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Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, speaks about Women's Equality Day in the New Jersey Senate Chambers during a voting session.


Richard J. Hughes Career Public Service Award Recognizes Contributions to Pursuing Justice for Disadvantaged People

 TRENTON Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg was honored this week by Legal Services of New Jersey for her work in pursuing equal justice for disadvantaged New Jerseyans. The senator was the recipient of this year’s Richard J. Hughes Career Public Service Award. Named for former New Jersey Governor and Chief Justice Richard J.  Hughes, the award recognizes individuals who — throughout a long period of public service — have made exceptional contributions toward securing a more just society for disadvantaged people.

“I am honored to be recognized by an organization with a long history of advocating for our state’s most vulnerable populations and assisting those who cannot on their own secure legal representation. The work of Legal Services is vital to families across the state and has become all the more important as we have faced difficult economic times,” said Senator Weinberg.  “I am humbled to have received this recognition and thrilled to accept an award named for former Governor and New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Richard J. Hughes. I look forward to continuing to fight for the programs and services that are needed to ensure equal justice for New Jersey residents.”

Legal Services of New Jersey recognized Senator Weinberg’s steadfast advocacy throughout her career to improve the lives of disadvantaged people, with a particular focus on women and those with disabilities. The organization also noted that she was instrumental in helping to secure additional funding for legal services this year through bail reform legislation. Signed in August, the law will provide for an additional $10.1 million annually for Legal Services of New Jersey.

“As public officials, it is our responsibility to make sure those who are without a voice are protected, especially in tough economic times,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “Securing justice for those living in poverty is the hallmark of Legal Services’ work, and that is why we made it a priority to provide additional funding for this important organization through bail reform. All of our residents, regardless of their financial circumstances, should be afforded legal representation and this funding will assist in advancing that cause.”

Legal Services coordinates the statewide Legal Services system, which provides free legal assistance to low-income New Jerseyans for their civil legal problems. Through its work, LSNJ strives to secure substantive and procedural justice for those living in poverty.  The Equal Justice Awards Reception was held Wednesday at the Bridgewater Marriott. Past recipients of the Richard J. Hughes Career Public Service award include Justice Deborah T. Poritz, Justice James R. Zazzali and the Honorable Sylvia Pressler.