Press Release – Assemblywoman Donna Simon today lauded Gov. Christie’s call for eliminating the practice of payouts for public employees for unused sick time and for bail reform during his State of the State address which he delivered to a Joint Session of the Legislature on Tuesday.
“As a staunch advocate of both sick leave and bail reform, I am extremely pleased that Governor Christie continues to make these two very important issues a top priority heading into a new legislative session,” said Simon, R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex. “Sick leave payouts cost property taxpayers outrageous amounts of money – our state is currently on the hook for nearly $1 billion dollars in unused sick and vacation days. As the governor said, it’s time to act.”
As for bail reform, she said the murder of a young attorney last month, who was shot in the head in front of his wife at the Short Hills mall by four men who each had prior criminal records, further confirms the need to change state law to mirror federal law. Federal statute allows a violent criminal who is a danger to the community to be held without bail. New Jersey law does not.
“Bail reform is about more than criminal justice policy,” Simon continued. “It’s about keeping our neighborhoods, children and senior citizens safe from an unnecessary risk of violence. I hope the Legislature will heed the governor’s call and take quick action on keeping violent criminals behind bars.”
According to a study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in six offenders released on bail commit another crime before their trial.
Simon sponsors both sick leave payout reform legislation (A-2495) and a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to give courts the authority to deny pretrial release of a defendant (ACR-153).