North Jersey News Roundup for July 13, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy confirmed while COVID-19 testing capacity is currently outstripping demand, the rise of cases nationwide is affecting New Jersey’s program. “As fires have raged elsewhere in the country, raw materials have stressed the testing labs and their turnaround time has clearly slowed,” stated Murphy. “The reagent and the other raw materials associated with testing, that’s become a scarcer resource.”

Florida shattered the national record July 12 for the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases in any state since the beginning of the pandemic. According to Florida’s Department of Health statistics, 15,299 people tested positive, for a total of 269,811 cases, and 45 deaths were recorded. News12 New Jersey

An agreement was reached to allow New Jersey to borrow up to $10 billion to address the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic between Gov. Phil Murphy and state Senators. The bill creates a commission made up of two members of the Senate and two from the Assembly that would have to approve all borrowing with a majority vote.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association released its “Return to Play” model for the fall season. Official practice for fall sports will begin Sept. 14 with games starting Sept. 28. Phase 1 of the summer workout period, with limited contact and small groups, opens July 13. The Daily Record

OPINION: A plan to rebuild America, with billions of dollars earmarked for vital North Jersey infrastructure projects, seems destined to fall to the ‘Just Say No’ ethos of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg has proposed a wide-ranging overhaul of how NJ Transit’s board functions. The proposed changes include removing the state Transportation Commissioner as chairperson; have members of the NJ Transit board elect a chairperson and vice chairperson; require the board to hire the executive director, auditor general and customer advocate; strategic and capital plans are to be discussed with board committees before disseminated to other agencies or municipalities; and create new bylaws for the agency, which will be updated every five years. The Record

New Jersey Democratic legislators are looking to delay the drawing of new legislative districts to 2023 if 2020 Census data is not available. The measure would seek voter approval for the temporary extension and keep the current legislative district maps in place for an additional two-year-term. In order to move forward, the measure must be passed by the state Legislature no later than Aug. 3 with three-fifths of the members of each house in favor.

President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime political confidant Roger Stone on July 10, just days before he was set to report to prison. Stone had been sentenced in February to three years and four months in prison for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.

Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official Rik Mehta has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate and will take on Democrat Sen. Cory Booker in the general election. Mehta leads Hirsh Singh, 39%-34%, followed by Tricia Flanagan with 18%, Natalie Rivera with 5% and Gene Anagnos at 2%. New Jersey Globe

The oceanfront beach in Long Branch got so crowded July 12 that police temporarily blocked access to the sand. Around 2 p.m., local police officers at one entrance were turning visitors away and advising them to try again in an hour.

And finally…Southside Johnny performed a drive-in concert to benefit Count Basie Center for the Arts. News12 New Jersey

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