North Jersey News Roundup for July 29, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy reiterated that in-school instruction is still the main objective for New Jersey officials. “If done safely, I believe we must try to include at least some aspect of in-person education for our children this fall,” said Murphy, adding that every education expert consulted has confirmed that in-person education is critical and remote learning should only be offered as a substitute when absolutely necessary.

Travelers from another three states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, will be subject to a two-week quarantine order upon arrival in New Jersey. Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota were added to the list as COVID-19 infection rates continue to spike in much of the country, bringing the total number of affected states to 34. PoliticoNJ

New Jersey is adding $15 million to a grant fund to keep small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. The grant money will be distributed by the state’s Economic Development Authority, which Murphy said has already committed $100 million to help more than 20,000 small businesses. The $15 million will go to businesses that already applied. The Record

Six criminal justice reform bills were advanced by the state’s Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. Approved bills include requiring police departments to have minority recruitment and selection programs, criminalizing calling 911 in order to harass somebody because of their race, a program to better track the race of people being arrested and allow former prisoners who completed their sentences to receive more help after their release.

The state Senate is pushing for more transparency from the Murphy Administration and its response to the COVID-19 crisis. Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) introduced a bill to make certain government records created during the crisis are accessible through the existing Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

Senate President Steve Sweeney released the nomination of Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano to the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Board of Directors. Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Juliano to replace Michele Brown, a former top aide to Republican Gov. Chris Christie. New Jersey Globe

The New Jersey Athletic Conference suspended all fall sport contests and league championships during the upcoming 2020 fall semester. Fall sports affected include football, soccer and cross country for men and women, field hockey, women’s volleyball and women’s tennis. Schools in the conference include Kean, Montclair State, New Jersey City University, Ramapo College, Rowan, Stockton, William Paterson, The College of New Jersey and Rutgers’ satellite campuses in Camden and Newark.

New Jersey residents support keeping limits on gatherings and restrictions on indoor restaurant dining until a vaccine is available, according to a new poll from the Fairleigh Dickinson University. The survey found 66% said the state should continue restrictions until a vaccine is available, with just 29% favoring a return to normal despite the risks. More than three-fourths, 77%, supported requiring everyone to wear a mask in public places, with just 20% saying it should be voluntary. The Daily Record

Rep. Josh Gottheimer introduced an amendment to freeze federal money intended to pay for a project to prevent rocks from falling on Route 80. Gottheimer requested the language believing federal investment should prioritize solutions that are cost-effective, and benefit safety and eco-tourism in the region, whereas “building an obstructive and unsightly artificial wall will diminish the attractiveness of the area to tourists and wreak havoc on the economy.” New Jersey Herald

A federal judge ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do more to protect New Jersey air from out-of-state pollution. In a sharply worded order, the judge wrote the agency “repeatedly failed to act” to safeguard public health, forcing the court “to compel the EPA to take action that is long overdue.” The agency has five days to respond to the order, and were ordered to develop rules by March 15, 2021 to fight smog that rolls into New Jersey.

Gov. Phil Murphy visited a Wyckoff restaurant recently targeted by hate and vandals. The governor posted on Twitter a picture at the Gourmet Garden, where vandals sprayed and painted “coronavirus” on the door and windows, as well as “go home to China” in June outside the restaurant. No arrests have yet been made. News12 New Jersey

And finally...Kanye West is on the presidential ballot in N.J.

One comment

  1. Today’s theme: can’t we all be smart about this C19 mess and live for the greater good for at least a few months?

    PS – Kanye who?

Leave a Reply

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