Earlier this week, the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee passed Assembly Bill 4218, introduced by Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-4), on a party-line 5-3 vote. Next Thursday, June 11, the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee is going to hear testimony of the Senate companion bill, Senate Bill 2786, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37). The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 11, at 10:30 a.m., in Committee Room 10 of the State House Annex.
Assembly Bill 4486, sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Simon (R-16) is a better alternative because it focuses on violent offenders. Unfortunately, A.4218/S.2786 are misguided and fail to focus on the real problem.
Although the bills are purported to enhance penalties for domestic abusers, they unfortunately go much further by denying due process to individuals. It is important that due process exists to protect those who may be falsely accused, or accused of offenses which are non-violent. The bill contains serious constitutional issues related to spousal privilege and seizure of property without adequate due process. It also contains numerous pitfalls which have the potential to ensnare innocent individuals, as we have seen repeatedly with New Jersey gun laws.
Please contact members of the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee immediately and politely urge them to vote against the deeply flawed S.2786.
Senate Law and Public Safety Committee:
Senator Linda Greenstein (D-14), Chair
Senator Peter Barnes (D-18), Vice-Chair
Senator Christopher Kip Bateman (R-16)
Senator James Holzapfel (R-10)
Senator Nicholas Sacco (D-32)