New Jersey

One-Party Rule No Guaranty of Results | 11-17-2017

After hitting the political trifecta this month with the election of Democrat Phil Murphy to the governor’s office, the first order of legislative business for New Jersey Democrats next year will likely be raising taxes on high-earners, a proposal...

Pension Problems Worsen in Most States | 11-17-2017

As of 2016, the last year for which complete data is available, states had only 71.1 percent of the assets they needed to cover future pension payments to retirees, down from 74.5 percent in 2015. New Jersey was in the worst shape, with a pension funding...

Drunks, Fools and Rookies | 11-10-2017

When New Jersey police officer Timothy Richard pulled over a white Chevy Suburban a few weeks ago, he didn’t think much of it. Only on the job for three months, he was carrying out his assignment for the day: cracking down on drivers who talk on...

Dems Score Big Gains in State Legislative Races | 11-10-2017

Just two states - New Jersey and Virginia - held general elections on Nov. 7 in which state legislative seats were contested. Democrats made modest gains in New Jersey, where all 80 seats in the Assembly and all 40 seats in the Senate were up for grabs...

States Preparing for Legal Sports Betting | 11-10-2017

Thirteen states have introduced and three have passed legislation this year dealing with the legalization of sports betting, currently prohibited in all but a handful of states by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) passed by Congress...

Health & Science - November 6 2017 | 11-03-2017

New Jersey Department of Health Finalize Rules The NEW JERSEY Department of Health finalizes rules that allow pharmacies without a medical director to apply for a standing prescription to dispense the anti-overdose drug naloxone. The state began allowing...

General Legislative Elections in Two States on Nov 7 | 11-03-2017

Just two states - New Jersey and Virginia - will hold general elections on Nov. 7 in which state legislative seats will be contested. Louisiana and Mississippi also hold legislative elections in odd-numbered years but all legislators in those two states...

Another Slow Year for Ballot Measures | 11-03-2017

On Nov. 7 voters in 7 states will consider a total of 22 statewide ballot measures, bringing the count for the year - with measures on the ballot last month in two states - to 27. That continues a downward trend in the number of measures on the ballot...

Death of State Death Taxes | 11-03-2017

In 2000, every state in the nation imposed an estate tax or inheritance tax, otherwise known as “death taxes.” Now just 19 states do. And Delaware and New Jersey will eliminate their estate taxes next year. The repeal trend began after...

Business - October 23 2017 | 10-20-2017

California Vetoes AB 1209 Citing its “ambiguous” details, CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoes AB 1209 , which would have required large companies in California to disclose data on how they’re paying men and women differently (LOS...

Late State Budgets on Rise | 09-15-2017

Over the past few years, late state budgets have become increasingly common. In 2013 five states had to call special sessions to pass their FY 2014 budgets, although all five managed to do so before the 2014 fiscal year actually began. But 11 states started...

Governors In Brief - September 11 2017 | 09-08-2017

CHRISTIE PROPOSES NEW NJ OPIOID RULE NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced a new rule prohibiting prescribers of opioid medications from accepting meals and uncapped compensation for speaking engagements, consulting work, and other services...

Business - September 4 2017 | 09-01-2017

Business In Arizona An ARIZONA judge rules that a Grand Canyon State law barring local municipalities from requiring employers to provide additional employee benefits is unconstitutional. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joshua Rogers said the...

Business - August 14 2017 | 08-11-2017

New Jersey Signs AB 3896 NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) signs AB 3896 , which makes it illegal to sell unsafe used tires in the Garden State. Violators face a fine of $500 (NEW BRUNSWICK TODAY). Oregon Signs SB 828 OREGON Gov. Kate Brown...

Crime & Punishment - August 14 2017 | 08-11-2017

California Signs SB 725 CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs SB 725 , which clarifies that current and former military members who suffer from service-related mental health issues may be diverted to a treatment court in lieu of jail when charged with...

Education - August 14 2017 | 08-11-2017

California Signs AB 990 CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs AB 990 , which requires the California State University system to post estimates of the specific cost of off campus housing for students. Many universities estimate the cost of living off...

Potpourri - August 14 2017 | 08-11-2017

Illinois Signs HB 1805 ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signs HB 1805 , which allows 16- and 17-year olds to sign up with the First Person Consent Organ and Tissue donor registry when they receive their driver's licenses or state ID cards. Parents...

Governors In Brief - August 7 2017 | 08-04-2017

HOGAN PROPOSES NEW TIMETABLE FOR MD EMISSIONS TESTS MARYLAND Gov. Larry Hogan (R) proposed giving Old Line State drivers an extra year before their vehicles would have to undergo an initial emissions inspection. Current law requires the inspection...

Budgets In Brief - August 7 2017 | 08-04-2017

NEW JERSEY EMPLOYEES TO GET BACK PAY State workers in NEW JERSEY will get back pay for time off they had to take during the state’s government shutdown last month. Gov. Chris Christie (R) signed legislation this week authorizing retroactive pay...

Purveyor Of Ancient Power | 07-14-2017

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for certain has a tempestuous nature, but he’s no match for the rolling ball of 24/7 pugnaciousness that is Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who’s primary accomplishment through almost two terms in office is keeping everyone...

Education - July 10 2017 | 07-07-2017

Oregon Approves HB 3454 The OREGON Senate unanimously approves HB 3454 , a bill that would require public schools to provide lunch to all students regardless of their ability to pay. The bill, which would also bar those institutions from practicing...

Governors In Brief - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

Cuomo, NY Lawmakers Reach ‘Buy American’ Deal After previous failures, NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has reached a deal with Empire State legislative leaders on a bill that would require that certain state agencies require the use of American...

Christie Intros Criminal Record Reforms | 06-16-2017

Calling it a way to help recovering drug addicts return to society and the workforce, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced a trio of bills last week aimed at making it easier for those convicted of drug offenses to clear their criminal records...

NJ Casinos Get Big Boost From Online Gambling | 06-09-2017

For the last several years, New Jersey casino revenue has been declining by an average of 7.6 percent a year. But through April of this year, total casino gambling revenue was up 1.7 percent over the same period last year. The reason for the change of...

Governors In Brief - June 5 2017 | 06-02-2017

Gov. Scott Vetoes VT Weed Bill VERMONT Gov. Phil Scott (R) vetoed a measure ( SB 22 ) that would have made the Green Mountain State the first to legalize recreational marijuana through legislative action. Scott said he still supported the bill in concept...

Budgets In Brief - June 5 2017 | 06-02-2017

Tax Swap In Works In LA The LOUISIANA House passed a pair of bills last week ( HB 359 and HB 360 ) that would establish flat tax rates for individuals of 3.95 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, while eliminating the state deduction for federal...

Budgets In Brief - May 22 2017 | 05-19-2017

AK Lawmakers Vote To End Oil Subsidies ALASKA’s Senate has approved a House proposal eliminating cash subsidies for oil companies. But there’s still a wide gap between the two chambers over what to do about subsidies owed but not yet paid...

Governors In Brief - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Christie Vetoes Pension Bill Deriding it as handing out “a blank check,” NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) conditionally vetoed legislation ( SB 3040 ) that would have allowed Garden State police and firefighters to take control over their...

Politics In Brief - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Congress Blocks State Retirement Plans Congress voted to eliminate an Obama-administration rule removing regulatory hurdles obstructing states from creating retirement programs for workers who don’t have access to retirement plans through their...

Governors In Brief - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

Hickenlooper Orders Oil & Gas Inspections In the aftermath of an explosion caused by a gas leak, COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) ordered oil and gas companies statewide to inspect and pressure-test oil and gas flowlines within 1,000 feet of...

PA Eyeing Online Gambling | 04-28-2017

Facing a $3 billion budget shortfall through next summer, Pennsylvania, the nation’s second biggest commercial casino state after Nevada, is considering a host of gambling expansion ideas, including becoming the first state to take both its casino...

NJ Gov Planning More Pension Reform | 04-14-2017

In February New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) unveiled a plan to use revenue from the state’s lottery to bail out its woefully underfunded public pension system. And last week he told reporters he’s been meeting with union leaders to discuss...

Budgets In Brief - April 17 2017 | 04-14-2017

NH HOUSE FAILS TO PASS BUDGET NEW HAMPSHIRE’s Republican-controlled House failed to pass the budget proposed by the chamber’s Finance Committee for the first time since the 1960s, due to limited Democratic support and a “large faction”...

Governors In Brief - April 10 2017 | 04-07-2017

Baker Tries Again on MA Police Assault Bill After lawmakers killed a similar proposal last session, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) refiled legislation last week that would make it a felony to assault and cause serious bodily harm to a police...

Hello Chris, This Is God | 03-31-2017

And speaking of motions not of this realm, the Asbury Park Press reports that last week lightning struck the New Jersey governor’s mansion. The governor wasn’t there and nobody was hurt, but you have to wonder just how many signals from on...

Social Policy - March 20 2017 | 03-17-2017

New Jersey Approves AB 3091 The NEW JERSEY Senate approves AB 3091 , which would set the legal age for marriage at 18. The measure, which is intended to prevent forced arranged marriages, moves to Gov. Chris Christie (R) for consideration (NJ.COM)...

Budgets In Brief - March 20 2017 | 03-17-2017

WV SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES TAX REFORM PLAN WEST VIRGINIA’s Select Senate Committee on Reform approved a bill ( SB 335 ) last week that would replace the state’s current 6-percent sales tax with an 8-percent general consumption tax and...

Governors in Brief - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

Malloy Pitches Justice System Reform for CT Young Offenders : Saying we need “a society where young people who make mistakes don’t pay a price forever,” CONNECTICUT Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) proposed creating a new category of “young...

Budgets In Brief - March 6 2017 | 03-03-2017

Tax Collections From Wealthy Down in CT Estimated quarterly tax payments in January were down 9 percent from last year in CONNECTICUT , with 90 percent of that decline due to lower collections from the state’s wealthiest taxpayers, according...

Business - February 20 2017 | 02-17-2017

Indiana Approves HB 1133 The INDIANA House approves HB 1133 , which bars local governments from banning Airbnb and similar short-term rental services. The bill moves to the Senate (INDIANAPOLIS STAR). New Jersey Signs AB 3695 NEW JERSEY Gov....

Health & Science - February 20 2017 | 02-17-2017

North Dakota Approves HB 1434 The NORTH DAKOTA House approves HB 1434 , which would require health insurers to provide coverage for applied behavioral analysis, a therapy method widely used for autistic children. It moves to the Senate (GRAND FORKS...

Governors In Brief - February 20 2017 | 02-17-2017

Hickenlooper Offers CA Pot Advice Saying his state “made an awful lot of mistakes,” COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) shared some insights into regulating legal marijuana with a CALIFORNIA legislative committee last week, telling lawmakers...

Business - February 13 2017 | 02-10-2017

North Dakota Rejects HB 1263 The NORTH DAKOTA House rejects HB 1263 , which would have raised the Flickertail State minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.25 an hour, starting in 2018 with annual adjustments for cost of living increases beginning a year later...

Crime & Punishment - February 13 2017 | 02-10-2017

Crime In Maryland The MARYLAND Court of Appeals unanimously rules that Old Line State judges and court commissioners should look first to ways other than bail to ensure a defendant appears for trial. The seven-member court’s ruling was a compromise...

Education - February 13 2017 | 02-10-2017

Education In South Dakota The SOUTH DAKOTA House Education Committee rejects a bill that would have required insurance companies to disclose how much money they donate to the state’s fledgling private-school scholarship fund in exchange for tax...

Health & Science - February 13 2017 | 02-10-2017

Health In West Virginia The WEST VIRGINIA Department of Health announces it will distribute more than 8,000 two-dose naloxone opioid antidote kits to new and existing opioid addiction treatment programs around the Mountain State. Naloxone is used to...

Governors In Brief - February 6 2017 | 02-03-2017

LA Seeking Private Help for Roads Transportation officials in LOUSIANA said last week they will for the first time seek help from private firms in fast tracking road congestion mitigation projects in the Pelican State. The work would take place along...

Crime & Punishment - January 23 2017 | 01-20-2017

New Jersey Signs SB 2483 NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) signs SB 2483 , which restricts access to firearms for people who have been convicted of a domestic violence crime or who are subject to a domestic violence restraining order (NJ.COM)

Potpourri - January 23 2017 | 01-20-2017

Potpourri In New Jersey The NEW JERSEY Supreme Court rules that municipalities must allow the development of affordable housing for poor and middle-class families whose needs were ignored for more than 16 years. The court rejected claims from several...

Governors In Brief - January 23 2017 | 01-20-2017

Christie Signs Opioid EO Sticking to his vow to address the state’s rising opioid abuse epidemic, NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) issued Executive Order No. 219, which declares opioid abuse to be a public health crisis and creates a state...