Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “In true Jersey fashion, we have dropped the hammer on this virus.” – Governor Murphy
The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 891,644 cases and 23,702 fatalities (and 129,910 probable cases and 2,690 probable fatalities) as of Tuesday (an increase of 182 confirmed cases, 83 probable cases, and 15 lab-confirmed fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .99. There have been 10,057,803 COVID-19 vaccinations administered (with 4,831,932 people fully vaccinated).
Governor Murphy signed a legislative package to provide $235M in relief aid to small businesses struggling with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Burlington County kicked off Restaurant Week.
Hudson County Prosecutor Suarez’s re-appointment advanced following a fiery Senate committee hearing, according to the Jersey Journal.
Passaic County will hold its 1st Annual Food Truck Festival on Saturday.
Senator Menendez introduced a resolution observing World Refugee Day.
Rep. Pascrell introduced the ‘Fair Accounting For Condominium Construction Act’.
Felician Unviersity announced its 2021 honorary degree recipients, including former Senator Bob Gordon.
ICYMI: Sherrill vowed to continue SALT efforts; Governor announced leadership of Wealth Disparity Task Force; NJDOH HQ to be named in honor of Persichilli; Murphy touted the state’s COVID-19 vaccination rate
Governor Murphy and Jack Ciattarelli both attended the NJBIA’s employee reception.
The Bergen County Building Trades Council endorsed Governor Murphy for re-election.
In LD11, the GOP Assembly candidates decried Democratic attempts to remove Green Party candidate Dominque Faison from the ballot.
NJ Policy Perspective released a poll showing a majority of New Jerseyans favor abolishing the party line in primaries.
ICYMI: Murphy in the lead by 15-points over Ciattarelli; Ciattarelli offended that NJDOH HQ will be named for Persichilli; Jones sworn-in as NJDSC Chairman; Currie era ends, the Jones era begins; NJDSC filed ELEC complaint against Ciattarelli campaign; GOP leaders endorsed Bengivenga for Middlesex GOP Chair; 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
Governor Murphy and legislative leaders announced an agreement on budget proposals for higher education funding and raising the retirement income exclusion limit.
Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Speaker Coughlin announced that they will ‘look to restructure‘ the NJ Schools Development Authority.
Senator Rice requested a $1B budget investment in inner-city recreation.
Senators Pennacchio and Singer introduced legislation to broaden the legal definition of ‘riot’ and increase penalties for crimes committed during a riot.
Assemblymembers Peters and Stanfield decried the ‘Responsible Dog Ownership Act’ as a Democratic attack on dog owners and slamming it as ‘extreme government overreach’.
Housing advocates applauded the budget proposal’s preservation of Affordable Housing Trust Fund funding.
Food and Water Watch NJ slammed Senate President Sweeney’s ‘RICH Act’ as a ‘sneaky privatization scheme’.
ICYMI: Murphy signed the ‘Fair Chance in Housing Act’; Schaer discusses his lead poisoning elimination legislation
The most consequential decision of NJDSC Chairman John Currie’s 8-year tenure as state party chair.
In Randolph, a rowdy BOE meeting with hundreds of attendees was held Monday night centering on the controversial decision to remove holidays from the school calendar, with the BOE voting to revert the calendar back to what it was two months ago.
In Morristown, former Mayor Cresitello has hit a roadblock in his comeback attempt.
In Red Bank, the council primary results were certified.
In Bridgewater, the budget was introduced with no tax increase.
In Jersey City, Mayor Fulop announced the 2021 Summer Food Service program.
In Sayreville, the Middlesex County Utilities Authority completed a restoration of the Pump Station.
In Atlantic City, VBMs were an outlier compared to the rest of Atlantic County in the primary election, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Camden, the city is moving to ban cannabis sales, for now, according to Politico NJ.
In Clark, Jim Ulrich was named Business Administrator, according to TAPinto.
In Linden, BOE member Martucci apologized for calling VP Harris a ‘street walker’, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Montville, condo owners are suing officials over affordable housing rules, according to the Daily Record.
In Newark, the city is replacing a Columbus statue with one honoring Harriet Tubman, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Oakland, the town is gearing up for a face-off over marijuana sales, according to the Bergen Record.
In Paterson, the city’s distressed aid has hit its lowest point in decades, according to Paterson Press.
In Tewksbury, the sale of recreational cannabis was banned, according to NJ Hills.
In Warren, the township is looking to ban overnight parking of large work trucks in neighborhoods, according to NJ Hills.
In Watchung, the town is looking to dissolve the Wildlife Management Advisory Committee, according to NJ Hills.
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Will Jack Ciattarelli and the NJGOP reject Ron DeSantis and the national GOP trend and support the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT)?‘
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‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Ruth Dugan writes ‘It’s Time to Solve the Prescription Drug Price Crisis‘
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Half-baked Conspiracy Theories Cloud Those Refusing the COVID Vaccine‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight
- New Jersey’s congressional districts are about to be redrawn and the stakes are high not just for the 12 members who represent those districts, but also for the national Democratic and Republican parties.
Joshua Rosario, The Jersey Journal
- During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, most municipal and county services grinded to a halt as safety protocols took precedent over building permits.
Kevin Coughlin, Morristown Green
- Michael Fabrizio, a central player in Morristown’s revitalization, was eulogized Tuesday as a humble visionary, mentor and family man, who faced a grim prognosis with quiet fortitude.
Jayed Rahman, Paterson Times
- Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration hired public works director William “Billy” Rodriguez’s brother for an $80,000 engineering job raising concerns about nepotism. The brother, Carlos E. Rodriguez, was hired as principal engineering aide within the Engineering Division in the Department of Public Works in January, according to documents obtained through a records request.
Hudson County View
- In an editorial, Rachel Hodes details the last four years from the perspective of a local partisan position after being re-elected chair of the Hoboken Democratic Committee.
Frank Kummer, Philadelphia Inquirer
- “We kicked into overdrive,” said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley on dealing with trash pickup delays. “We said this can’t be. This is an important public health function.”
My Central Jersey
- The Rutgers University Board of Governors approved a $4.8 billion budget Tuesday that includes a 2.6% increase in tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year, following a freeze in tuition and a fees reduction for the past year in recognition of pandemic-related hardships.
Deena Yellin, NorthJersey.com
- Newark Archbishop Joseph Tobin urged fellow Catholic leaders not to descend into “toxic partisan strife” by drafting guidelines that could discourage Holy Communion for President Joe Biden and other pro-abortion-rights politicians.
John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight
- State lawmakers are getting ready to send to Gov. Phil Murphy a budget that will hike spending to a historic high by adding more funding for tax relief and public-worker pensions on top of what the governor requested months ago.
Joan Quigley, For The Jersey Journal
- Assaults are on the rise, it seems, and shockingly some of the most high profile ones are being carried out by women. Mothers attacking other mothers at schools, ball games, and playgrounds. Female passengers going berserk on planes. And the latest – women in a Philadelphia museum beating the daylights out of another woman who dared ask a child to stop splashing water around a fountain.
Matt Rooney, Save Jersey
- The Media understandably focuses on the top line numbers whenever a new polls comes out, Save Jerseyans, but that’s sometimes a mistake… especially in late spring/early summer when Election Day is still distant from most voters’ minds. Let’s take a look at the two current Murphy v. Ciattarelli polls on the books.
Tom Bergeron, roi-nj.com
- Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) and Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) praised the state budget introduced Monday as a responsible spending plan that will provide relief, spur economic growth, pay down debt and set aside sufficient reserves to avert a future fiscal cliff. Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge), Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Voorhees) and Assembly Budget Chair Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark) called it responsible and fair.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- The City of Bayonne granted a $4,094,712.50 solid waste collection contract to a vendor the month after he donated $64,327.59 to purchase a new pickup truck for the office of emergency management, though whether or not that was rescinded is in dispute.
Monsy Alvarado, NorthJersey.com
- Dario Alvarado had hoped life would be better in the U.S. He dreamed of connecting with family who’d show him the love the boy craved in Honduras. After his mother had abandoned him, Dario was adopted by an aunt and uncle back home, he said. But he didn’t fit in; there were family clashes. And when his biological father urged him to migrate north, he jumped at the suggestion.