North Jersey News Roundup for June 29, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy pressed the pause button on indoor dining before it even started. New Jersey’s governor announced at his daily briefing on June 29 that indoor dining, including wedding venues and banquet halls, scheduled to open July 2 will be postponed indefinitely, citing the lack of adherence to social distancing and face masks at outdoor bars as well as health data from New Jersey and other states that he worried would cause a spike in coronavirus cases.

Jersey City police issued summonses to a bar and restaurant twice this past weekend after finding hundreds of people inside without masks. Officials said The Factory Restaurant and Lounge has regularly violated COVID-19 restrictions throughout the pandemic and will pursue a review of the establishment’s liquor license as well as asking the city’s Division of Commerce to deny any application for expanded outdoor dining The Factory files. The Jersey Journal

Gov. Phil Murphy stated there is “blood on their hands” for people who circulate and government officials who amplify false reports of the Governor dining indoors over the weekend. After photos circulated on social media claiming to show Murphy dining indoors, he said “If someone out there implies that, ‘Hey, even he’s doing this, so that means you could do it.’ If one person gets infected as a result of that or if one person goes to the hospital as a result of that or, God forbid,…someone’s life is lost as a result of that. I don’t know how you can live with yourself.”

The state Legislature passed a $7.7 billion spending plan to fund the state government for three months while they assess COVID-19′s economic impact and chart a new course. In keeping with the governor’s proposal for interim spending, the state would postpone making several big-ticket payments until the Oct. 1 budget, including a $951 million quarterly pension contribution, $467 million in public school aid, $355 million in municipal aid and $114 million in NJ Transit operating assistance. The Record

Senate President Steve Sweeney believes July 7’s primary election conducted almost entirely through vote-by-mail ballots is a disaster waiting to happen. Sweeney pledged a “real internal review” of an election already beset with computer glitches and post office delivery delays that could potentially disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters from participating in the primary. New Jersey Globe

A deal with the Communications Workers of America to avert mass layoffs of state employees by instituting furloughs will save the state more than $100 million, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. As part of the deal, workers will be required to take up to 12 furlough days, including 10 before the end of July, when the federal government’s $600 supplement to state unemployment benefits expires.

Gov. Phil Murphy removed former President Woodrow Wilson’s desk at his office in Trenton, citing a “reckoning” on race occurring nationwide. Wilson’s legacy is increasingly under scrutiny, specifically his support of segregation and imposing it on several federal agencies not racially divided up to that point. Princeton University recently dropped the name from its Wilson College and the School of Public and International Policy for the same reason. News12 New Jersey

A pair of bills aimed at supporting community-based facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities during public health emergencies recently advanced in Trenton. The first measure would require the state to create and oversee the implementation of emergency response plans for group homes during a crisis, while the second bill calls for the development of policies and guidance for in-person visitation during the COVID-19 and future emergencies.

Jersey City’s subsidized ride-sharing service with Via exceeded first quarter projections, according to city officials. Between its launch February 25 and May 22, the service completed 35,526 rides with the average wait for a ride is 12.9 minutes and on average each Via van completes almost four rides per hour averaging about 2.5 people per ride. Hudson Reporter

The owner of Sugar Sweet Farms petting zoo in Andover, charged with four counts of animal cruelty, rejected a plea offer. Dennis Sugar was indicted in February on four counts of animal cruelty after authorities said he failed to care for dozens of animals, including piglets and goats, that died or suffered with fractures or diseases at two of his former locations—one in Hampton Township and another at Sugar Sweet Farms Petting Zoo in Lafayette. New Jersey Herald

And finally…Broadway shutdown due to the coronavirus was extended until January 2021.  News12 New Jersey

Leave a Reply

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