Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 7/23/2019

Below is the Insider NJ Morning Intelligence Briefing for 7/23/2019:



ETS — a nonprofit, New Jersey-based organization committed to the students of New Jersey. With our experience and expertise, we develop student assessments that provide insight into where students are and where they need to be, and support educators in creating pathways to get there. Each year, ETS administers 50 million tests in 180+ countries across the globe. Our learning tools and assessments are research based, valid and fair — one of the many ways we advance quality and equity in education for all learners. In addition, ETS has a long tradition of community service and philanthropy in support of New Jersey’s students and educators.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: The governor has wrapped himself in a delusional ideology that blinds him to reality. His continued presence is an irresponsible atrocity.” – Senator Ruiz and Newark Councilman Ramos on Puerto Rican Governor Rossello


TOP STORY: ‘America, Love it or Leave it’: Golf Carts, Moon Buggies and the Bigotry in Between



Governors Murphy and Cuomo jointly signed bi-state legislation to create the Gateway Development Commission, saying that ‘building the new Hudson Tunnel Project is the single most important infrastructure project in our nation, but the Trump administration has abdicated its responsibility by failing to pay their fair share to replace this federally-owned asset’. State leaders applauded the commission’s creation, while Senator Weinberg, one of the bill’s sponsors, said funding should come from bonding, not NJ Transit train tolls and made it ‘absolutely clear today that it is the bipartisan intent of the New Jersey legislative leadership that under no circumstance would we accept a scenario where New Jersey Transit’s operating budget – which continues to be underfunded – would be saddled with any portion of the construction cost of Gateway’. Weinberg added that a ‘commitment to that principle will be a prerequisite’ for any nomination to the GDC.


Senator Ruiz and Newark Councilman Ramos said they ‘stand in solidarity‘ with Puerto Rican protesters in calling for the resignation of Governor Rossello, saying it would be ‘an important step in the process of restoring confidence between the government of Puerto Rico and its residents’; Rossello has said he won’t seek re-election next year but plans to remain in office following a corruption probe and sexist and homophobic comments made in a leaked online chat conversation.


Rep. Gottheimer held his 44th ‘Cup of Joe with Josh’ event.


Governor Murphy directed the lowering of flags today in honor of the late Justice John Paul Stevens.


ICYMI: Pascrell calls for Trump impeachment inquiry; Norcross speaks in support of Raise The Wage Act; Gottheimer applauds SALT suit; Murphy signed gun control bill package; Murphy will lead six-day economic mission trip to India; Booker drops to 1.2% in NH



A Superior Court judge ruled against George Norcross’ legal team in their request seeking documents and record from Governor Murphy’s staff, according to


Emerge New Jersey celebrated the graduation of its sixth class of 17 members.


ICYMI: Activists protest Trump fundraiser; CD7 candidate Becchi says opponent Kean’s family name could backfire; BCDO formally elected Juliano; in LD38, Hugin headlined GOP fundraiser; Diaz endorses Sanders; Fatima Heyward elected NJYD prez



Senator Sarlo released a statement on the state’s record-low unemployment rate, touting the FY2020 budget’s $1.3B surplus and saying ‘the responsible thing was to prepare for the inevitable’ next economic downturn.


Assemblywoman Sumter blasted President Trump’s comments regarding Reps. Omar, Tlaib, Pressley, and Ocasio-Cortez, saying its ‘yet another tactless, hateful example of our country being steered in the wrong direction, going backward not forward’.


The NJEDA announced a new pilot program aimed at supporting small business growth.


The NJ Highlands Council voted to implement enhanced signage and digital mapping of the state’s portion of the Highlands Trail.


ICYMI: Murphy took action on bills; Murphy named Maziarz acting DHS commissioner; unemployment rate fell to 3.5%; Pennacchio blasted SALT lawsuit; judiciary removed Troiano, announced enhanced training for judges; academics outline key recommendations for redistricting



Read and download Insider NJ’s 2019 Insider 100: Policymakers publication.


Listen Thursday at 8pm to Politically Direct Episode 66 with host Fernando Uribe and guest Luis de la Hoz, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President, and listen to Politically Direct Episode 65 with guest Old Bridge Councilman Mark Razzoli.


Visit the Insider 100 Publications page, the Events Calendar, the Press Release page, and check out the Insider NJ Video Gallery and Insider NJ Podcast page.



In Belleville, former Mayor Kimble passed away.


In Atlantic City, residents spoke out against the petition to change the form of city government, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Holmdel, the search for a new township administrator could take months, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Plainfield, a former member is suing the Rescue Squad, claiming he lost his job after whistleblowing, according to MyCentralJersey.


In West Orange, Senator Codey praised the West Orange Knights basketball team for winning the AAU championship this weekend; Codey is the team’s coach.


In Hoboken, Mayor Bhalla announced a proposed settlement preserving the Monarch while keeping development from the waterfront.


In Paterson, activists will rally tonight to seek answers regarding the death of Jameek Lowry, who died six months ago in police custody.


In Hawthorne, Ward 3 Green Party candidate Cayentano signed a ‘No Fossil Fuels Money’ pledge.


In Freehold, Casa Freehold will hold a fundraiser on July 28th.


ICYMI: In Roxbury and Mount Arlington, the ongoing consolidation effort looks to overcome several obstacles.



Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Donald Trump: Stop Using Israel as a Rationale for Your Race War


Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘A Tribute to Salena Carroll Lesniak


In a guest column on Insider NJ, Bergen County GOP Chairman Jack Zisa writes ‘Mr. Juliano, Congrats on Taking over an Organization of Treachery and Deceit


In a guest column on Insider NJ, Sean Keagan Foley writes ‘Can Our Democracy Survive Technology?




Heed the slimy siren from algae blooms | Editorial

Star-Ledger Editorial Board


  • It’s mid-July, and Lake Hopatcong has been desecrated by huge splotches of green slime that you keep at a safe distance, one measured by your tolerance for a horrid stench. The largest lake in New Jersey is usually filled with swimmers, boats, jet skis, and fishing lines.


Moody’s Warns About Effect of Funding Freeze on Distressed Municipalities

John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight


  • Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision to impound funds earmarked for New Jersey’s neediest municipalities over concerns about the state budget has drawn the attention of Wall Street.


Visitation Times Announced For Former Spotswood Mayor Nicholas Poliseno

Dawn Miller, TAPinto Spotswood


  • Former Spotswood mayor Nicholas Poliseno will be laid to rest on Friday, July 26. Poliseno passed away on Thursday, July 18 at his home from illnesses he contracted from his work as a first responder on September 11 according to his obituary. He was 41 years old.


Murphy names Maziarz to run DOH … for a week

Emily Bader,


  • Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday that Marcela Ospina Maziarz has been named interim acting commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, taking the helm from Dr. Shereef Elnahal, who left the administration to serve as CEO of University Hospital in Newark. Murphy announced last month his intention to nominate former University Hospital interim CEO Judith Persichilli as the commissioner of health. She will begin her role as acting commissioner next Monday.


Report: 1,880 hours of transit delays over last four years

Brenda Flanagan, NJTV


  • An analysis shows NJ Transit and Amtrak rail riders lost almost 78 days of their lives fuming on stuck trains due to delays caused by “major infrastructure failures” in the century-old, Sandy-damaged Hudson train tunnel and the Portal Bridge. But that comes as no surprise to commuters, or to Gateway Development Corporation trustees, who ordered the survey.


NJ correction officer killed in Woodland crash

Lauren Purnell, Burlington County Times


  • A GoFundMe campaign in the memory of Officer Sean Brown, who was killed on his way to work on Saturday morning, has raised over $17,000 of its $50,000 goal in 24 hours.


Ex-Eastside High School principal wanted $750,000 to settle case against Paterson schools

Jayed Rahman, Paterson Times


  • Former Eastside High School principal Zatiti Moody sought $750,000 and removal of an assistant superintendent to settle his lawsuit against the Paterson school district, according to public documents reviewed by the Paterson Times.


School unions, residents push for Trenton principal Hope Grant to become interim superintendent

Isaac Avilucea, The Trentonian


  • The mantras in capital city education circles might as well be “Hope springs eternal” and “Grant us this wish.” But it’s not only the Trenton Education Association, the Trenton Paraprofessional Association and other local bargaining units pushing for the Trenton High School Principal Hope Grant to succeed Fred McDowell as interim superintendent.


Bergen’s new Democratic chief eyes GOP-held Assembly seats, wants to build on successes

Terrence T. McDonald, North Jersey Record


  • Paul Juliano, the new Bergen County Democratic chairman, said he hopes the party can expand on its recent victories by toppling some Republican members of the Assembly in November. Juliano, 48, of Woodcliff Lake, was elected to lead the party at a Paramus labor union hall on Wednesday night. He had no opposition.


Bernardsville Mayor Canose Discusses Her Vision for Redeveloping Downtown Area

Guy Kipp, TAPinto Bernardsville


  • Borough Mayor Mary Jane Canose last week met with the Downtown Redevelopment Committee to discuss the three proposals they received this month from developers bidding to undertake the project of renovating and updating the Quimby Lane area in the center of town.


Hamilton residents oppose Dam Site 21 park improvement plan: ‘It will increase traffic’

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, The Trentonian


  • Yee-haw! Sprawling green space off Hughes Drive could be transformed into a passive recreation zone featuring a kayak launch, elevated boardwalks and even potentially a swimming area. The Mercer County Park Commission wants to develop this 280-acre parcel into a more popular outdoor space with ecological enhancements, but hundreds of area residents have voiced opposition in an online petition fearing the project would cause more harm than good.
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