Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 6/5/2020:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The pandemic was an act of God, and sometimes Governor Murphy thinks he is God.” – Assemblyman Wirths in opposition to the borrowing proposal passed by the Assembly
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 162,530 cases and 11,970 fatalities as of Thursday.
The Governor extended the public health state emergency, his third time doing so since it was first declared on March 9th, for an additional 30 days.
The Assembly passed the COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act along party lines yesterday, a $5B borrowing plan proposed by the Governor that is the largest debt issue in the state’s history. Speaker Coughlin praised its passage, saying that ‘while not ideal’, its a ‘necessary next step’. Republicans objected to the proposal’s fast-tracking through the Legislature, with Assembly Minority Leader Bramnick saying ‘there was one hearing and that is not enough’. Earlier in the morning, the NJDSC had slammed Republican legislative leaders over their opposition to the bond act, pointing to their support for similar proposals in the past. Democrats fought back on the floor, with Assembly Majority Leader Greenwald saying ‘history will remember our actions’. At his daily briefing, Governor Murphy called the passage a ‘huge step forward‘.
The NJDOL announced that over $5.2B in unemployment benefits have been paid out during the 11 weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic began; new claims over the past week decreased 22% from the previous week, for a total of 1.2M claims since mid-March.
A Monmouth University poll finds 2/3 of the country expects to see a second COVID-19 surge, but many still want certain venues reopened with social distancing requirements.
In Atlantic County, one in three residents is jobless, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
Ocean County freeholders voiced opposition to toll hikes on the Turnpike and Parkway.
Warren County law enforcement gathered yesterday to decry the George Floyd murder and pledge their trust and respect to the public.
Senator Booker introduced the ‘Protecting Family Caregivers From Discrimination Act’.
Rep. Sherrill introduced the ‘Great American Outdoor Act’.
Rep. Smith applauded the House passage of legislation to enhance and expand the Paycheck Protection Program.
Rep. Pascrell released a statement on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, saying it holds a ‘special significance’ in light of the current protests occuring now in the nation.
New Jersey is the 5th least-hit state by unemployment claims, according to a WalletHub study.
ICYMI: Murphy announces LTC recommendations from rapid review, announced protocols for outdoor dining; First Lady announced climate change education; businesses held a rally; Sherrill glad King defeated; Murphy defended admin, pushed back against critics, denounced Trump photo-op as disgraceful; state will enter ‘Stage 2’ of reopening, Murphy expressed support for protests; Murphy allows resuming child care services; short-term rental assistance program; weekly update of enforcement; Murphy: ‘George Floyd should be alive today‘, Callahan made strong case for community policing, Grewal says state ‘would never tolerate the police practices that resulted in Mr. Floyd’s death’; state getting close to the ‘stage 2’ phase; NJDOL processed 1.1M UE certifications in past week; toll increase schedules; Warren, Sussex, Hunterdon want regional re-openings; Murphy defends toll hikes, says he’s ‘rabid believer in face coverings as a game changer‘
Follow Insider NJ’s iLine feature, a real-time blog that will give you continuous updates from around the state.
Progressive Senate candidates Larry Hamm and Madelyn Hoffman expressed concern with Governor Murphy’s decision to send National Guard members to DC.
Former Bergen County Freeholder Mitchell is spearheading an effort calling for freeholders to be elected by district instead of at-large.
The Middlesex County Young Democrats elected their new executive board.
In CD5, Senator Corrado endorsed GOP primary candidate Frank Pallotta.
In CD8, Democratic primary candidate Alp Basaran called on Rep. Pascrell to follow through with his pledge to debate, saying the incumbent hasn’t responded to attempts to discuss the time or format.
ICYMI: Hudson’s Bertoli charged; one-time Christie ally defeated (iLine post); Torch and Gee joust on FB (iLine post); GOP Senate candidates spoke at rally; Gottheimer staffer plead guilty to unauthorized use of cong. seal; Rotondi accusations against Palmieri, who denies, has sparked a hard collision among Dem women; Hedges won’t run for Congress after all; Essex extends Norcross contract (iLine post); in CD8, Oseguera looks to replicate AOC victory; Cornel West endorsed Hamm; LD1 Dem names in game (iLine post)
An unnamed Assembly staffer resigned following an internal rape allegation investigation, according to NJ.com.
Assemblyman Wimberly memorialized George Floyd at the start of yesterday’s voting session.
Speaker Coughlin introduced legislation to ensure schools and districts have proper liability insurance should they hold June graduations. ‘
The NJDHS reminded residents struggling with substance abuse that the state’s 844ReachNJ hotline is available 24 hours a day.
The NJ Chamber of Commerce will partner with the US Chamber of Commerce on its initiative to reduce opportunity inequality.
Focus NJ released an analysis on the state’s access to Paycheck Protection Program funding.
Environmental and business groups urged state leaders to invest in programs to create green energy jobs and healthier communities.
LUPE released a statement in support of S2544.
ICYMI: Ellis Smith will serve as Chief Policy Advisor; Freiman talks with Insider NJ; NJFMBA came out in support bond act; Senate GOP wants preservation letters for NJDOH; Colligan supports Bond Act; Murphy took action on legislation; Muoio testified before Asm. Budget; Wimberly mourned death of Floyd, Rice says Chauvin ‘deserves gas chamber‘; Senate GOP sent a letter Murphy calling for more action; Pennacchio defended appearance at rally following Robinson criticism; Gopal applauded removal of Judge Russo; Senate will establish special committee to investigate COVID-19 handling; SJ legislators urge Murphy to issue specific timetable for reopening
Former NJ Assemblyman Merkt filed to run for the New Hampshire House of Representatives (iLine post).
Listen tonight to Politically Direct Episode 97 with host Fernando Uribe and Senator Vin Gopal.
The roots of the Palatucci-Sette rivalry amid the battle for the GOP national committeeman seat.
The confluence of politics and players could catapult LD1 Senator Testa faster than most thought.
Several Central Jersey mayors are taking action to ease restrictions in anticipation of the state’s reopening.
In Newark, a history-making generation looks towards the living history embodied in the city’s torchbearers. The city released a task force report outlining recommendations for a pilot program for universal income for residents.
In Jersey City, Mayor Fulop and Police Chief Shea announced amendments to the ‘use of force’ general order for the police department.
In Hoboken, the city abolished the Office of Constituent Affairs after the council overrode Mayor Bhalla’s veto, according to Hudson County View.
In Elizabeth, the state’s 10th medical cannabis dispensary opened its doors (iLine post).
In Atlantic City, Mayor Small announced a 5% property tax decrease, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Paterson, Mayor Sayegh will announce the reopening of two more city parks today.
In Chatham, a protest has been cancelled at the urging of the Black Lives Matter chapter in Morristown.
In Toms River, the BOE President assailed Governor Murphy’s graudation guidelines as ‘ludicrious’, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In New Brunswick, the proposed budget will have no tax increase, according to TAPinto.
In Paterson, the teachers’ union wants BOE Member Capers removed, according to Paterson Press.
In Bayonne, the Hudson County GOP called for the resignation of BOE member Alonso following racially charged social media posts.
In Garfield, more than 1,000 joined a march in protest of the George Floyd killing, according to the Bergen Record.
In Englewood, residents questioned officials on policing, amid protests, according to the Bergen Record.
In Lakewood, police are warning businesses about anti-Semites who could attempt to infiltrate Saturday’s protest, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Saddle River, the affordable housing ruling is delayed again, according to the Bergen Record.
In Elmwood Park, an ex-officer alleges his bosses targeted him with a ‘bogus’ assault charge, according to the Bergen Record.
ICYMI: In Trenton, 7pm curfew; in Montclair, Baskerville wants recount (iLine post); in AC, Morshed endorses Small (iLine post); in Orange, Marable wants recount (iLine post); in Paterson, activists rallied (iLine post); in Hamilton, CFO Barrett resigned; in Trenton, violence erupted following protest; in Newark, first phase of reopening; in Paterson, Mendez wins recount (iLine post); in Trenton, Gusciora’s late-night press conference; in Newark, rally in solidarity w/ Minneapolis protests; in Morristown, people peacefully rallied; in Paterson, Sayegh’s political pickle (iLine post); in Belleville, Mattia won’t challenge resuts (iLine post); in AC, Small kicks off campaign (iLine post); in Bellmawr, Atilis Gyms files lawsuit against Murphy (iLine post); in Newark, Baraka issued comprehensive requirements for biz reopening; in AC, Rice backing Small while Tucker endorsed Thomas-Fields; in Paterson, intra-city rivalry of Best/Sayegh
Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘N.J. National Guard Deployment Draws Fire‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Senator Ron Rice writes ‘I Reflect on the Murder of George Floyd‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Can Tom Kean, Jr. Effectively Repudiate Trump and Win on the Politics of Inclusion?‘
Insider NJ Editor Max Pizarro writes ‘President Trump, I Neither Beseech Nor Implore‘
Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘‘How the Sausage is Made’ Integral to Information Flow in Democracy‘
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘NJ Budget Winks and Nods Must be Replaced Right Now by Leadership‘
Insider NJ columnist Mary Gatta writes ‘Managing COVID Anxiety and Stress As We Re-Open: A Q&A with a Psychologist‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Bruce Lowry writes ‘In Paterson, a Lesson in how not to Hold a City Election‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger
- When asked the other day about leaks within his administration on the bungled handling of the coronavirus crisis, Phil Murphy indulged his penchant for expressing himself in cliche.
Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight
- Three months after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in New Jersey, the official death toll stands at 11,880 — but it is likely that thousands more have died from the virus or underlying conditions exacerbated by the pandemic.
Bob Makin, Bridgewater Courier News
- Amid national health and economic crises and during nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice, Rutgers University is choosing to fire its most vulnerable campus workers, a coalition of 19 campus unions said in a statement.
Abbott Koloff, NorthJersey.com
- Volunteers at a Sikh temple in Glen Rock are following a tradition at the root of the religion, preparing meals in their community kitchen just as they did before the pandemic. Only now the meals are to go, given to senior citizens, families in need and anyone else who wants them.
Dan Alexander, NJ1015
- Protests over the killing of George Floyd remained peaceful Tuesday in New Jersey with police and public officials in some cases joining the demonstrators. Officials counted at least 21 demonstrations on Tuesday with another six planned for Wednesday.
Save Jersey Staff
- State Senator Mike Testa, Jr. (R-1) was among the speakers at Vineland’s Wednesday George Floyd demonstration on Landis Avenue.“What we witnessed in the murder of George Floyd was the absolute worst in humanity,” Senator Testa said.
Suzanne Russell, Bridgewater Courier News
- Linden Mayor Derek Armstead anticipates a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest Thursday when people gather at 3 p.m. to walk from Elizabeth Avenue to Curtis Street. Armstead plans to participate in the march.
Joe Strupp, Asbury Park Press
- The state Supreme Court has ruled that a jury wrongly ordered the township to pay $4.5 million to a farm owner whose land was taken by eminent domain, calling it a “manifest miscarriage of justice that shocks the conscience and requires a new trial.”
NJTV News – YouTube
- On this week’s Chat Box, Senior Correspondent David Cruz and a panel including activists Larry Hamm, Analilia Mejia and Ronsha Dickerson discuss the status of relations between communities of color and local police, including the policies and politics affecting them.
Chris Jordan, Asbury Park Press
- A solemn remembrance, and a vision for the future. Bruce Springsteen dedicated the opening song of his “Bruce Springsteen: From His Home, To Yours” SiriusXM broadcast on Wednesday, June 3, to the memory of the late George Floyd. The song was his own “American Skin (41 Shots).”
Alex N. Gecan, Asbury Park Press
- At first it wasn’t clear why Borough Council President Michael Ballard stepped away from his webcam during the council’s video meeting Wednesday evening. When he returned and explained, the other members were stunned into silence.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- On the day that George Floyd was remembered, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker sought to finally make lynching a federal crime in this country.
Molly Bilinski, Press of Atlantic City
- When inmates at the Cumberland County jail complain of symptoms related to COVID-19, they’re sent to solitary confinement for two weeks.
Jeanne Wall, TAPinto Holmdel
- Local political candidates, Committeeman Greg Buontempo (currently serving as Mayor for 2020), newcomer Ronald Emme and former Committeeman Michael Nikolis (defeated in the Republican Primary last year) recently filed a lawsuit against the Co-Chair of the Monmouth County Republican Organization, Christine Hanlon.
Alexis Shanes, NorthJersey.com
- The village school district is likely to cut $630,000 from its budget for the upcoming academic year after voters narrowly defeated a proposed budget during last month’s elections.
Erin Vogt, NJ1015
- The township’s superintendent of schools has issued public support for a high school valedictorian whose social media video about experiencing racism was met with anger by some parents. “The racially insensitive words of a few do not represent the views of a community or our school district,” Superintendent William George said in a letter Thursday, voicing support for High School North valedictorian Jada Tulloch.
Jayed Rahman, Paterson Times
- Less than half of households in Paterson have submitted a completed census survey, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Data shows 46.4 percent of households in Paterson responded to the decennial survey via the internet, mail, and phone. Nearby Passaic City, with 53.8 percent, and Clifton, 65.3 percent, had better luck.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- The two lawyers representing longtime Hudson County political fixer and operative Tom Bertoli are speaking out in light of tax charges brought against him by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, indicating that he didn’t evade taxes or interfere with IRS law.
Tom Bergeron, roi-nj.com
- Gov. Phil Murphy announced the guidelines for the reopening of non-essential retail, which is scheduled to be allowed starting June 15.
Joseph P. Smith, Vineland Daily Journal
- The Camden County Police Department is headed in the right direction based on how its chief found a role for himself in a weekend protest march, according to the head of the New Jersey NAACP.