North Jersey News Roundup for Aug. 31, 2020

OPINION: With the political conventions now in the rearview mirror, it is clear where the nominees of the two parties stand and how they will campaign. This year’s election will focus on President Trump’s argument that his plans to fix the social, health and economic issues that have happened on his watch—and not Joe Biden’s—are the one America needs to move forward with.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed three bills into law to help New Jersey prepare for a hybrid but largely mail-in election this November. The new laws increases the number of ballot drop boxes that county boards of elections must install, allows voters to use a confidential, free system to check whether their provisional, mail-in, or overseas ballot was accepted and creates a public awareness campaign for the vote-by-mail process and require that election officials accept ballots postmarked by Election Day for up to six days after the election.

The New Jersey State Treasury has announced the state’s gas tax will increase by 9.3 cents per gallon starting on Oct. 1. The increase means that tax on gasoline will increase to 40.2 cents per gallon and to 44.2 cents for diesel fuel. The rise is mandated by a 2016 law signed by then-Gov. Chris Christie requiring the gas tax must increase when the revenues fall below a certain level.

Gov. Phil Murphy and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) are awarding $150 million in CARES Act funds to eligible higher education institutions. Funding can be used for expenses to include cleaning and disinfecting supplies, the transition to online learning, and support for testing, among other eligible costs.

Approximately 9,600 Chromebooks recently arrived for the Paterson school district. Laptops will be delivered to all schools by Sept. 1 and parents will be contacted about picking them up, according to the statement from the school district. The school board recently approved all-remote learning for the district until at least Nov. 2.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced $250 million in federal funding will go to help families with child care costs during the pandemic. The initiative will spend money providing child care subsidies for those participating in the state Child Care Subsidy Program, monies for New Jersey families who are in need of either full or part-time child care due to their child’s school’s remote learning schedule, and aid directly to child care centers.

Englewood Cliffs has rescinded a bill for police overtime totaling $2,500 that was sent to a teenager who organized a Black Lives Matter rally. Four days after the July 25 rally, the organizer a received a letter from the mayor seeking payment of $2,499.26 “for the police overtime caused by your protest.” The town’s letter said she had not met with officials before her protest, requiring them to hastily come up with security plans. The Record

Hackensack University Medical Center and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School at University Hospital in Newark are among the 89 research sites nationwide selected to participate in a clinical trial of the vaccine developed by Moderna. The vaccine was developed as part of Operation Warp Speed, with $955 million from the U.S. government. New Jersey Herald

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp announced his retirement effective Nov. 1. Knapp, in office since December  2012 after being appointed by Gov. Chris Christie, said the timing of his announcement had nothing to do with a letter sent by New Jersey Together to Gov. Phil Murphy asking for his  removal and replacing him with someone who is “equipped to address racial incarceration disparities.” New Jersey Globe

And finally…Could a new Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band album be coming? There certainly are signs something big is about to happen. The Record

Leave a Reply

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