Murphy Signs $7.632 Billion Budget Extension

Governor Murphy signed a three-month $7.632 billion budget extension this morning.  It cuts $1.2B in previously authorized spending, has across-the-board spending cuts, and protects services essential to the state’s recovery, according to the Governor.


Report: Judge Blocks Alex Mendez From Taking Council seat

From Paterson Times: Passaic County Superior Court judge Ernest Caposela ruled on Tuesday morning to block councilman-elect Alex Mendez from taking office at the City Council reorganization meeting on July 1.

“It would be a tremendous undermining of the voting system, the public trust, to let Mr. Mendez be sworn in tomorrow,” said Caposela in ruling against Mendez.

Mendez has been charged with voter fraud and election fraud.


Thomas-Fields Releases Late-Game Campaign Video

Pamela Thomas-Fields released her official campaign ad today, which will also air locally on network television beginning Wednesday.

The ad features a voice over from Thomas-Fields that reads:

“I love Atlantic City. But after years of neglect and mismanagement, our community needs a healing. My name is Pamela Thomas-Fields, and I am running for mayor of Atlantic City. I believe Atlantic City can succeed, that we can all become healthy, wealthy, and wise. Together we can make clean and safe streets a reality. Together we can build a resilient local economy. I won’t come to you with empty promises, instead I will offer a seat at the table, an opportunity to finally make your voice heard. My name is Pamela Thomas-Fields, your voice for change. Please vote for me for Mayor of Atlantic City in Column B of your mail-in ballot, postmarked by July 7.”

Thomas fields has been endorsed by the Atlantic City Democratic Committee, Atlantic City Councilmembers Delgado, Dunston, and Zia, the Stockton Federation of Teachers Local 2275,
Assemblyman Tom Giblin and Local 68, the Bangladesh Community of Atlantic City, Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, Congressman Donald Payne Jr., and U.S. Senate candidate Lawrence “Larry” Hamm.

Sires in the Hudson Political Intrigue Spotlight Heading Toward July 7th

To a Hudson outsider, the late flurry of prop-up activity around U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) gives the appearance of a real Democratic Primary contest over there.

It isn’t, but it’s interesting anyway because of what it reveals about the continuing functioning reliance of Sires on the twin political machines of state Senator Brian Stack and Senator Nick Sacco.  The unreliable and unknown nature of an all-vote-by-mail (VBM) election cycle have the machines in hurry-up mode to absolutely crush challenger Hector Oseguera and make an example out of him.

In the meantime, Osequera has given insiders an election time conversation starter. If there’s no competitive election in Hudson,  they must find some dramatic component, at the very least, in order to keep the banter alive.

If Sires wins but does not annihilate him on July 7th, will the converation with greater intrigue heading toward 2022?


Murphy Junks Wilson’s Desk

Governor Phil Murphy told reporters this afternoon that he has scrapped the regular use of a desk formerly used by former New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson, a former U.S. president and founder of the League of Nations.

“I did swap out my desk at the end of the week,” Murphy said. “The country is having a reckoning. Woodrow Wilson and his legacy is being swept up in that, as it should be. …As soon as I could get a replacement, I got one.”

Wilson’s racism is well-documented.

According to The Atlantic:

As president, Wilson oversaw unprecedented segregation in federal offices. It’s a shameful side to his legacy that came to a head one fall afternoon in 1914 when he threw the civil-rights leader William Monroe Trotter out of the Oval Office.

Murphy’s decision to junk Wilson’s desk represented a double weekend hit for the only New Jersey pol to cut his professional teeth in this state ever to become president.

This past Saturday, Christopher Eisgruber, president of Princeton University, announced that the university, after years of debate and pursuant to a vote of its trustees, is removing from its nationally renowned school of public policy the name of former United States President Woodrow Wilson.

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin issued a statement supporting the Assembly Budget Committee’s approval of the NJ 2020 budget proposal put forth by Legislative Democrats.

Coughlin Cracks Down on Maskless Assembly Orators

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) today reminded members of the Assembly to keep their masks on while speaking, or, to use Couglin’s word – “orating.”

“If you don’t, more particles will fly out,” said Coughlin.


Bill to Help Environmental Justice Communities Passes Senate

Today, the Senate passed S232 (Singleton). The bill concerns environmental permits in burdened communities. The bill would require that a person who is seeking a permit for a new facility, or for the expansion of an existing facility, that is located in a burdened community meets certain additional requirements. The bill defines burdened communities’ as any area that is ranked in the bottom 33% of census tracts in the State for median household income.

“For far too long, certain communities in New Jersey have been overburdened by pollution. This legislation will help protect disadvantaged and minority communities that have been a dumping ground for facilities that no one wants. We have been trying to get legislation like this passed for over 20 years, and meanwhile these communities keep getting dumped on. Most of our toxic sites, airports, incinerators, cement plants, and other major polluting facilities are located in low-income, minority, and overburdened communities,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Now that this bill has passed the Senate, it needs to pass the Assembly. It is time that we start giving these communities a voice when it comes to all permits, as well as getting renewable energy and energy efficiency benefits, toxic cleanups, and access to parks and open space.”

Senator Ronald Rice says that he will not vote on a NJ state budget that doesn't include $140 million in cost savings gained through a marijuana decriminalization and expungement law that eliminates unjust judicial and correctional practices targeting poor, minority and urban residents.

Senate Unanimously Designates June 19th as Juneteenth Day

The state senate this afternoon unanimously passed a bill designating June 19 in each year, known as Juneteenth Day, as a State and public holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved people of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and of their freedom.  The announcement from General Granger led to celebration and jubilation, which has continued each year in various forms throughout the United States for over 150 years.

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