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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Officials Push Bill to Devote Money to Storm Response Planning

by Brenda Flanagan, Correspondent for NJTV http:// Pounding surf still frays some nerves down the shore as hurricane season spins into high gear with Gaston generating mid-Atlantic waves so powerful, they’re creating dangerous rip currents along Jersey beaches. The National Weather Service recently revised its 2016 hurricane forecast and now predicts more storms of higher intensity. Parts of Louisiana still molder under floodwaters resulting from so-called “1,000-year rains”. Jersey lawmakers fear catastrophic consequences here, too. “I think the key to this is being prepared for the next...
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NJ Counties Scramble to Implement New Bail Rules

by Corinne Ramey, reporter for the Wall Street Journal August 9, 2016  -  5:30 a.m. ET January deadline looms for compliance with new legislation meant to speed up the pre-trial process A massive overhaul of New Jersey’s bail system aimed at unclogging county jails and courts is spreading fiscal angst across the state. January is the deadline for counties to comply with rules designed to speed up pretrial procedures and nearly eliminate money bail. The requirements stem from legislation signed in August 2014 by Gov. Chris Christie and a state constitutional amendment approved by voters s...
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Legislative TTF Debate Continues as Construction Projects Stall

by Michael Aron, Chief Political Correspondent for NJTV “I’m supposed to be meeting with the governor sometime this week and hopefully we can come to some kind of agreement,” Senate President Steve Sweeney said. Sweeney would like to get a bill passed this week, before the two political conventions begin, but doesn’t sound optimistic. “We’re nowhere right now,” he said. “We’ve put some compromises together that we’re going to offer the governor and hopefully he’ll have an open mind. If he doesn’t agree with what we’re offering, is willing to offer something back. If it’s just, ‘...
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Lawmakers Yet to Come Up with Plan on How to Contend with Now-Stalled Road Projects

by Raven Santana of FIOS 1 For news video please click on the source: NJ_07-05-2016_InfrastructureProjects_RavSan_7PM.mov On Thursday, June 30th, Gov. Chris Christie ordered New Jersey officials to plan for a shutdown of state road projects. This, after democratic lawmakers failed to agree with him on how to address the state transportation fund's borrowing authority, which expired Friday. So what does that mean for people here in the Garden State? Without a resolution, county road resurfacing and reconstruction on bridges like Springfield's Mountain Avenue Bridge would be halted. “This...
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PROFILE: His Group Looks Out for Interests of State’s 21 County Governments

by John Reitmeyer of NJ Spotlight Head of NJ Association of Counties hits the road to hear local concerns – and hits the hallways of State House in Trenton. Who he is: John Donnadio, executive director of the New Jersey Association of Counties. Why he matters: Donnadio, 49, is leader of a group that represents the interests of all 21 county governments in the State House in Trenton. He and other members of the organization regularly testify during legislative committee hearings, explaining how a proposed bill would affect county governments and property taxes. And, as lawmakers have been ...
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