Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The methods and intentions of the criminals have evolved. Car thefts have expanded well beyond simple property crimes. Now the safety of our law abiding residents is at risk.” – Senator Bucco on plans to introduce legislation to combat the rise in car thefts
The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 2,224,362 cases and 31,224 confirmed fatalities (and 385,561 probable cases and 3,096 probable fatalities) as of Thursday (an increase of 2,942 confirmed cases, 843 probable cases, 13 lab-confirmed fatalities, and 5 hospital-reported fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .97. There are 864 total hospitalizations, with 94 in intensive care units, and 157 discharges in the past day. There are 6,994,517 people fully vaccinated.
The NJ Supreme Court clarified when inmates can win compassionate release, according to NJ Monitor.
The NJDHS is delivering additional pandemic food assistance benefits to eligible children.
The state is offering to reimburse counties for the cost of spraying for lanternflies, according to TAPinto.
Demand for the monkeypox vaccine exceeds the supply as cases spread, according to NJ Herald.
25% of the state is officially in drought status, according to NJ101.5.
The state is seeing an ‘alarming rise‘ in luxury auto thefts, according to NJ Herald.
Bergen County Sheriff Cureton issued a nepotism policy 6 months after hiring his nephew, according to the Bergen Record.
Burlington County is distributing farmers’ market vouchers to income-eligible seniors.
Gloucester County is cutting taxes and freezing spending, according to ROI-NJ.
Eating disorders among NJ teens have been getting worse, according to NJ101.5.
ICYMI: Murphy signed legislation extending outdoor dining; officials broke ground on Portal North; LIV golf tournament sparked a protest by 9/11 families; Harris returning to NJ; Platkin launched office to enforce gun safety legislation; Dancer passed away
In CD7, GOP candidate Tom Kean was endorsed by NFIB.
Former President Trump’s PACs have been making payments to loyalists in the state for their services, according to NJ Spotlight.
ICYMI: Battleground Dems praised Kansas abortion rights vote; Sherrill hopes SALT relief happens; Working Families demanded investigation into O’Toole; in LD12, Reina withdrew from Assembly seat consideration; Morris Dems gearing up for ‘ROEvember’; LaRue elected GSE Action Fund chair; Gottheimer launched ‘AAPI For Josh’; previously sleepy BOE races become political warzones; Kim, Malinowski face fierce battles w/ ‘Trump factor’ looming; in CD7, Biden electoral albatross; Wolfe explains ‘Moderate Party’ rationale; Insider NJ takes a look at competitive congressional races
Governor Murphy announced Mark Dinglasan as the Director of the Office of the Food Security Advocate.
Senators Codey and Bucco announced plans to introduce legislation to fight the car theft epidemic and protect juveniles.
Download and read Insider NJ’s 2022 Insider 100: Policymakers power list publication.
Download and read Insider NJ’s 2022 Insider Out 100: LGBTQ Power List publication, by Jay Lassiter.
In Morris Township, the Democrats selected three candidates for township committee.
In Jersey City, the Ali Leadership Institute raised $30k at its annual summer gala. The Jersey Journal called for the resignation of Councilwoman DeGise. The JC Young Democrats started a petition to have the state’s brewery restrictions repealed, according to Hudson County View.
In Bridgewater, the township submitted a school security agreement to the BOE.
In Cape May City, a liquor license transfer fell short, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Franklin (Sussex), moving the BOE elections could put the budget on the ballot, according to NJ Herald.
In Galloway, a historic church was transplanted across town in a historic preservation effort, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Hazlet, Rob Bengivenga was appointed administrator, according to TAPinto.
In Millville, a cannabis business is possible at the site of a former glass factory, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Montclair, the town is battling a booming rat problem, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Paterson, a mosque is fearful of a second bias attack, according to Paterson Press.
In Phillipsburg, Councilman Piazza called for further discussion of the library tax referendum, according to TAPinto.
In Pleasantville, bonds will address sewer and street needs, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Red Bank, the council will meet to discuss hiring a new tax assessor, according to TAPinto.
In Wayne, a strip mall could replace a funeral home, according to NorthJersey.com.
ICYMI: In Morris Township, GOP ready to rebound; in Newark, Baraka tapped Frage as public safety director; in JC, a weekend rally held calling for DeGise resignation; in JC, political and legal ramifications of DeGise hit-and-run; in Newark, looming interest rate hike prompted council on redevelopment subsidy
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Murphy’s Deliberate, Slow Supreme Court Walk‘
Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘Whistling Past Monkeypox‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘The Whitman-Yang Forward Party: The Charge of the Lightweight Brigade‘
Insider NJ columnist and ELEC Executive Director Jeffrey Brindle writes ‘Stronger Parties Could Help Bring More Compromise and Less Discord‘
Insider NJ columnist Andrew Leven writes ‘The Speech Joe Biden Should Give (But Probably Won’t)‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Jim Beckerman, NorthJersey.com
- Conservative. Traditional. Old school. Like Edmund Burke, Winston Churchill, and the guy down the street with seven American flags on his lawn. Tara Setmayer, political commentator, former CNN regular, frequent guest and recent frontrunner for co-host on The View — she just lost the spot to Alyssa Farah Griffin and Ana Navarro — has been that kind of conservative ever since she decorated her bicycle red white and blue for the annual Paramus 4th of July parade.
Joseph N. DiStefano, Philadelphia Inquirer
- With stock and bond values down and consumer prices up, it’s been a rough 2022 for retirement savers. That includes the New Jersey Investment Council, the 16 public worker union leaders and investment pros, most appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy, who oversee the $91 billion the state invests to pay pensions for 800,000 working and retired teachers, police, and other state and local government staff.
Liam Quinn, NorthJersey.com
- A video claiming a Chuck E. Cheese mascot snubbed a Black toddler eager for a high-five at a Wayne location has gone viral on Twitter, and now the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has condemned the company’s response.
Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight
- In a rare alliance, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and state Division of Rate Counsel are jointly fighting the expansion of an interstate natural-gas pipeline by arguing consumers should not have to pay for the unneeded gas capacity that would be provided by the project.
Saladin Ambar, NJ Spotlight
- Two weeks ago, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban gave one of the most racially hostile speeches for a European head of state in recent memory. In it, he equated the migration of non-European people (i.e., non-white) into Europe, and Hungary specifically, as the end of the West. He also made what appeared to be an off-the-cuff joke about Germany’s expertise with “gas” as a way to reduce European gas consumption. You can read it for yourself. Hungary’s Prime Minister was yucking it up about the Holocaust.
Scott Fallon, NorthJersey.com
- On the beaches of Mantoloking, they’ve been found scurrying in clumps of 50 near the surf. Seventy miles north in suburban Clifton, they’ve inundated a few blocks that have plants they love to feast upon. And in densely packed towns along the Hudson River, they’ve spawned on trees nestled on the Palisades cliffs and are now climbing to the very top of high-rises perched over the waterway.
Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger
- In 2016, after he abandoned his own run for the Republican presidential nomination, Chris Christie was the first major Republican figure to support Donald Trump. He knows a winner when he sees one.
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
- I am a lifelong New Jersey resident. I have lived in my house in Paterson for over 60 years. There aren’t many places where you can climb a mountain, relax on a beach and have the best pizza this side of Naples all on the same day. We’re one of them, and I think that makes New Jersey the greatest state in our union.
Kyle Morel, New Jersey Herald
- An area of Lake Hopatcong is closed to the public after two rounds of water testing in the area showed high levels of harmful algae blooms. Colleen Lyons, administrator of the Lake Hopatcong Commission, confirmed that the swim area of the Crescent Cove Beach Club is closed due to sample results collected by the state Department of Environmental Protection on Monday and last Wednesday, July 27.
Sammy Gibbons, NorthJersey.com
- A shortened number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 988, rolled out on July 16. Hours after its launch, some mental health activists and providers took to social media to praise the government’s attention to improving support systems. They also, though, pointed out potential pitfalls.
Amanda Oglesby, Asbury Park Press
- The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management extended the deadline for public comment on the environmental impacts of an offshore wind project after facing complaints 45 days was not long enough to review the 1,408-page impact statement.