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Democrats Block Coronavirus Stimulus Package

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, Senate Democrats on Sunday blocked a “coronavirus stimulus package” from moving forward as talks on several key provisions remain stalled.

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Christie Demands The Legislature Do their Job and Fill Judicial Vacancies In Mercer County

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September 1, 2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton, NJ , Governor Chris Christie demanded today that the Senate “do its job” and act on seven judicial vacancies that are jeopardizing the efficient delivery of justice to citizens in Mercer County, where the reassignment of a Superior Court judge this week underscored the emergent need for a full complement of judges in the vicinage.

In May, Governor Christie nominated seven qualified candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, to fill the Mercer County vacancies, but the Democrat-controlled Senate has failed to schedule them for a review and confirmation.

Now, Superior Court Judge Pedro Jimenez, a Middlesex County judge who has been assisting Mercer County in its criminal courts for the past seven years, is being reassigned back to his home county. Mercer County, which normally has a complement of 24 judges, has had one vacancy on the bench since March 2012 and six other vacancies since the departure of six judges in the fall of 2014.

“This is a complete disservice to the public and it falls firmly at the feet of Senate Democrats. They continue to fail in their constitutional responsibility to review and act on nominees to many key government posts in New Jersey, including the courts. Just as Senate Democrats created problems in Essex County a couple of years ago by blocking appointments, their inaction now in Mercer County is impeding the effective delivery of justice there,” said Governor Christie. “These judicial vacancies not only threaten our efforts to enact bail reform, but also leave the short-staffed Mercer County judicial system juggling to resolve serious matters, such as issuing restraining orders for victims of domestic violence and providing people accused of crimes a swift adjudication of their cases.”

Beyond Mercer County, the Senate also has failed to act on six other Superior Court nominees waiting to fill judicial vacancies elsewhere in the state and they are holding up 76 other nominations made by Governor Christie to various boards and commissions that serve the public.