North Jersey News Roundup for July 17, 2020

North Jersey legislators on both sides of the aisle want to know how the state’s Department of Labor (DOL) plans to resolve outstanding claims and what can be done to improve the system. With no known timetable for when the DOL will reopen offices for in-person help, there has been a growing call from state senators and assemblymen for the state to provide face-to-face assistance to residents who need to sort out their outstanding employment claims.

New Jersey in June added a record 130,900 jobs even as the unemployment rate is 16.6%, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The leisure and hospitality industry, which includes restaurants, added 35,300 jobs in June but remained 46% below a year agos. The Record

Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey gave final approval to a bill authorizing $10 billion in state borrowing to fill a budget hole amid Republican opposition and an expected court challenge. Lawmakers largely passed the bill along partisan lines with most Democrats voting in favor of it and Republicans opposing. Gov. Phil Murphy signed it into law July 16. The Wall Street Journal

Gov. Phil Murphy receives high marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey in a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll. The survey found 67% of respondents approve of the job Murphy is doing responding to the crisis as the state, compared with 58% disapproving of President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic.

State officials announced a $115 million plan to make sure all New Jersey students have online access and devices to learn at home. The proposal uses a mixture of federal funds, philanthropic donations, and state coronavirus relief money to ensure students have access to technology even when the pandemic is over. News12 New Jersey

New Jersey Education Association president Marie Blistan stated public schools will not be able to reopen on time this year. Blistan said the state’s nearly 3,000 public schools don’t have enough time to pull together the health, academic, transportation and scheduling protocols to guarantee the safety of students, teachers, and staff from COVID-19. The Record

Students and teachers recently returned to classrooms in Newark for summer school. The in-person pilot at two elementary schools is designed to test out safety measures such as temperature checks, face mask requirements and spread-apart desks, to give the district an opportunity to make necessary adjustments before the expected return of students and staff in September. NJ Spotlight

In an attempt to fine tune their travel advisory, New Jersey will offer a phone app for travelers coming into the state. Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli said the app is just about complete, which will allow travelers to answer a short questionnaire that will be transmitted to county and local health departments for follow up. Questions travelers will answer include where are they coming from, where have they traveled and how can they be contacted.

State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is rethinking his office’s legal position on fighting to keep New Jersey police disciplinary records from the public. Grewal said that records should not be released until an investigation is concluded, and that victims, witnesses and whistleblowers should not be identified if they do not want to be, does not want officers to be stigmatized for seeking medical or mental health help, and that if a cop participates in counseling or alcohol abuse treatment, that should not be made public. New Jersey Herald

Joe Biden won at least 117 delegates in New Jersey’s Democratic primary, with Sen. Bernie Sanders in line to win four district delegates and six more contests too close to call. Biden currently leads Sanders statewide by an 85.86% to 13.72% margin, giving the former vice president and presumptive nominee a sweep of New Jersey’s 28 At-Large and 15 Party Leader and Elected Official (PLEO) delegates. New Jersey Globe

A $25 million gift from a Park Ridge businesswoman and philanthropist Helena Theurer to Hackensack University Medical Center’s foundation will be used for the construction of a major hospital expansion is the largest donation the nonprofit has ever received. The donation will support work on a nine-story surgical tower, currently rising on Second Street in Hackensack. The Record

Morris County’s Hedden County Park will be closed for two weeks after the park was trashed on recent weekends largely by users who left litter, built illegal fires and clogged a brook to make swimming holes among other actions. The Morris County Park Commission announced the closure after a spike in abuses starting over the July 4 holiday weekend, which included alcohol consumption without permits and a dumpster fire caused by discarded but still-smoldering charcoal. The Daily Record

Ramsey High School has halted football workouts due to concerns current football players were exposed to an individual with a potentially-positive case of COVID-19. Summer workouts began July 13 under Phase 1 of New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association guidelines, which call for groups of athletes of 10 or less, no sharing of equipment and student-athletes subject to temperature checks. The Record

And finally…Dangerously high temperatures expected in New Jersey this weekend. News12 NewJersey

Leave a Reply

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