Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This year is very much in line with the last federal election like this one. What it tells me is that nothing unusual drove turnout to be different from the historical norm.” – Rider University’s Micah Rasmussen on the midterm election turnout in the state
See the daily COVID-19 numbers on the NJDOH’s dashboard.
The NJ midterm elections saw low turnout, according to NJ Spotlight.
AG Platkin announced actions aimed at facilitating abortion access and care in the state.
Governor Murphy is home recovering after minor surgery, according to NJ.com.
The state has failed to release special ed reports as required by law, according to Burlington County Times.
A judge allowed the state bear hunt to continue, but the fight may not be over, according to NJ101.5.
Hunters have taken aim while protesters keep their distance as the bear hunt begins, according to the Bergen Record.
Safety groups say the state should have red light cameras and stricter helmet laws, according to NJ.com.
NJ Transit settled a retaliation lawsuit for the second time, according to the Bergen Record.
Burlington County urged residents to get flu* and COVID-19 vaccinations. (an earlier edition of the MIB erroneously wrote ‘fly’ instead of ‘flu’)
An Ocean County DPW worker mocked Jewish residents and Lakewood in a sketch, according to NJ101.5.
Public input is sought on the truck traffic boom in southern Middlesex County, according to MyCentralJersey.
Passaic County Clerk Ireland Imhof is holding her second annual food drive.
Union County commissioners introduced a fourth straight year of salary increases, according to UC Hawk.
Rep. Kim will hold a year-end tele-town hall meeting.
The Jewish Federation is targeting ‘period poverty’ in North Jersey, according to the Bergen Record.
Rutgers faculty and students rallied over union contract talks, according to MyCentralJersey.
The discharge of fracking water into the Delaware River was prohibited by the DRBC.
ICYMI: Payne center stage in DC over the rail issue
In the new LD32, an Assembly candidacy by Hoboken’s John Allen appears likely, according to Hudson County View.
GOP Senate hopeful Dan Cruz, who is seeking to take on Senator Menendez in 2024, took aim at state gun control legislation.
ICYMI: In CD11, Sherrill new reality of House; Morris GOP, Rizzo court case postponed; Baraka signals willingness to get involved in LD31 amid speculation Cunningham won’t run; Malinowski undecided on ’24 run; 2023 legislative battlefield contains numerous lines of intrigue; key GOP figures refashion battle plan for ’23; in LD26, newly-minted team holding acquainting sessions; Mastrangelo, Neibart litigation resolved; in LD24, Lonegan gaining traction
Lawmakers heard pleas for fewer standardized tests in schools, according to NJ Monitor.
Lawmakers want guardrails on warehouse growth, according to NJ Spotlight.
Senate Majority Leader Ruiz expressed concern with the 2022 SLA statewide test scores, saying it is a ‘jarring alarm to the work that lies ahead’.
Senator Corrado accused the NJDOE of obscuring data on learning loss during the pandemic.
Jersey Water Works will hold a workshop on the state’s Low Income Household Water Assistance Program.
The NJ Sierra Club expressed strong opposition to the resumption of the state’s black bear hunt.
ICYMI: Murphy will appoint Meyers as CSC Acting Chair; Murphy announced Sciortino as Senior Advisor; essential worker hazard pay languishing; gun debate punctuated by colorful exchanges; gun proposal advanced after intense debate; unions forming coalition on health costs
Two of the state’s political dynasties appear to be on different paths.
Insider NJ’s Fred Snowflack honors the memory of former Morristown Mayor DeLaney.
Download and read Insider NJ’s 2022 Insider 100: Power publication; download and read Jay Lassiter’s 2022 Insider 100: Cannabis power list; download and read Insider NJ’s 2022 Insider 100: Millennials publication; ‘Let’s Get To Work!‘: Insider NJ’s 2022 Labor publication; Insider NJ’s special edition examination of the county political party organizations; Insider NJ’s 2022 Insider 100: Policymakers power list publication; and Insider NJ’s 2022 Insider Out 100: LGBTQ Power List publication
In Pompton Lakes, Council President Polidori announced her candidacy for mayor next year.
In Asbury Park, the city celebrated nearly twenty years of Kwanzaa in the city, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Bernards, a BOE member filed a lawsuit alleging a ‘unprovoked smear campaign’, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Camden, Mayor Carstarphen’s official portrait was unveiled, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In Cape May, the city is looking to return the Promenade arches, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Chatham Borough, residents heard a presentation on affordable housing at Post Office Plaza, according to TAPinto.
In Clark, the BOE thanked outgoing member Varriano, according to UC Hawk.
In Clifton, the public spoke out as the council remains deadlocked on the next mayoral selection, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Dover, voters will decide on a school referendum next week, according to NJ Hills.
In East Brunswick, high arsenic levels were found on the high school grounds, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Hackensack, the city settled on smaller grants for five firefighters, according to the Bergen Record.
In Mendham Township, the election recount will take place today, according to NJ Hills.
In Middle, the township named a new CFO, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Millville, Police Chief Farabella is retiring, according to the Daily Journal.
In Montville, the former schools chief took a temporary post in Long Hill, according to NJ Hills.
In Morris, Spiotta and Pedalio officially retained their BOE seats, according to NJ Hills.
In Point Pleasant, the library is closed due to parking lot repairs, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In South Amboy, the town received $2.86M to restore the shoreline and protect wildlife, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Trenton, the South Ward runoff elections will continue as planned despite efforts to get them cancelled, according to the Trentonian.
In Verona, the council passed a $550k bond ordinance for playground updates, according to TAPinto.
In Watchung, a school referendum will be held next week, according to TAPinto.
ICYMI: In Paterson, the city honored retiring Clerk Gordon
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Biden has Definitely Decided to Seek Reelection – and Harris now has a Stake in Georgia Senate Outcome‘
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘New Jersey’s Blueprint for Congressional Leadership Havoc‘
Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘Schiano’s Coaching Tenure at Rutgers‘
Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘League Chatter‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Jane Havsy, Morristown Daily Record
- The NJSIAA is considering a major change to its policy regarding student-athlete transfers. A new proposal endorsed by the advisory committee on Wednesday would allow one free transfer for any student as long as it comes before his or her senior year − and before the start of the season.
Eric Conklin, Press of Atlantic City
- The average time to dispose of court cases greatly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an increase in jail populations, the recently released Criminal Justice Reform report for 2021 found. The population increase is the first since the start of New Jersey’s criminal justice reform policies, court officials said in a news release.
John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight
- A Republican lawmaker is offering his colleagues a legislative do-over several months after they added dozens of hand-picked spending items to the state budget at the last minute and with little public oversight. A package of bills introduced earlier this week by Sen. Michael Testa (R-Cumberland) calls for more than $675 million in state and federal funding to become available for redistribution, this time using a competitive grant process.
Star-Ledger Editorial Board
- Some top Democrats are now publicly defending the Passaic County Prosecutor re-nominated by Gov. Phil Murphy, as a broad coalition of critics demand her resignation.
Jon “Ferris” Meredith, TAPinto Wayne
- During this past election cycle, Wayne residents were asked to vote for Passaic County Sherriff, two County Commissioner seats, US Representatives in both the 9th and 11th Legislative Districts and three Wayne Township Board of Education seats. Historically, the County as a whole votes Democrat while Wayne Township as a whole votes Republican.
- Just when we thought the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) could not possibly get any worse, they proved all of us wrong again at their most recent “convention” in Atlantic City last month. Instead of focusing on the things that matter to parents and their children, such as recouping grave learning losses due to draconian shutdowns of our schools, the NJEA felt it was worthwhile to host a drag queen story hour and invited irrelevant social justice warriors Nikole Hannah Jones and David Hogg to speak. Has the NJEA lost their collective minds? What are their real priorities?
David Cruz, NJ Spotlight
- One of the last holdouts conducting virtual meetings rather than in person is the State Board of Education. And that has Republican lawmakers wondering what’s up. “I don’t know what their logic is,” said Senate Minority Leader Steve Oroho (R-Sussex), as he and other Republicans urge the board to return to in-person public meetings on the basis that to do otherwise is to deny the public direct access to hold the board accountable.
John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight
- New Jersey would be able to collect tax revenue from residents working remotely for companies based across state lines without exposing them to double taxation under a bill that cleared a key a legislative hurdle Monday. A measure approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee seeks to level the playing field with states like New York that claim they have a right to collect taxes from out-of-state residents, even when they are working from home in New Jersey.
Press of Atlantic City
- The October announcement that the CitiStat government improvement program would be used in Atlantic City was greeted with enthusiasm and optimism. The N.J. Department of Community Affairs is partnering with the city and Stockton University to deploy a proven computer-data-driven system for tracking public-reported problems and ensuring the accountability to get them addressed.
Jim Walsh, Cherry Hill Courier-Post
- Vernon Hill II lost a battle for control of Republic Bank. Now he hopes to win a dogfight with his former company. Hill, ousted in July as Republic’s chairman and CEO, has sued the firm over the ownership of “valuable brand assets” used in promotional campaigns.
My Central Jersey
- Traveling for most of us means driving on roadways. Within the 470-square-mile upper Raritan River watershed in Hunterdon, Somerset and Morris counties, there are thousands of places where roads cross waterways via structures ranging from high bridges to narrow culverts.
Tammy L. Sands
- Let the hunt begin!
South Jersey Times Editorial Board
- For purposes of this discussion, view New Jersey bears and New Jersey trees as equal: Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration thinks there are too many of both in the state’s woodlands, and wants their number reduced.
Rikki Massand, NJ Hills
- The Hunterdon Central Regional High School district faced a backlash and emotions running high at its Monday, Nov. 21 Board of Education meeting, after the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance The PULSE club held a “drag show” on Oct. 27 that some parents have expressed deep concerns over. Some parents have called for a stop to “sexualized” and “R-rated’ experience for kids at school, which they felt was permitted and encouraged by the Board of Education and administration.
Jim Beckerman, NorthJersey.com
- Merriam-Webster, on its website, lists 57 synonyms for “deceive.” Fool, trick, mislead, delude, misinform, dupe, con and bamboozle are just some of them. But it’s a new — or new-ish —one that has been putting search engines into overdrive this year.
Jen Ursillo, NJ1015
- While most people come to the Jersey Shore to enjoy the ocean during the summer months, it is still a fun place to be during the winter. New Jersey beaches are a great place to take a walk in the crisp, winter air. Bundle up and enjoy the solitude and tranquility. Listen to the gentle rush of the waves in peace.
Jeff Deminski, NJ1015
- If skies stay clear for much of New Jersey Friday evening then you have a date. A date with a rocket launch. Of course, conditions will have to be clear in Virginia too at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility where a launch window is set from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Rocket Lab USA’s first Electron rocket. At present, there’s a 40% possibility of rain at Wallops. But if all systems are go, the launch could be visible from New Jersey as well as New York, Pennsylvania, most of our east coast and even parts of the midwest.
Bill Spadea, NJ1015
- There is a renewed call for speed cameras on Garden State roads. What’s interesting is that the call is coming despite the fact that NJ roads are among the safest in the nation. Maybe the group is using the idea to provoke controversy and raise funds, wouldn’t be the first time that the group has used issues that have no chance of moving ahead just to increase contributions. But either way, it’s a conversation that needs to be had in the Garden State.
Kimberly Redmond, NJBIZ
- New Year’s Eve marks the end of an era for a long-running attraction on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. After more than 25 years of showcasing all things strange and bizarre, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! will close for good at 6 p.m. Dec. 31, according to Manager Chris Connelly. Since opening in June 1996, the 12,000-square-foot “odditorium” became a popular destination for families, casino-goers taking a break from the action and Boardwalk passersby.