New Jersey

Politics in Brief - December 10 2018 | 12-07-2018

CRITICS ASSAIL NJ DEMS REDISTRICTING PROPOSAL Government watchdog groups, civil rights organizations and redistricting experts are criticizing a Democratic proposal in NEW JERSEY that seeks to change the state constitution to entrench the party’s...

Blockchain, Cybersecurity Will Challenge Lawmakers in 2019 | 11-30-2018

SNCJ devotes the last three issues of each year to a preview of the coming state legislative sessions. Here in part one of that three-part series we’ll take a look at a few of the issues that are likely to draw the attention of state lawmakers next...

Cybersecurity Hot Issue in Statehouses in 2018 | 11-30-2018

At least 35 states have considered bills or resolutions dealing with cybersecurity in 2018, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net legislative data by the National Conference of State Legislatures . Twenty-two states have enacted such measures...

Sports Betting Blows Past $500M Mark in NJ | 11-30-2018

About $260 million was wagered in New Jersey on sporting events in October, bringing the total for the four and a half months sports betting has been legal in the state to $597 million. A spokesman for FanDuel, which handles the sports book at the...

Murphy Not Yet All In on NJ Weed Legalization Bill | 11-30-2018

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) lauded the approval of a closely-watched weed legalization measure last week, but declined to say if he would sign the measure if it reaches his desk. Murphy has long supported legalizing cannabis in the Garden State...

Social Policy - November 12 2018 | 11-09-2018

Trump Administration Finalizes The Trump administration finalizes rules that allow some employers with religious or moral objections to opt out of providing no-cost birth control for female workers (ASSOCIATED PRESS). NJ Governor Signs SB 2465 ...

Definitely Not Fake News | 11-09-2018

On occasion, really valuable things mistakenly find their way to thrift stores or yard sales. Such was the case last month when, as the AP reports , an original copy of a 1774 “rebel” newspaper featuring articles penned by some guy named John...

Sports Betting ‘Gold Mine’ for NJ: | 11-02-2018

Sports betting has really taken off in New Jersey. Roughly $184 million in bets on sporting events were placed in the state in September, almost twice as much as the $96 million wagered in August. And that brings the total in the first three and a half...

Budgets in Brief - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

CO POT SALES BREAK $1B LEVEL EARLIER THAN EVER Combined recreational and medical marijuana sales in COLORADO topped $1 billion in August, the earliest point they’ve reached that level in the four years marijuana has been allowed for recreational...

Governors in Brief - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

MURPHY CALLS FOR TOUGHER NJ GUN LAWS In the wake of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil Murphy (D) endorsed new restrictions on gun and ammunition sales in New Jersey. Murphy urged lawmakers to introduce new bills to fight...

Murphy Orders Inquiry of NJ Official Accused of Assault | 10-19-2018

Saying he was “sick to [his] stomach,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) ordered an investigation into the hiring of a former senior staffer now accused of sexually assaulting a female staffer after a campaign event last spring. Albert Alvarez...

States Seek to Maintain Net Neutrality | 10-12-2018

At least 32 states have introduced legislation this year that would require internet service providers to uphold net neutrality principles, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net . Many of those...

Opioid Taxes Not Faring Well This Session | 10-12-2018

Minnesota state Rep. Dave Baker (R) sponsored a bill ( HB 1440 ) this session that would have imposed a “penny a pill” fee on every opioid painkiller pharmaceutical companies sold in the state to provide funding for opioid abuse prevention...

Politics in Brief - October 15 2018 | 10-12-2018

ND VOTER ID LAW ALLOWED TO STAND The U.S. Supreme Court declined to vacate a ruling by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowing NORTH DAKOTA to enforce a requirement that voters provide a street address before casting a ballot on Election Day...

Governors in Brief - October 15 2018 | 10-12-2018

Baker Opposes MA Nurse Staffing Mandates MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said a recent report by the state Health Policy Commission has convinced him to vote no on Question 1 , a ballot measure that would require strict nurse-to-patient ratios...

Education - October 15 2018 | 10-12-2018

NJ Department of Education Issues New Guidelines The NEW JERSEY Department of Education issues new guidance requiring Garden State schools to accept a student’s stated gender identity and to honor that student’s request to not notify their...

State Lawmakers Taking More Interest in Cryptocurrencies | 10-05-2018

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to buy goods and services, pay bills, gamble online, transfer money internationally and as an investment vehicle, among other things. And that activity is drawing more attention...

More State Cryptocurrency Legislation in 2018 | 10-05-2018

At least 21 states have introduced bills or resolutions dealing with digital currencies in 2018, about double the number of states that did so last year, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net....

State’s Age Impacts Fiscal Health | 10-05-2018

The older a state is, the more likely it is to have fiscal problems. That’s one of the findings of an analysis of state fiscal health by William Bergman, director of research for Truth in Accounting, a nonprofit that advocates for transparency in...

Budgets in Brief - October 8 2018 | 10-05-2018

NJ GOV WANTS TO INVEST $500M IN START-UPS NEW JERSEY Gov. Philip Murphy (D) has proposed establishing a $500 million fund to be used for partnering with venture capitalists to invest in start-up companies, as an alternative to traditional tax incentives...

Business - October 8 2018 | 10-05-2018

NJ Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Suspends Enforcement The NEW JERSEY Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control says it will suspend enforcement of new rules imposed in September on craft breweries while it consults with brewers, bars and restaurants...

States Gearing Up to Bet Big on Sports Wagering | 09-28-2018

Rhode Island has placed a $23.5 million sports bet. The Ocean State isn’t betting on New England’s beloved Red Sox or Patriots but on the prospect that other bettors will. If enough gamblers play, the state wins and will collect $23...

Sports Bets Now Being Placed in Five States | 09-28-2018

Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting on May 14, four states have joined Nevada in allowing such wagering within their borders, according to the Legal Sports Report. Those states include New Jersey, where the sports...

Get the L Out | 09-28-2018

Or better yet, get it back in. That’s the word from the folks in the New Jersey town of Lavallette, who saw something glaringly wrong on a new road sign state transportation folks erected on Route 37. As UPI reports , the contractor who made the...

Data Privacy Popular Issue in States | 09-14-2018

At least 33 states have considered legislation this session dealing specifically with the privacy of personal data. Nineteen of those states have enacted data privacy measures. They include California, which enacted AB 375 , modeled after the European...

Budgets in Brief - September 17 2018 | 09-14-2018

SPORTS BETTING OFF TO GOOD START IN MS Gamblers bet $9.8 million dollars on sporting events at state-regulated gambling halls in MISSISSIPPI in the first 34 days of legalized sports wagering in the state. Mississippi is one of four states - the others...

Politics in Brief - September 17 2018 | 09-14-2018

NM SUPREME COURT RULES OUT STRAIGHT-TICKET VOTING The NEW MEXICO Supreme Court ruled unanimously last week that Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) did not have the authority to reinstate straight-ticket voting after that option was discontinued...

Many States Taken Action but Many Yet to Act on Wayfair Ruling | 09-07-2018

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that a law passed by South Dakota had freed it from a longstanding legal precedent barring states from imposing sales taxes on internet and mail-order retailers that did not have a physical presence within their...

Other Options for States on SALT Cap | 09-07-2018

After the state and local tax (SALT) deduction was capped at $10,000 as part of the federal tax overhaul last December, high-tax states immediately began looking for ways for their residents to avoid a big bump in their federal tax burdens. Connecticut...

Environment - September 10 2018 | 09-07-2018

Going On In NJ The NEW JERSEY Department of Environmental Protection enacts a new rule to cap the amount of compounds known as PFNAs, short for perfluorononanoic acids, in Garden State drinking water. The man-made, toxic chemical compounds, once used...

Some States Resist Expanding Short-Term Health Plans | 08-31-2018

A new regulation from the Department of Health and Human Services will allow insurers, starting on Oct. 1, to offer bare-bones, short-term health insurance plans as a longer-term, low-cost alternative to the coverage prescribed by the Affordable Care...

Slow Progress on Public Pension Reform | 08-17-2018

The economy is on a tear, with the national growth rate high and unemployment low. Eighty percent of U.S. companies have reported earnings that exceed Wall Street forecasts. City and state revenues are surging, as the Great Recession fades in the rear...

Pension ‘Funded Ratios’ Going in Opposite Directions in Some States | 08-17-2018

Alaska’s public pension “funded ratio” – the level of assets compared to accrued liabilities – increased 10.3 percent between 2013 and 2016, more than in any other state, according to data from the Pew Charitable Trusts....

Budgets in Brief - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

SPORTS BETTING OFF AND RUNNING IN NJ Three casinos and two racetracks allowing sports betting in NEW JERSEY took in $40.6 million in such wagering in July, the first full month it has been legal. Since the state initially began allowing sports gambling...

Governors in Brief - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

SCOTT DECLARES FL ALGAE EMERGENCY FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott (R) declared a state of emergency last week after a growing “red tide” algae bloom left Sunshine State beaches covered with dead fish and marine animals. His declaration will make...

Murphy Launches NJ Free College Plan | 08-03-2018

The office of NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced the kickoff of a plan that will allow thousands of low-income Garden State residents to attend college tuition-free next year. The pilot program will cover tuition and mandatory fees for students...

Environment - August 6 2018 | 08-03-2018

NJ Governor Signs SB 2534 NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signs SB 2534 , legislation that bans smoking on Garden State beaches. The prohibition goes into effect early next year and covers all local and state-owned beaches, with violators subject to...

All or Parts of 31 States ‘Sanctuaries’ as of Early 2017 | 07-20-2018

As of February of last year, at least five states had laws limiting how much local law enforcement had to cooperate with requests from federal authorities to detain immigrants, according to analysis of data from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center by...

Blue States Sue Trump Administration Over SALT Limit | 07-20-2018

Four mostly Democrat-governed, northeastern states - Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and New York - are suing the Trump administration over the $10,000 cap on the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes included in the federal tax overhaul enacted...

States Seek to Soften Blow of SCOTUS Union Ruling | 07-20-2018

Last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public workers who opt out of union membership can’t be required to pay fees supporting union collective bargaining efforts even if they benefit from them. The decision is expected...

Governors in Brief - July 23 2018 | 07-20-2018

RAIMONDO ORDERS RI PLASTICS TASK FORCE Responding to the failure of several legislative efforts to mitigate the impact of plastic waste on the environment, RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) issued Executive Order 18-06 , which will create the “Task...

Budgets in Brief - July 16 2018 | 07-13-2018

TRUCKING INDUSTRY SUES RI OVER NEW TOLL SYSTEM The American Trucking Association and three companies - MASSACHUSETTS -based, convenience-store chain Cumberland Farms; MASSACHUSETTS -based cargo carrier M&M Transport Services; and NEW JERSEY -based...

Budgets in Brief - July 9 2018 | 07-06-2018

U.S. HOUSE AND SENATE PASS FARM BILLS The U.S. Senate passed an $867 billion farm bill last month, a week after the House passed its own version. The two chambers will now have until Sept. 30 to resolve the points of contention between the two bills...

Social Policy - July 9 2018 | 07-06-2018

NJ Governor Signs SB 478, SB 493, and SB 705 NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signs a trio of transgender rights bills: SB 478 , which allows Garden State residents to amend their birth certificate without proof of having undergone a sex-change operation;...

Straws Latest Flashpoint in Battle Over Plastics | 06-29-2018

Today, a visitor to a Bon Appétit cafe will have no problem finding plenty of tasty things to nosh on. But finding a plastic straw for their soda or a plastic stirrer for their coffee will soon be impossible. San Francisco-based Bon Appétit...

States Cracking Down on Plastic Straws and Polystyrene Containers | 06-29-2018

At least 11 states have introduced bills this session related to polystyrene food or beverage containers, most of them prohibiting their use, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative information system. Five of those states have also introduced...

Govs Differ on Border Separations | 06-29-2018

The ongoing controversy over family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico has spurred a bipartisan group of governors to pull back or reject outright President Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico. Democrats...

Governors in Brief - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

BROWN MOVES DAYLIGHT SAVINGS BILL TO CA BALLOT CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed AB 807 , a measure that will allow Golden State voters to decide if they want to stay on daylight saving time year-round. If voters approve, the measure would still...

Social Policy - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

Going On In AR A federal judge issues a temporary restraining order that prevents ARKANSAS from enforcing a section of a 2015 law requiring abortion providers to contract with a second doctor who has hospital admitting privileges. The order issued...

New Jersey Moves Ahead With Sports Betting | 06-15-2018

New Jersey Gov. Philip Murphy (D) signed a bill last Monday ( AB 4111 ) providing for the regulation and taxation of sports betting in the state. The legislation brought an end to a years-long battle to help the state’s struggling casinos that led...