North Jersey News Roundup for March 12, 2020

In an Oval Office address, President Donald Trump announced new plans to combat the spread of the coronavirus on the same day the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. In New Jersey, the number of coronavirus cases increased by eight, including four more in Bergen County, bringing the statewide total to 23 positive tests with one death.

U.S. stock futures and global equity indexes plunged March 12 as a U.S. travel ban stoked renewed worries about the coronavirus’s economic toll. Futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped roughly 5%, as contracts linked to the S&P 500 index briefly hit the 5% daily limit. The Wall Street Journal

The NBA suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for Covid-19 moments before a game began in Oklahoma City. The league said it will use the hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic. The New York Times

Gov. Phil Murphy plans to slowly return to a public schedule the week of March 16 after undergoing surgery to remove a likely cancerous tumor from his kidney. Since being discharged March 7, Murphy has resumed his duties as New Jersey’s governor and expects to continue working from home for the next number of days. The Record

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney wants a transit expert to run NJ Transit. Sweeney stopped short of calling for current President and CEO Kevin Corbett, whose background is in maritime engineering, to resign but stated a transit expert such as former New York City Transit president Andy Byford is needed to run the agency.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants to raise tolls by $525 million a year to fund dozens of major capital projects in coming years. Tolls would increase an average of $1.30 per trip on the New Jersey Turnpike and 30 cents per trip on the Garden State Parkway. The funds raised by the toll increases would pay for 24 Turnpike and 29 Parkway capital projects. Politico NJ

Reps. Josh Gottheimer and Mikie Sherrill endorsed Joe Biden for president. Gottheimer cited Biden as being “a tireless fighter for our shared values” and “the right candidate to now lead us and move our nation forward,” while Sherrill described the former vice president as having “compassion and understanding of the needs of working families.” New Jersey Herald

A U.S. District Judge granted a permanent injunction against the “dark money” New Jersey law after the state Attorney General’s Office came to an agreement with groups suing to overturn it. The law required certain groups supporting candidates or influence policy in New Jersey to disclose donors who give them more than $10,000 a year.

The Sussex County Board of School Estimate unanimously approved funds to Sussex County Community College for the upcoming fiscal year. The approved budget calls for keeping the county’s contribution to the college’s overall operation and expenses at $4.02 million, the third year in a row without an increase in taxpayer funding. New Jersey Herald

Morristown approved a new set of guidelines to regulate short-term rentals. The new guidelines limit rental days and restrict rental operations to the town’s zoning core, or central business district near Spring and South streets and areas surrounding Speedwell Avenue; rental hosts must register for a short-term-rental license with the town’s Division of Property Maintenance; and hosts must obtain a Certificate of Habitability from the Housing and Property Maintenance Department valid for six months. The Daily Record

And finally… Modell’s Sporting Goods voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New Jersey and will close all of its stores, including over 30 locations in New Jersey.

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