Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Just, generally speaking, I think the Legislature is more timid than it is conservative.” – Former Senator Loretta Weinberg
TOP STORY: Zero Hour: The 2023 Budget
The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 2,119,698 cases and 30,916 confirmed fatalities (and 356,860 probable cases and 3,087 probable fatalities) as of Sunday (an increase of 2,389 confirmed cases, 446 probable cases, 2 lab-confirmed fatalities, and 3 hospital-reported fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .82. There are 726 total hospitalizations, with 93 in intensive care units, and 104 discharges in the past day. There are 6,940,416 people fully vaccinated.
Governor Murphy directed state agencies and departments to identify gun violence prevention measures.
Reacting to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in a decision released on Friday, Governor Murphy said the decision ‘erased a woman’s long-held constitutional right to abortion’. LG Oliver called it a ‘dark day for women in America‘, adding that ‘we will fight’ and ‘we will overcome’. Senator Booker decried it as a ‘radical decision’ and the ‘beginning of a new fight’. Senator Menendez slammed it as throwing out ‘nearly 50 years of legal precedent’. Rep. Watson Coleman slammed the decision as a threat to other rights and the the Supreme Court is ‘prepared to set us back centuries’. Rep. Sherrill decried the decision as ‘not conservative, it is radical’ and said its a ‘crisis moment for our country’. Rep. Malinowski said the decision ‘raises the stakes of the election exponentially’. Rep. Pascrell called it a ‘partisan decision‘ and blamed the GOP for the circumstances leading to the overturning. Rep. Sires slammed the court majority as having ‘betrayed this county’s women’. Rep. Norcross condemned the decision as ‘disgraceful’. Rep. Payne slammed it as a ‘tragic day’ for the nation, and urged Senate passage of the ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’. Longtime pro-life advocate Rep. Smith said the decision is a ‘new opportunity to defend the weakest and most vulnerable from the violence of abortion’. Rep. Van Drew said the decision ‘must be respected‘ and that the court ‘made the right decision to return this issue to the states’.
Activists and leaders protested against the Roe v. Wade overturning in rallies across the state.
At a ‘rally for life’, activists celebrated the Roe v. Wade overturning, according to NJ.com.
South Jersey farmers say Americans need to buy more local produce or their farms won’t survive, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Eight NJ counties are among the most likely to see a housing market decline, according to NJ Herald.
Central Jersey tourism could boom this summer, according to MyCentralJersey.
State officials are expecting a surge in permit requests for concealed carry, according to NJ Monitor.
Hunterdon County appointed the Frenchtown mayor as county administrator, according to MyCentralJersey.
Morris Commissioners are mulling 30 sites for historic preservation, according to NJ Hills.
Senator Booker introduced legislation to advance health equity.
Rep. Pascrell demanded the VA reverse a recommendation to close the VA Clinic in Paterson.
Rep. Van Drew criticized President Biden’s proposed gas tax holiday as ‘hardly a solution’.
Stark and Stark added four new attorneys.
ICYMI: Leaders announced an agreement school supplies tax holiday; Labor hitting the bricks for hazard pay; Murphy, legislative leaders announced ANCHOR expansion; Giuliani struck back at Stepien’s recorded testimony; primary key takeaways and post-election considerations; Booker takes aim at nation’s gun ‘moral paralysis’
Governor Murphy’s first hurdle heading into 2024 is New Jersey Democrats, according to Politico NJ.
NJDSC Chairman Jones offered his real-time reaction to Insider NJ on the revocation of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court. Jones and Vice Chair Schaffer said in a statement that the decision is a ‘unprecedented assault on women’.
In CD2, Democratic candidate Tim Alexander condemned the Roe Vv. wade overturning as ‘extremist’ and said its a ‘sad day for America’.
In CD3, GOP challenger Bob Healey laid out his position on abortion, noting that he is personally pro-life while believing in abortion rights in certain circumstances; Healey chided Rep. Kim for having ‘extreme views’ on the issue and called on Kim to ‘explain why he holds them’.
In CD7, Rep. Malinowski slammed GOP challenger former Senator Kean over the Roe v. Wade overturning, saying Kean will ‘likely choose silence’ instead of taking a stand on the issue. Malinowski will host town halls on reproductive rights.
In CD8, Democratic candidate Rob Menendez said the Roe v. Wade overturning ‘represents the theft of a right’ for women.
ICYMI: Somerset Dems re-elected Schaffer chair; Ciattarelli launched ‘Mainstream Majority’; AFL-CIO released endorsements; Passaic GOP unanimously re-elected Murphy; in CD5, Gottheimer collected the endorsements of police orgs; Murphy PAC launched ad buy; Building Trades endorsements; following DeGroot’s wresting of nomination, Ali seeking party unity; in CD11, Sherrill, DeGroot hitting ground running; Vainieri elected HCDO chair; Dimaio says NJGOP recruiting candidates for ’23 elections; Chapparo responded to rumors about future; Morris GOP suffered double blow in primary
The state’s judicial shortage is reaching a crisis level, according to NJ.com.
Governor Murphy and legislators find themselves in a unique position in the state’s fiscal history: what to do with the multi-billion dollar surplus.
Arguably the busiest week in Trenton is kicking off, as the budget is set to be introduced and vote upon, according to NJ.com.
Senate Republicans called for action to end the ‘tax bracket creep’.
Speaker Coughlin assailed the Roe v. Wade overturning as undoing ‘decades of advocacy and legal precedent’.
NJDCF Commissioner Norbut Meyer says that reproductive freedoms are ‘under assault‘ and lauded the state for ‘enshrining this right into law’.
Senate Minority Leader Oroho applauded the Roe v. Wade overturning as a reversal of the ‘flawed logic’ of the case and ‘reasserted the democratic principle’ of states’ rights; Oroho called for the state to ‘begin a bipartisan discussion on reforming‘ laws and follow the ‘most up-to-date science when determining viability’.
Senator Durr praised the Roe v. Wade overturning as a ‘wonderful day for the pro-life community’, adding that ‘we still have much work to do to address this sickening taking of innocent lives’ in the state.
Senators Ruiz, Cunningham, and Pou said that with ‘one decision‘ the Supreme Court has put the ‘health and lives’ of women in jeopardy, and may ‘signal the further erosion of rights’.
Senator Gopal called the Roe v. Wade overturning a ‘very extreme position‘ by the Supreme Court.
Senator Greenstein said she is ‘shocked and appalled‘ by the Roe v. Wade overturning.
Assemblywoman Quijano called the Roe v. Wade overturning a ‘dark day‘ and said she’s ‘deeply troubled by this outcome’.
Assemblywoman McKnight says she fears that ‘other long-established rights will be may be stolen away’ by the Supreme Court.
Assemblywoman Jasey denounced the Roe v. Wade overturning and pledged to fight against the decision, saying she will ‘not stand idly by’.
Assemblymembers Flynn and Scharfenberger applauded the Supreme Court’s 2nd Amendment ruling, saying it is ‘monumental in cementing’ the rights of ‘law-abiding citizens’.
Planned Parenthood of NNJ decried the Roe v. Wade overturning by the Supreme Court as ‘turning its back on nearly 50 years of precedent’ while noting that abortion is still legal and available in the state.
NOW-NJ expressed outrage at the reversal of Roe v. Wade, and pledged action in elections at every level.
The NJEA expressed anger over the Roe v. Wade overturning, saying its an ‘affront to the civil rights of every American’.
NJ Policy Perspective slammed the Roe v. Wade overturning, saying it will ‘deny millions of people their basic human rights’.
The NJ Bankers Association celebrated the role of women in banking, according to MyCentralJersey.
ICYMI: SCOTUS gun ruling will have an impact on state; Schepisi experiences lending her voice on the gun control discussion; DiMaio criticized school supplies sales tax holiday as ‘gimmick’; voting bills inched closer to reality
Friends of former Governor Kean celebrated his 85th birthday last week.
In Wildwood, Acting AG Platkin announced charges against Mayor Byron, former Mayor Troiano, and Commissioner Mikulski for fraudulently participating in the State Health Benefits Program.
In Bridgewater, the council adopted the budget.
In Hoboken, the city announced COVID-19 vaccine clinics for newly eligible children.
In Piscataway, the local Democrats thanked residents for voting in the primary.
In Atlantic City, the city is cracking down on crime and shoplifters ahead of the NAACP convention, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Bernardsville, sex education was debated again, according to NJ Hills.
In Camden, a neighborhood is plagued by floods from climate change, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In Hamilton (Mercer), a Trenton cop was arrested for threatening a school administrator, according to the Trentonian.
In Holmdel, the town is pushing a lawsuit claiming the former tax attorney overbilled by $250k, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Monroe, schools district turmoil is boiling over with a lawsuit, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Oakland, a $5.9M sewer project is set to begin, according to the Bergen Record.
In Ocean City, the city is continuing its battle against an offshore wind farm, according to Downbeach.
In Parsippany, the council detailed current and future maintenance projects, according to TAPinto.
In Passaic, an ally of Mayor Lora’s was promoted by the PVWC, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Roseland, the council approved $5.2M in bonds for sports complex improvements, according to NJ Hills.
In Sparta, the council cancelled a council meeting, according to TAPinto.
In Summit, opposition to the Broad Street West project is mounting, according to TAPinto.
In Ventnor, parents expressed concern about school security, according to Downbeach.
In Wall, a judge was told the town should take a new look at 550 Peddler’s Village homes, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Warren, Democrats switched committee candidates, according to NJ Hills.
In Wayne, armed police guards will be posted at all 15 public schools, according to NorthJersey.com.
In West Caldwell, Millbrook bought the Essex Mall for $47M, according to NJ Hills.
ICYMI: In Jersey City, Coalition For Progress raised $150k; in Washington Township, not all are happy with Oborn resignation timing; in Mount Holly, Dems announced new leadership; in Newark, runoffs served to fortify Baraka; in JC, Fulop announced an increase in wage for city employees
Insider NJ columnist Anjali Mehrotra writes ‘Abortion is Now on your Ballot‘
Insider NJ columnist Andrew Leven writes ‘The Center – An Introduction‘
Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘Can Murphy Surf Labor’s Big Wave into the White House?‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘2024: If Biden doesn’t Seek Reelection, what if both Jersey Guys, Phil Murphy and Cory Booker, Want to Run?‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Jill Lazare writes ‘New Jersey Finally on Path to Fairer Elections‘
AROUND THE WEB:
- In a wide-ranging discussion on the last Chat Box of the season David Cruz talks with Gov. Phil Murphy about the state of budget negotiations, tax policy and debt. The governor also addresses concerns about inflation and other pressing issues, including abortion rights, plans for Liberty State Park and funding for NJ Transit.
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger
- It’s time for Americans to use the word “oligarch” to describe our own billionaires, not just those in Russia.
South Jersey Times Editorial Board
- New Jersey’s acute shortage of Superior Court judges got a little worse on May 18. After seven years, Judge Sandra Lopez was forced to leave the bench, since her first court term ended, and Gov. Phil Murphy did not renominate her in time for unbroken service to Vicinage (or court district) 15, which covers Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland County.
Jason M. Williams, NJ Monitor
- On Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the right to bear arms extends beyond one’s residence. The ruling stems from a case brought forth against New York, challenging the mandate around citizens needing to prove they are fit to conceal carry. Incidentally, prior to this ruling, New Jersey law also mandated approval by a court.
Mike Brant, NJ1015
- Now before you read too deeply into this, no, there isn’t any gas station currently at $3 per gallon. But that did get you excited at first, which directly makes the point as to why this is a problem. After gas prices skyrocketed to $5 per gallon over the past few weeks, New Jerseyans have been strapped tighter than ever. I’m sure I’m not the only one who cringes every time I have to fill my car.
Hannan Adely, NorthJersey.com
- When abortion was illegal, some people turned to clandestine clinics that they learned about via word of mouth to undergo risky procedures to end a pregnancy. Others tried self-abortions, including the coat-hanger method, which became a symbol of the desperate measures at the time.
Tony Gallotto, TAPinto South Brunswick
- The national Brain Tumor Foundation was ready to give free MRI brain screenings to 120 people who signed up with concerns about their potential exposure at Colonia High School. But the free screenings were suddenly postponed.
- Higher education has long been criticized for being slow to react to change — and then taking a long time to act when it comes time to get up to speed. Rutgers University made an announcement Thursday that challenges those assumptions. The Rutgers Future of Work initiative announced by President Jonathan Holloway not only builds on the flexibility and innovation that kept the university successfully operating throughout the pandemic — it talks of implementing flexible work arrangements for employees.
Matt Rooney, Save Jersey
- Someone (or some people) spray painted the sign outside of President Trump’s South Jersey golf course following Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. Police responded to the scene of the crime at Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia which is actually located in the South Jersey community of Pine Hill (Camden County).
Lynford Morton, TAPinto Hawthorne
- There was the doctor, the lawyer, the politician, the teacher, the stay-at-home mom, and many other residents with impressive titles who all adopted the role of concerned citizens when they gathered on Friday, June 24, for a procession and vigil to save lives from gun violence.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said that the latest Liberty State Park bill won’t lead to privatization, also noting that he is against the Liberty National golf course expansion and “massive stadiums” in an interview.
Jerry Carino, Asbury Park Press
- Imagine a mafia kingpin settling down in a quiet waterfront town, schmoozing at the barber shop, hanging out at the firehouse and doing regular-joe things while running a criminal empire. It sounds like a Jersey Shore knockoff of “The Sopranos.” Except this is no TV show. It really happened in Monmouth County.