North Jersey News Roundup for May 12, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy attacked GOP politicians looking to curtail aid to New Jersey, singling out Senate Majority Leader Sen Mitch McConnell by name. “These are leaders from states that are all too happy to spend the tax dollars of New Jerseyans on pork projects back home, but seemingly have no interest in helping states like New Jersey at this moment to avert a national economic catastrophe,” said Murphy.

State officials clarified graduation, birthday and other drive-by “wave parades” are permitted under New Jersey’s coronavirus outbreak lockdown rules. New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan said schools can’t organize central meeting points where people may get out of cars but a wave parade that does not summon students or individuals to one location is permitted. The Record

Gov. Phil Murphy says COVID-19 data shows positive trends and he could give reopening dates soon. Murphy did not specify when he would present a timeline for reopening, but stated an announcement could come soon if “the curves keep going in the right direction.”

The Assembly’s Appropriations Committee approved Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s plan to partially furlough 100,000 state and local public workers to cut government costs during the pandemic. The Senate Majority Office estimated state and local government employers would save $750 million over three months by furloughing a quarter of the state’s 400,000-person public-sector workforce.

New Jersey’s Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet has been named the 18th president of Kean University. Repollet will be the head of a university expecting at least 500 full-time students to not attend school in the fall, leaving a $12 million to $15 million budget hole. PoliticoNJ

Coronavirus testing at Passaic County’s William Paterson University screening site is now open to all county residents, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. Until now, free nasal swab testing has been limited to first responders and people who have symptoms of the disease with a doctor’s prescription. The Record

Lakeland Bus Lines will resume running buses between Rockaway and New York City starting May 18 under a reduced timetable. The line, which services commuters in Morris County along routes 80 and 46, will accept only passengers who pay with exact change and wear protective face masks. The Daily Record

The Department of Labor launched a chat bot designed to help with questions about unemployment benefits. The agency hopes the bot will “enhance customer service” and answer the most pressing questions being asked by claimants who are having trouble getting through on the phone or email due to high volume.

Ballots for the state’s first all vote-by-mail elections must be mailed today for municipal and school elections. Ballots mailed out to registered voters must be returned and postmarked by May 12. Ballots will be opened and processed starting through May 14. The Record

Fairway Market will close its Paramus store May 15 after Amazon purchased the location following the supermarket chain’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing earlier this year. Fairway Market says the closure will allow it to “reallocate resources and maintain operations” at its seven remaining locations across the tri-state area during its court-supervised auction process.

And finally… honestly, this headline about use of the parks says it all.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.