Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 9/23/2020:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You might as well be driving around with a truck and flinging money off the back and calling it property tax relief.” – Senator O’Scanlon panning the $500 tax rebate proposal
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 200,580 cases and 14,285 fatalities (and 1,791 probable fatalities) as of Tuesday; the viral transmission rate rose to 1.13.
The state’s travel quarantine advisory was updated to include Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming, bringing the total to 35 states and territories.
Rep. Bill Pascrell was named the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, succeeding the late Rep. John Lewis.
Burlington County is launching a Recovery Center to help those struggling with addictions.
Hunterdon County freeholders say the JCP&L rate hike should be rejected, according to MyCentralJersey.
The Morris County Library will partially reopen on September 29th.
Ocean County Freeholder Director Vicari applauded the introduction of legislation to require at least one Shore-area member of the NJBPU Board.
Somerset County Surrogate Bruno released a clarifying statement regarding probating wills and certain national banks.
A Sussex County elections official retired, days after lost VBMs were found, according to NJ Herald.
Rep. Kim released ‘The Way Forward’, a set of recommendations for public health leaders and officials to prepare for a potential second COVID-19 wave.
Rep. Sherrill will host a Military Service Academies virtual information forum on September 27th.
Rep. Payne expressed support for extending the Payroll Support Program for airline workers.
Rep. Watson Coleman denounced the DOE”s investigation of Princeton University, saying its a ‘symptom of a sickness’.
Former Ocean Casino Resorts senior counsel Loretta Pickus filed a wrongful termination lawsuit, alleging retaliation for whistleblowing.
The Dawkins family established the Dawkins Institute for Equal Opportunity.
A WalletHub study ranks New Jersey the 4th happiest state in the nation.
ICYMI: NJ surpasses 200k COVID cases (iLine post); Murphy zeros in on GOP ‘rank hypocrisy’; Murphy signed environmental justice legislation; eaders announce formal agreement on the millionaire’s tax; Murphy announced impending departure of Platkin, Garg poised to advance (iLine post)
Unite Here Local 54’s PAC endorsed congressional candidates in CD’s 1-4.
Somerset County GOP Freeholder Gallagher launched a campaign ad (iLine post).
The Warren County freeholder candidates faced off in a forum, according to Lehigh Valley Live.
The Warren County Young Democrats announced their 2020 endorsements.
NJPIRG students launched a voter registration effort.
The Camden County NAACP passed a resolution condemning a trash incinerator plan and calling on the state NAACP, county officials, and other leaders to reject the plan.
ICYMI: Many young NNJ voters finding it difficult to confidently vote; Somerset’s Howes assesses the landscape; pandemic not stopping many Republicans from campaigning as usual; the potential Hanlon LG pick (iLine post); Garden State Equality’s endorsements; NOW-NJ endorsements; in LD25, GOP doubling-back on Draeger’s farm; in LD35, smaller towns unite (iLine post); in CD11, ad air war has begun; Pennacchio hopes Trump will campaign in Jersey; NJFMBA endorsed candidates; in CD2, presidential politics has implications; division among GOP on VBM; Suleiman mobilizing legal team over freeholder seat
The Senate Budget Committee approved the FY2021 revised state budget for the COVID-19 shortened fiscal year starting on October 1st. The Senate GOP members panned it as a ‘wasteful, tax-raising, bait-and-switch’ budget.
A proposal sponsored by Senator Beach would turn old mailboxes into VBM drop-off locations, according to Politico NJ.
The Senate Budget Committee advanced legislation to provide $500 tax rebates to 800k New Jersey families, to be funded by the millionaire’s tax.
The Senate GOP caucus launched an online petition urging a bipartisan investigation into the COVID-19 fatalities at state-run veterans nursing homes.
Senator Pennacchio called on NJDOH Commissioner Persichilli to approve a rapid-results COVID-19 test for nursing homes.
Assemblyman Caputo mourned the loss of Four Seasons musician and Belleville native Tommy DeVito (iLine post).
The American Forest and Paper Association released a statement opposing legislation that would ban paper bags in New Jersey.
The NJBIA criticized the FY2021 revised budget bills, saying added borrowing is ‘wholly irresponsible’.
ICYMI: Rutgers report finds state’s economic recovery continues but at slower pace; Rice stressed importance of contextualizing police reform
Read and download Insider NJ’s 2020 Insider 100: Millennials publication.
Governor Murphy will need to scrutinize his political blueprints if he wishes to transcend Trenton for DC at some point in the future.
Can former Governor Christie make a political comeback in the age of Trump?
Read and download ‘The COVID-19 Crisis: An Insider NJ History‘ publication.
In Smithville, pro-Trump supporters and anti-Trump protestors civilly clashed outside of a fundraising event headlined by Donald Trump Jr. last night.
In Bridgewater, the township was named the 31st best town in which to live in the nation, according to Money.com. The Police Department will start a police chaplain program, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Jersey City, Mayor Fulop reaffirmed his support for Municipal Question #1 on the ballot in November to create a Municipal Arts Trust Fund. Ward D Councilman Saleh released his campaign kickoff video.
In Atlantic City, City Hall will be reopened for the public and employees, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Newark, the Museum of Art and Project ready are partnering to register 2,500 residents to vote.
In Cape May City, a judge halted the mailing of ballots as candidates challenge the ballot lines, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Phillipsburg, the Democrats announced their 2020 endorsements.
In Englewood, the GOP urged residents to unite together to stand against high-density housing.
In Bergenfield, the town will hold a free flu clinic in October.
In Paterson, a push to fill the vacant Ward 3 council seat collapsed, according to Paterson Times.
In Middle Township, the committee approved a new committee on police and community engagement, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Bedminster, the township committee met in-person for the first time since mid-March, according to TAPinto.
In Middletown, an elementary school confirmed a second COVID-19 case, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Bernards Township, a candidate says she won’t serve on the BOE, according to NJ Hills.
In Hanover, Hanover Regional Park’s superintendent says schools won’t reopen until air quality is assured, according to NJ Hills.
In East Brunswick, schools are impacted by 3 COVID-19 cases, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Montague, the BOE approved the purchased of four buses for $447k, according to NJ Herald.
In Dunellen, a three-story apartment building is being proposed for downtown, according to MyCentralJersey.
ICYMI: In Jersey City, Hadjiyannis announced Ward D candidacy; in New Brunswick, Floyd’s brother came to New Jersey to march with Black Lives Matter movement members and their allies; in Mountain Lakes, inside debate flap; in Somerville, Black Lives Matter rally; in Parsippany, Trump supporters held two rallies; in Dover, Bennett approved as administrator
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Jen Ehrentraut writes ‘Remembering Tyler‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Maggee Miggins writes ‘Let the Voters, then the President, Choose Justice Ginsberg’s Successor‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘If a Trump-appointed Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, a President Biden and a Democratic Congress would expand the High Court‘
Insider NJ columnist and ELEC Executive Director Jeffrey Brindle writes ‘Even with a Recent Lag, Special Interest PACs Enjoy Big Fundraising Edge Over Parties‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Andrew Leven writes ‘How to Beat Trump in the Upcoming Debates‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight
- While it is safe to say former Vice President Joe Biden is likely to win New Jersey’s 14 electoral college votes for president and Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker has a virtual lock on reelection, how this blue state will decide its delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives in the Nov. 3 election is an open question. Voters will also decide three statewide ballot questions, including whether New Jersey should legalize recreational marijuana use by adults. County, local and school board races will also be decided.
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger
- President Trump has a perfect right to nominate an arch-conservative to the Supreme Court this week, and Sen. Mitch McConnell has a perfect right to rush the nomination through the Senate before the election in November. The rules allow for it.
Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger
- Gov. Phil Murphy said last week that the tax-rebate program he proposed as part of his package hiking the millionaires tax did not constitute an attempt to win re-election. He got that right.
Joan Quigley, For The Jersey Journal
- If you’re a Hudson County voter, Junior Maldonado is sending you mail this week. Open it quickly. For months he and his staff have been preparing to handle mail-in ballots in a massive undertaking in Hudson County.
Tom Bergeron, roi-nj.com
- It may seem like a lifetime ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Gov. Phil Murphy’s trade mission trip to India with Choose New Jersey was just a year ago. Choose New Jersey CEO Jose Lozano said the trip has proven to be a success — despite the pandemic. Lozano points to the opening of the New Jersey India Center in New Delhi, commitments from companies to open offices in New Jersey and an overall strengthening of the relationship with a country that has a strong presence in the state.
Andrew J. Goudsward and Joshua Chung, Asbury Park Press
- City police body cameras captured the heated confrontation between officers and a Black man armed with a knife during a domestic dispute last month – resulting in police drawing their guns and one officer fatally shooting the man. Police body-camera footage released by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday shows an officer shoot and kill Hasani Best, 39, in a bedroom doorway of his apartment in the 900 block of Fourth Avenue in Asbury Park late on Aug. 21.
Richard Cowen, NorthJersey.com
- Gov. Phil Murphy’s 2018 decision to close state lands to bear hunting appears to have satisfied almost no one, with hunters complaining in court this week that they’ve been deprived of their rights, and animal lovers still feeling betrayed by what they see as the governor’s failure to fully deliver on a campaign promise to stop the hunt.
New Jersey Hills
- With the coronavirus drastically cutting rail commuter travel to Manhattan, increasing the numbers of New Jerseyans working at home and spurring a boom in the suburban housing market, rail transit experts are debating whether it’s time to rethink the future of commuter rail in the region.
Amy Kuperinsky, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- Actor Kal Penn once quit his role on “House” so he could take a job in the administration of President Barack Obama. This week, Penn, who campaigned for Obama in 2008 and 2012, is setting his sights on young voters in the November election with “Kal Penn Approves This Message,” a new series premiering on Freeform.
Eric Scott, NJ1015
- New Jersey lawmakers appear ready to approve a new state budget this week. It could be the one of the most unfriendly-to-business budgets in modern history. In the midst of continuing economic challenges during the pandemic, nearly all of the $1 billion tax hike included in the budget will be shouldered by the business community.
Nanette LoBiondo Galloway, Down Beach
- The Board of Commissioners Wednesday, Sept. 16 took several actions that extended existing contracts and delayed a major purchase for the Police Department.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- While they’ve left the door open to compromise prior to tomorrow evening’s meeting, Jersey City Council members Denise Ridley and James Solomon are planning to put up competing civilian complaint review board ordinances after yesterday’s caucus session.
Save Jersey Staff
- A group of live event professionals – including waiters and DJ’s – rallied in Trenton on Tuesday to protest ongoing COVID-19 restrictions which have severely impact their ability to earn a living in New Jersey. They were joined by 2021 Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jack Ciattarelli.
David Danzis, Press of Atlantic City
- More than 70 liquor licenses are set to expire at the end of the month and there is growing concern that there may not be enough time to renew them all before the deadline.