We were elected on a message of making New Jersey affordable again for everyone who lives and works in this state. We promised in our campaign to change the way business is done in Trenton, and we are working to make that a reality. Your mandate to us was government reform, and here are some of the areas we are working on:
- Relieving the tax burden on property owners.
- Cutting wasteful government spending.
- Consolidating government functions through shared services among municipalities, counties and schools boards.
- Adopting reforms that reduce the costs to taxpayers for public employee benefits, including pensions and health care.
- Providing quality public schools, in part by forcing tax money to go toward classrooms and school facilities – not toward excessive salaries and perks for administrators.
- Making local, county and state government more open, accessible and accountable to the public.
Legislation to restrict bail for dangerous criminals, provide alternatives to non-violent offenders
(TRENTON) – Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester), chair of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, today held a public hearing of the committee to discuss SCR128, which would allow voters to decide whether to give the criminal justice system flexibility to determine if a person charged with a serious crime should be held without bail prior to trial. The resolution outlines that the court must first conclude that no pretrial release conditions would assure the defendant’s appearance, or protect the safety of the public.
“Bail reform in New Jersey is long overdue. We need a system based on risk, not money,” said Senator Norcross, the prime sponsor of the measure. “Currently, individuals with the ability to pay are set free, while those without financial resources are forced to sit in jail for months at a time waiting for their day in court.”
The measure is a companion to bill S946, which establishes that bail could be withheld in situations where certain violent crimes were committed, including an offense for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment, a crime under the No Early Release Act, and an indictable offense for which the victim is a minor.Read more >>
(TRENTON) – The Senate today approved a measure by Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) to increase penalties against those who issue false police reports. Bill S835 increases the penalties for any person who gives or knowingly causes to be given false information to a law enforcement officer in order to implicate another.
“Wasting precious resources with false reports is a serious offense,” said Senator Norcross. “Not only do these fabrications monopolize time and efforts that would be better spent investigating actual crime, they undermine real victims.”
Currently, such offenses are crimes of the fourth-degree and carry a sentence of up to 18-months in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. Norcross’ bill upgrades false incrimination to a third-degree crime, or a second-degree crime if the accused was implicated in a crime of the first or second degree.
A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $15,000, or both. A crime of the second degree is punishable by five to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $150,000, or both.
The bill also upgrades the crime of issuing a false report from a disorderly person’s offense to a fourth degree crime. Those instances in which no actual person is named, but a fictitious report is made would be covered under this provision.Read more >>