Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 6/19/2019

Below is the Insider NJ Morning Intelligence Briefing for 6/19/2019:


SPONSOR MESSAGE: (Alliance for Quality Care)

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: We are not dealing with a broken system. This is a rigged system. This was designed by special interests for special interests.” – Governor Murphy on tax incentives


TOP STORY: Murphy Stands at the Crossroads of a Battle on Two Fronts



Following the release of the tax incentive task force’s first report – and the judicial ruling against the Norcross legal team attempt to stop it – Governor Murphy said that he will veto any extension of the tax incentive program if reforms are not included. ‘The system is rigged’, he said, and ‘cannot be allowed to continue for one day past June 30th’, when the program is set to expire. Meanwhile, Norcross sent a letter to legislative leaders requesting he be allowed to testify during the upcoming legislative hearings on the tax incentives, according to; the first hearing will be on Monday. Senator Weinberg weighed in on the task force’s report, saying it ‘raises very troubling issues’ and the Legislature should work with the Governor’s Office to ‘keep the important tax credits already in the pipeline moving forward, while engaging the business community in the future of the EDA’.


Rep. Kim introduced legislation to crack down on robocall violators.


Rep. Pascrell applauded the announcement that the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of the SALT deduction cap.



The Joint Committee on Ethical Standards tossed a complaint by Linden Mayor Armstead against Senator Scutari. The committee also dismissed a complaint against Assemblywoman DiMaso, according to the Asbury Park Press.


The Bergen County Sheriff’s Office launched a Regional Fugitive Task Force.



Here’s what’s on tap under the Gold Dome today and here’s what’s on tap on Thursday.


A day after the Legislature introduced its own budget proposal, Governor Murphy doubled-down on his insistence on a millionaire’s tax provision, saying pressure will ‘intensify not lessen‘ if its not included in the budget. On Monday, Murphy had said the legislative proposal ‘falls short on the principle of tax fairness‘.


Senate President Sweeney doubled-down on his insistence that there’s no deal on the dark money bill (which Murphy signed earlier this week) and that he has no plans to hold a vote on the changes that the Governor wants, according to


Senate President Sweeney addressed the All American Sports Betting Summit.


Assemblywomen Pintor Marin and Munoz introduced ten bills expanding the requirements for the state to combat discrimination and harassment, streamline the employee complaint process, and provide an EEO/AA officer for gubernatorial transition teams.


Assemblymen Mazzeo and Armato introduced legislation to upgrade the assault violations committed against attorneys.


The LD38 legislators will hold a free vision screening and eye exam event on Tuesday.


The Census 2020 Coalition applauded the inclusion of $9M in census funding in the legislative budget proposal.



Governor Murphy stands at the crossroads of a battle on two fronts – the budget and the NJEDA tax incentive controversy.


A New Jersey budgetary cycle version of The Boss’ ‘Eastern Mediocrity’ off his new album ‘Western Stars’.


Download and read the Insider 100: Cannabis publication by Insider NJ’s Jay Lassiter.


Listen Thursday at 8pm to Politically Direct Episode 63 with host Fernando Uribe and guest Stacie Sherman, Bloomberg News Trenton Bureau Chief.



In Hoboken, the VBM fraud trial of Frank Raia continued yesterday with testimony from Matthew Calicchio, who testified he worked for 5th Ward Council candidate Eduardo Gonzalez in 2015, according to Hudson County View. Political consultant Ryan Yacco also testified.


In Princeton, a municipal employee was charged with second-degree bribery relating to the illegal dumping scandal, according to Planet Princeton.


In Rockaway, Council Palumbo resigned, according to the Daily Record; he was facing a recall effort.


In Trenton, the schools superintendent is leaving the district, according to the Trentonian. Mayor Gusciora released a statement thanking him for his service.


In Ocean, an ‘umbrella war‘ has erupted on the beach, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.


In West Wildwood, Mayor Fox is appealing his ethics fine, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Delran, a former EMS chief was sentenced to 30 days in prison for insurance fraud and record tampering, according to Burlington County Times.


In Wyckoff, a petition calling for the raising of the Pride flag received 810 signatures, according to the Bergen Record.


In Trenton and Newark, a RentCafe report says the two cities are the state’s most affordable large cities in which to rent.



Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘(Some People Are Really Mad About) Free Narcan In New Jersey


Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘Governing a Third of New Jersey in Anonymity


Insider NJ columnist Alan Steinberg writes ‘Murphy’s Key to Survival – Nobody’s Watching ‘The Trenton Show’


Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Budget 2020 Battle: Murphy is in an Untenable Position


Insider NJ columnist and former Senator Kevin O’Toole writes ‘Trenton, I Hardly Miss You…





Goldman Sachsonomics

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board


  • An iron law of politics is never to trust a former Goldman Sachs executive who decides to run for elected office. Having made tens of millions of dollars at the financial giant, the former executive will typically have no qualms about raising taxes on others trying to become rich.


New Documentary Explores the 1967 Newark Riots and Racism in America

Rich Monetti, Geek Media


  • In 1967, the arrest and beating of an African-American taxi driver by a white cop sparked a riot that killed 26 people, caused millions in damage and led to a mass exodus from the beleaguered city of Newark. These racism in America impacts were easy enough to identify. But when documentary filmmaker Kevin McLaughlin begins Riot by stating that, “The week changed the world forever for everyone who lived there,” he’s also referring to subtleties that weren’t so easy to spot – yet had far-reaching consequences.


Busting a cap? Murphy administration officials surprised by incentives pushback — but willing to negotiate

Anjalee Khemlani,


  • As the Grow New Jersey and Economic Redevelopment & Growth tax incentives are set to expire, the Economic Development Authority and Gov. Phil Murphy are bracing for a lapse in the broad-based programs the state can use. How long that lapse will last remains unknown, but the administration is preparing for it. In addition, it is open to negotiating some of the finer details of the governor’s new incentive proposals.


Assembly panel clears revised medical marijuana expansion bill

Daniel J. Munoz,


  • An Assembly committee moved ahead with a revised measure that would expand the state’s medical marijuana program, following nearly two weeks of closed door meetings between legislative leadership and Gov. Phil Murphy’s office. The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved the new bill, Assembly Bill 20, in a 9-1 vote with one abstention late in the day on June 18. The text of the new version was not publicly available, but NJBIZ obtained a draft copy.


Philanthropic Initiative Helps Newark Analyze, Develop Office of Tenant Legal Services

Rebecca Panico, TAPinto Newark


  • The city will use a philanthropic initiative to analyze its new Office of Tenant Legal Services and explore ways to reduce evictions of low-income residents.Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Ballmer Group are spending $12 million on the 18-month initiative in Newark and nine other cities throughout the nation.


State senator uses nomination hearing to highlight voter fraud cases

Terrence T. McDonald, North Jersey Record


  • Republican state Sen. Gerald Cardinale’s attempts to tie the Bergen County Democratic chairman to voter fraud were not enough to derail the chairman’s nomination to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.


Mayor ‘Read’ Gusciora must support early childhood education and city reading initiative

LA Parker, The Trentonian


  • “Wanna Hide Something From a N*gga, Put It In a Book” by D.Haynes and “The Secret of Success Hide It From the N—r Don’t Let the N-gga Read” by Robert Lee addresses the opinion that black people disconnect from reading. Not exactly titles that make black people feel warm and cuddly although the commentary speaks to the issue regarding early childhood education, required summer reading initiatives for City of Trenton school children and a need to understand the importance of libraries and books.


To stem the tide of overdose deaths, pharmacies across New Jersey gave out free doses of naloxone

Aubrey Whelan,


  • In the months after John Power’s son died of an opioid overdose, the customers at his pharmacy in Browns Mills began, as he describes it, to “open up.” Power has dispensed prescriptions in this Burlington County town for more than 30 years, and knew that the opioid epidemic had touched his community like it has so many others. But after his son Chris died at age 23, customers he had known for years began to confess to him that they, too, had lost a family member or had a loved one in active addiction.


Medical marijuana expansion plans could pave the way for a bigger NJ legal weed launch

Payton Guion, Justin Zaremba, and Susan K. Livio, NJ Advance Media for


  • The recent state Department of Health announcement about expanding medical marijuana in New Jersey left some people underwhelmed, considering it seemed imminent until a couple months ago that weed would be legalized here.


Young adult pot use increases if they live near signed dispensaries, study says

Michelle Brunetti Post, Press of Atlantic City


  • Legal marijuana use by young people ages 18-22 increases the closer they live to medical dispensaries in California — especially those with storefront signs, according to a new RAND Corp. study published online by the journal Addiction.


Officers in Dover arrest are named after authorities say threats against them ‘subsided’

Abbott Koloff, North Jersey Record


  • The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday released the names of four police officers involved the recent arrest in Dover of a teenager seen on video being punched in the head while pinned on the ground.


Higher minimum wage could hurt many we’re trying to help | Quigley

Joan Quigley, For The Jersey Journal


  • Sometimes good people try to do good things – and it turns out bad. I hope that’s not the case with raising New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, but I do worry.


L.A. PARKER: Murphy’s Art All Night pitch courted political support for Democrats

LA Parker, The Trentonian


  • Gov. Phil Murphy’s no doppelgänger for legendary softball showman Eddie Feigner although the New Jersey government leader pitched comments Saturday during a visit to Art All Night. Feigner enjoyed a life of sporting showmanship as a softball pitcher and headliner for “The King and His Court”, a barnstorming four-man team that thrilled onlookers for decades.


Lawmakers Go Own Way on Budget, No Millionaires Tax or Other Murphy Priorities

John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight


  • Lawmakers took the first official step toward enacting a new state budget yesterday by advancing a $38.7 billion appropriations bill that calls for new spending on legislative priorities like special education and mass transit but leaves out several tax increases sought by Gov. Phil Murphy, including his coveted millionaires tax.


Paterson: Hinchliffe Stadium developer defaulted on $2.6 million loan, says report

Jayed Rahman, Paterson Times


  • Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration’s hand-picked developer for the Hinchliffe Stadium renovation project defaulted on a $2.6 million loan while head of the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District in Newark.


Critics slam Hackensack school trustee who said she is ‘disgusted’ by LGBT education

Terrence T. McDonald, North Jersey Record


  • The school board trustee who made disparaging comments about the LGBT community in emails to the district’s acting superintendent was the focus of hours of attacks in front of nearly 200 people gathered for the board’s June meeting on Monday night.


Resident Questions the Lack of LGBTQ Pride Month in Nutley

TAPinto Nutley Staff


  • A resident questions the absence of LGBTQ Pride Month acknowledgement in the township during the public comment portion of the Thursday, June 6 Board of Commissioners public meeting.


Local leaders discuss opioid epidemic and its impact on the workplace at forum

Amanda Auble, Press of Atlantic City


  • Local health and law-enforcement officials came together Tuesday to talk about efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and address the challenges it poses for employers in the state.


Toms River, Princeton celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month for the first time

Alex Biese, Asbury Park Press


  • The power of Pride is undeniable. As LGBTQ Pride Month is commemorated in June, a pair of New Jersey towns are marking the occasion for the first time this weekend. Both Toms River, the seat of Ocean County at the Jersey Shore, and iconic university borough Princeton will host their first-ever Pride celebrations on Saturday, June 22.


Williams submits new permits for Raritan Bay pipeline, Franklin compressor station

Mike Deak, Bridgewater Courier News


  • Williams has filed new permit applications with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to build its proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, which includes a natural gas pipeline under Raritan Bay to New York and a new compressor station in Franklin Township.
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