North Jersey News Roundup for Feb. 28, 2020

The New Jersey congressional delegation wants answers about proposed cuts of funds to fight terrorism in the state from the Trump administration. All 14 elected members from New Jersey authored a letter questioning the Department of Homeland Security decision to reduce funding for the Homeland Security Program and Urban Area Security Initiative preparedness grant programs.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 benchmarks are on track for their largest one-week drops since October 2008. Stock markets around the world sold off as investors struggled to calculate the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. Before trading started in the U.S. Feb. 28, futures tied to the S&P 500 were down 0.9%, a day after the biggest percentage drop in U.S. markets since August 2011. The Wall Street Journal

The Trump Administration is moving forward with plans for Amtrak to repair the train tunnels to New York’s Penn Station instead of building the Gateway tunnel, according to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Amtrak has been studying ways of repairing the interiors of the tunnels with minimal disruption to service, which would cost more than $100 million. The New York Times

New Jersey’s school funding plan will result in a $55 million increase for Newark Public Schools, while Jersey City would lose the same amount. In Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed budget, 64% of districts will receive more money, while 12 districts will remain unchanged.

Jersey City’s chief financial officer alleges she was fired for refusing to submit a false report. In a letter submitted to city officials, the CFO claims she was terminated by the city’s director of finance after she refused to go along with what she called an “unfair and unethical practice” related to bank reconciliations. The Jersey Journal

The state Economic Development Authority will build a fund allocated to minority entrepreneurs, as it seeks a broader array of wealth opportunities, such as consumer and beauty products catering to specific ethnic markets. Before building the fund, the agency will release a request for information to firms and people with perspectives on obstacles and disparities Black and Latinx entrepreneurs face.

The Elmwood Park council rejected a resolution to admonish a council member and its borough clerk for a late-night municipal building meeting in December 2019. The duo stated they were talking about borough business in public after work hours and felt it was more appropriate to return to the borough’s municipal building after midnight to finish the conversation. The Record

Repairs need to be made under Interstate 80 by the Delaware Water Gap, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). The NJDOT assessment, which concluded there is no imminent danger for the section of the road in Knowlton Township, was based on inspectors’ initial evaluation of the structure. Further evaluation is needed to determine the cause of the erosion. New Jersey Herald

Paterson school board authorized more than $11 million in budget cuts. The biggest chunk of the projected savings, $4.3 million, would stem from a plan to limit the number of substitute teachers each school can call on during the course of the year, resulting in combining classes whose teachers are absent or sending students to the auditorium to work on assignments on electronic devices. The Record

The North Bergen Police Department is testing a body camera program. Six officers from the traffic bureau are the test group due to having the most interaction with the public on a daily basis, according to town officials. Hudson Reporter

And finally… Four eighth-grade girls from Morristown’s Frelinghuysen Middle School used their engineering skills to take first place at this year’s New Jersey Future City Competition. The Daily Record

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