Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I am surprised that they are so afraid of someone who won’t raise money and only is armed only with the truth.” – Lisa McCormick after a judge said it appeared her primary petition filings appeared fraudulent and tossed her off the ballot
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 842,408 cases and 22,372 fatalities (and 117,513 probable cases and 2,573 probable fatalities) as of Tuesday (an increase of 3,466 cases and 49 fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .93. There have been 5,440,631 COVID-19 vaccinations administered (with 2,243,427 people fully vaccinated). Follow Insider NJ’s County COVID-19 Data Center.
The NJDOH announced that the state will pause the administering of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines across the state in accordance with CDC and FDA guidance.
The NJDHS announced that extra SNAP benefits have been received by 231k state households.
The NJDOL was awarded a federal grant to expand efforts to help ex-offenders re-enter the workforce.
AG Grewal announced that attorney Elizabeth Valandingham pleaded guilty to tampering with public records to conceal a straw donor scheme.
Senator Menendez promoted Jason Tuber as his new Chief of Staff and senior adviser on Latino affairs.
Burlington County will halt the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Camden County Commissioner Young commended public safety telecommunications workers for National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.
Hudson County will halt the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Former Senator Lesniak announced he will work with Union County to establish a deer fertility program.
Warren County scheduled a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for public housing residents later this month.
Senator Booker introduced a resolution recognizing Black Maternal Health Week.
Rep. Kim reacted to the announcement that all troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan, calling it the ‘right move’.
Rep. Van Drew. slammed Rep. Tlaib’s tweet that policing is ‘inherently and intentionally racist’, saying that ‘at a time when members of Congress sit comfortably behind fortified walls guarded by armed troops, it is beyond ironic that some are calling to end basic police protections for everyday Americans’.
Genova Burns LLC launched a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.
ICYMI: Menendez, Pascrell want Biden to make move on student loan forgiveness; Murphy announced new COVID-19 travel guidance; Murphy says all residents will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 19th; Murphy says ‘we’re going to continue being incremental‘ on reopenings
Both of Governor Murphy’s Democratic primary challengers were tossed off the ballot, according to Politico NJ.
The Hudson County election season is off to a steady start, according to the Jersey Journal.
The Hudson Price Center partnered with Lord, Abbott, and Co. to announce a new center home.
ICYMI: Arnold will challenge Fontoura; 32BJ issued endorsements; ELEC approved Ciattarelli matching funds; Murphy held press conference with Zwicker, GOP slammed it as ’embarrassing’; unofficial primary candidate filings; NJDSC filed objection to McCormick petitions, Cryan unleashed McCormick; in LD20, Holley stepped up operations in Elizabeth; Pennacchio to run separate primary campaign due to ‘changing dynamics‘; LD25 lighting up early; Bacon filed for Dem guv primary (iLine post); in LD3, GOP’s Durr filed to run (iLine post); in LD16, Lukac’s quest; in LD20, Holley rolled out running mates, submits most petitions (iLine post); in LD26, Mastrangelo enters Assembly race; Dugan alleges mail tampering; Murphy announced campaign hires; Lopez running for mayor in FL; DeCroce remains confident following Morris loss; Chiaravalloti will run for re-election, pursuing off-the-line candidacy; in LD37, Huttle’s running mates allege Bergen Dems attempted to poach them; Huttle wants to ‘beat the bosses‘
Governor Murphy signed legislation appropriating $10M in aid to child care providers.
Former Assembly Majority Office spokesperson Liz Acevedo joined the USDHS as spokesperson.
Senator Testa and Assemblymen McLellan and Simonsen launched their ‘LD1 Back To Business’ plan.
Senator Bucco urged Governor Murphy to eliminate outdoor gathering restrictions ahead of graduations.
ICYMI: Public contractor contributions lagged in 2020; KZ Group welcomed Hughes as VP; battle lines drawn over election-year budget; Murphy signed legislation providing $25M in aid to small businesses; Donnelly challenged Bruno over his objection to PERS bill; Bruno fired back
As the 2021 primary filing deadline passed, county chairs of both parties made consequential decisions that played a role, or determined, the political primary landscape.
In South Jersey, a source offers some speculative observations about the future of the power balance in the region, and the future of GOP rising star Senator Testa.
In Hoboken, ELEC825 endorsed Mayor Bhalla for re-election. Councilwoman Fisher said there are ‘many unanswered questions‘ regarding the 2017 racist election flyer, following the council’s vote to call on the AG and Hudson County prosecutor to reopen an investigation.
In Newark, the Rockefeller Foundation is launching a $20M initiative to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among communities of color.
In Trenton, the city paused the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
In Atlantic City, talks are underway for the continuance of the state takeover, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Bernardsville, the council rejected allowing the sale of marijuana in the town, according to TAPinto.
In Bridgewater, the township denied allegations of racial discrimination, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Burlington, the city is seeing new life as COVID-19 fades, according to Burlington County Times.
In Emerson, a developer says that ‘roadblocks‘ are trying to keep minorities out, according to the Bergen Record.
In Florham Park, the schools construction referendum is making progress, according to NJ Hills.
In Glen Rock, two Democrats announced their candidacies for council, while the GOP has yet to announce, according to TAPinto.
In Hanover, the town adopted a strict ‘no marijuana sales’ law, according to NJ Hills.
In Highland Park, the town is considering a major downtown revamp, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Madison, the town honored the retiring police chief, according to NJ Hills.
In Middle, the township hired a new construction official and floodplain manager, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Mount Olive, the prosecutor says the BOE was notified of a member’s conduct, according to NJ Hills.
In Morris Plains, the budget shows a modest tax increase, according to NJ Hills.
In Morris Township, COVID-19 prompts the town’s first tax increase in 5 years, according to NJ Hills.
In Newton, a $13M budget was adopted, according to NJ Herald.
In Perth Amboy, former Police Chief Cruz’s firing was upheld, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Princeton, the council approved a contract for a new administrator, according to Planet Princeton.
In Prospect Park, a new police chief was sworn-in, according to TAPinto Hawthorne.
In Paterson, Mayor Sayegh endorsed Governor Murphy for re-election.
ICYMI: In Camden, mayoral candidate Custis warned of the worsening of the city’s ‘food desert’ crisis, as a city supermarket may close, leaving residents without an immediate source of fresh food. Custis, who announced his run for mayor earlier this month, has vowed to deliver a community-based campaign.
ICYMI: In Edison, amid a Democratic war that saw the local party line rescinded from Mahesh Bhagia and awarded to Council VP Joshi last week, the 31-year old Joshi discusses his candidacy with Insider NJ, outlining his vision for city; Joshi says he’ll win the primary, and would welcome Bhagia’s endorsement (video). The intra-party battle has intensified between Bhagia and Joshi over the past week, while incumbent Mayor Lankey weighs a possible independent candidacy, and GOP candiate Keith Hahn hopes to be last man standing come in the November general election.
ICYMI: In New Brunswick, Pittman takes to the streets; in Plainfield, Mapp seeks to make history – but first must survive primary; in Parsippany, Dem advantage for first time, Barberio seeks comeback; in Newark, activists protest voter suppression, officials celebrated opening of vacc center; in Trenton, amid mayoral buzz, Santiago pushing a reparations resolution
In a guest column on Insider NJ, John Hsu writes ‘Edison Episode Provides Insight into the County Line‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘The Historic Murphy Legacy: America’s Leading Social Justice Governor‘
Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘Turning the Tide: Journalists’ Union Bid About So Much More Than Their Jobs‘
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Christie Tries Early to Stake out his 2024 Turf‘
Insider NJ reporter Christine Sloan writes ‘NY and NJ: The Enduring COVID-19 Questions Around Nursing Homes‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Ashley Balcerzak, NorthJersey.com
- New Jerseyans cannot be kicked out of their homes through at least mid-June under Gov. Phil Murphy’s eviction and foreclosure moratorium, a protection he has renewed each month since March 2020. But housing experts sound the alarm about what will happen once that ban ends: an inevitable tsunami of evictions and foreclosures.
Peter D’Auria, The Jersey Journal
- School board elections in three North Hudson communities will be held April 20, all but one of which are uncontested. In North Bergen, the incumbent “Our Children First” slate, consisting of Ruth Shaw, Haissam Jaafar and Claudia Rodriguez, is running for re-election unopposed for three 3-year seats.
New Jersey Hills
- The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey Attorney General’s Office will host a virtual community forum on use of force by police officers from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 29.
Julia Martin, NorthJersey.com
- In some ways, it was a typical first day of school for Montclair elementary school students. Big yellow school buses lumbered up the driveway of Edgemont Montessori school and disgorged tiny bodies sporting huge backpacks. Parents snapped photos, and teachers welcomed timid children with big balloons and colorful signs.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla has appointed James Sanford back on the Hoboken Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners and while the board leadership is on board, Lavon Smith is outraged over being replaced.
Ian T. Shearn, NJ Spotlight
- It took more than four tortuous years — and the creaky machinations of New Jersey Democratic politics — before adult-use marijuana was legalized earlier this year. Now, the hard work actually began Monday with the first meeting of the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
Melanie Burney, Philadelphia Inquirer
- When asked to share his secret for living a long life, Eddie Hill, 99, responds quickly with a smile: “The good Lord and a good wife.” A farmer, a World War II veteran, an engineer, a husband, and a father, Hill has seen plenty in his lifetime. As he plans to celebrate his 100th birthday on Tuesday , Hill wants to enjoy every day to the fullest by staying active and helping others as long as possible.
Nicolas Fernandes, Asbury Park Press
- Ocean County has two new initiatives to combat the opioid crisis; one aimed at users, the second at police. Under the new First Step program, when drug recovery experts from Ocean Mental Health show up at a patient’s home after an overdose, their treatment plans are as unique as the patients themselves.