The legislation has raised eyebrows among criminal justice reformers, who have long lambasted civil forfeiture as a problematic police practice that disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color. “These are […]

Bill would require N.J schools to accept donations for school lunches

BY: - March 10, 2022

New Jersey schools would be required to establish “school meal funds” to help students buy food in school or to pay down a student’s lunch debt under a bill a Senate committee will hear Thursday. Under the measure (S1661), money from the fund would be used only to help pay for students’ breakfasts or lunches, […]

Murphy to announce health care for undocumented children in budget address

BY: - March 8, 2022

Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to announce an $11 million plan to provide health care for thousands of undocumented children in his budget address Tuesday afternoon, the New Jersey Monitor has learned.  The initiative would be an expansion of his “cover all kids” pledge, which he made in his budget speech last year. More than […]