NJ DOT Guidance to Counties and Municipalities

Michael Russo, Director of Local Aid & Economic Development for the NJ Department of Transportation, released a letter, dated January 10, 2017, to State Local Aid Grant Recipients informing them that the NJDOT will consider requests for additional funding on Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) funded projects that were impacted by Executive Orders 210 and 216. In the letter, Mr. Russo writes that additional funds may be made available for reasonable costs to accelerate project completion as well as costs related to the safe and orderly shutdown of a project under Executive Order No. 210, purs...
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Bail Reform to Begin Despite Cost Concerns

by Andrew Schmertz, Correspondent for NJTV News December 29, 2016 - For the bail bond industry, reform could be devastating. But for county taxpayers it could just be very costly. So 20 counties asked a state panel to halt the law. “This is going to cost conservatively between $45 million and $50 million statewide for counties, as they have to hire new officers, new assistant prosecutors, new investigators, we have to make capital improvements to both our county courts facilities,” said John Donnadio of the New Jersey Association of Counties. But the Council on Local Mandates — an independe...
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N.J. Will Eliminate Cash Bail, Speed Up Criminal Trials in 2017

by Joe Hernandez of WHYY Public Media Listen to the interview here . On June 2, 2015, police equipped with a search warrant knocked on the door of Jeannette Santiago's Camden home. Santiago said the target of the warrant was a friend who had been selling drugs out of her house, but that officials went after her too because the deed to the house was in her name. She was charged with eight drug- and gun-related felonies. In no time, Santiago was shipped to the county jail, where she would spend the next 17 months, unable to afford the bail for her release. First bail was set at $700,...
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In Measure Labeled ‘Reform’ by Christie, Some See ‘Revenge’

by Josh Cornfield, Associated Press (as printed in the Washington Times and SFGate) Thursday - December 15, 2016 TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Newspapers in New Jersey and political opponents say Republican Gov. Chris Christie is targeting the media organizations he has long fought with by pushing a measure to allow state and local governments to post public notices on their own websites, rather than in the print publications. State and local government agencies across the country are required to pay to publish the legal notices for public meetings, contract bids and other matters. The lob...
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Attorney General: We have no idea how much massive bail overhaul will cost NJ

by S.P. Sullivan | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com  on December 08, 2016 at 7:28 AM, updated December 08, 2016 at 8:30 AM TRENTON -- Six months ago, amid concerns about the costs associated with New Jersey's massive bail system overall, Gov. Chris Christie ordered the state's attorney general to study what it could mean for the budgets of county prosecutors, jails and police departments. A new report published by the state Division of Criminal Justice has given the governor his answer: There's no way to know until after the reforms are in place. The sweeping changes that take effect in Jan...
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Is Criminal Justice in NJ About to Become an Unfunded Mandate?

by Caren Chesler for NJ Spotlight.com on November 30, 2016 The state’s massive overhaul of the criminal justice system calls for new technologies and more personnel. The counties want to know where the money will come from. As New Jersey prepares to implement a major overhaul of its criminal justice system in January, county governments will attempt to block the effort, claiming they will be forced to pay millions of dollars for new prosecutors, sheriff’s officers, and capital improvements with no help from the state. The New Jersey Association of Counties estimates the reforms wi...
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ATTORNEY GENERAL ISSUES DIRECTIVE TO GUIDE PROSECUTORS AND POLICE

Attorney General Issues Directive to Guide Prosecutors and Police in Implementing Historic Bail Reform that will keep Dangerous Criminals in Jail and Eliminate Unfair Monetary-Based Bail System For Immediate Release:  October 13, 2016 For Further Information Contact:  Peter Aseltine, (609) 292-4791   TRENTON – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino today issued a new directive that provides detailed guidance to prosecutors and police in implementing the historic bail reform law and related amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, which for the first time in state history will permit dang...
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COUNTIES TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST BAIL REFORM

by Katherine Landergan of Politico 10/04/2016 05:36 AM EDT A coalition of counties will take legal action against the state's sweeping bail reform policy, just months before the changes are set to go into effect. The New Jersey Association of Counties plans to file a complaint with a state board by mid-October, arguing that bail reform is inadequately funded. The state board, known as the Council on Local Mandates, has the power to strike down a law if it lacks the proper funding. Counties have until January to implement reforms that aim to substantially restrict cash bail in the state. ...
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With Infrastructure Projects Sidelined, Who Pays for Broken Contracts?

by Chase Brush for NJ Spotlight Counties and municipalities are coming under the gun for road and bridge projects Christie has shut down until cash is found for Transportation Trust Fund Credit: Jim Schacter / WNYC Growing concern over the cost of Gov. Chris Christie’s statewide shutdown of road and bridge projects until money can be found for the Transportation Trust Fund provided the impetus yesterday for an Assembly committee to pass a bill that would bring some relief to counties and municipalities suffering under the freeze. During the morning meeting of the Assembly Trans...
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NJ Bail Reform Goes Into Effect Jan.1

by Michael Hill, Correspondent for NJTV Next year bail reform starts in New Jersey and today the state’s chief justice cited one reason why: 12 percent of the jail population are defendants charged with minor crimes but can’t afford to post bail of $2,500. For reformers, that’s a crime in itself. “We can also demonstrate that a system that relies upon resource for money bail disproportionately affects the poor and minorities,” said Glenn Grant, acting administrative director of New Jersey courts. After horror stories of inmates spending months and years in jail because of an inability to p...
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