North Jersey News Roundup for March 10, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency due to the coronavirus. The proclamation applies to all 21 counties in the state, allowing state agencies and departments to utilize state resources to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases.

North Jersey schools and colleges are either closing or having early dismissals to figure out how to deal with the coronavirus. Monmouth University cancelled all classes for the remainder of the week, while Princeton University will move to virtual instruction beginning Monday, March 23.

Global stocks and oil prices were expected to rebound March 10 a day after suffering historic losses. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 3.7% in pre-opening trading, suggesting U.S. stocks may claw back some lost ground after the blue-chips index posted its biggest fall since 2008. The Wall Street Journal

State officials urged people to have two weeks worth of food, medicine and water at the ready in their homes in the event of a self-quarantine. The medicine should include personal prescriptions, as well as things like fever-reducing over-the-counter drugs.

RWJBarnabas and CarePoint Health have come to an agreement on the sale of two hospitals in Jersey City and Hoboken, but Avery Eisenreich is impeding a deal. Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said RWJBarnabas is looking to acquire HUMC land and facility, but that Eisenreich is seeking about $300 million for the property alone, which was sold for $50 million in 2019. The Jersey Journal

The New Jersey Education Association and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney agreed to a plan to overhaul health benefits for school employees, which they estimate will cut the cost by more than $1 billion a year for teachers and school districts. Under the proposal, the state would eliminate some existing health care plans currently available to teachers and introduce two lower-cost alternatives, called the New Jersey Educators Health Plan and the Garden State Health Plan. NJ Spotlight

Lobbying expenses in New Jersey surpassed the $100 million mark for the first time in history in 2019, according to data released by the Election Law Enforcement Commission. The New Jersey Education Association spent the most among special interest lobbying firms at $6.2 million. New Jersey Globe

Horse trainers in New Jersey were among the 27 trainers, veterinarians and drug distributors charged by federal authorities in a wide-ranging scheme to secretly dope horses and cheat the betting public. The indictment alleges by evading PED prohibitions and deceiving regulators and horse racing authorities, participants sought to improve race performance and obtain prize money from racetracks in New Jersey, New York, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and the United Arab Emirates. The Record

Maywood high school students will have four years to phase into Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford and out of Hackensack High School. The process will begin in September, when current Maywood eighth-graders will be the first to attend Becton as freshmen, according to a March 7 joint announcement by the superintendents of the two districts. The Record

And finally…Pearl Jam will headline New Jersey’s Sea Hear Now music and surf festival in September. Asbury Park Press

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