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Senator Steinhardt sponsors bills that would create deterrents, upgrade consequences for certain crimes in an effort to improve public safety

NEW JERSEY – Senator Doug Steinhardt (R-23) announced that he is sponsoring a package of bills that would create deterrents and upgrade consequences for certain crimes in an effort to improve public safety in New Jersey.

“We’ve heard too many stories about how law-abiding citizens are limited when trying to remove squatters from their property,” Steinhardt said. “I’ve introduced a series of bills that would bolster property rights, deter criminals from breaking into and occupying households, and enhance the security and defense of our homes. I urge the Legislature to pass these bills to establish stricter consequences for criminal behavior and hold people who abuse the system accountable for their actions.”

On the heels of introducing S-725, which would create three criminal offenses for squatting, Senator Steinhardt introduced or sponsored S-3093, S-3129, and S-3099 to protect property owners and their rights.

  • S-3093 is a bipartisan bill that would expedite proceedings against squatters and make the squatter liable to the property owner for legal fees, court costs, and three times the amount of actual damages.
  • S-3129 is also a bipartisan bill that would upgrade the crime of home invasion to a crime of the second-degree; the crime would be punishable by a term of imprisonment between five to ten years, a fine up to $150,000, or both.
  • Finally, S-3099 is a stand your ground law concerning the justified use of force when a person reasonably believes that it is necessary to defend themselves or another from an unlawful use of force. This includes deadly force in certain situations. The bill also states that a person has no duty to retreat before using justified force if they are not committing a crime and are in a place that they are legally allowed to be.

“Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their home. These bills represent practical solutions for persistent problems that are plaguing neighborhoods throughout the State,” Steinhardt said. “By passing these bills and giving law enforcement the tools they need, we can better protect our communities and families.”

Senator Steinhardt also introduced legislation to deter protesters from shutting down highways and other major roadways. The bill, S-3103, would create separate crimes for individuals who recklessly and purposefully shut down highways and other public passages in New Jersey and increase the penalties for committing such crimes.

“When protestors unlawfully gather to shut down highways and other roadways, it creates a dangerous situation for everyone in the surrounding area. Blocking roadways can have a significant impact on commerce by delaying the transport of goods as well as preventing emergency personnel from tending to people who need medical attention,” Steinhardt said. “Oftentimes, these situations become more tense when protestors refuse to obey orders from law enforcement and move. This bill would increase the penalties for unlawful protestors engaging in the reckless and purposeful disruption of any highway or public road in New Jersey.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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