New Jersey: Expungement Measure Receives a Conditional Veto from Governor

Trenton, NJ: Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed Senate Bill 3205, which sought to expand the pool of crimes eligible for expungement and establish an expedited process for those with minor marijuana offenses to petition the court to have their records vacated.

"I believe this bill can go further for the cause of justice, and I am hopeful that we can move forward together with a bill that provides a path to automatic expungement and allows for relief for those convicted for those convicted of low-level marijuana offenses," the Governor said. "I will continue to work with the legislature to build a more complete system of expungements, so that more New Jerseyans are given a second chance and can better reintegrate into our society."

The Governor recommended several changes to the bill, including having criminal records specific to low-level marijuana offenses "immediately sealed" upon disposition and passing a supplemental appropriation of $15 million to hire additional employees to facilitate the expungement process. 

It remains unclear whether lawmakers will revisit the legislation this year and amend it in a manner that concurs with the Governor’s recommendations.

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator, at (202) 483-5500.