North Jersey News Roundup for March 26, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy welcomed the federal agreement providing New Jersey with badly needed funds, but believes there is more that is needed. Additionally, the governor mandated child care centers will be open exclusively for children of essential workers starting April 1.

The Senate voted unanimously to approve the $2 trillion fiscal measure to shore up the U.S. economy as it weathers the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes $260 billion for workers, including the extension and expansion of unemployment insurance; $377 billion for small business; $150 billion for hospitals and healthcare facilities; $150 billion stabilization fund established for state and local governments; and $230 billion for emergency appropriations. The New York Times

The stimulus package will include the full $1.25 billion requested by NJ Transit to make up for the drop in revenue and its extra expenses due to the pandemic. The allocations are based on existing formulas that would provide the entire amount the agency asked for.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney stated the bailout doesn’t provide enough money for New Jersey. Sweeney thinks states like New Jersey and New York are getting short-changed as the bill does not take into the needs of individual states.

The state Assembly passed five bills responding to the COVID-19 outbreak by phone, with just one lawmaker in Trenton. The remote voting session, authorized by a bill passed and recently signed into law, was the first votes cast outside of Trenton since it became the capital in 1790.

The coronavirus pandemic will cost Jersey City at least $70 million according to city officials. The city expects to lose $50 million in revenue due to businesses closing, layoffs, the suspension of municipal fines and fees, and other factors with another $20 million spent on unanticipated emergency purchases. Additionally, the city notified the Board of Education it can’t guarantee the $86 million in payroll tax revenue the district was expecting. The Jersey Journal

Bayonne Medical Center began drive-thru testing of city residents. The testing site will be set up at Don Ahern Veterans Stadium weekdays from 10 a.m. until approximately 3:30 p.m. Only motorists with a valid prescription from a CarePoint doctor and an appointment will be admitted. Hudson Reporter

Holy Name Medical Center is scrambling to fill looming gaps in critical supplies amid the outbreak. Staffers are cutting garbage bags to be potentially used to serve as clinical gowns and are preparing to reuse N95 respirators after sterilizing them with UV light. NJ Spotlight

Paterson-based LBU Inc. has repurposed its factory to make needed medical supplies. The factory is now churning out 100,000 cloth face masks and gowns a week, items in short supply for healthcare workers fighting the outbreak. The Record

And finally…The story about the viral photo at Morristown Medical Center of a man holding a sign thanking staff for saving his wife’s life. The Daily Record

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