North Jersey News Roundup for April 28, 2021

As President Joe Biden gets set to address members of Congress to lay out his legislative agenda, Rep. Mikie Sherrill believes the American Jobs Plan will be a boon to North Jersey. “It is an investment in the future of North Jersey,” said Sherrill in an exclusive interview with “We have so underfunded our infrastructure—this bill really puts the investment into infrastructure. We used to be the envy of the world but we have lost ground in recent decades…this is putting us back on top.”

Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors when in small groups with other fully vaccinated friends and family, and in some circumstances can go maskless with unvaccinated people, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC’s guidance reiterated all Americans should continue to mask up in public, particularly in poorly ventilated spaces, large crowds and when visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at risk of developing severe COVID-19. PoliticoNJ

New Jersey will consider whether to drop outdoor mask mandates for vaccinated people after federal officials announced updated guidance on the coronavirus pandemic. “We will certainly, as we always do, take the CDC guidance seriously and work with that guidance and continue to open our state up,” Gov. Phil Murphy stated during an appearance on MSNBC’s Meet the Press Daily April 27. “Our guidance for masking outdoors has been from the get-go in this pandemic, you need to wear a mask if you can’t socially distance. If you can, you don’t need to. I would expect if there is then the next layer of full vaccination, that that’s another step that we’ll be able to take.”

Members of the Murphy Administration are making a renewed push to make sure New Jerseyans receive the COVID-19 vaccine in order to continue easing coronavirus restriction in New Jersey. “If there’s one thing you can do out there other than social distancing and wearing your face covering, it’s to get vaccinated,” said Gov. Phil Murphy at a press briefing April 26. “If you’ve been vaccinated and you know somebody who hasn’t been vaccinated, that’s the other thing you can do: Convince them to go get a vaccine shot.” As a result of New Jersey seeing demand for the COVID-19 vaccine slow, New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the health department launched a vaccine promotional campaign to all audiences to get vaccinated.

The Biden administration detailed a $1.8 trillion collection of spending increases and tax cuts financed by additional taxes on high earners in order to expand access to education, reduce the cost of child care and support women in the workforce. The American Families Plan features $1 trillion in new spending and $800 billion in tax credits to finance universal prekindergarten, a federal paid leave program, efforts to make child care more affordable, free community college for all, aid for students at colleges that historically serve nonwhite communities, expanded subsidies under the Affordable Care Act and an extension of new federal efforts to fight poverty. The New York Times

Rep. Bill Pascrell’s multi year effort to bring American jobs back to the United States through tax incentives may find success now that some of his tax proposals have been included in President Joe Biden’s broader $2 trillion infrastructure plan. The North Jersey lawmaker reintroduced his “Bring Jobs Home Act,” which would add both carrots and sticks to the federal Internal Revenue Code in an effort to return jobs to U.S. shores. Pascrell’s legislation would amend federal tax law to provide a tax credit for companies that move jobs and business activity back to the United States while ending a tax deduction for companies that outsource jobs and business activity.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal filed a civil rights lawsuit against Jackson Township for discrimination against Orthodox Jews by using their zoning powers to stop them from moving there. Officials allegedly developed a plan to pass and enforce local zoning ordinances that might dissuade Orthodox Jews from living in Jackson because of challenges to the observance of their religion.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has taken control of the Paterson Police Department’s internal investigations in light of federal charges against two officers who are accused of beating a city resident and then falsifying a report to validate the assault. Officers Kevin Patino and Kendry Tineo-Restituyo have been charged with violating then-19-year-old Osamah Alsaidi’s Fourth Amendment right by allegedly assaulting him and then falsifying a report that presents Alsaidi as the aggressor, claiming he initiated the struggle and punched Patino, according to an FBI complaint filed in U.S. District Court. The Record

A lieutenant and a sergeant were charged with lying on official documents about the brutal beatings of inmates at Edna Mahan Correctional Facilities for Women, bringing the total number of sworn law enforcement officers accused of assaulting women or aiding in the coverup to 10. Lt. Eddie Molina and Sgt. Andraia Bridges  supervised the “extraction teams” sent to conduct prisoner removals from cells to search for contraband on Jan. 12. The pair “failed to prevent and report the excessive use of force and assaultive conduct by other corrections officers,” according to state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.

Former Palisades Park police chief Ben Ramos will receive $850,000 and have all disciplinary charges against him dismissed under a settlement agreement with the borough. The accord resolves a 2017 lawsuit in which Ramos claimed he was the target of retaliation by borough officials for disciplinary action against the son of a councilwoman. The Record

Republican state senators want to stop Gov. Phil Murphy from spending federal stimulus and relief funds without legislative approval. State Sens. Steve Oroho (R-24) and Michael Testa, Jr. (R-1) introduced legislation that would strip Murphy of his executive authority to spend federal dollars by jettisoning language in the state budget that permits governors to appropriate emergency disaster aid and stimulus funding. New Jersey Globe

Montague Superintendent of Schools Timothy Capone was placed on paid administrative leave. The resolution passed by the board didn’t give a reason for the leave, but states Capone is to “do no further work for or on behalf of the board until further notice.” Hired to run the K-8 Montague School in May 2017, Capone tenure was marred by controversy that saw many parents publicly call for his removal last year due to high staff turnover and his penchant for calling out publicly and on social media those who complained. The action comes shortly after voters rejected the school spending plan last month. New Jersey Herald

And finally…NJ Warriors hockey team helps disabled veterans build a support network, on and off the ice. The Daily Record

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