North Jersey News Roundup for July 10, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy called out the State Senate to move on a borrowing bill that has languished in the upper chamber for three months. “It is well past time to secure the funding that is threatening our ability to have in place the programs and safeguards our residents and our communities desperately need to recover from this emergency and get back to work,” said Murphy. The Assembly has already passed a measure to allow for bonding.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled President Donald J. Trump’s tax returns have to be released. In 7-2 rulings, the found Trump cannot block the release of financial information to a New York prosecutor who requested them from banks and accounting firms he did business with, but did overturn a U.S. Court of Appeals decision allowing the U.S. House to obtain the same records.

A New Jersey task force charged with examining the state’s corporate-incentive programs recommended suspending or terminating $578 million-worth of tax breaks awarded to a dozen companies. The task force’s final report concluded the state’s biggest incentive programs lacked sufficient oversight by the Economic Development Authority and awarded millions in job-retention tax credits to keep companies in the state that weren’t genuinely planning to leave as tax-incentive consultants would encourage companies to misrepresent their relocation plans on tax-credit applications. The Wall Street Journal

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has saved thousands of jobs in one North Jersey congressional district. Rep. Josh Gottheimer revealed the program has helped retain more than 183,000 jobs in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District thus far, according to new data released from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission announced a slew of changes to ease congestion plaguing agency locations since reopening July 7. The expiration dates for license and registration renewals and vehicle inspections were extended and expanded a “blue ticket” system statewide in an effort to make sure that customers on line at agencies can be accommodated during the business day. News12 New Jersey

New Jersey’s is introducing bipartisan legislation requiring county governments in the state to switch the title of the officials from “freeholders” to “commissioners.” “It’s past time for New Jersey to phase out the term ‘freeholder’ from our public discourse— a term coined when only white male landowners could hold public office,” said Gov. Phil Murphy, State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin in a press statement. “This is not a matter of political correctness; it is a corrective action to replace an outdated designation that is rooted in institutional prejudice.” New Jersey Herald

New Jersey Education Association is one of several groups backing a National Call to Action to raise awareness of the need for infection prevention and control plans with the goal of keeping schools open in the 2020-21 academic year. The group’s want public health agencies to provide structured plans to protect students, educators and everyone else who interacts with both groups outside of the schools. 

Riders want mask enforcement stepped up as NJ Transit resumes a full rail schedule. Currently, conductors can call transit police, but passengers can only text NJ Transit if they see riders or conductors without masks. Many commuters aren’t expected to return to mass transit for weeks, as offices may not be set up for social distancing. NJ Spotlight

New Jersey food banks will get receive $20 million in federal taxpayer money to help feed residents as the virus continues to wreak havoc on the economy. New Jersey will distribute $10 million in immediate emergency assistance and another $10 million before December from the federal CARES Act aid to six food banks. The amount of money food banks will receive will be based on a “fair share” formula using the number of people each of them feeds.

Englewood Cliffs Mayor Mario Kranjac filed a lawsuit against four council members in regards to affordable housing litigation dealing with the residential development of the former Unilever campus at 800 Sylvan Ave. In the suit, Kranjac alleges council members are trying to “ram through” a settlement before an appeal can be heard, claiming the council members told borough attorneys not to provide the mayor with information, left him out of potential settlement communications and excluded him from meaningful participation in trial strategy during the affordable housing litigation. The Record

Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark is leaving his job as Parsippany-Troy Hills administrator for the same position where he is mayor. Kazmark will replace Woodland Park Municipal Clerk and Administrator Kevin Galland, who is retiring at the end July, as administrator. Kazmark said he was approached by council President Tracey Kallert and Councilman Vincent DeCesare about serving as both mayor and administrator. The Daily Record

And finally…The next 24 hours will be wet and windy as Tropical Storm Fay has placed New Jersey under a tropical storm warning

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