North Jersey News Roundup for July 16, 2020

Bill Stepien, a former top aide to ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, was named campaign manager for President Donald Trump’s re-election bid. Stepien led both of Christie’s successful gubernatorial runs in New Jersey in 2009 and 2013 and was named chairman of the state Republican Party in 2014. Stepien, who served as Trump’s national field director during the 2016 presidential campaign, named deputy campaign manager of Trump’s 2020 campaign in May. PoliticoNJ

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump reached double digits, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. Less than four months before the November election, 51% of voters said they would vote for Mr. Biden if the election were held today, with 40% backing Mr. Trump. Mr. Biden’s lead over the president rose to 11 percentage points from 7 percentage points last month. The Wall Street Journal

New Jersey lawmakers will vote July 16 on a plan to borrow up to $9.9 billion to balance the state’s budget. The bill permits the state to borrow an amount that’s about a quarter of its annual budget, without first going to voters for approval as is typically required. The Senate and Assembly are expected to pass the bill after striking an agreement with Gov. Phil Murphy. The Record

New Jersey is one of 15 states that signed an agreement pledging to develop a plan to eliminate diesel emissions by 2050. In a July 14 joint memorandum of understanding, the states agreed to work together to advance the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks as a way to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

California-based Transportation Management and Design, Inc. was awarded a $580,000 contract to study how NJ Transit can reimagine its bus network starting Sept. 1. The primary focus will be on Newark, Paterson, Trenton, the Hudson County Waterfront and Camden after the agency identified 15 routes that most immediately need more service to combat overcrowding and 25 routes that need schedule changes to improve reliability. The Record

Travelers arriving at airports in New Jersey will be asked to fill out a health questionnaire on their phone. The state Department of Health is working with airlines to tell passengers to install an app so they can answer questions about where they traveled and is expected to start by July 20. News12 New Jersey

Parents and legal guardians of pediatric, developmentally disabled, and intellectually disabled residents at New Jersey’s long-term care facilities will be allowed to visit residents of the facilities indoors by appointment. Indoor visitation would be allowed at facilities that have no new probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases in a 28-day period.

A federal judge denied a request by several national theater chains to allow them to reopen in New Jersey. AMC, Cinemark and others sued seeking to invalidate an executive order keeping theaters closed due to concerns over COVID-19, arguing they were being treated unfairly because other large gatherings, such as religious ceremonies, were allowed to resume. The judge’s order both sides to file briefs by the end of July and to appear in court next month.

Shooting deaths in New Jersey increased 19% compared to this point last year. There have been 100 fatal shootings in the Garden State so far this year, up from 84 at this time in 2019, said Col. Patrick Callahan, acting superintendent of the State Police. Shootings overall, both fatal and non-fatal, are up 3%, with 553 so far compared to 538 this time a year earlier.

The Vernon Township Council appointed Andrew Pitsker to its open seat. Pitsker, one of a dozen who applied, received praise for his involvement with People Against Illegal Dumping (PAID), a Vernon citizens’ group formed in response to a contaminated dump site on Silver Spruce Drive. New Jersey Herald 

The owner of the Liberty National Golf Club will halt efforts to expand the course into neighboring Liberty State Park. In a press release, Paul Fireman said he does not want his interests to be an excuse for those who oppose him to ignore minority communities, adding that for decades minority communities have been excluded from conversations about the park’s future. The Jersey Journal

And finally… Liberty and Ellis islands will partially reopen beginning July 20. News12 New Jersey

Leave a Reply

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