North Jersey News Roundup for Aug. 12, 2020

Joe Biden has selected Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate for the 2020 election, the first-ever African-American woman and Asian-American person nominated on a major-party presidential ticket. Biden in a tweet announced the selection at 4:17 on Aug. 11, stating “I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris—a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants—as my running mate. Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau (Biden). I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

New Jersey’s largest teachers union and groups representing school administrators called for Gov. Phil Murphy to direct all public schools to offer only remote classes in the fall because of health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The New Jersey Association of School Administrators, the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association and the New Jersey Education Association issued a joint statement, arguing “with less than a month remaining before schools are scheduled to reopen, it is time to reluctantly acknowledge that the goal is simply not achievable. Reopening schools for in-person instruction under the current conditions poses too great a risk to the health of students and schools staff.”

The Butler School District has altered its plan to require temperature-reading armbands, citing an issue with the company making the product. The district said the company that was going to provide the armbands was unable to deliver the products on time. News12 New Jersey

Incidents around the state show the use of face coverings are still not where they should be, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. The governor said images from across the state—from Jersey Shore bars to President Donald Trump’s golf course in Bedminster—over the past weekend heightened concerns that residents are not taking enough precautions. “Standing around maskless in a crowd outside a bar is just as big a knucklehead move as standing around maskless inside one,” said Murphy.

New Jersey added two new states and one territory to its coronavirus quarantine travel advisory, while five other states previously considered COVID-19 hotspots were dropped from the list. The quarantine list now stands at 31 states, along with two territories. Hawaii, South Dakota, and the Virgin Islands were added Aug. 11, while Alaska, Ohio, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Washington were removed. The Record

The New Jersey Supreme Court will release their opinion in a challenge to Gov. Phil Murphy’s $10 billion borrowing plan mounted by Republicans today. The court heard oral arguments on Aug. 3 after the New Jersey Republican State Committee filed a lawsuit challenging Murphy’s constitutional authority to borrow up to $10 billion to plug budget holes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. New Jersey Globe

A coalition of more than 100 businesses and nonprofit groups in New Jersey are urging Gov. Phil Murphy to restart his plan to gradually reopen the state’s economy now that coronavirus numbers are declining. New Jersey Business Coalition argued with the state’s rate of transmission below 1 and its positivity rate below 2, “there is no reason not to proceed to reopen our economy.” The business coalition presented their own recommendations for how to further reopen the economy and suggested the state should take a regional approach to reopening, allowing safeguards to protect against hotspots.

State officials said the most important long-term solution to reduce harmful algal blooms (HAB) is to reduce the flow of nutrients from suburban lawns and farm fields into waterways and lakes. Although the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is trying a series of short-term treatments, officials said it is more likely to find a long-term fix by persuading residents and farmers to use less fertilizer in order to cut the flow of phosphorus, a leading cause of HABs. NJ Spotlight

The New Jersey Assembly recently passed a bill allowing college student-athletes to earn compensation. The New Jersey Fair Play Act, sponsored by Assembly members Lisa Swain (D-38), Chris Tully (D-38) and Benjie Wimberly (D-25), would eliminate the ban prohibiting college athletes from earning compensation for use of their name, image or likeness. The bill does exclude some industries and prevents the earning of compensation from certain products.

And finally...Rutgers fall football season was cancelled as the Big Ten Conference will pursue a spring season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Daily Record

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