On August 23 Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed S-3309, which would have established the New Jersey Violence Intervention Program (NJVIP). Furthermore, the bill would have required the Attorney General to award funds on a competitive basis to municipalities, not for profit health agencies, law enforcement agencies, and non-profit organizations that serve communities with disproportionately high rates of homicides and other incidents involving the use of firearms. This legislation would require the Attorney General to establish, advertise, and administer grants through the NJVIP, conduct program evaluations to determine the effectiveness of the violence intervention programs, provide written reports to provide transparency regarding the effectiveness of the programs, and hold public forums to gather community input regarding the programs.
In his conditional veto message, Governor Murphy noted the administration would also use federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Assistance grants to support NJVIP; therefore, it is “important to ensure that the rules governing NJVIP do not violate the criteria for qualifying for VOCA Assistance grants.” The language changes in the conditional veto more “closely align with VOCA Assistance grant eligibility criteria.” The conditional veto adds language that incorporates and emphasizes targeted services, clarifies that hospitals receiving NJVIP grants must be not-for-profit or use not-for-profit entities to run their violence intervention programs and will allow the Attorney General to establish any additional conditions or limitations to ensure that VOCA Assistance grant funding is awarded in compliance with federal law.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481, x112.