North Jersey News Roundup for Jan. 12, 2021

The state is now making public on a daily basis the number of New Jerseyans who have received the COVID-19 vaccine as a total of 214,433 vaccines were administered to those in Phase 1A (frontline healthcare workers as well as long-term care facility residents) and 1B (police and firefighters) as of Jan. 11. Of those who have received the vaccine, 199,293 residents have received their first dose with 14,984 their second. Of those receiving the vaccine, 54% were administered the Moderna vaccine and 46% the Pfizer offering.

New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said vaccine sites should try to give leftover shots to anyone, even those not eligible to avoid waste. The department is tracking the numbers of COVID-19 shots that are unused but Persichilli stated it’s minimal in connection to the number of doses administered. News12 New Jersey

One member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation has tested positive for COVID-19 and another was awaiting test results after possible exposure to the virus during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, who said she has “mild, cold-like symptoms,” believes she was exposed during a lockdown with other members of Congress, while Rep. Donald Norcross said he was tested “as a precaution” due to possible exposure to an infected person during the lockdown. The Record

The House of Representatives will vote Jan. 13 to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team informed members on a private call they will need to return to the Capitol on Jan. 12 as impeachment is scheduled for consideration at 9 a.m. Wednesday if Trump refuses to resign and Vice President Mike Pence won’t initiate other procedures to remove him. PoliticoNJ

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie believes the House of Representatives impeachment articles being considered against President Donald Trump are warranted.  On “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Jan. 10, when asked by the host if President Trump had committed an impeachable offense, Christie responded “oh, sure, yes. I mean, what we had was an incitement to riot at the United States Capitol. We had people killed. And, to me, there’s not a whole lot of questions here.”

The New Jersey Legislature passed a resolution rebuking President Donald Trump and the rioters who attacked the Capitol, while calling for the president’s removal from office. Two Republican senators, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Sen. Chris Brown (R-2) voted in favor of the resolution, which passed the Senate 24-4 with a number of State Senators not voting, and 47-8 in the Assembly with 20 abstentions. New Jersey Herald

Law enforcement agencies in New Jersey have been warned about a possible armed march and rally by some Trump supporters in Trenton on Jan. 17. Gov. Phil Murphy said he was aware of online threats that have been made and “we’re not going to get into much detail on this but needless to say we’re taking nothing for granted.”

Former state Republican Party Chairman Doug Steinhardt surprisingly dropped out of this year’s race for New Jersey governor Jan. 11. A Warren County resident, Steinhardt—an enthusiastic supporter of President Donald Trump—said in a statement he was exiting the battle for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy due to “unforeseen professional obligations.” New Jersey Globe

Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation to stave off a tax increases to replenish New Jersey’s exhausted unemployment trust fund. With the state unemployment trust fund depleted, employers were set to see a rise in the per-employee unemployment insurance tax this year, an increase that would fall heaviest on businesses hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic and had to lay off workers due to state-mandated closures and social distancing regulations. The law passes those tax hikes onto small businesses by spreading out the increase over a three-year period.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection unveiled its plans to remediate the contaminated interior of Liberty State Park, 234 acres of parkland currently fenced off from the public. The state plans to cap the entire interior of the park with at least one foot of clean soil historic fill, which can include debris, dredge spoils, incinerator residue, and non-hazardous solid waste. The Jersey Journal

The Federal Transit Administration approved $766.5 million in federal funding for the construction of a new Portal North Bridge over the Hackensack River. A new two-track bridge would replace the existing 110-year-old moveable structure in Kearny that causes delays on Amtrak and NJ Transit trains when it gets stuck in the open position after letting boats pass. The new fixed span will be higher so boats will be able to travel on the river without the bridge having to be opened.

The Montague Board of Education ordered Superintendent Timothy Capone to refrain from further use of the school’s automated outgoing call system except for emergencies. The new board policy was enacted in response to Capone’s repeated use of the school’s All-Call system to send robocalls to district parents for non-emergencies, including two recent calls that attacked individual board members by name for votes they cast. New Jersey Herald

And finally…Gov. Phil Murphy will deliver the State of the State address at 1 p.m. NJ Spotlight News

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