Many struggling towns have become increasingly reliant on revenue from the municipal court system to plug holes in local budgets. An investigation by The Asbury Park Press, part of The USA Today Network, gives readers a look inside what they're calling the municipal court cash machine, which "treats thousands of residents each year as human ATMs."
GOVERNOR CHRISTIE COULD SOON DECLARE STATEWIDE DROUGHT EMERGENCY
New Jersey residents could be looking at fines and higher water bills if drought conditions in the state don't improve soon. The Associated Press says Gov. Chris Christie could declare a statewide drought emergency, which would give him the power to redistribute water among utilities and fine residents who don't comply with conservation measures.
STATE HOPES TO ESTABLISH PRICES FOR NATURAL RESOURCES DAMAGES
State lawmakers are looking to put a price on damage caused to natural resources by polluters to ensure the state is fairly compensated in the wake of environmental negligence. NJ Spotlight says the goal is to establish a standard and to ensure that the money is used to actually address the problems caused by polluters instead of being used for other purposes.
EDITORIAL: DID CHRISTIE STAFFERS DO ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN WORK?
The Star-Ledger Editorial Board is calling for another round of hearings to investigate Gov. Christie on charges unrelated to Bridgegate. The call for an investigation hinges on the question of whether the governor knew that his staffers were seeking endorsements for Christie in 2013, effectively "doing his private political work on the taxpayer dime."
HOW OTHER COMMUNITIES ARE ADDRESSING FOOD INSECURITY
All four of the counties covered by The Press of Atlantic City are suffering from the highest rates of childhood food insecurity in the state, so they're looking elsewhere for solutions to this crisis.