Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 12/9/2019

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 12/9/2019:


SPONSOR MESSAGE (CHARGEEVC): Pass EV Bill to Unleash Once in Generation Opportunity: There’s agreement among business and labor, faith-based, health, and environmental groups along with auto dealers and utilities — “The time is now. Pass the EV Bill S2252/A4819.”  Why?


  • Savings: puts the state on a path to lower electric rates for everyone –savings whether or not you are an EV driver—and allows for massive savings otherwise spent on petroleum;
  • Jobs: positions New Jersey to capture the related supply chain industry and businesses fostering economic growth for the state, before another northeastern state welcomes them first; and
  • Clean Air & Health: provides an opportunity to clean our air. Every mile driven in an EV is 70-80% cleaner than a mile driven in a petroleum-fueled car, truck or bus. It’s good for our environment. But also provides a significant boost for our health, particularly where urban traffic and congestion cause poor health outcomes from gas and diesel pollution.


Call Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Coughlin today to urge them to move S2252/A4819 during Lame Duck. Get the details and take action at


QUOTE OF THE DAY: I think one of the problems Cory Booker has had is that people haven’t noted him to be as authentic as they hoped he would be.” – Former Governor Christie on Senator Booker’s inability to gain traction in the polls


TOP STORY: Insider NJ’s Who’s Up And Who’s Down: Week of Testa’s Swearing-in


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Governor Murphy directed flags to half-staff today in honor of the late former Newark Councilman and community leader Calvin West.


The American Association of University Professors Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey, which represents Rutgers faculty, released a statement chastising Rutgers’ officials for hiring football coach Greg Schiano for $32M contract while the union members still don’t have a labor contract.


Senator Menenez condemned the re-arrest of Nigerian-American journalist Omoyele Sowore, a New Jersey resident, by Nigerian authorities.


Senator Booker welcomed the news of the release of Princeton University student Xiyue Wang from an Iranian prison.


Reps. Pascrell and Gottheimer called on the TSA to update its security guidelines to prevent human trafficking.


The Problem Solvers Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Gottheimer, endorsed a bill to boost transparency in student data.


Union County appointed Kamilii Williams as head of the Division of Social Services, according to TAPinto.


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Read Insider NJ’s Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of Mike Testa’s Swearing-in to see where the players stand in Jersey politics over the past week.


The Attorney General’s Office is looking to make the State Police review of the Altman ejection partially publicly available, according to Politico NJ.


The Burlington County Republican Committee is backing GOP congressional candidates Claire Gustafson in CD1, David Richter in CD2, and Kate Gibbs in CD3.


The HCDO showed major support for incumbent Hudson Freeholder Romano at his fundraiser last week, according to Hudson County View.


NJ Democratic Chair battle:



ICYMI: In CD2, Francis seriously considering challenge to Van Drew, one of two names emerging along with Harrison, who’s mulling a challenge; Inglesino mulling Morris GOP chair; in CD1, Gustafson declared; in CD11, Webber pledges assistance; Mehta confident he’s best bet to beat Booker


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Here’s what’s on tap under the Gold Dome this week and here’s what happened in Trenton on Thursday.


Speaker Coughlin outlined the lame duck agenda and legislative priorities on 1450AM Friday morning; Coughlin said he sees a clear path forward for the marijuana legalization referendum.


Legislators, advocates, and officials will hold a press conference today to introduce the New Jersey Equitable and Resilient Solar + Storage Policy Roadmap.


The Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing on the proposal for veterans property tax deduction on Friday.


Thousands of realtors and real estate professionals will attend the Triple Play Realtor Convention and Trade Expo in Atlantic City this week.


ICYMI: Labor passed ind. contractor bill; Testa sworn-in; Labor advanced the Liberty State Park bill; Budget passed plastic bag ban; Sweeney aims at ‘shadow lobbying’; Rice won’t vote to extend driver’s licenses unless other bills moves; STR will hold hearing on the license bill on 12th, AJU hearing date on 9th; Sweeney threatened subpoenas for Altman ejection review


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


The final Montclair Salon Series event of the year will be tomorrow, with Dr. Brigid Harrison in conversation with members of NJ11th For Change.


Read and download Insider NJ’s 2019 Insider 100: Power publication.


Visit the Insider 100 Publications page, the Events Calendar, the Press Release page, and check out the Insider NJ Video Gallery and Insider NJ Podcast page.


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In Buena Vista, longtime Mayor Chuck Chiarello passed away. Governor Murphy lauded Chairello as a ‘mayor’s mayor‘ and a ‘model’ of good municipal government. Senate President Sweeney said ‘there was nothing that came before the people’ of Buena Vista for Chiarello. Speaker Coughlin said he was ‘always willing to take on a challenge‘ to better his community. Senator Testa said he ‘continuously prioritized the residents’ over himself.


In Newark, hundreds of youth participated in a climate strike on Friday.


In Trenton, a council investigative subcommittee will investigate the circumstances around an ex-firefighter’s lawsuit, according to the Trentonian.


In Wyckoff, two women will serve on the township committee for the first time, according to the Bergen Record.


In Long Beach Island, voters will decide on a $7.7M school bond tomorrow, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Atlantic City, foreclosures have decreased dramatically over the past two years, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Glen Rock, Council President Kristin Montekio thanked the voters for electing her the first female mayor.


In Newton, Osborne was named police chief, according to NJ Herald.


ICYMI: In Linden, Cosby writes ‘Plantation Politics’; in Bridgewater, Pappas will serve as administrator; in Hoboken, Raia sentenced to 3-months; in Jersey City, Pesin a chief advocate for Liberty State Park; Murphy admin announced $161.25M in muni aid; in Boonton, Cabana will take job as administrator


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘The LeRoy Jones Endorsement is a Game Clincher for Phil Murphy


Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘Mikie Sherrill and the 12 Days of SALT


Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Sparking 2% Cap Debate, Sweeney Knows Exactly what He’s Doing


Insider NJ columnist Al Sullivan writes ‘Murphy Breaks out Al Gore to Solve the State Green Dilemma




Independent contractors bill creates confusion in “gig” economy

David Levinsky, Burlington County Times


  • The powerful South Jersey Democrat spoke about the bill on Thursday during a Senate Labor Committee hearing packed with freelance workers, labor leaders and business advocates. He told the lawmakers and crowd that the bill has been amended and now seeks to codify existing state labor regulations surrounding so-called independent contractors.


Preliminary Data Shows Record Drop in New Jersey’s HIV/AIDS Cases

Lilo H. Stainton, NJ Spotlight


  • New Jersey appears on track for a record drop in new HIV/AIDS cases this year. Newly diagnosed infections are down nearly 40% since 2017 alone, according to preliminary state data shared with NJ Spotlight in advance of a World AIDS Day commemoration today at Rutgers University in Newark.


Murphy’s media reception: Good company, disappointing eats

Randy Bergmann, Asbury Park Press


  • The food was a bit of a letdown, but the reception made up for it. Last week I wrote about how I was anxiously anticipating the hors d’oeuvres at Gov. Phil and First Lady Tammy Murphy’s holiday reception for the working press at Drumthwacket in light of their having hired a new chef there.


Booker deserves to be a front-runner. But Democrats don’t feel the love. | Moran

Tom Moran, Star-Ledger


  • After each Democratic presidential debate, I’ve come away thinking that this time, Cory Booker will win enough hearts and minds to break into the top tier of candidates, where he belongs.


Congressional candidate says she was harassed and Democratic party leaders failed her. So she dropped out.

Matt Arco, NJ Advance Media for


  • A candidate for Congress in New Jersey abruptly dropped her bid this week after she said local Democratic Party leadership didn’t do enough to protect her from being harassed and bullied by a man with a long history in Monmouth County government and politics.


‘Trump changed everything’: Big cities break hard left in Democratic primary

Holly Otterbein, Politico


  • In the shadow of Joe Biden’s campaign headquarters sitting across from City Hall, Elizabeth Warren has snagged endorsements from Mayor Jim Kenney, District Attorney Larry Krasner, and two incoming City Council members here. It’s a far cry from the 2016 primary, when the vast majority of the city’s Democratic establishment lined up behind Hillary Clinton, and gave the cold shoulder to her progressive opponent, Bernie Sanders.


Are vaping’s smoking cessation benefits worth the possible risks to children?

Joanna Gagis, NJTV


  • Glamorized on social media and catapulted by teen trends like the hotbox challenge, vaping’s a phenomenon that’s ingrained in today’s youth culture in New Jersey and across the country. There’s been an alarming uptick in young vapers — one in four high schoolers and more than one in 10 middle schoolers, according to the Food and Drug Administration.


Why this deep South Jersey location is such a thermal outlier

Anthony R. Wood, Philadelphia Inquirer


  • Philadelphia recorded its first official freezing temperature for the 2019-20 season on Nov. 8. That was almost three weeks after a 32-degree reading was first logged in Millville, in the belly of South Jersey. And Millville’s was two weeks ahead of the first freezing readings in both Allentown and Reading, even farther to the north.


Cursive lessons should be mandatory in NJ schools, says State Assembly Speaker

Jack McLoone, Asbury Park Press


  • Cursive, at least anecdotally, is dying. Between mandatory lessons being dropped from the Common Core in 2010 and the continued advancement of technology making even a vague scrawl for credit cards rarer and rarer — let alone handwriting a letter — it comes up sparingly in day-to-day life. But a bill proposed by Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, D-Hudson, is hoping to guarantee students still learn how to write and read in cursive by requiring that schools add cursive (back) to the elementary school curriculum. And she has now received an influential vote of confidence: State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex.
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