State House News

November 23, 2016 Criminal Justice Reform For nearly two years, NJAC and county officials from across the State have been urging State leaders to address our concerns with the costs associated with implementing Criminal Justice Reform set to take effect in January of 2017. In the past two weeks alone, NJAC and a delegation of county officials have met with the Governor’s office and Attorney General’s office. We’ve also testified before the Assembly Judiciary Committee, and have had ongoing conversations with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), which has been very helpful througho...
More

State House News

October 28, 2016 Transportation Trust Fund On October 14th, Governor Christie signed into law legislation that reauthorizes the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) with an 8 year $2.0 billion per year capital program.  In summary, the measure generally increases the State’s motor fuels tax by .23 cents per gallon, reduces the State’s sales tax to 6.875% in 2017 and then 6.625% in 2018, increases the earned income tax credit from 30% to 35% of the federal benefit amount, increases the New Jersey gross income tax exclusion on pension and retirement income for seniors, provides a personal exemptio...
More

State House News

September 30, 2016 Criminal Justice Reform At its meeting on September 23rd, NJAC’s Board of Directors authorized the Association to file an action with the New Jersey Council on Local Mandates that certain provisions of the “Criminal Justice Reform Act” N.J.S.A. 2A:162-15 et. seq. constitute an unfunded State mandate with the New Jersey Council on Local Mandates. The New Jersey Council on Local Mandates is responsible for resolving disputes on whether a law, rule, or regulation adopted after 1996 constitutes an unfunded mandate. In general, an unfunded mandate upon boards of education, mu...
More

State House News: September 2, 2016

County Emergency Management On August 29th, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Senator Joseph Vitale (D-19) held a press conference at the State House with NJAC and county officials to unveil their plans to introduce legislation that would assist county offices of emergency management (OEM) prepare for natural disasters. In summary, the measure would create a program in the Department of Law and Public Safety to distribute aid annually to county OEMs based on a county’s risk exposure to natural disasters with each county receiving a minimum allotment. The program would allow counties ...
More

State House News: July 31, 2016

Transportation Trust Fund As previously reported, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Speaker of the General Assembly Vincent Prieto announced that they have reached agreement on a new plan to fund the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) and to enact a series of tax cuts designed to make New Jersey more competitive. For counties and municipalities, the new plan restores Local Aid Allocations to its original percentage at $400.0 million per year, a long term goal and objective of both NJAC and the NSLOM.  The Senate Budget and Appropriations will consider the matter at its meeting later this morni...
More

State House News: July 1, 2016

  Criminal Justice Reform The fiscal year 2017 state budget does not include funding for counties to implement and administer Criminal Justice Reform.   With this in mind, NJAC’s board of directors took the following action at its meeting on June 24th. NJAC’s legal counsel, with input from NJAC and county counsels, will prepare a legal memorandum summarizing the course of action NJAC should take in filing a complaint with the New Jersey Council on Local Mandates.  NJAC’s board of directors will review the legal memorandum and make a recommendation accordingly at its next m...
More

State House News: June 10, 2016

Criminal Justice Reform NJAC recently had the opportunity to meet with legislative leadership in the General Assembly and submit our position statements on Criminal Justice Reform to the Assembly Budget Committee in preparation for its budget hearing with the Judiciary on May 24th.  We were encouraged by the Judiciary’s testimony, which also reviewed our materials, and of which appears on board with some of our recommendations to streamline court facility operations as highlighted below.  In summary, the Judiciary agrees in concept with permitting a risk assessment within 48 hours after a de...
More

State House News: May 13, 2016

Court Facilities and Criminal Justice Reform As county governments continue to struggle with a restrictive property tax cap levy, a declining ratable base, and mounting unfunded State mandates, county leaders from across the State met on May 6th to identify realistic and achievable solutions for streamlining services and saving valuable taxpayer dollars dedicated to operating and maintaining county court facilities. More specifically, the recommendations and text below offer important and timely solutions that address the growing costs associated with implementing Criminal Justice Reform, pr...
More

State House News: April 8, 2016

Code Blue Emergencies On April 4th, the Assembly Appropriations Committee amended and favorably reported Assembly, No. 815 (Land D-1/Andrzejczak D-1), which would require county office of emergency management coordinators to develop Code Blue Emergency notifications. More specifically, the measure would require a county governing body, through its office of emergency management, to establish a procedure for issuing a Code Blue alert to provide notice to municipalities, social service agencies, and non-profit organizations that provide services to at-risk individuals and are located within t...
More

State House News: March 25, 2016

Criminal Justice Reform NJAC is pleased to report that Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-34) has proposed for introduction Assembly, No. 3491 on behalf of the Association.  In summary, this legislation would establish the “County Government Criminal Justice Reform Administration Fund.”  The intent of this important and timely initiative for all 21 counties is to help offset the costs associated with implementing and administering Criminal Justice Reform by modestly increasing certain criminal and civil court fees for individuals and businesses, and dedicating the increases to county governing b...
More