North Jersey News Roundup for April 29, 2020

A day after rolling out his Road Back plan, Gov. Phil Murphy introduced the members of his Restart and Recovery Commission. The commission will be chaired by former Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman and Merck CEO Ken Frazier. Additionally, Murphy announced a grace period for property taxes due May 1 would be extended to June 1.

A majority of businesses would need at least 75% of their typical customer/client base in order to break even in a given month, according to respondents of a New Jersey Business & Industry Association survey. If a 50% reopening of a restaurant or shop were granted permission to open, 21% of businesses believe they would not be able to generate a profit. Additionally, 50% of businesses believe their revenues can reach pre-COVID-19 profits within a year.

State Senate President Steve Sweeney is advocating rolling back some of the restrictions imposed on businesses and hospitals in the state. Sweeney joined a bipartisan statement calling for low-risk businesses and industries to resume, including construction projects, car sales and elective surgeries. Additionally, the group wants the state to explore whether it could immediately reopen its beaches, parks and golf courses. New Jersey Globe

Assemblywoman Aura Dunn is feeling better after weeks of isolation while she recovered from the coronavirus. Dunn has been recovering at home since she tested positive for COVID-19 and plans to donate her plasma once her recovery is complete.  The Daily Record

The federal government released another $144 million for New Jersey hospitals, but the formula used to disburse the money did not take into account the states hardest hit by the coronavirus. New Jersey, with 11% of coronavirus cases to date, received just 2% of the $9 billion awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Mark Piterski, a deputy commissioner at the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs who oversaw the New Jersey’s veterans homes, has resigned. Retired New Jersey Army National Guard Colonel Walter Nall, currently director of Veterans Services, will be the acting Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs. The Record

The Post Time Pub in Blairstown agreed to a 45-day suspension of its liquor license after twice violating the state’s executive order to close. The suspension retroactively went into effect on April 17. The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control intends to seek a permanent revocation of the pub’s liquor license. New Jersey Herald

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority monthly meeting became a de facto public comment forum on the authority’s $24 billion capital plan and the toll hike proposed to pay for it. Speakers expressed the most opposition to spending $16 billion on widening 14 sections of the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway as well as calling for the entire toll increase and capital plan approval to be delayed until the coronavirus crisis is over.

Much of Jersey City is without water after a 36-inch main was broken near the Charlotte Circle. Suez Water said a contractor in Kearny was conducting non-utility work on Route 7 and hit the water main that feeds Jersey City. A boil water advisory for all of Jersey City and Hoboken was ordered as a result of the break. The Jersey Journal

Campaign donations from public contractors to New Jersey politicians saw the biggest drop in seven years in 2019. Public contractors reported $8.1 million in political donations, a 17% drop, while political action committees and independent groups recorded a 30% fall in contributions, receiving $1.2 million.

Newton’s Town Council unanimously approved an amended 2020 budget which takes into account added costs and reduced revenues caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The budget was amended to put an additional $59,500 to pay for overtime in the police budget and added Office of Emergency Management expenses. Additionally, the town is assuming losses of about $160,000 in revenues compared with the 2019 budget. New Jersey Herald

A union representing Hoboken city employees is challenging the move to lay off 26 workers. The Hoboken Municipal Supervisors Association alleges the city did not show preference to military veterans, offer alternate employment opportunities for those targeted with layoffs or fully disclose information about city finances when submitting the layoff plan to the state. The Jersey Journal

And finally…The Jersey 4 Jersey broadcast April 22 raised $5.9 million for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. The Record

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