February 1, 2019
Update from Rev. Rob Gregson, Executive Director, UU Faith Action NJ:
First candle: This past Weds. night Governor Murphy signed into law the independent prosecutor bill. Criminal justice activists have been working to get this law passed for years. It is an important and long-needed reform to help weed out systemic racism in our criminal justice system, mandating that in cases where people die in any interaction with NJ law enforcement, the case is taken out of the hands of local prosecutors and given to an “independent/special prosecutor.” This will hopefully remove real or perceived conflicts of interest between local prosecutors and local police.
Second candle: Governor Murphy also signed into law the $15 Minimum Wage bill, putting an estimated 900,000 to 1 million New Jerseyans onto a path from earning the current $8.85 per hour to $10/hr in July 2019 and finally $15/hr for most affected workers by 2024 (but not all–farm workers and tip wage workers, often people of color and/or single women/moms, won’t see $15/hr until 2027) It’s an important step in the right direction, esp. as the Federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised from its current $7.25 since 2009.