Some are quick to point out that certain provisions of the state bills would cost money at a time of tremendous fiscal strain – adding millions to the state budget in the near term. Many of these people are using this understandable concern to reflexively oppose this legislation. However, the cost of doing nothing simply leaves the tremendous expense of arrest, adjudication and incarceration to fester and grow larger and more burdensome in coming years.
We cannot be penny-wise and pound-foolish. The time to act is now. If implemented effectively, the bills not only have the ability to pay for themselves but can provide significant savings to taxpayers in future budget years. This is not fantasy or fiction; the proof can be seen in the active bipartisan success so evident in Newark right now.