Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Tell them Murphy said the following, ‘It’s my money and that’s how it’s going to be spent’.” – Governor Murphy in West New York referring to a vacant lot that is earmarked with state funds for a school project
TOP STORY: In LD-24 Contest, Subtlety is Hardly a Virtue
Three Rutgers unions approved tentative agreements. Governor Murphy said he’s ‘pleased‘ that the framework announced earlier this month has led to an agreement.
The Supreme Court will hear a NJ fishing case that could limit federal agency powers, according to NJ Monitor.
A new study breaks down where the state’s worst and best drivers are, according to the Bergen Record.
The Jersey Shore waterfront homes market continues to skyrocket, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Camden County is turning a private marina into a park, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Hunterdon County is seeking public input on the potential sale of a solid waste transfer station in Clinton, according to NJ Hills.
Rep. Pascrell condemned TX Governor Abbott for referring to mass murder victims as ‘illegal aliens’.
Rep. Kim held his 62nd town hall.
Kivvit is joining forces with Subject Matter, creating a $100M national consultancy group, according to ROI-NJ.
A WalletHub study ranks NJ the nation’s 8th best state for working mothers.
ICYMI: Watson Coleman demands SCOTUS accountability; Rutgers unions keeping pressure on following framework agreement; Van Drew’s leading role in offshore wind debate
In LD4, a grueling GOP primary is expected in the race to replace retiring Senator Madden, according to NJ Monitor. The primary is taking a strange turn, according to Politico NJ.
In LD27, Alixon Collazos-Gill held her campaign kickoff.
Zoe Heath announced her candidacy for Sussex County Democratic chair, running with a slate for leadership positions.
Hudson County Democratic executive candidate Craig Guy was endorsed by the Hoboken Democratic chair.
ICYMI: In LD24, candidates debate; NJEA PAC endorsed candidates; in LD26, candidates debated; Small endorsed Fulop; in LD24, primary intensifies; in LD25, Bergen threatens to sue DeCroce; Fulop says Dems made mistake by sacrificing Malinowski
Governor Murphy signed a joint resolution establishing ‘Muslim Heritage Month’.
Governor Murphy budgeted $100M to keep people out of nursing homes and at home, according to NJ Spotlight.
KBRA boosted the state’s bond rating.
There’s no replacement in sight for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court, according to NJ Monitor.
Senator Bucco warned that the Governor’s energy plan would be ‘financially devastating’ as more families live paycheck-to-paycheck.
The NJ Chamber of Commerce is eying a 2025 return for the Walk To Washington, according to ROI-NJ. Chamber President Bracken applauded Kenvue for choosing Summit for its HQ.
JerseyCAN launched the ‘New Jersey Legacy of Literacy Coalition’ with local advocates.
The NJ Society of CPAs named Ayisha Johnson as Executive Director and CEO.
ICYMI: Senate Dems announced Harris as chief counsel; Murphy took action on bills; ‘ETA’ lcontroversy; Ruiz, Sherrill join forces for child care; Assembly passed ‘ETA’ over GOP objections, ELEC commissioners resigned
In Parsippany, Democratic council candidates challenged tax increases.
In Holmdel, Senator O’Scanlon expressed support for local efforts to preserve the historic Horn Antenna.
In Asbury Park, the city won’t tolerate pop-up parties, according to TAPinto.
In Brigantine, the town was forced to do emergency beach replenishment, according to NJ101.5.
In Clinton, the budget was adopted with a tax decrease, according to NJ Hills.
In Denville, former Councilman Atkinson passed away, according to NJ Hills.
In East Brunswick, a former GOP candidate was arrested, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Edison, the town plans to outsource school crossing guards, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Flemington, the borough is receiving federal and state funds for a new police headquarters, according to TAPinto.
In Florham Park, the budget was adopted with a slight tax decrease, according to NJ Hills.
In Glassboro, a developer and officials are at odds over a recreation space, according to the Daily Journal.
In Hackensack, the city will use a state grant to improve public health, according to the Bergen Record.
In Hamilton, the town will exit the Atlantic County Central Municipal Court, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Hanover, the BOE introduced a budget with a slight tax increase, according to NJ Hills.
In Montclair, the council voted to oust the manager, according to Montclair Local.
In Morristown, Moms Demand Action will rally for a national assault weapons ban, according to Morristown Green.
In Mount Olive, BOE President Gayles is running for mayor, according to NJ Hills.
In North Bergen, police unions endorsed Mayor Sacco and his slate, according to Hudson County View.
In Ocean City, there’s no tax increase in the BOE budget, according to the Press of Atlantic City. Residents are frustrated with the pending change of superintendent, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Paterson, Councilman Jackson threatened Councilman Velez at a council meeting, according to Paterson Press.
In Randolph, the budget was adopted, according to NJ Hills.
In Raritan, the Hunterdon Central BOE is filing ethics charges over a member’s social media, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Red Bank, a public budget hearing is set for Thursday, according to TAPinto.
In Sea Isle City, the city approved a deed notice for a former gas plant site, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Somerville, a former police captain will serve as security director for schools and a church, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Warren, the BOE adopted a nearly 6% tax levy increase, according to NJ Hills.
In Watchung, outraged residents slammed the board over Alexis’ resignation, according to NJ Hills.
In Wayne, the town set up a new emergency alert system, according to TAPinto.
ICYMI: In West New York, Murphy deployed to support Sires, who seeks return in mayoral collision against Commissioner Cirillo; in Roxbury, librarian suing several residents for defamation; in Paterson, Jackals ready to play at reborn Hinchliffe; in Dover, judge approved Dodd petition after earlier denial
AROUND THE WEB:
Opinion: The New N.J. “Information Literacy” Law isn’t Woke
- As a proud dad of two GenZers growing up in today’s crazy online world, my parental antenna automatically goes up whenever anyone talks about indoctrinating kids. It’s an instinct every parent understands, but determining the authenticity of information is arguably the most important factor. Adults, let alone teenagers, find that challenging.
The hunted – A tick bite devastated a N.J. man’s life. Why are cases soaring?
Spencer Kent, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- The tiny parasite latched onto Craig Smith’s pants or maybe his shirt. It had clung to a leaf he brushed against or perhaps a blade of grass. Or just maybe it had hunted Smith, tracking him as the aggressive species is known to do. The lone star tick then started crawling, making its stealthy journey in search of an inconspicuous place it wouldn’t be disturbed.
Muslim NJ mayor demands answers after being turned away from White House Eid celebration
Hannan Adely, NorthJersey.com
- The longest-serving Muslim mayor in New Jersey said he was stunned after he got a call Monday afternoon disinviting him from an annual Eid al-Fitr celebration at the White House while he was in his car just miles away from the event. Prospect Park Mohamed Khairullah said he was informed that the Secret Service denied him security clearance and he could no longer attend the gathering of prominent Muslim leaders.
Why a New Jersey employee didn’t work for over a year — and was still paid $80K
Daniel Han, Politico
- On July 13, 2021, a state Department of Health employee was scheduled for a work-required medical exam at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton to determine whether they were fit to continue working. The employee — referred to as J.M. in state records obtained by POLITICO — was put on paid leave pending a final decision. But repeated scheduling delays and a lack of responses from RWJUH Hamilton to the state left J.M. on paid leave as of Sept. 26, 2022, according to a DOH memo.
Amazon cutting nearly 100 jobs in Jersey City, company announces
Daniel Munoz, NorthJersey.com
- Amazon is laying off 93 workers at its Jersey City facilities, according to a public notice posted on May 1. The lay-offs include 38 remote workers who will be let go on July 17 and 55 warehouse workers who will be let go on July 25, according to the notice. Based in Seattle, the e-commerce giant announced in January that it was cutting 18,000 jobs, plus another 9,000 jobs in March. In 2021, the company estimated that it employed 49,000 people in New Jersey.
Thousands of NJ toll cheats caught, fined millions of dollars
David Matthau, NJ1015
- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey issued close to 5,000 summonses last year as part of a coordinated crackdown on toll evasion. A total of 4,684 tickets were handed out by the Port Authority Police Department for suspended registrations, toll evasion and driving with obstructed, missing or fictitious license plates at the agency’s crossings in 2022.
ELEC: Bhalla’s chief of staff gets $13k from mayor & council allies in mostly uneventful Q1
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- Vijay Chaudhuri, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s chief of staff, received $13,000 from his boss and his council allies during a relatively uneventful first quarter of 2023, reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission show.
Op-Ed: The brutal inequity and uselessness of NJ’s latest high school graduation test
Michael Lasusa, NJ Spotlight
- The New Jersey State Board of Education has before it a proposal to change the “cut score” the Department of Education would like to establish for the state’s latest standardized test, the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment (GPA). The cut score is the minimum score deemed necessary to demonstrate proficiency, or pass. Beginning in 2024, students must pass this test in order to graduate from high school, and the argument has centered on whether the cut score should remain at 750 or be adjusted to 725 out of 850.
Republican spending cuts won’t fly, NJ congresswoman says
Joanna Gagis, NJ Spotlight
- The Republican-controlled House passed an austere spending bill, cutting federal spending by $4.8 trillion. Though the measure has been given little chance of passing in the Senate, some observers say it might put pressure on President Joe Biden ahead of possible budget talks.
High water levels at Delaware Water Gap prompt stricter rules on life jackets
Bruce A. Scruton, New Jersey Herald
- May is here and with it, come thoughts of getting outside and maybe taking a paddle on the Delaware River through the national park. But, according to officials of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, there are rules while paddling on the river as to when to wear life jackets.
A Mayday in Trenton for better accountability
LA Parker, The Trentonian
- Mayday. Mayday. Mayday. The international emergency distress call seems appropriate as the U.S.S. Trenton government takes on water about a police scandal that nullifies any attempt of deflection by Mayor Reed Gusciora.
Supporters, critics to talk New Jersey’s offshore wind plan at separate events on same day
Joseph P. Smith, Cherry Hill Courier-Post
- New Jersey’s controversial commitment to increased reliance on offshore clusters of wind-powered turbines to provide electricity is the topic of a pair of competing public events on Wednesday, one by proponents and one by critics. Rowan University is hosting one event on May 3 at its Steve Sweeney Center for Public Policy on its Glassboro campus from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The theme is “Offshore Wind Technology in New Jersey: Sustainability, Emerging Markets and Policy.”
Dying in prison makes no sense | Editorial
Star-Ledger Editorial Board
- There are 1,000 prison inmates in New Jersey older than 65 who have already spent decades inside, and they have essentially been sent the message that they are going to die there.
New Jersey can make some lemonade out of our newest lemon of a law | Opinion
- Of all the well-documented problems with the Election Transparency Act that became state law earlier this month, the worst consequence may well result from its two-year statute of limitations.
There’s more to Gateway than tunnels. Here’s why the smaller projects need to get funded
Colleen Wilson, NorthJersey.com
- When New Jerseyans hear “Gateway,” many think of the projects to build two new train tunnels under the Hudson River and rehabilitate the older ones. But the Gateway program is a collection of projects — and not all are tunnel-related.
A piece of Hamilton history gets its due in Morristown
- Long before Hamilton became a Broadway sensation, Morristown residents have known about the Schuyler-Hamilton House, where the dashing Alexander Hamilton wooed Betsy Schuyler during the War for Independence.
WATCH: Rooney hosts LD3 GOP Senate debate on 1210 WPHT
- One of the candidates (State Senator Ed “The Trucker” Durr) declined to participate, but the other (Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer) spent over an hour answering questions on Sunday’s special edition of ‘The Matt Rooney Show’ on 1210 WPHT just a little over one month before the LD3 GOP Senate primary.
Devils’ playoff run boosts Newark businesses
Ted Goldberg, NJ Spotlight
- The New Jersey Devils’ first playoff trip in five years has brought more hockey and more excitement to downtown Newark. And for local business owners, the first-round Stanley Cup playoff games against the New York Rangers have led to a nice boost in revenue. “We have a full crowd every home game. Literally. We’re noticing more business with the playoffs, and it actually starts earlier. People come and stay here a lot earlier during the day,” said John Hrindo, part-owner of Ellie’s Bistro, which is less than a quarter mile from the Prudential Center, the Devils’ home arena.
After Glassboro forest fiasco, lawmakers push DEP chief on next steps
Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight
- Unhappy with the clearing of a 21-acre mature forest on state-owned land, lawmakers are pressing environmental officials on what steps they are taking to ensure such actions do not occur again.
Political briefs: Learn to use new voting machines, mail-in ballots
Michelle Brunetti Post, Press of Atlantic City
- Voters will face all new electronic voting machines when they go to the polls for the June 6 primary and Nov. 7 general election. Election officials will hold a free, hands-on experience with the new machines at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Jury Assembly Room of the Atlantic County Criminal Courts Complex, 4997 Unami Blvd. in Mays Landing.
2 Cannabis Businesses In Montclair Will Be Located In Same Building
Eric Kiefer, Patch Staff
- Two proposed cannabis businesses in Montclair saw big milestones at council and planning board meetings this week, and they’re both located in the same building: TLEHL Inc. and Genuine Grow.
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