New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s signature is the last step in making a new bill that would make it illegal for political candidates in the state to accept bribes during or after a political campaign.
The state legislature voted unanimously on Thursday to pass the bill, which would officially close a legal loophole and make it illegal for anyone running for political office in New Jersey to accept any kind of bribe, even if the candidate does not hold public office.
The change comes after several court cases in which candidates have gotten away with accepting bribes because of technicalities that made it legal to accept bribes before being sworn into office, or while running while not a public official.
The measure changes the definition of “public servants” in the law, and expands it to include those running for public office, as well as those who have been elected but not yet sworn in.
“The courts have reversed or rejected corruption cases because they interpreted current bribery laws as not applying to candidates for office,” said Sen. Joseph Cryan in a statement. “It is the legislature’s job to make the law, and make it clear that bribery before the results of an election is still bribery.”
The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Murphy for signature.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: INQUIRER.COM