North Jersey News Roundup for July 1, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a nearly $8 billion stopgap budget, whose deadline was extended to Sept. 30 because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The three-month spending plan amounts to a 5% across-the-board cut for non-salary operating costs, and a 10% cut in discretionary grants.

North Jersey lawmakers are raising concerns Jersey City’s Liberty State Park could be privatized due to language inserted into the recently passed spending plan. The spending bill permits the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to solicit both for-profit companies and nonprofit entities for investments in state parks, opening state parks to private development. The Jersey Journal

The U.S. Senate passed legislation that would keep the government’s small business rescue program alive just as it was set to close down within hours with $130 billion left unspent. The bill, approved by unanimous consent, gives the Small Business Administration authority to continue approving the Paycheck Protect Program. The bill now goes to the House and then onto President Donald Trump to sign. PoliticoNJ

Rep. Mikie Sherrill is not satisfied with the administration’s responses to reports Russia offered bounties to Taliban fighters to kill American troops in Afghanistan, and how President Donald Trump planned to react. Sherrill, after an hour-long meeting at the White House, stated she didn’t get the answers she sought from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and wants to hear what U.S. intelligence officials know.

New Jersey Hospitals are now allowing patients to receive visitors after months barring the practice because of the coronavirus pandemic. Visitors must be at least 18 years old and a patient can have only one visitor at a time, unless the patient is a minor, in which case both parents will be allowed to visit among other rules to be set by hospitals that visitors must follow. The Daily Record

Gov. Phil Murphy defended his decision to indefinitely postpone the reopening of indoor dining in New Jersey after more than three months of coronavirus closures. Murphy said his administration is reviewing all options to crack down on those who clearly violate outdoor dining rules by potentially targeting liquor licenses and “other weapons we have at our disposal.”

New Jersey added eight more states that now meet the metrics under New Jersey’s travel advisory, growing the list to 16. The advisory now includes visitors from California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee to self-quarantine for two weeks and should isolate at their homes or hotels, only leaving for medical care, or essential items.

A Passaic County judge will issue an injunction to stop Paterson Councilman-elect Alex Mendez from taking his seat, citing voters’ loss in confidence about the election’s results. The judge cited the need to preserve public trust in an election marred by widespread allegations of wrongdoing, asserting that his decision was not based on the Attorney General’s pending criminal case against Mendez. The trial in the lawsuit seeking to overturn Mendez’s victory will be conducted in August. The Record

The state released the 2020 Scientific Report on Climate Change, a scientific report detailing what climate change will do to New Jersey. The new report from the New Jersey  Department of Environmental Protection predicts higher temperatures, rising seas, bigger storms and disruptions to human health and wildlife, among a wide-ranging description of how climate change will affect New Jersey. NJ Spotlight

And finally…Carl Reiner passed away at the age of 98. The Record

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