The Asbury Park Press has a valuable story about how the municipal court system treats residents as potential revenue streams, which ends up costing you, the residents of New Jersey, lots of money.
It’s an old problem where, “Towns rely on court revenue from fines and fees from tickets, municipal ordinance violations and disorderly persons arrests to pad their local budgets. But then judges, who are appointed every three years by the governing body of the town they work in, are beholden to the very officials who decide the fate of their appointments.”
“It takes someone who is really strong, someone is self-assured and not afraid of losing their job, to do the right thing many times over again,” one prosecutor says.
On a related note, it’s great fun to bash “the Media” and it can be hugely lucrative as well, but guess what happens when local newspapers close up? Governments spend more money and they spend it in dumber ways.
“Costs for bonds can rise as much as 11 basis points after the closure of a local newspaper,” according to a new (research) paper.
In other news, Nanette LoBiondo has a good primer on the primary election Tuesday. Big choices, NanLo reports. And Craig McCarthy at NJ.com asks whether you can buy a flamethrower without a background check.
For more feats of journalism from across your region, see below:
GOVERNOR SIGNS NATION’S STRONGEST LAW ON ‘SURPRISE’ MEDICAL BILLS–Advocates for patients, senior citizens, labor unions, and businesses hailed Gov. Phil Murphy’s signing of a complex and controversial measure designed to curb the impact of costly “surprise” medical bills in New Jersey. Supporters said the law, nearly 10 years in the making, is the strongest of its kind nationwide. www.njspotlight.com
About 80 turtles found dead on Sea Isle City beach–About 80 diamondback terrapins were found dead on a beach at 11th Street in Sea Isle City on Memorial Day, according to the Sea Isle City Beach Patrol. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
OYSTER CREEK SHUTDOWN WILL COST $1.4 BILLION, TAKE 60 YEARS–Exelon is projecting it will cost $1.4 billion and take 60 years to formally shut down its Oyster Creek, the nation’s oldest commercial nuclear power plant scheduled to cease operations by the end of October. www.njspotlight.com
Police Respond To Large Fight At Hamilton Mall–The Hamilton Mall closed early after a large fight broke out Saturday night.
There were dozens of teens involved in the melee that started in the food court, witnesses said.
“A huge fight it was insane,” said John Snyder, who went live on Facebook from outside the mall after he and his family got out. breakingac.com
This county is booming, but most Shore areas haven’t recovered their mojo. Here’s the breakdown–New Jersey's population hit a major milestone this year: 9 million residents, a number it's been flirting with since 2013. And with the release of the latest population estimates from the Census, some cities should be celebrating, too. Hudson County is booming, Central Jersey is steadily thriving and Newark and Jersey City are battling it out for the title of largest city in the state. www.nj.com