North Jersey News Roundup for May 14, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order permitting resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, and gatherings in cars. Additionally, Murphy said guidance will be made by May 15 in regards to elective surgeries, how beaches and lake communities will be able to operate and how voters will cast their ballots for the July 7 primary.

New Jersey could be facing a shortfall of more than $10 billion through the end of the next fiscal year because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the state Treasury department. The Treasury is estimating revenues for the current fiscal year will be 7%, or $2.8 billion lower than what was previously projected. FY 2021 budget revenues are projected to be $7.4 billion, or 17.8% lower than prior projections. PoliticoNJ

State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli announced New Jersey is now tracking seven more cases of Kawasaki disease, bringing the state total to 30. Health officials were notified of 11 new cases May 12 and eight more May 13. No deaths associated with the disease have been reported.

New Jersey residents with developmental disabilities who live in state-licensed group homes and staff will be tested for the coronavirus. The testing will be part of the expansion of the state’s testing efforts for all long-term care facilities and staff.

Bayonne plans to test residents in all senior citizen housing at no cost. The city will conduct testing at all four senior buildings, starting at 50th Street, with senior centers at 74 Lexington Ave. and the YMCA tested due to being a high risk for COVID-19 spread. Hudson Reporter

New Jersey received 21,111 applications in the first 24 hours for contact tracing jobs. The inquiries for the $25-an-hour position came after the state announced plans to hire 1,000 contact tracing health workers, a critical piece of the state’s Road Back plan to reopen New Jersey.

The state’s Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens will hold hearings to investigate the spread of coronavirus through the state’s long-term care facilities. Chairman Joe Vitale is expected to invite testimony from state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson, representatives from long-term care facilities, retired Army Brig. Gen. Mark Piterski, the former deputy commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as his acting replacement, retired Army Col. Walter Nall. PoliticoNJ

Union City Housing Initiative filed a lawsuit challenging two ordinances adopted by the city preventing the eviction and rent increases for residential tenants during the COVID-19 state of emergency. A Hudson County Superior Court Judge denied an injunction filed by the landlords May 13 to put a hold on the ordinances until trial. The Jersey Journal

Two-thirds of CPAs in New Jersey feel their small business clients’ recovery and restart would be helped most by an even more detailed timeline, according to a recent survey conducted by the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants. A secondary concern, at 47%, cited financial issues such as deferring tax payments or extending deadlines.

Morristown introduced a $52.5 million town budget that does not increase property taxes. The budget uses $3 million from the surplus fund to prevent municipal property tax increases, with the town’s mayor noting any deeper fiscal depression from the COVID-19 crisis may result in difficult decisions being forced in the future. The Daily Record

Passaic County officials will resume counting votes in Paterson’s City Council ward races May 19 after receiving more than 12,000 mail-in votes in Paterson’s six ward races. The county board will continue to accept ballots through May 14 as long as they were postmarked by May 12. Officials have not given a full explanation of why they will wait to resume the counting. The Record

Finally…Tony Vlachos of Allendale was the winner of the 40th season of “Survivor” on CBS, claiming the $2 million grand prize. The Record

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