Christie pushes bail amendment for November ballot

    Governor Chris Christie is urging New Jersey lawmakers to put a bail reform measure on the November ballot, but it’s not clear whether they’ll go along with his request.

    In his budget speech to the Legislature Tuesday, Christie said it’s inexcusable that lawmakers haven’t acted on the amendment he proposed last year. It would deny bail to violent criminals awaiting trial.

    “If there is room on the ballot for other issues, there is certainly room for a bail reform amendment which will give prosecutors and judges the tools to keep violent sociopaths behind bars,” Christie said.

    The governor says allowing those offenders to remain on the streets endangers citizens and puts witnesses at risk.

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    Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver isn’t indicating whether she’ll post the measure for a vote.

    Oliver says Christie may be bringing up the amendment again to take the focus away from the gun-control measures that the Assembly passed and are awaiting action in the Senate.

    Senate Law and Public Safety Committee chairman Donald Norcross says the bail reform amendment is a common-sense measure that he wants lawmakers to approve.

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