North Jersey News Roundup for June 26, 2020

State officials classified nearly 2,000 deaths of New Jersey residents as “probable” from COVID-19. Ed Lifshitz, medical director for the state Department of Health, said the state is listing 1,854 deaths as being probably caused by COVID-19 after reviewing death certificates in the state going back to at least March 1.

Paterson Councilman Michael Jackson, Councilman-elect Alex Mendez and the brother of Councilman Shahin Khalique were charged with voter fraud by state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. The charges stem from a state investigation into the May vote-by-mail elections for Paterson’s six ward-based city council seats. Authorities said the investigation remains open, as candidates in some ward races accused each other’s campaigns of stealing voters’ blank ballots and fraudulently filling them out. The Record

Mail-in ballots addressed to 91 homes in Morris Township may have been destroyed in a mail-truck fire June 20, according to the Morris County Clerk. Voters who reside in the affected areas and have not yet received a mail-in ballot are urged to contact the clerk’s office immediately. Addresses in Morris Township potentially affected by the fire include Lord William Penn Drive, Baer Court, Jason Lane, Colonel Evans Drive, Bradford Court and Sussex Avenue. The Daily Record

The U.S. House passed police reform legislation to ban chokeholds, stop racial profiling and limit the use of deadly force in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The legislation, drafted in part by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, passed 236-181 largely along party lines. The measure now goes to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was “going nowhere” and President Donald Trump threatened to veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

State Sen. Steve Oroho (R-25) believes it’s time to let all businesses reopen in New Jersey, saying that Gov. Phil Murphy’s multi-stage reopening plan is being rolled out in “an arbitrary and inconsistent fashion.” Oroho states that as the objective of the shutdown to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed has been accomplished, it’s now time for the governor to allow all New Jersey businesses to reopen.

The Assembly Budget Committee approved a $7.7 billion supplemental spending bill that would fund state operations for another three months as New Jersey wrestles with the coronavirus pandemic. Some changes to what the Murphy administration had asked include more funding for four-year colleges and county colleges, diversions from accounts that support affordable housing and promote clean energy would be stopped, and boost funding for the Department of Labor to help address technology problems that contributed to backlogs. NJ Spotlight

Gov. Phil Murphy will announce plans for reopening schools in New Jersey this fall June 26. Murphy said it is not a one size fits all plan but one that takes into account the many differences which exist among schools and education communities.  News12 New Jersey

A woman who admitted to concocting a false report leading to the death of a New Jersey State Police is on a list of inmates to be released from prison early due to the coronavirus. The potential release drew a sharp rebuke from Gov. Phil Murphy who stated “I have no sympathy for (Diana) Hoffman. She committed a heinous crime. That trooper … is a hero. He lost his life because of her. So I have zero sympathy.”

A union representing New Jersey state troopers is suing to stop Attorney General Gurbir Grewal from releasing the names of troopers who have been seriously disciplined, saying Grewal’s plan could put the troopers and their families at risk. The State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey claims in its lawsuit the public could identify family members of officers who were disciplined over domestic violence episodes and officers who received punishment for issues related to substance abuse. The Record

Hoboken’s budget shortfall predicted at the start of 2020 has more than doubled to $19.8 million during the coronavirus pandemic. Recent savings, such as underused healthcare benefits during the pandemic, 26 layoffs and retirements and revenue from federal stimulus aid have whittled the shortfall down to $8.9 million. The city is considering using $3.3 million of its $14 million surplus to tackle a portion of the remaining shortfall. The Jersey Journal

And finally…Nearly half of graduating high school seniors changed their college plans due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Leave a Reply

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