NJ Politics Digest: Judge Declines to Halt NJ Bail Reforms

A judges gavel rests on top of a desk. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday refused to stop New Jersey’s sweeping bail reform law and said a constitutional challenge from a bail bond company likely won’t succeed.

The ruling was just on a request for a preliminary injunction, but Judge Jerome B. Simandle wrote favorably of the “measurable gains” made under the reforms. He indicated the court will likely uphold the law, which essentially eliminated cash bail and instituted a risk-based system. “Plaintiffs have not made a substantial showing of possibility of success,” he wrote.

Gov. Chris Christie continues to haunt Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on the gubernatorial campaign trial. Democrats launched a new TV ad that ties Guadagno to Christie, the least popular governor in the country. Christie also told Politico there’s no way Guadagno can save $1 billion with an audit of state government, casting doubt on her chief policy proposal.

Quote of the Day: “I don’t know where she’s going to do it because, believe me, as you know, we’ve had some really difficult budget times in certain years and we couldn’t find it. She thinks she can find it? Great. But a billion dollars? No.” — Christie on Guadagno’s plan to audit state government.

Guadagno Stands by Audit Promise Despite Christie’s Doubts
Gov. Chris Christie doubts Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno’s plan to fund a costly property tax reduction in the state by auditing Trenton government, but the current lieutenant governor is standing by her plan despite Christie’s criticism.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Murphy Maintains Vast Fundraising Lead Over Guadagno
Democrat Phil Murphy continues to dominate Republican Kim Guadagno in fundraising ahead of the November gubernatorial election, according to a Thursday report from the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Democratic Group Ties Guadagno to Christie in New Ad
An independent group backed by the Democratic Governors Association launched its first television advertisement in the New Jersey governor’s race on Thursday, tying Republican nominee Kim Guadagno to Gov. Chris Christie, who is deeply unpopular in New Jersey.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Christie undermines LG’s campaign to succeed him
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has had a contentious relationship with his lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, as she runs to succeed him.
Politico Read more

Are Democrats Dragging Their Feet on Arbitration Cap For Cops, Firefighters?
The top Democrats in both the Assembly and Senate are continuing to say they have yet to decide if a limit on public-safety salary increases that local officials have called a key tool in the fight to contain New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation property tax bills should be renewed before it is set to expire at the end of the year.
NJSpotlight Read more

Bob Menendez bribery trial question: Is every Latino or contributor a constituent?
Menendez’s team, led by attorney Abbe Lowell, argued that the definition stretches beyond the Garden State to include “ethnic” and “issue” constituencies because New Jersey’s senior senator is a national leader on Latino and some international issues.
The Record Read more

NJ Transit didn’t screen Hoboken engineer for sleep apnea at exam two months before crash
The NJ Transit engineer involved in last September’s fatal train crash at Hoboken Terminal was not evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea in a medical examination two months before the accident, as the commuter agency’s own guidelines required.
The Record Read more

Obamacare Overhaul Could Cost NJ Billions
New Jersey could be on the hook for up to $7.6 billion and nearly a million residents could have lost their insurance coverage by the end of a decade under the latest Republican proposal to reform healthcare by ending many elements of the federal Affordable Care Act.
NJSpotlight Read more

Essex College Administrator Is Placed on Leave Amid Investigation
The Essex County College administrator accused of causing problems at the troubled two-year school was placed on paid administrative leave on Tuesday by the trustees while an investigation is conducted into allegations of financial abuse.
New York Times Read more

Opponents of Christie’s bail overhaul lose another round in court
A federal judge on Thursday declined to put the brakes on New Jersey’s sweeping bail system overhaul, ruling it did not serve the public interest to roll back the changes in the midst of a constitutional dispute.
NJ.com Read more

Firefighters Release Their Formal List of Legislative District Endorsements
The New Jersey State FMBA, representing over 5,000 career firefighters, dispatchers, and EMTs used the occasion of yesterday’s statewide convention in Atlantic City to consider and act on endorsements for candidates running for the New Jersey State Senate and New Jersey General Assembly in this November’s elections.
Insider NJ Read more

DEP Strikes Draft Settlements in Three Longstanding Pollution Lawsuits
Since August, the state has reached draft settlements with three oil companies who have agreed to pay nearly $200 million for contaminating water with a potential human carcinogen.
NJSpotlight Read more

Hudson County register hit with complaint from election law officials
Hudson County Register Diane Coleman is the subject of a three-count complaint from state election officials because she failed to submit any fundraising reports for her successful 2016 campaign for the Democratic nomination for register.
Jersey Journal Read more

Petition to recall Wayne councilman in limbo
The recall petition of 1st Ward Councilman Richard Jasterzbski is “dead” because people are reluctant to sign what will becomes a public document once submitted, said one Town Hall official.
The Record Read more

Opinion: The Bob Menendez trial: He may be a sleaze, but he’s our sleaze
When it comes to taking goodies such as private plane rides and luxury accommodations, Napolitano pointed out, the senator is a piker compared to our governor. Chris Christie has famously stated he wants to “squeeze all the juice from the orange” while he’s in office.
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