North Jersey News Roundup for June 19, 2020

New Jersey indoor malls closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic can reopen starting June 29. Among the mandates mall operators will have to adhere to include a capacity limit of 50% and customers will be required to wear face coverings at all times.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected President Donald Trump’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s Democratic appointees in a 5-4 decision that found the Trump administration’s move to wind down the Obama-era program for Dreamers lacked a sound legal basis, unlawful because it did not consider all the options to rein in the program and failed to account for the interests of those who relied on it. PoliticoNJ

Sen. Cory Booker’s effort to remove statues honoring Confederate leaders from the United States Capitol building was blocked by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. Blunt said he is open to holding a hearing on the bill, but opposed immediate action because it would upend a process set in law governing the display of state-sponsored statues in the Capitol. News12 New Jersey

New Jersey residents who have visited a beach, dined outside or protested in New Jersey should get tested for the coronavirus, implored Gov. Phil Murphy. The governor said the larger numbers of tests would give health officials more data to work with and “the better off we will be in determining our steps forward” throughout Stage 2 of its multi-phase reopening and when to enter Stage 3.

Superintendents say the state’s guidance on summer school came too late to adequately plan for the health and safety needs of students, especially those with special needs and disabilities. Most school districts around North Jersey will continue with plans for remote instruction during summer, despite guidance from the state allowing them to hold in-person classes starting July 6. The Record

A bill has passed both New Jersey legislative houses allowing high school seniors in the classes of 2021 and 2022 to defer graduation by a year. Bill sponsors say a ‘bridge year’ would allow seniors to make up for lost time, both in terms of missed opportunities and learning loss as they prepare for college. Students would have the ability to take a mix of high school classes and college-level credits while continuing to take part in extracurricular activities and spring sports that have been lost to the pandemic.

Police chokeholds would be considered a use of “deadly force” under a bill passed by the state Assembly as part of a package of policing bills advancing amid nationwide protests against police brutality. The Assembly passed a bill requiring the state’s Attorney General to collect race, ethnicity, gender, and age data on arrests and outcomes, while another bill requires law enforcement training to eliminate unconscious biases that shape behavior and produce disparate treatment.

Jersey City will require all police officers to be retrained in de-escalation tactics. Officers will first partake in a Verbal De-escalation and Crisis Communication Program, followed by interactive training focusing on strategies and approaches while addressing hostile situations. Hudson Reporter

For the week ending June 3, 26,392 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits, bringing New Jersey’s total to 1.24 million workers, or 28% of the entire workforce. As of June 13, the state has paid out $7.2 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits.

The Hoboken City Council unanimously passed a medical marijuana ordinance expanding legislation to establish a Medical Cannabis Review Board and a 2% medical marijuana city tax. The ordinance eliminates a previous rule preventing more than one dispensary per city zone but limits three dispensaries total in the city. The Jersey Journal

A new Monmouth University Poll finds 50% of residents in the Garden State and across the nation feel the pandemic has had a major impact on their daily lives. The poll found 7 in 10 people remain at least somewhat concerned about someone in their family becoming seriously ill because of COVID-19, but the number of those very concerned, 37%, is down slightly from 42% in May.

And finally…Juneteenth ceremonies will be held around North Jersey today. The Record

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