Bill Text: NJ SR118 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Amended

Bill Title: Condemns hate and bias crime.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Passed) 2019-03-25 - Filed with Secretary of State [SR118 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-SR118-Amended.html

[First Reprint]







Sponsored by:


District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)






     Condemns hate and bias crime.



     As reported by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on March 7, 2019, with amendments.


A Senate Resolution condemning hate crimes and any other form of bias crime in New Jersey.


Whereas, In the past several years, violent crimes, threats of violence, and other incidents of hate-motivated targeting of religious, racial, and ethnic minorities have increased across the State of New Jersey and the United States; and

Whereas, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines a hate crime as 1a1 "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity"; and

Whereas, According to FBI statistics, the number of reported hate crime incidents nationally in 2017 had increased 17 percent over 2016 totals, representing the first consecutive three-year annual increase and the largest single-year increase since 2001, when hate crimes targeting Muslim Americans increased in the aftermath of the September 11, 20011[,]1 attacks; and

Whereas, According to the FBI, in 2017 1,1 495 hate crimes were reported in New Jersey, a 76 percent increase from the previous year and the fourth-highest total in the nation, and of those hate crimes 260 incidents were attributed to race or ethnic bias, 180 incidents were attributed to religious bias, 51 incidents were attributed to sexual orientation, and four incidents were attributed to disability; and

Whereas, In 2017, anti-Semitic incidents increased 57 percent in the United States compared to 2016, and 32 percent in New Jersey with 208 reported incidents, according to the Anti-Defamation League's 2017 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, which describes trends such as the tripling of assaults targeting Jews since 2012 and the rise of online harassment and hate speech directed at Jewish journalists and individuals through social media; and

Whereas, On October 27, 2018, 11 people were killed and seven wounded in an armed attack at a synagogue, Tree of Life - Or L'Simcha Congregation, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and

Whereas, In 2015, among single-bias hate crime incidents in the United States, 59.2 percent of victims were targeted due to racial, ethnic, or ancestry bias, and among those victims, 52.2 percent were victims of crimes motivated by the offenders' anti-Black or anti-African-American bias, according to the FBI; and

Whereas, In 2015 1,1 the U.S. Transgender Survey results found that 16 percent of transgender students in kindergarten through grade 12 in New Jersey faced such severe mistreatment as 1[a]1 transgender 1[person] persons1 that they left the school and, further, 26 percent of respondents in New Jersey who were out or perceived as transgender in college or vocational school were verbally, physically, or sexually harassed because of being transgender; and

Whereas, On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed and 58 others wounded in an armed attack on Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida; and

Whereas, In 2017, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) reported a 26 percent increase in reported lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer (LGBTQ) homicides nationally in 2016, and of the homicides reported in 2017, 75 percent were LGBTQ people of color; and

Whereas, In 2018, there has been harassment and hate-based violence against individuals who are perceived to be Muslim, including members of South Asian communities in the United States, and Hindu and Sikh-Americans have been the target of hate-based violence targeting religious minorities; and

Whereas, The Bias Crime Unit, in the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Law and Public Safety, is the 1[statewide] Statewide1 coordinator of efforts to eliminate crimes motivated by prejudice against others based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or ethnicity and investigates complaints; and

Whereas, It is further in the public interest of the citizens of the State of New Jersey and this great nation to condemn, in the strongest terms, any hate crimes or any other form of conduct that constitutes racism, religious or ethnic bias, discrimination based on disability, age, marriage, familial status, 1or1 sexuality or gender discrimination including incitement to violence; now, therefore,


     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:


      1.   This House strongly condemns hate crimes and any other form of racism, religious or ethnic bias, discrimination, incitement to violence, or animus targeting 1[of]1 minorities in New Jersey.


     2.    The Governor and the Attorney General are encouraged to provide State assistance to victims of hate crimes and to enhance security measures and improve preparedness at religious institutions, places of worship, and other institutions that have been targeted because of their affiliation with any particular race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.


     3.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Secretary of the Senate to the President and Vice President of the United States of America, the presiding officers of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress elected from the State of New Jersey.