Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It makes us work. It makes us think. It makes us find better ways. It demands discussion. Politics is never pure. It never was, it never will be. Compromise makes politics better.” – Assemblyman Gary Schaer
The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 890,878 cases and 23,674 fatalities (and 129,689 probable cases and 2,690 probable fatalities) as of Thursday (an increase of 195 confirmed cases, 64 probable cases, and 7 lab-confirmed fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .91. There have been 9,676,791 COVID-19 vaccinations administered (with 4,649,450 people fully vaccinated).
The state’s jobs rebound sped up in May, according to NJ Biz.
Camden County announced the second round of renters assistance, according to the Courier Post.
Mercer County granted today off for county employees in observance of Juneteenth.
ICYMI: Murphy touted the state’s COVID-19 vaccination rate; Murphy signed executive order ending the utility shutoff moratorium; Duch appointed Bergen administrator; Hicks resigning; poll shows Murphy’s clear path to re-election; Murphy’s once-skyrocketing ratings returned to pre-pandemic levels
Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones was sworn-in as Chairman of the NJ State Democratic Party last night, succeeding John Currie. The NJDSC released a video tribute to Currie. As the Currie era ends, the Jones era begins, as the party organization enters its next stage.
The NJDSC filed a ELEC complaint against the Ciattarelli campaign.
21 GOP leaders endorsed Robert Bengivenga for Middlesex County GOP Chair.
Monmouth County Commissioner Kiley called on Democratic candidate Mike Beson to resign from the commissioner race due to an upcoming unpaid appointment, according to TAPinto.
ICYMI: NJDSC announced appointments to Redistricting Commission; NJ AFL-CIO endorsed candidates; Ali touted county party line; Candace Straight passed away; Ciattarelli announced his support Hugin for NJGOP Chair; Insider NJ’s Who’s Up And Who’s Down; Insider NJ’s Primary Day 2021 War Room; atmosphere of apathy among voters; DeCroce reflects on her primary loss, attributing her defeat in contentious race to number of factors; Ciattarelli emerged victorious and set forth general election theme, Murphy says he knows he’s in for tough battle; Trump became a relevant factor GOP primary; in LD20, Cryan defeated Holley; in battleground LD37, Johnson defeated Huttle; Middlesex v Camden for domination
Assemblyman Schaer discusses his lead poisoning elimination legislation, saying its the ‘most important bill I’ve ever written’.
Senator Scutari rebuffed Senator Weinberg’s allegation that he said many domestic violence complaints are ‘made up’, saying he ‘doesn’t know what she is talking about’, according to NJ.com.
‘Free The Grapes’ expressed support for eliminating capacity caps on direct winery shipments.
ICYMI: Governor Murphy took action on legislation; Porzio welcomed Lubot and Huch to its team; Murphy signed legislation enabling end of COVID emergency; Sellinger leading US Attorney candidate (iLine post); pressure building on Murphy to drop student mask requirement; Coughlin postponed public health emergency vote; Codey’s Insider NJ interview
The most consequential decision of NJDSC Chairman John Currie’s 8-year tenure as state party chair.
Senator Weinberg reflects on her nearly 30-year career in the Legislature with Steve Adubato.
In Paterson, educators voted no confidence in Superintendent Shafer.
In Hackensack, the Archdiocese of Newark is opening a new Mercy House.
In Lambertville, Andrew Nowick thanked his supporters following his GOP mayoral primary victory.
In Clifton, an attorney is suing the city for breach of contract, according to NorthJersey.com.
In East Brunswick, Robert Zuckerman was named Economic Development Officer, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Hillsborough, a judge says the town ‘flouted‘ a court order by denying an apartment plan, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Hoboken, the council voted down the budget amendment with a tax decrease, according to Hudson County View.
In Fanwood, Mayor Mahr hosted a fundraiser for Westfield Mayor Brindle, according to TAPinto.
In Jersey City, the council gave initial approval to the $620M budget, according to Hudson County View. Mayor Fulop launched free immigration medical exams and legal services for refugees and asylees.
In Keyport, the town is considering the future of cannabis sales, according to TAPinto.
In Morristown, the county invalidated Cresitello’s petitions to run for mayor, he vowed to appeal, according to Morristown Green.
In Mount Olive, the town celebrated Pride Month, according to NJ Hills.
In Ocean City, officials are concerned with bills to boost offshore wine development, according to Politico NJ.
In Oceanport, the town banned cannabis businesses, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Princeton, Wanda Gunning is stepping down from the Planning Board, according to Planet Princeton.
In Sayreville, the town banned recreational and medical marijuana businesses, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Wayne, the diversity advisor recommends a curriculum overhaul, according to NorthJersey.com.
ICYMI : In Newark, a 700-lb statue of George Floyd was unveiled; in Scotch Plains, Joe Sarno elected GOP Chair; in Randolph, BOE will consider reversing controversial Columbus Day decision; in Trenton, Coley terminated; in Camden, Carstarphen won mayoral primary; in Edison, Joshi won handily over Bhagia, Lankey, who lost Dem backing, filed to run for re-election as an independent, Brescher also filed to run as independent; in Morristown, incumbent Mayor Dougherty defeated challenger; in Plainfield, Mapp declared victory; Oliver says ‘ultimate goal‘ is local control in Camden
Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘The Property Tax Challenge for Ciattarelli‘
Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘NJ’s Attorney General Is Coming For Your Edibles‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Phil Murphy: On the Verge of a National Stardom Chris Christie Failed to Maintain‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Ruth Dugan writes ‘Half-baked Conspiracy Theories Cloud Those Refusing the COVID Vaccine‘
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Half-baked Conspiracy Theories Cloud Those Refusing the COVID Vaccine‘
Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘Flag Day 2021: For Both Parties, It’s Trump 2.0, Divide and Prosper‘ and ‘Ciattarelli’s Twin Peak Climb‘ and ‘Walt Whitman’s Camden 2021‘
AROUND THE WEB:
John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight
- A key legislative committee approved plans to spend more than $300 million in state bond proceeds on school projects throughout the state, including upgrades at county colleges, K-12 schools and vocational-technical schools.
Stacey Barchenger and Terrence T. McDonald, Trenton Bureau
- More New Jerseyans are ditching their hesitation and signing up to get the COVID vaccine, but there are still holdouts in the Statehouse. A handful of lawmakers said they have not gotten the vaccine or would not get it, citing recent infections of COVID or, in one case, relying on their immune system to prevent infection.
Charles Stile, NorthJersey.com
- The AFL-CIO of New Jersey’s endorsement of the state’s top three Democrats — Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin — should not come as any surprise. But the labor federation has a long history of forging bonds with Republicans. Charlie Marciante, the longtime president of the labor federation in New Jersey, served on the labor advisory council for the Republican National Committee.
Susan K. Livio and Kelly Heyboer, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- A landmark bill that would make New Jersey one of the first states in the nation to outlaw sexual harassment in political campaigns is back under consideration in Trenton three months after sponsors pulled it amid disagreements over what it should say.
Jayed Rahman, Paterson Times
- Municipal officials agreed to pay $150,000 on Tuesday night to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a public works employee. Tyshona Kennedy, a former truck driver, sued in 2018 alleging her supervisor, James Maher, was constantly sexually harassing her at work. Kennedy alleged Maher subjected her to “severe and pervasive sexual harassment and gender discrimination” from Jun. through Oct. 2017, according to the lawsuit.
Krystal Knapp, Planet Princeton
- School district officers and school board members talked about the need for school capital improvements at the Princeton Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday night without mentioning the “r” word – referendum.
Jean Mikle, Asbury Park Press
- A divided Toms River Regional Board of Education failed to appoint a superintendent Wednesday night, after two separate motions to approve a new school leader failed to garner a board majority of five votes.
Jean Mikle, Asbury Park Press
- Visitors to the township’s Snug Harbor pool are creating chaos in the neighborhood, sparking complaints of public drinking, marijuana smoking and public disrobing. The complaints are from Snug Harbor residents who addressed Mayor Maurice B. “Mo” Hill Jr. and the Township Council. Their worries also include trash left behind in the parking lot near the popular public pool.
Joe Strupp, Asbury Park Press
- The state education commissioner has delayed a critical decision on the future of Lakewood schools funding for at least a month, according to an email sent to school officials from her office. The Department of Education sent the email on behalf of acting Education Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan to those involved in the 2014 lawsuit filed by Lakewood High School math teacher Arthur Lang.
John Mooney, NJ Spotlight
- Serving close to 200,000 students with a wide range of disabilities and needs, New Jersey’s special education system is getting a lot of new attention — and likely funding — from Trenton. They come as the Murphy administration and the Legislature look to expand services and capacity in the wake of the pandemic.
Katie Sobko, NorthJersey.com
- The rainbow flag that flies over so many homes and businesses in celebration of Pride Month in June is also is being raised at a growing number of town halls throughout North Jersey. It’s a visible show of acceptance for LGBTQ residents. And as Christian Fuscarino of Garden State Equality puts it, Pride is about visibility.
Matt Arco, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- Gov. Phil Murphy doesn’t agree with a New Jersey school board’s controversial decision to remove the names of holidays from its school calendar — a move that has sparked a public outrcry.
- Brandon McKoy is happy Juneteenth has been declared a national holiday — and he’s hopeful it will lead to some much-needed change. He’s fearful that it won’t.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Philadelphia Inquirer
- What is that weird-looking barge off the coast of Ventnor? It’s made for a lot of Facebook punchlines, not to mention the inevitable Facebook know-it-all clap-backs, but the real answer is actually more complicated, and not that funny: it’s part of a rather big (10,000 feet long to be exact) problem stemming from a recent $30 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineer beach replenishment.