North Jersey News Roundup for June 9, 2021

Gordon Johnson was victorious in the hotly contested race to be the Democratic Party’s nominee to replace State Sen. Loretta Weinberg in the 37th Legislative District. The slate of Assemblyman Johnson for State Senate and former Tenafly Councilwoman Shama Haider and former Englewood Cliffs Councilwoman Ellen Park for Assembly were victorious in the June 8 primary over the campaign that featured Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle running off the county line with her running mates Tenafly Council President Lauren Kohn Dayton and Teaneck Councilwoman Gervonn Romney Rice. In the Republican Party, Jack Ciattarelli will face off against Gov. Phil Murphy in the Fall, incumbents Robert Auth and DeAnne C. DeFuccio will defend their seats in the 39th and Assemblyman Jay Webber was a decisive winner in the 26th with Christian Barranco appearing to have defeated Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce.

About 400 students resumed in-person instruction at Paterson schools on June 8 as the city’s school district launched a limited reopening for the last three weeks of the academic year, with enrollment restricted to children in special education and the Newcomer English language program. A total of 921 students signed up for the return to school, including 816 in special education and 105 in the Newcomers program. They were divided in two groups — one that would attend in person Mondays and Wednesdays and another on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Record

As a heat wave hits the Garden State this week, Gov. Phil Murphy outlined that schools have the discretion to not adhere to the coronavirus pandemic mandate of face masks for students and staff.  “Our current masking requirements do include exceptions for cases of extreme heat in outdoor settings and for situations indoors or outdoors where wearing a mask would inhibit the individual’s health,” remarked Murphy. “School officials are empowered to relax masking among students and staff in their buildings, given extreme weather conditions, and we hope they will make the right calls for their educational communities.”

The coronavirus might be receding in much of the United States, but it continues to spread in communities with low COVID-19 vaccination rates, where highly contagious virus variants pose a threat to those who have not had shots. People who become ill with the coronavirus now are, “in most age groups, twice as likely to end up hospitalized as people who got the virus earlier in the course of the pandemic,” said Dr. Ted Delbridge, executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. The New York Times

President Joe Biden called off an effort to reach an infrastructure compromise with several U.S. Senate Republicans after progress stalled, shifting his focus to a separate set of negotiations with a group of Republicans and Democrats in an effort to salvage a bipartisan deal for the American Jobs Plan. At the same time, Senate Democrats signaled they were preparing to move at least part of an infrastructure package forward through a process relying on only Democratic support. The Wall Street Journal

Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration is expected to announce it is forecasting at least another $4 billion in extra tax revenues in New Jersey. The update is in line with a new forecast from the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, that shows a $3.3 billion increase in its projections for the current fiscal year and a $1.4 billion bump for the next.

New Jersey residents will pay more in lifetime taxes than residents of any other state, according to a new study. The report, which comes from financial technology company Self, found that the average New Jerseyan will pay $931,698 in taxes over the course of their lifetime. This total is 77% higher than the $525,037 that the average American will spend on taxes throughout their lifetime and over $100,000 to the next closest state.

The richest 25 Americans pay less in tax—an average of 15.8% of adjusted gross income—than many ordinary workers do, once you include taxes for Social Security and Medicare, according to a report from ProPublica. Among those named were Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who paid no income tax in 2007 and 2011; Tesla founder Elon Musk, whose income tax bill was zero in 2018; and financier George Soros, who for three straight years went without paying federal income taxes. The Record

Bergen County administrator Julien X. Neals appointment to a federal judgeship was overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. Senate, marking the end of Neals’ six-year odyssey to the bench that began under former President Barack Obama. With the 66-33 vote, Neals became President Joe Biden’s first successful appointment to the Federal bench. Neals, 56, will now sit on the U.S. District Court of New Jersey. The Daily Record

The U.S. Senate approved a bill aiming to boost U.S. semiconductor production and the development of artificial intelligence and other technology in the face of growing international competition, most notably from China. The centerpiece of the bill is a $50 billion emergency allotment to the Commerce Department to stand up semiconductor development and manufacturing through research and incentive programs previously authorized by Congress. The bill’s overall cost would increase spending by about $250 billion with most of the spending occurring in the first five years.

New Jersey Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks resigned following The Boxer Report that revealed how his department repeatedly failed to stop abuse at the state’s only women’s prison. Hicks’s resignation came a day after the release of a 73-page investigation into the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility which concluded officials were slow to enact reforms, didn’t follow their own policies and that officers used excessive force and filed false reports after a series of violent cell extractions in January. Victoria Kuhn, currently chief of staff at the Department of Corrections, will serve as acting commissioner. New Jersey Globe

A Rockaway Township man affiliated with the Proud Boys was arrested and charged for his “aggressive role” in the deadly U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Federal prosecutor alleged Shawn Price brought goggles, milk and other substances used to neutralize the effects of pepper spray or other chemical irritants on his trip to Washington, D.C. and is accused of helping to push a crowd forward into a line of officers that were working to secure the Capitol building. New Jersey Herald

NJ Transit announced a partnership with Waze, which will automatically alert drivers using the mobile app when they’re nearing a crossing. The warning will appear as a banner on the app and remind drivers to proceed with caution. According to the agency, safety issues at railroad crossings generally stem from confused or distracted drivers who accidentally turn onto tracks instead of adjacent roadways, especially at night or during inclement weather. 

And finally…More drenching rain and scattered thunderstorms are expected again this afternoon amid the hot and humid conditions that will give way to cooler temperatures the rest of the week. News12 New Jersey

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