North Jersey News Roundup for Sept. 10, 2020

An Emerson College Poll finds Joe Biden expanding his lead in the Garden State, while Sen. Cory Booker appears ready to cruise to an easy re-election in November. The Emerson poll of New Jersey likely voters found Biden with 55% of the vote to President Donald Trump’s 38%. In the Senate race, Booker leads Republican challenger Rik Mehta 52% to 28%, with 16% undecided and 5% planning to vote for someone else.

President Donald Trump acknowledged the “deadly” nature of the coronavirus earlier this year, even as he publicly sought to dismiss the disease’s threat to Americans. Recounting a conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump told The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward on Feb. 7 that the coronavirus is “more deadly than your, you know, your—even your strenuous flus.” Additionally, Trump said he was eager to downplay the coronavirus outbreak so as not to alarm Americans. “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down,” Trump said on March 19. “Because I don’t want to create a panic.” PoliticoNJ

Gov. Phil Murphy said fewer people would have died if President Donald Trump had not withheld information about the severity of the coronavirus. “If we knew, specifically, that it was transmitted airborne…If we had known that earlier, we would have shut the state meaningfully earlier. We would have gotten to a mandatory masking policy meaningfully earlier. We would have had a stay-at-home mandate put in place,” Murphy said. “All of which we did…but we would have done it earlier and undoubtedly would have saved lives.” News12 New Jersey

For the third time since April, a relative of a deceased resident at Andover Subacute Rehabilitation Center has filed a lawsuit claiming the nursing home failed to protect patients from the coronavirus and misled potential customers with “false promises.” The lawsuit lists a litany of allegedly systematic issues at the two units over the years, citing federal inspection reports and violations that the owners failed to address. Specifically, the suit points to inadequacies in infection prevention and control and despite inspectors’ instructions, the home’s owners continued to operate and accrued violation after violation. New Jersey Herald

A student at a Little Silver school tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting officials to move some classes to remote teaching on the second day of the school year. A student at the Markham Place School tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in classmates in cohort A of the sixth grade staying home from school until further notice for remote learning.

Rutgers University announced four athletes and one athletics staff member have tested positive for COVID-19. The athletes were from the wrestling, men’s lacrosse and gymnastics programs. The Record

Gov. Phil Murphy came to North Jersey to argue for his first-in-the-nation Baby Bond proposal. “There are those that look at times of great social upheaval like these and say we can’t chase a bold idea…tomorrow is always better but not today” said Murphy at a press briefing in Paterson’s Barbour Park Sept. 9. “I think today is exactly the time for bold ideas… whose impacts down the road will be greater than the modest investment we make today.” The governor’s Baby Bonds proposal in his 2021 budget would provide a $1,000 deposit into an account for every baby born into a household with income less than $131,000 for a family of four in 2021.

New Jersey will have safety protocols in place for Halloween but has no plans to prohibit trick-or-treating this year. “As far as this moment in time, Halloween’s still on in New Jersey,” Gov. Phil Murphy stated. “Obviously, it’s not gonna be a normal Halloween. We’re gonna have to do things very carefully. I’m sure we’re gonna have protocols that we’ll come to.”

The NJ Transit board, administration and CEO received a public scolding from State Sen. Loretta Weinberg about its transparency with the public while raising critical questions about budgets, how money gets spent, and the board’s role as a watchdog of the agency. Weinberg said the way the board operates stands in stark contrast to what the Legislature intended when it passed a 2018 law that increased the board’s size and how much experience was required, among other reforms. The Daily Record

New Jersey homeowners will not receive Homestead property tax credits on their Nov. 1 real estate tax bills. Funding for the property tax relief program is tied to the proposed budget for the abbreviated fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, and there won’t be adequate time to process the credits to appear on November tax bills. Eligible homeowners likely will receive two installments of the credit in 2021, the first one on their February tax bills and the second installment in May.

More than one out every four ballots rejected by election officials in the July 7 primary were discounted because they arrived too late. State data shows that 2.7% of 1.28 million mail-in ballots cast, or almost 35,000, were rejected for one of 18 reasons. Voter errors were responsible for slightly more than a third of rejected ballots, with close to 11,800 not counted because the voter either forgot to sign the certificate attached to the envelope in which the ballot must be placed, tore off the signature or forgot to enclose the ballot. Additionally, voters living in some counties had a greater chance of having a ballot rejected than in others. Rejection rates ranged from a low of 1% in Sussex County to a high of 7.2% in Hudson County. NJ Spotlight

The Franklin Borough Council called on the state to allow for the option of “in-person outdoor voting” in the November elections in a resolution. The resolution, which passed unanimously, notes that it would be fairly easy to find polling places in outdoor pavilions or even set-up temporary tents and noted that the in-person voting with its safeguards against fraud will allow for typical timely reporting of election results. New Jersey Herald

And finally…NJTV News reporter Briana Vannozzi will take over as anchor of the network’s flagship news program. New Jersey Globe

Leave a Reply

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