Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 1/20/2022

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: The filibuster must be reformed in a way that encourages compromise but still allows progress. Confidence in our democracy, and perhaps its very survival, depends on this.” – Rep. Malinowski following the Senate’s blocking of voting reform legislation


TOP STORY: The Peterson Principle


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 1,749,235 cases and 27,432 confirmed fatalities (and 274,020 probable cases and 2,883 probable fatalities) as of Wednesday (an increase of 8,467 confirmed cases, 2,720 probable cases, 145 lab-confirmed fatalities, and 88 hospital-reported fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .96. There are 4,966 total hospitalizations, with 804 in intensive care units. There are 6,530,809 people fully vaccinated.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2022 Year In Advance publication.


Saying that ‘vaccine booster rates are unacceptable’, Governor Murphy issued an executive order mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for health care and congregant living facilities employees, with no exceptions. He said he has no plans to extend the mandate beyond. The Governor made the announcement as he toured the federal COVID-19 vaccine mega-site in Galloway yesterday.


Atlantic County taxpayers could see a county tax rate decrease this year, according to Downbeach.


The Bergen County Zoo was awarded a $100k conservation grant.


Warren County Commissioner Kern slammed Governor Murphy’s healthcare worker vaccination mandate, saying it may result in the county being unable to maintain a 24/7 correctional facility.


Senators Menendez and Booker announced nearly $1B to support the state’s Army Corps projects.


Senator Menendez urged the Biden Administration to push back against Mexican President Labrador’s fossil fuel-friendly agenda. Menendez delivered a floor speech urging passage of the ‘Freedom To Vote Act’ and ‘John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act’.


Senator Booker delivered a floor speech detailing how voter suppression laws make it more difficult for many people to vote.


Rep. Van Drew unloaded on Governor Murphy’s healthcare worker vaccine mandate, saying Murphy is ‘playing political games‘ and ‘putting his national political ambitions ahead of the health, safety, and welfare of the people he literally just took an oath to protect’.


Rep. Pascrell praised President Biden’s first year in office.


ICYMI: Murphy address leans on ‘American Dream’ theme; Murphy signed the ‘Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act’; Murphy, Oliver to be sworn-in on Tuesday; Murphy delivered his State of the State; Murphy reinstated public health emergency; Booker announced two new hires


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In CD7, Assemblyman Peterson formally launched his campaign in the GOP primary; primary candidate Senator Kean recently visited the border to highlight security issues while criticizing Democrats, saying that ‘protecting our borders is not a priority’ for President Biden or congressional Democrats.


The NJGOP demanded the NJDSC to return a contribution from Chamath Palihapitiya following remarks made against the Uyghurs in China.


Ocean County Sheriff Mastronardy may become the next Ocean County GOP chairman, with a number of Republicans believing he could be a unifying figure in the divided party, according to the Asbury Park Press.


ICYMI: In CD6, Kiley announced candidacy; in CD11, Casha bringing in Steve Forbes; in CD11, Dunn screened for Passaic GOP as she mulls running; Fight of the Week: Webber v. Selen; Wallace shared reasoning on map; Rizzo announced CD7 candidacy; Myers announced candidacy, Neibart announced candidacy for Morris Commissioner


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Here’s what happened under the Gold Dome on Tuesday.


The public may see proposed legislative redistricting maps before they are voted on, according to Politico NJ.


Senator Durr introduced a resolution in support of the oppressed Uyghers in China.


Senator Schepisi blasted Governor Murphy’s healthcare worker vaccine mandate, saying it will lead to worker shortages.


Senator O’Scanlon warned that the mandate could backfire with staff shortages.


Senator Bucco warned that the mandate could adversely affect staffing in group homes and long-term care facilities.


The NJDOL announced $1M in grant funding to support degree apprenticeship programs.


ICYMI: Murphy took action on over 100 bills; Freiman appointed Bell as COS; Assembly senior leadership team, committee chair appointments; Murphy nominated Kuhn as NJDOC Commissioner; Senate committee assignments; Scutari appointed Codey to leadership; Scutari defeated Gill, vowed to be bipartisan; Coughlin reaffirmed, says ‘life in NJ is expensive


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Former Governor Christie told a Sarasota crowd that former President Trump should ‘get over’ the election loss, according to Burlington County Times.


Watch former Senate President Sweeney’s exit interview with NJ Spotlight News’ David Cruz on Chat Box.


Former Obama State Director Mark Alexander edited and wrote, with others, a book on the January 6th Capitol riot.


Insider NJ’s Compliance Corner: The ELEC compliance calendar for 2022.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2021 Retrospective publication and Insider NJ’s 2021 Insider 100: Power publication.


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In Buena Vista, Committeeman Williams announced he’s switching parties from Democrat to Republican, and will run for re-election as a Republican, saying that the ‘Democratic Party of today is not at all in line with my views’.


In Montclair, Mayor Spiller delivered his State of the Township address.


In Paterson, a grand jury declined to criminally charge officers relating to a fatal police-involved shooting last April. The attempt to move the BOE election date failed, according to Paterson Press. Ward redistricting will shift 4,400 residents into new wards, according to Paterson Press.


In Bayonne, mayoral candidate Councilwoman Ash Nadrowski aims to forge a compromise on the Newark Bay Bridge project, according to the Jersey Journal.


In Carteret, the town reached a deal with NY Waterway for a $2.2M ferryboat, according to MyCentralJersey.


In Long Valley, officials want ugly concrete barriers removed, according to NJ Hills.


In Mahwah, an ordinance is up for introduction to allow marijuana sales along Route 17, according to the Bergen Record.


In Milltown, a mother was blocked from taking a BOE seat over a court claim, according to MyCentralJersey.


In Pleasantville, the debate over the superintendent continues to divide BOE members and residents, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Red Bank, Councilman Yngstrom resigned, according to TAPinto.


In Ridgewood, a council vacancy will be filled by former BOE candidate Kerr, according to the Bergen Record.


In Trenton, a council candidate was caught calling Council President McBride a ‘nasty b**ch’ on a hot mic, according to the Trentonian.


In Wall, the BOE picked two new members amid the hazing probe, according to the Asbury Park Press.


ICYMI: In Bridgewater, DiMaio will host a fundraiser for Moench; in Trenton, Armstrong announced West Ward candidacy; in Rockaway, Puzio resigning from office; in Trenton, Councilman Blakeley resigning; in Chatham Township, Felice assumed mayoralty; in Randolph, hundreds packed final BOE meeting; in Millburn, Miggins selected mayor; in Mt Holly, Jones re-appointed mayor; in Parsippany, Barberio takes control, Soriano has new role


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Can Fusion Politics Work in New Jersey?


Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘A Doomsday Scenario for Democrats


In a guest column on Insider NJ, writes ‘Non Jewish Leaders should Join in Shabbat Services in Solidarity with Our Jewish Friends


Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘New Jersey LGBTQ Political Round Up


Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘MLK’s Mountaintop Never So Far Away





Judge delivers new victory for juvenile offenders serving lengthy prison terms

Dana DiFilippo, NJ Monitor


  • A New Jersey judge ordered a new hearing Wednesday for a man sentenced to life in prison for two murders he committed as a teenager, the latest in a string of state court rulings holding that juvenile offenders have a greater capacity than adults to reform and shouldn’t be condemned to lifetime imprisonment. William Thomas has served more than 40 years in prison for killing two teenagers in Atlantic County in 1980, when he was 17. He turns 59 in February.


Christie on Trump: Selfish, dishonest, negligent

Eric Scott, NJ1015


  • As he contemplates another run for president, former Gov. Chris Christie continues to criticize Donald Trump for “damaging the party and the country.” Like other White House hopefuls, Christie has been on the lecture circuit for months as he gauges support among fellow Republicans.


N.J. immigration advocates denounce Murphy for handling of $40M pandemic relief fund for undocumented workers

Susan K. Livio, NJ Advance Media for


  • Felix Gallardo, an undocumented factory worker from Passaic, said she knew exactly how she would spend her share of the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund once the money arrived: a portion of the electric bill and to pay for faster internet access “because my son needs it for school.”


Marijuana shop on Route 17 is up for a first vote in Mahwah

Marsha A. Stoltz,


  • An ordinance allowing cannabis retail sales at a former gas station on Route 17 is scheduled for reintroduction at Thursday’s council meeting. The ordinance was tabled Dec. 16 for more study because of widespread opposition from residents to a retail marijuana store operating near an overpass that many students traverse.


Sparta immune from liability after court rules librarian’s snowplow injuries were work-related

Lori Comstock, New Jersey Herald


  • Injuries suffered by a Sparta librarian who was leaving work when she was struck by a snowplow in a township-owned parking lot in 2014 are covered under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act, New Jersey’s highest court has ruled. The unanimous decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday reverses a state appeals court panel’s ruling last year that Diane Lapsley’s injuries were not work-related.


NJ Transit electric buses for Camden County delayed until spring at the earliest

Carol Comegno, Cherry Hill Courier-Post


  • John Boyle is looking forward to quieter rides on New Jersey Transit. But he and other commuters will have to wait a bit longer for the rollout of electric buses. The pilot program’s eight buses will now be coming to Camden routes before the end of this year, with the first set to arrive this spring and the remaining seven carrying passengers by the fall.


Is Phil Murphy going to stick around? It sounds like he may be headed to Iowa | Stile

Charles Stile,


  • Gov. Phil Murphy’s second inaugural speech Tuesday represented a turning point in the history of New Jersey governors. It is now clear that governors of storied New Jersey tradition, who wanted to stay on the farm and devote their full energies and concentration to their second terms, are figures of bygone eras.


Key inauguration takeaways, what to expect from Murphy’s next four years

Rhonda Schaffler, NJ Spotlight


  • For more on the inauguration and what we might expect from Gov. Phil Murphy’s second term, we’re joined by NJ Spotlight News’ Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron, Senior Writer and Projects Editor Colleen O’Dea and Senior Political Correspondent David Cruz.


‘Jeopardy!’ contestants have no clue about Phil Murphy

Amy Kuperinsky, NJ Advance Media for


  • The clue: “In 2021 he became the first Democrat reelected Jersey’s gov. since Brendan Byrne in 1977; maybe an arena will be named for him.”


Roxbury ‘Finds’ $300,000 Kiwanis Park Trust Fund with Obscure Origin

Fred J. Aun, TAPinto Roxbury


  • You know the nice feeling you get when you reach into a pocket and find an unexpected dollar bill? Multiply that by 300,000, and you’ll be sharing the joy – and puzzlement – of Roxbury officials.


Rutgers athletics rang up a $73M deficit last year. Students, taxpayers were on the hook

Abbott Koloff and Jean Rimbach,


  • Rutgers athletics rang up another $73 million deficit in the last fiscal year as spending reached an all-time high of $118 million amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Students and taxpayers had to cover the gap.


New Jersey American Water seeks $94M increase for utility services

Jim Walsh, Cherry Hill Courier-Post


  • New Jersey American Water is seeking a rate hike of $94 million per year from the state Board of Public Utilities. If approved, the proposed rate would boost the monthly water bill by $6.78, to $69.23, for the average residential customer using 5,520 gallons per month.
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  • Sha H

    Murphy celebrates “a full week of declining numbers” then says “status quo of lockdown will remain until new cases and fatalities decrease.” So, which of Murphy’s statements is accurate? He said 2 opposite things in a single paragraph of speaking.

    • John Fiorentino

      He;s “vacationing” at his villa in Italy, while Covid surges and the state is paralyzed by “remote work”…………translation: NO WORK

  • Sha H

    That is what happens in practicality when they are “suspending their disbelief” (HR Clinton) in real numbers and going on predictive models to make decisions. And then after doing that, they vote with “feelings.”

    • Charlie Abisror

      lmao imagine supporting lockdowns after the largest mass death event in american history and calling that a feeling driven conclusion? maga chuds never fail to disappoint

  • keeping up with the news

  • Amber Si
  • Zyra Alissa

    What I — and most of the women I know who are passionate about cosmetics —like about make up isn’t that the right gloss can make your lips poutier or that false lashes can make your eyes more doe-like. Rather, it’s how women can communicate messages and express ourselves through makeup. Certainly it’s not our single factor of communication, but it’s one of many forms of expression that allow us to showcase our individual styles.

  • Emmanuel Orta
  • Mary Ann McKinney

    So….about those 56 machines in Bergen… <<>>

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