Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 9/25/2020:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Governor Murphy ran on a platform of raising taxes, and, boy, has he delivered.” – Senator Bucco casting his vote against the FY2021 revised budget, which passed the Legislature yesterday
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 201,552 cases and 14,300 fatalities (and 1,791 probable fatalities) as of Thursday; the viral transmission rate is 1.15.
The NJDOL reported that new unemployment claims jumped 25% over the past week, with a total of 1.6M claims filed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AG Grewal announced the results of a new survey showing 239 of the state’s law enforcement agencies use body-worn cameras.
The PATH Labor Coalition called on the Port Authority to allow public comment at Board of Commissioners meetings.
Burlington County has delivered 50,000 meals to seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. All county police officers will get bias training, according to the Burlington County Times. The county will offer zero-interest loans to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The reward for information leading to an arrest on the attack of two Camden County police policers is now $100,000. The Camden County College’s 2021 spring semester will be a mix of in-person and online courses.
Cumberland County Freeholder Surrency called for an investigation into possible mishandling of $65M in county bonds for the scrapped jail project, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
Hunterdon County’s freeholders urged residents to lobby for the restoration of school aid, according to NJ Hills.
Monmouth County Clerk Hanlon was sworn-in as Vice President of the Constitutional Officers Association of NJ.
Passaic County announced the October COVID-19 mobile testing dates.
Sussex County Pride condemned the Sussex County Freeholder Board’s resolution objecting to changes in the state’s sex education curriculum.
Rep. Pascrell decried the Trump Administration’s blocking of the USPS sending face masks to Americans.
United Airlines became the 1st US carrier to make COVID-19 tests available to customers.
The Stockton University Board of Trustees named a new Chairman, according to Downbeach.
Former Newark Archbishop Myers passed away, according to the Bergen Record.
ICYMI: Murphy ‘proud’ of budget; quarantine advisory updated; Pascrell named chairman of House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight; NJ surpasses 200k COVID cases (iLine post); Murphy zeros in on GOP ‘rank hypocrisy’; Murphy signed environmental justice legislation; leaders announce formal agreement on the millionaire’s tax; Murphy announced impending departure of Platkin, Garg poised to advance (iLine post)
The stances of CD2 Rep. Van Drew and CD5 Rep. Gottheimer on the impeachment of President Trump last December represent intriguing backdrops for the two incumbents at opposite ends of the state.
The NJFOP issued their endorsements for the 2020 federal elections, including President Trump for re-election.
The Monmouth GOP filed a lawsuit against Governor Murphy’s election rules, according to MoreMonmouthMusings.
In CD7, President Trump casts a long shadow over the race between Rep. Malinowski and Senator Kean.
In LD25, Democratic Assembly candidate Draeger released a statement questioning Assemblywoman Dunn’s legislative priorities on womens’ rights.
The street view of the Smithville rally and counter-rally (iLine post).
The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley launched a ‘Make a Voting Plan’ campaign.
In CD2, poll shows Kennedy leading by 5-points, Testa makes the case for Van Drew’s re-election; Unite Here Local 54 endorsed candidates; Trump tweets for Richter (iLine post); Gallagher launches ad (iLine post); 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
Legislators found millions for pet projects in the budget with last minute additions, according to NJ Spotlight.
Legislation to cut mandatory minimums was stalled due to a quiet move to include misconduct by officials, according to NJ.com.
The LD19 legislators announced the distribution of Naloxone at six locations in the district.
1199SEIU applauded the passage of legislation to create direct care staffing ratios in nursing homes.
The American Forest and Paper Association urged Governor Murphy to veto legislation banning paper bags.
Advocated urged the passage of ‘The People’s Bill’.
NJPP announced Fekete-Donners as development director; SBA approved the FY2021 revised state budget; SBA advanced $500 tax rebate bill; Caputo mourned DeVito (iLine post); 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 Jersey City, the council approved moving the Quality of Life Task Force under the Department of Public Safety, according to Hudson County View.
In Trenton, the council’s fired legal counsel is bowing out of legal drama over his terminated contract, according to the Trentonian.
In Hawthorne, the town’s newly formed Pride Alliance held its first event, according to TAPinto.
In Atlantic City, six firefighters tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Hoboken, the council approved a $117M budget that reduces municipal taxes by 2.3%, according to Hudson County View.
In Paterson, BOE member Teague is disappointed with virtual learning, according to Paterson Times.
In Englewood, a firefighter is suing a candidate over a rescinded job offer, according to the Bergen Record.
In Somerville, the mayor is ‘cautiously optimistic‘ about the MVC relocation, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Neptune, Councilman Thomas highlighted improvements made to the city’s parks and infrastructure.
In East Hanover, short-term rentals will be banned, according to NJ Hills.
In Bernards Township, the committee endorsed in-person voting, according to TAPinto.
In Randolph, the GOP incumbents refuted the Dems’ diversity accusations, according to NJ Hills.
ICYMI: In Atlantic City, Insider NJ sits down with Mayor Small and sits down operative Callaway; in Smithville, protesters civilly clashed; 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
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘The Senate must Refuse to Consider Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee – Otherwise, Democracy in America is Threatened‘
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Dem Leadership Short-Circuits a Serious Miscalculation‘ writes ‘Even a Bumbling Murphy is a Powerful Murphy‘
Insider NJ columnist Dr. Matthew Hale writes ‘Faith and Insecurity‘
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‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Andrew Leven writes ‘How to Beat Trump in the Upcoming Debates‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Dustin Racioppi, Trenton Bureau
- New Jersey is “well positioned” for an expected second wave of the coronavirus and serves as an example for other states to reopen sectors of the economy, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday.
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger
- Give this much to Sen. Tom Kean Jr.: Once he tells a lie, he has the courage to stick with it, even after hard evidence proves it’s a lie. You can begin to see why he had no trouble endorsing President Trump for a second term.
Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger
- Our Australian friends have a great many colorful expressions. One of them concerns a rail line that served a beachfront suburb of Sydney called Bondi (pronounced “Bond-EYE”).
Matt Friedman, Politico
- Billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper, whose 2015 move to Florida caused a substantial hit to New Jersey’s annual tax revenue, is once again a New Jerseyan, according to one of the state’s top elected officials. During a debate Thursday in the New Jersey Senate over a bill that would increase the tax rate on residents with incomes of more than $1 million, Republican Sen. Joe Pennacchio used Tepper’s decision to domicile in Florida as an example of how the wealthy would flee New Jersey because of the higher tax rate.
Matt Arco, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- Gov. Phil Murphy called President Donald Trump’s recent comments about not committing to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election in November as “hugely detrimental to our country.”
Steve Trevelise, NJ1015
- We have what will probably be the most hotly contested election in our history, or at least while we’ve been alive, and how are we handling it? Mail-in voting! If ever there were an election that should be handled by machines and tamper-free, it should be this one. Now I realize all elections should be handled this way, but I’ve never seen that absolute hate and vitriol between two parties as I’ve seen in 2020. This time, for many haters on both sides, it’s personal.
Lilo H. Stainton, NJ Spotlight
- Concern about a potential autumn “twindemic” of COVID-19 and influenza has led a handful of Democratic lawmakers to call for a state mandate that New Jersey students of all ages — from preschool through college — be immunized against the flu.
Tom Bergeron, roi-nj.com
- The state Senate and Assembly, as expected, passed a $32.7 billion budget Thursday — one that could come with an expanded millionaire’s sax and up to $4.5 billion in borrowing that they say will offset slumping tax revenue amid the pandemic. It also came with some pork — and additional borrowing — that led to a budget that was $300 million more than Gov. Phil Murphy proposed Aug. 25.
Eric Obernauer, NJ Herald
- The owner of a Franklin (Sussex County) kickboxing studio is suing New Jersey’s governor for damages stemming from the forced shutdown of her business starting in March under executive orders the governor issued in response to COVID-19.
David Danzis, Press of Atlantic City
- Lawmakers advanced a nine-month spending bill and several tax hikes needed to support it Tuesday, keeping the state budget legislation on course to go to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk for final approval later this week. In a separate action that took place simultaneously, Department of Treasury officials also met to finalize plans to borrow up to $4.5 billion for the new budget, a sum that has already been incorporated into the Legislature’s spending bill.
Jessica Ellis, TAPinto Hawthorne
- Like countless other small businesses in the country, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Passaro family was forced to shutter their doors.
Allison Steele, Philadelphia Inquirer
- Amy Kennedy spotted a familiar face. Shane Harris was near a line of volunteers waving campaign signs at passing cars. Harris met Kennedy a few months ago, and had showed up again at a campaign stop here Saturday, this time with his adult daughter. He told Kennedy, who’s running for Congress in South Jersey’s 2nd District, that she had both their votes.
Anthony Zurita and Katie Sobko, NorthJersey.com
- Since their reopening in late June, lines numbering into the hundreds have become commonplace at most agency locations for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Customers arrive before dawn to camp out in the hope that they will receive one of the much-coveted tickets needed to enter the building and complete their transactions.
- With the goal to promote informed voting, the League of Women Voters of the Morristown Area and the Morris County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will host a virtual Candidates’ Forum on Sept. 30, 2020, at 7 PM for candidates seeking election to the Morris School District Board of Education in New Jersey.
Michele Siekerka, NJBIA
- The year 2020 has been like no other. Yet, it seems nothing changes in Trenton. I was taken aback when Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leadership presented their agreement on so-called middle-class tax relief — in exchange for an income tax increase that will hurt our already-beleaguered businesses.
Rich Cowen, NJ Herald
- 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.
Dan Radel, Asbury Park Press
- The work on additional rounds of beach replenishment for select beaches in Long Branch, Monmouth Beach and Sea Bright will start at the end of next week. In this project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will pump about 1 million cubic yards of sand onto beaches to combat erosion in the three northern Monmouth County towns, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J. announced.