Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 3/1/2024

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: We do not have competitive primaries. We in theory have them, but in practice we have party leaders who get behind closed doors and the nominee is presented to the public as a fait accompli. This is your candidate, love it or lump it. The fact that we’re actually having this primary is a sign something has gone awry.” – FDU Polling Director Dan Cassino


TOP STORY: The Red Meat Woes of Bill Hayden


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2024 Advance publication.


People with disabilities face a 10-year wait for the state’s housing program, according to the Bergen Record.


Island Beach State Park and other state parks will charge fees again under the new budget proposal, according to


Gun permit fees will double under the Governor’s budget proposal, according to


A special corruption unit intended to hold crooked officials accountable is facing growing questions and pushback from judges, according to


Passaic County’s budget calls for a 2% increase in the tax levy, according to


Sussex County Commissioner Hayden slammed his colleagues after a censure; evoking former President Trump, he said ‘once you drain the swamp, the snakes show themselves!’. The Sussex County GOP called on Hayden to resign.


Rep. Menendez hosted House Democratic Whip Rep. Clark in Jersey City.


A WalletHub survey ranks New Jersey the nation’s 4th worst state in which to be rich from a tax perspective.


ICYMI: Murphy delivered budget address laying out several priorities; Sherrill made case for Ukraine aid; Murphy addressed Drumthwacket confrontation; Murphy’s approval 46%; FIFA coming to MetLife


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


The gloves are off in Passaic County, as Chairman Currie blistered former Sheriff Speziale, calling him a ‘two-bit politician and a fraud’ as Speziale jumps into the primary, off-the-line, after making moves towards running over the past several weeks.


Ahead of Bergen County Democrats’ highly-anticipated convention on Monday, Teaneck Mayor Pagan endorsed First Lady Tammy Murphy for Senate.


Rep. Kim’s Senate candidacy is shaking up the race, according to WHYY.


In CD7, the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council endorsed Democratic candidate Sue Altman.


In CD8, LiUNA endorsed Rep. Menendez for re-election.


ICYMI: Kim’s lawsuit line lawsuit ironic; Kim overwhelmingly won the BurlCo Dems convention and secured the backing of Hunterdon Dems after chaotic start giving him three-convention winning streak; Baraka guv candidacy implications and reverberations; Glass departed as Murphy manager; in CD2, Alexander wants another crack at Van Drew; in CD7, Kean strategy contextualized; Kean fundraiser; Baraka enters guv race; in CD8, dueling polls; Murphy, Kim debated: takeaways; Sacco cleared up intentions w/ developing JC mayoral contest as Hudson politicos key in; in CD8, Menendez released poll showing large lead; Kim’s upset win over Murphy at Monmouth convention; Murphy secured Passaic Dems backing and shows no signs bowing out; Zdan formally kicked off GOP Senate bid; challenge for Somerset GOP, Vice Chair will ‘continue my conversations‘; Pascrell maintained backing of Passaic Dems, Sumter made late play


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Modest revenue gains are forecasted for the fiscal year despite a sluggish start, according to NJ Spotlight.


Legislation would force drivers to provide a blood sample if suspected of driving high, according to NJ Monitor.


Rebuck is stepping down as head of the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


ICYMI: Books continue to be hot topic; Poor People’s Campaign held rally; book battle exploded in Zwicker-Peterson showdown; Scutari announced Farias as Deputy Director; Turner reintroduced ‘John Lewis Voting Rights Act’, Reynolds-Jackson champions the act (video)


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Read Insider NJ’s 2024 African-American List in honor of Black History Month.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2023 Retrospective publication.


Download and read Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter’s 2023 Women’s Power List publication.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2023 Insider 100: Power publication.


Download and read Insider NJ’s special edition publication ranking the top 25 county chairs, Insider NJ’s Gaming, Sports, and Entertainment special edition publication, Insider NJ’s 2023 Labor publication, Insider NJ’s 2023 Insider 100: Policymakers publication, Insider NJ’s FY2024 Budget special edition publication, and Insider NJ’s Out 100: LGBT Power List, compiled by Jay Lassiter.


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In Allentown, residents worry that a proposed warehouse will make them miserable, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Bernardsville, the draft school budget is still being prepared, according to NJ Hills.


In Bradley Beach, the mayor is under fire, according to TAPinto.


In Flemington, the budget is being prepared for introduction, according to TAPinto.


In Hawthorne, the borough and BOE discussed possibilities for the ice rink, according to TAPinto.


In Hillsborough, new liquor licenses are being auctioned, according to MyCentralJersey.


In Long Hill, a safety director was hired, according to the Daily Record.


In Newark, Mayor Baraka called for a ceasefire in Gaza, according to NJ Monitor.


In Paramus, the town could bring in an extra $200k by increasing license fees, according to TAPinto.


In Point Pleasant Beach, the mayor and council have a months-long feud, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Raritan Borough, members were appointed to the new redevelopment advisory committee, according to TAPinto.


In Springfield, the town faces rising costs to resurface the pool, according to TAPinto.


In Spotswood, the council is stalled in the effort for special counsel, according to MyCentralJersey.


In Union, the committee banned bamboo, according to TAPinto.


In Wildwood, the the town seeks a new administrator, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In West Orange, Vision Zero consultants presented a plan to the council, according to TAPinto.


ICYMI: In Paterson, Cotton in gear for re-election; in Parsippany, Musella held fundraiser; in Perth Amboy, Vas announced candidacy, Gonzalez announced candidacy, Pabon endorsed Gonzalez; in Edison, Joshi raised $200k; in AC, Callaway arrested; in Annandale, the continued battle over books; in Annandale, librarian at center of controversy



Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘Tammy Murphy Dismisses Concern of her GOP Backstory: “I have a lot of friends in the LGBTQIA+ community”‘ and ‘Diving into Andy Kim’s BurlCo Drubbing of Tammy Murphy


Insider NJ columnist Andrew Leven writes ‘Being Wrong


Insider NJ reporter John Van Vliet writes ‘The Murder of Navalny


Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘Remembering Eddie with the Ready Smile


Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘For Tammy Murphy, It’s Stay Calm and Carry On





Tolls on these N.J. expressways increase Friday. Here’s how much more you’ll pay.

Larry Higgs, NJ Advance Media for


  • Drivers who use the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway will see their tolls increase by 3% Friday morning, the third increase in three years. The new toll rates take effect at midnight, meaning commuters will pay the higher tolls for the first time during their Friday drive to work.


Are buses dropping off migrants at Toms River, NJ motel?

Rick Rickman, NJ1015


  • Baseless rumors about dozens of migrants staying at a Motel 6 in Toms River are creating a firestorm on social media but local officials say it’s not happening. Several people said they went to the Motel 6 on Route 37 demanding answers after Jersey Coast Emergency News posted the reports on Facebook. The page says it is New Jersey’s number one source for “providing news, laughs, and speaking the truth” but often posts unverified statements citing unnamed sources.


NJ schools set to get more than $11B in aid

Joanna Gagis, NJ Spotlight


  • Under the budget plan presented by Gov. Phil Murphy this week, next year will mark the seventh and final year in the state’s ramp-up to full funding the court-approved school finance law. But it’s not good news for everyone.


Segregation or integration, what does society really want?

LA Parker, The Trentonian


  • Minimal fondness exists here for this time of year as people deliver platitudes about Dr. Martin Luther King and his dream then plunge into Black History Month. Politicians and other people dust off manuscripts, change several names, join chorused voices for singing of the Black National Anthem or the Negro standard “We Shall Overcome”, while discounting chronic poverty, violence, health challenges, police brutality, and myriad other issues that plague black communities.


Penn Medicine will build a $295 million cancer center at its Princeton Medical Center

Harold Brubaker, Philadelphia Inquirer


  • The University of Pennsylvania board on Thursday approved a Penn Medicine plan to build a $295 million cancer center at Princeton Medical Center in Plainsboro, N.J., which Penn has owned since 2018.


Central Jersey’s winners and losers in 2024-25 NJ public school funding

Mike Deak,


  • About 90% of Central Jersey’s school districts will be receiving increases in state aid in the state budget unveiled this week by Gov. Phil Murphy. Only 10 districts in Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Union counties will see decreases.


Gov. Phil Murphy expands his vision on AI in New Jersey: What comes next?

Katie Sobko,


  • Gov. Phil Murphy laid out further details of his so called “AI Moonshot” during Tuesday’s budget address. The proposed plan would include $7 million to advance AI utilization and opportunities in the state.


Andy Kim versus Tammy Murphy: What comes next? Bergen’s Democratic convention will be key

Katie Sobko,


  • With the Bergen County Democratic convention coming on Monday, two of the candidates vying for top ballot position in the U.S. Senate primary have made recent campaign stops in the county. Delegates from all 70 towns in Bergen will have to decide Monday whether Rep. Andy Kim or New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy should be awarded the coveted county line, a crucial spot that typically helps drive votes on Election Day.


A moment of truth for Liberty State Park | Editorial

Star-Ledger Editorial Board


  • Bob Hurley is a proud man, and few New Jerseyans have as much right to be. It has less to do with his basketball résumé than his humanity and integrity: His Hall of Fame profile is defined not by championships, but by how he used a game to transform the lives of hundreds of boys who otherwise might have been lost to the streets.


Norcross investor group ends agreement with parent firm of troubled Republic Bank

Jim Walsh, Cherry Hill Courier-Post


  • An investor group led by Camden businessman George Norcross III has ended its purchase agreement with the parent firm of Republic Bank. The group said Republic First Bancorp Inc. had failed to satisfy closing conditions, including filing an annual report for 2022 and scheduling a long-delayed shareholder meeting.


How many people are registered and how many vote? We have the numbers

Joseph P. Smith, Cherry Hill Courier-Post


  • The New Jersey Division of Elections reports that, as of early 2024, there were 6,524,732 people registered to vote including 2,399,196 who are not affiliated with any political party. For the 2023 general election, total registrations were lower than this year. There were 1,760,049 ballots cast or 27 percent of 6,459,097 registered voters.


New Jersey drivers face another toll hike: Here’s how much

Eric Scott, NJ1015


  • Commuters are getting a double smack from Gov. Phil Murphy in the form of toll hikes and fare hikes for New Jersey Transit. The toll hikes are scheduled to go into effect tomorrow, March 1, and will affect drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.


Will Murphy budget plan deliver a more affordable New Jersey?

Taylor Jung, NJ Spotlight


  • Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget plan includes a slew of proposals he said are aimed at keeping life in the state affordable, an attempt to hold to his State of the State promise to do that for everyday New Jerseyans.


Murphy’s FY2025 budget: A new tax and other revenue raisers

Lilo H. Stainton, NJ Spotlight


  • With tax collections lagging, Gov. Phil Murphy proposed a handful of new revenue boosters as part of his budget plan for fiscal year 2025. This includes a new business tax that, as the governor envisions it, would be dedicated to fund New Jersey Transit, which is also facing projected revenue shortfalls.


Will Murphy budget plan deliver a more affordable New Jersey?

Taylor Jung, NJ Spotlight


  • Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget plan includes a slew of proposals he said are aimed at keeping life in the state affordable, an attempt to hold to his State of the State promise to do that for everyday New Jerseyans.
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29 responses to “Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 3/1/2024”

  1. 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.

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

  2. 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.”

    • 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

  3. 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.

  4. Neurosurgery is a complex and demanding medical specialty that requires an exceptional level of skill and experience. Dr. Shiau is undoubtedly one of the best neurosurgeons in New Jersey, and patients in Jersey City, Maplewood, Holmdel, Paramus, and Bergen County can rest assured that they are receiving the best possible care under his expertise. Neurosurgeon nj

  5. Meet Dr. John Shiau, the leading neurosurgeon in NJ, at Complete Medical Wellness. Discover his expertise and how he can help you with your neurological conditions. Check out this article for more information. neurosurgeon NJ

  6. lETS NOT FORGET that during the pandemic Donald Trump sent the MERCY, a fully equipped, COVID prepared Hospital ship to save lives of victims and healthcare workers . But Murphy in his wisdom would rather send Patients back to nursing homes that were ill-equipped to treat these patients so they could die , rather than utilize a life-saving gift and be like NY governor Cuomo, another anti-Trump

  7. Gun owners don’t have to talk about guns because they know that they have to come out and vote to protect their constitutional right to bear arms. The Supreme court decision has affirmed that right and somehow our “leaders” haven’t learned how to read.

  8. NJ is one of the most corrupt and racist places to live. There’s “0” accountability for the criminal acts, corruption, and unfair treatment of the people of this state. It starts with our governor who cares less for truth and honesty. Continue to ruin the lives of the citizens of this state.

  9. How about those unintended consequences.
    New Jersey mandating that all cars being sold by 2035 be electric is telling us what we can or cannot buy with our own money. There will always be gasoline powered vehicles because of the power produced by internal combustion compared to the power produced by batteries; which is to say the more power the bigger the battery to the point of rediculousness. My thought is that if the state wants fewer gas powered vehicles on the road it should create a mass transit electric powered system that would emphasize convenience for commuters and everyday shoppers. Of course that would mean vehicles weighing tons more because of the size of batteries and that creates a whole other question of where to dispose of them (also for elelectric car batteries), since they are composed of highly toxic materials that can’t be burnt or buried. These are unintended consequences no- one is willing to grapple with until its too late. I think by 2035 th he electric car fantasy will go the same way the offshore wind farm has gone.

    Stephen Brickman
    206 Stonehenge Dr
    Phillipsburg,NJ 08865

    Sent from my iPhone

  10. The military serving in the Middle East represents every state in the Union. Those are our sons and daughters, Moms and Dads and yet we are very little to protect them, or REALLY retaliate when they’re attacked. Governor Murphy is the Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, and past chair of the National Governors Association and yet you never hear him mention about any requests either organization makes to Biden to be more aggressive about protecting our kids in harms way. It’s as though it doesn’t seem to matter to them. No wonder we look so weak to the rest of the world.

  11. Teaneck property taxes pays for the school budget. Teaneck High School students walk out. Is a Hamas military shuffle march property tax bill included?

  12. I’m a conservative and I do believe life begins at conception but the problem is that each mother is responsible for that life and it is in the realm of her mental and physical health that she will either bring it to term or abort it. This should not be a political decision and should not be be dictated by thousand of strangers. The Supreme Court turned it over to the states but it still remains personal for the mother and her family.
    I don’t think it should be an “agenda item” for any political party. A state medical society may want to impose a time frame within which an abortion can occur but even that may be subject to the mother’s doctor’s discretion.
    I say just quit discussing it and leave it up to the mother a father.

  13. Voting should be based on understanding what’s actually happening and knowing who would make life safer and more livable. The only way to do that is to get both sides of the information remembering there are always two sides to a story. Mainstream media in my area includes the Star Ledger and the Easton Express. If you look at the bylines of the opinions you will find writers from the Washington Post and Bloomberg, both notoriously on the left. Even the political cartoons are a dead giveaway. CNN and CNBC are also left leaning. So what are the options for getting opinions and news from the right? Fortunately cable news has Fox, which is near center, and Newsmax, and NewsNation which are full right. Watching these even just occasionally will show a much broader picture and give the reader more information with which to make an informed voting decision. And remember you DONT have to vote party if you feel there’s a wiser choice.

  14. The governor signed off on having Narcan available in all schools grades 9 through 12. But what about the idea
    of having Narcan available in ALL SCHOOLS in New Jersey?

  15. How’s his for an idea? Uncover the identities of the un-elected advisors to Pres. Biden, and publish their names. That way there is actually someone to blame when we lose valuable lives from unanswered attacks by terrorist organizations. We know Biden isn’t making these decisions on his own. My guess is that these advisors will quit the team rather than take the heat for poor decisions, revealing a big weakness in this administration. It might lead to improvements to the decision-making process.

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