Justice Department Sues Grewal, Murphy, NJ for Not Sharing Data with ICE

COLLEEN O'DEA | FEBRUARY 11, 2020

NJ Spotlight

State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal

---

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has announced the Justice Department is suing New Jersey, along with Gov. Phil Murphy and state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, for prohibiting state officials from sharing information with the U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement agency.

Barr’s announcement came Monday, hours after President Donald Trump had condemned “sanctuary city” policies as a “tremendous problem” to a group of governors at the White House.

A Justice Department statement said the lawsuit challenges “New Jersey Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive 2018-6,” which forbids sharing information with ICE officials in most cases. It said that “on multiple occasions last year, New Jersey officials failed to provide information regarding the release dates of aliens who had been charged with or convicted of crimes.” It added that “New Jersey’s decision to obstruct federal immigration enforcement by refusing to provide such information is unlawful under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Putting Word Out on Free Tax-Prep, Full Refunds and How to Avoid Scams

JOHN REITMEYER | FEBRUARY 10, 2020

NJ Spotlight

Winston George of Irvington discussed the free tax-filing help he received from NJ Citizen Action.

---

When Winston George turned to a for-profit service last year to file his income-tax returns, he was charged a fee to put his refund on a prepaid card and only learned later the refund could have been deposited directly into his bank account for free.

To some, the nearly $50 fee levied on top of the $211 tax-preparation charge might not have made a big dent in their personal finances. But for Irvington resident George, who works as a UPS package handler, it was a big hit.

“That isn’t a lot of money, but when you’re living check to check, everything adds up,” George said.

This year, George is filing his tax returns through New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA), a group that provides free, bilingual tax-preparation services to thousands of lower-income residents throughout the state under a program affiliated with the Internal Revenue Service.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Let’s make a deal? With Murphy and Legislature deadlocked over tax breaks, Senate offers new plan.

Posted Feb 07, 2020

A legislative committee looking into the state’s troubled economic incentive program called for major changes in the way the state hands out millions in tax breaks to promote job growth in New Jersey, but stopped short of all the reforms called for by Gov. Phil Murphy.

The tax breaks expired last year and an ongoing debate between Murphy and Legislative leaders has deadlocked efforts to restart the program.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Trump just rolled back overtime pay. Now, workers like me need Gov. Murphy to protect us. | Opinion

Posted Feb 06, 2020

By Andrea Rodriguez

Andrea Rodriguez says If workers are going to be asked to work 50, 60 even 70 hours a week away from our families, then they deserve to be paid for the extra time we put in. And once our extra hours aren’t “free” for employers anymore, we may also see many decide they don’t need to keep us at work around the clock, giving us back some of our nights and weekends for our personal lives.'

---

This month the Trump Administration continued its attacks on America’s workers with a new rule that lets big corporations continue to make millions if their employees work more than 40 hours a week without any extra pay for their hard work and dedication. President Trump says that if you make more than $35,000 a year, you’re a highly paid executive who doesn’t need overtime pay. Workers like me need Gov. Phil Murphy to step in to restore our overtime pay – the way that Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee did last year.

The overtime rules are a lot like a minimum wage for the middle class: they make sure workers have time for their personal lives by protecting the 40 hour work week – and they guarantee them extra pay when they do have to work longer hours.

There was an exemption for highly paid managers and professionals – who have the clout to negotiate their own pay and work schedules. But most salaried workers were guaranteed overtime.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Speight: ‘We Can Do More To Boost The Efforts Of The Victims of Crime Compensation Office’

By Insider NJ | February 6, 2020

BY ASSEMBLYWOMAN SHANIQUE SPEIGHT

Shanique Speight

---

In communities like my hometown of Newark, we know all too well how quickly senseless violence can lead to more heartbreaking tragedy.

It struck one Newark woman in a matter of seconds. One moment, she was standing at a candle light vigil in her community. The next, she was shot.

She came to me after the incident to share her story, long after she was questioned by police, treated at the hospital, and discharged without knowing what her next steps should be. How do you go back to normal life after experiencing severe trauma? She wondered, would anything ever feel normal again?

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Trump Acquitted of Two Impeachment Charges in Near Party-Line Vote

By 

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Feb. 5, 2020

President Trump was acquitted of two impeachment charges on Wednesday.Credit...

---

WASHINGTON — After five months of hearings, investigations and revelations about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, a divided United States Senate acquitted him on Wednesday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress to aid his own re-election, bringing an acrimonious impeachment trial to its expected end.

In a pair of votes whose outcome was never in doubt, the Senate fell well short of the two-thirds margin that would have been needed to remove the 45th president. The verdicts came down — after three weeks of debate — almost entirely along party lines, with every Democrat voting “guilty” on both charges and Republicans uniformly voting “not guilty” on the obstruction of Congress charge.

Only one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, broke with his party to judge Mr. Trump guilty of abuse of power.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

How Ready Is NJ to Handle Public Health Emergencies? The Latest Results

LILO H. STAINTON | FEBRUARY 6, 2020

NJ Spotlight

Dealing with a public health emergency

---

Whether it’s an influx of coronavirus carriers or another Superstorm Sandy, a new nonprofit report finds New Jersey is in a relatively good position to handle the next public health emergency.

An annual survey released Wednesday by The Trust for America’s Health shows that New Jersey is among a top tier of 17 states considered to have the best health care and emergency response systems, along with the training and capacity to protect residents against communicable diseases, natural disasters and other calamities.

Officials at the Trust — a national research and advocacy group focused on public health and injury prevention — said the Garden State has ranked in the top third of states for the last several years, a significant improvement from 2013, when it came in as one of the seven lowest-scoring states. (The report is funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which also provides financial support to NJ Spotlight.)

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Op-Ed: Coming to Terms with Women and New Jersey’s Toxic Political Culture

LEE KEOUGH | FEBRUARY 5, 2020 

NJ Spotlight

Lee Keough

---

New Jersey’s reputation for having a toxic political culture regarding women is broadening beyond its borders. And as it ripples out, it will only add to the country’s negative perception of New Jersey as a place where politics is wholly corrupt.

The latest accusation of toxic behavior comes from the host committee of the Democratic National Convention, known as Milwaukee 2020, headed by two of the state’s political operatives, Liz Gilbert and Adam Alonso. Women working for the committee complained that Alonso bullied them and Gilbert continuously defended him.

The two were suspended by Milwaukee 2020 in advance of an internal investigation. Alonso was also dismissed from his position at the New Jersey State Democratic Committee, reportedly another point of contention in Milwaukee, since he was expected to work there full-time.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Gov. Murphy launches task force to protect N.J. from coronavirus

Posted Feb 03, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday launched a task force to make sure New Jersey is prepared for any threat from the surging coronavirus.

Murphy also noted that Newark Liberty International Airport is one of 11 major U.S. airports that receive flights from China requiring enhanced screening for the virus.

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Jersey, but Murphy said it’s “critical” the state has “strong preparedness protocols in place.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Democracy demands a secure voting machine. Only 1 county in NJ has managed to do this so far.

Posted Feb 03, 2020

By Mary Pat Gallagher

When Essex County residents go to the polls in November to vote for president, they will use a new voting system, the most secure kind currently available. They will mark their choices by hand on paper ballots and feed them into optical scanners, a process that is less vulnerable to tampering and if tampering does occur, is far easier to detect. On Jan. 7, Essex County freeholders voted unanimously to purchase the new system, which is expected to be used as early as the school board elections in April.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that Essex is the only county in the state expected to have such a system in place this year. Almost all the others use touch screen machines that are entirely digital and produce no paper trail whatsoever. That means the vote could be hacked and there would be no way to even know it occurred, never mind conduct a recount or an audit. We are one of only a handful of states that still rely almost entirely on paperless voting.

Two counties, Sussex and Union, utilize machines that produce paper ballots but ballots marked by the voting machine, not by hand. You might think that any tampering with those machines would be detected because voters can check the paper ballots but, as shown in a just-released study of such ballot-marking devices (BMDs) by computer scientists at the University of Michigan, that assumption is false. The study found only 40% of participants reviewed the ballot printouts and a far smaller number, 6.6%, told a poll worker something was wrong with their ballot, even though every ballot contained an error.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

← Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    199  200  Next →