North Jersey News Roundup for July 31, 2020

Three Assemblywomen will introduce legislation requiring school districts to provide remote instruction to start the 2020-2021 school year due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus. Under the proposed bill, public schools would begin the school year with solely virtual or remote instruction, with the exception of special education and related services needed to be delivered in person. Beginning Oct. 31, reopening schools for in-person instruction would be evaluated on a monthly basis.

Teachers gathered atop a Route 4 overpass in Paramus to oppose a return to the classroom in September due to the coronavirus pandemic. About 40 public school teachers from North Jersey districts hung signs from the overpass opposite advocating for districts to continue the all-remote learning format that began in March as they believe it is not safe to reopen schools. The Record

Six teenagers who attended a Sussex County graduation party have tested positive and 24 more are under investigation for COVID-19, according to the Sussex County Division of Health. Of those who tested positive, five were Sussex County residents and a sixth was from out of county, with three being 18-year-old women, a 17-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy. New Jersey Herald

The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood had no COVID-19 patients in-house for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in New Jersey. Valley treated 1,240 inpatients with the coronavirus over the last four months, with a high of 239 patients with the virus in mid-April. The Record

The state Senate approved a bill to allow New Jersey’s towns and counties to borrow money in response to the pandemic crisis. The bill would allow counties and towns to borrow an amount equal to as much as 30% of the previous year’s budget with a repayment period of up to 10 years, though they could seek permission from the state to borrow more and with a longer repayment period. The bonds would be backed by property tax revenue.

State Sen. Brian Stack (D-33) intends to introduce a bill to allow early voting . While Stack did not release any details on the plan, he suggested the state would follow the templates most states use allowing residents to cast ballots in the 15 days before an election. New Jersey Globe

President Donald Trump refused to back down from his suggestion that the 2020 election be delayed, something he has no authority to order and that top Republicans quickly rejected. The President sought to back up his claims by pointing to delayed vote counts and rejected absentee ballots in some states’ primaries. The New York Times

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blaming delays on a new coronavirus stimulus legislation on efforts to restore the full deduction for state and local taxes that once provided property tax breaks for New Jersey residents. McConnell decried House Democrats’ “ongoing obsession” with removing the $10,000 cap on deducting state and local property taxes. “Democrats are holding up help for struggling people over special tax cuts for rich people in blue states,” said the senator, who didn’t propose his own $1 trillion legislation until 10 weeks after the House passed a $3 trillion bill.

New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association president predicted a “significant number” of retirements of officers amid police reform and the unrest following George Floyd’s death in May. Pat Colligan expects to see the same number of retirements that occurred in 2011 after the law making public employees pay a portion of their health benefits went into effect.

A measure to delay how legislative districts are redrawn in New Jersey will be decided by voters in November. If voters approve the measure, which gives the U.S. Census Bureau a Feb. 10 deadline to deliver the state’s data to the data to Gov. Phil Murphy, lawmakers would use their current districts to run in 2021 for two-year terms and the map would remain as it is now until the 2023 elections.

The U.S. economy crashed at an annualized pace of nearly 33% in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged businesses and sent joblessness soaring. The GDP estimate showed massive drops in both personal consumption, down 34.6%, and private domestic investment, down 49%. PoliticoNJ

New unemployment claims in New Jersey jumped nearly 9% in the last week compared with the prior seven days. More than 28,000 people seeking jobless benefits last week, up from nearly 26,000. Labor officials say there have been more than 1.4 million claims in the state since the virus first broke out here in March. News12 New Jersey

And finally…A New Jersey brewery has created a beer inspired by Gov. Phil Murphy slogan during the coronavirus pandemic.  News12 New Jersey. 

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