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Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 1/27/2022


Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “When one reads and truly thinks about what’s in this Executive Order, it’s quickly discernable that this matter is not just about the virus and vaccines. There is a lot more to it to include the scope of the Governor’s Executive Power and the question of the State’s ability to intrude into one’s personal medical decision-making abilities.” – The attorney for the NJSPBA’s challenge to the Governor’s vaccine mandate


TOP STORY: Redistricting in the Post-Sweeney Era



The Morning Intelligence Briefing will be off tomorrow and will return on Monday.


The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 1,802,164 cases and 28,186 confirmed fatalities (and 283,221 probable cases and 2,907 probable fatalities) as of Wednesday (an increase of 6,023 confirmed cases, 1,359 probable cases, 143 lab-confirmed fatalities, and 63 hospital-reported fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .58. There are 3,723 total hospitalizations, with 652 in intensive care units. There are 6,572,721 people fully vaccinated.


A Monmouth University poll finds Republicans have a small edge over Democrats heading into the midterm elections.


The NJDHS issued a call for entries in the 2022 Teen Media Contest.


Cooper University Health Care donated 200k N95 masks to be distributed throughout Camden County.


Gloucester County Commission Christy resigned, according to the Courier Post.


Warren County launched a COVID-19 testing site with Vault Health.


Senator Booker urged the Biden-Harris Administration to secure an expansion of the Child Care Credit as part of the Build Back Better package. Booker offered his ‘profound gratitude’ to Supreme Court Justice Breyer following his retirement announcement.


Rep. Pascrell praised the retirement announcement of Supreme Court Justice Breyer. Pascrell urged the IRS to reduce the tax return backlog.


Kean University President Repollet called for a national solution to the student loan debt crisis.


Emails reveal how race issues tore apart the Holy Name Hospital leadership, according to the Bergen Record.


HUD awarded $1.4M to support state housing counseling programs.


ICYMI: Sherrill, Malinowski part of Ukraine CODEL; Murphy’s says there’s a ‘shot’ on lifting school mask mandate; Jill Biden announced federal resources students; Murphy issued order mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for health workers, no plans to extend beyond; Murphy address leans on ‘American Dream’ theme; Murphy signed the ‘Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act’; Murphy, Oliver to be sworn-in on Tuesday; Murphy delivered his State of the State; Murphy reinstated public health emergency


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


NJDSC Chairman Jones removed former Senate President Sweeney from the Legislative Apportionment Commission, replacing him with Latina Civic PAC’s Laura Matos. Jones said that the decision was made with ‘careful consideration’ and consultation with party leaders, and that ‘no person or organization’s goals and ambitions are above the interests of our party and the people of this State’. Jones also removed two South Jersey staffers from the commission, according to Politico NJ. Sweeney told that his lawyers are examining whether to challenge the decision, calling it ‘not legal’. At last night’s commission meeting, Jones said that he may be many things, but ‘naive is not one of them‘, adding that he expects, and is ready for, potential backlash against his decision. Former NJDSC Chairman and Passaic County Democratic Chairman Currie praised Jones’ decision, saying it ‘ensures Latino voices are heard’. LD2 Senator Polistina congratulated Matos while taking a swipe at Sweeney, saying ‘while we never want to see South Jersey not having a voice in these types of situations, having a representative that always seems more focused on what’s best for him and the Camden County organization as opposed to the people of this state is not helpful’.


A Philadelphia man pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit murder with political operative Sean Caddle, who pleaded guilty earlier this week.


In CD11, Jackie Burns will serve as campaign manager for Rep. Sherrill’s re-election effort.


ICYMI: In CD11, GOP primary candidates participated in forum; in CD7, Doherty wants to hear the stances of Peterson, Kean on Ukraine; Peterson says ‘invading any country is unacceptable‘; Morris County GOP launched NFT fundraising plan; Myers announced Morris commissioner candidacy; ‘Big Six’ raised $16.9M; in CD7, Peterson launched campaign as ‘America first’ Republican; Kean visited border; in CD6, Kiley announced candidacy; in CD11, Casha bringing in Steve Forbes; in CD11, Dunn screened for Passaic GOP as she mulls running; Fight of the Week: Webber v. Selen


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In Newark, Team Baraka West Ward council candidate Chigozie Onyema released his fundraising numbers, raising $86k last year.


In Bayonne, BOE Trustee Wilbeck will seek a council seat this year, according to TAPinto.


In Bloomfield, a council meeting was marked with frustration over water meter replacement, according to TAPinto.


In Creskill, voters approved the $21.6M schools referendum, according to the Bergen Record.


In Franklin Lakes, voters approved the $20M schools referendum, according to the Bergen Record.


In Lakewood, the schools will settle a lawsuit filed by a fired employee, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Manville, voters approved the $4M schools referendum, according to MyCentralJersey.


In Mendham Township, the $19.9M school referendum was approved by voters, according to NJ Hills.


In Millville, three short-staffed schools will operate on half-days, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Morristown, the council approved the police contract, according to Morristown Green. A cannabis oversight board was established, according to the Daily Record


In Neptune, a police officer received a second harassment settlement, bringing the total to nearly $1M, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Ocean City, there are echoes of the mayoral race in the council contest this May, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Old Bridge, a court dismissed a council candidate’s redo election challenge, according to MyCentralJersey.


In Palisades Park, the town will pay $120k to a police officer who alleged bullying by his boss, according to the Bergen Record.


In Paterson, former Mayor Torres emptied his campaign account, according to the Paterson Press. James Felix was appointed Parking Authority Commissioner, according to TAPinto.


In Paramus, the borough attorney and administrator were replaced, according to the Bergen Record.


In Princeton, the $17.5M school referendum was approved by voters, according to Planet Princeton.


In Randolph, a BOE critic was arrested and charged with harassing a former council candidate, according to NJ Hills.


In Trenton, the DCA says its didn’t deny the ‘Animal Rocks’ contract to manage the animal shelter, but the city did, according to the Trentonian.


In Upper Township, mobile home residents are seeking rent control, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Washington Township, there are high hopes as the budget cycle begins, according to NJ Hills.


In Westfield, a new group home is drawing the concern of neighbors, according to TAPinto.


ICYMI: In Newark, Brown discusses West Ward candidacy; in Lumberton, Galey re-elected GOP Chair; in Newark, Campos formally launched East Ward council candidacy; in Trenton, Feliciano was endorsed Weedman; in Newark, Silva released first ad; in Buena Vista, Williams switching parties


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing





There’s a Newfoundland in NJ – plus many other invisible towns

Dennis Malloy, NJ 1015


  • We get calls every week from towns that officially do not exist in New Jersey. Tuesday, we heard from Newfoundland, New Jersey. Newfoundland is actually an unincorporated town in West Milford Township in Passaic County.


Track ‘forever chemicals’ in NJ drinking water

Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight


  • This map shows the number of people served by water systems found to have PFOA, PFOS or PFNA since 2019.


NJ’s property taxes: Four key charts show where and how fast

John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight


  • The average local property-tax bill increased in New Jersey by $172 last year, according to the latest statewide data collected by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. But the property-tax burden is not evenly distributed across all of New Jersey’s 21 counties.


Slow start for New Jersey’s broadband access study

Michael Symons, NJ1015


  • It’s been a slow start for the state’s high-speed internet study. More than six months after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law establishing a Broadband Access Study Commission, appointments still haven’t been made to the 19-member panel and its year-long work hasn’t begun.


Ex-municipal judge accused of groping denies ‘malice’

Dana DiFilippo, NJ Monitor


  • A former municipal court judge suspended and criminally charged two years ago with molesting a woman in his law office testified during a disciplinary hearing Wednesday that the contact was accidental and embarrassing — and not the intentional groping the woman tearfully described.


The $241 million Hoboken school referendum: The biggest winners and losers

John Heinis, Hudson County View


  • Lines in the sand were drawn during the end-of-year holiday season in 2021 when Hoboken residents first heard of a $241 million school referendum. Who are the biggest winners and losers with the vote in the books now?


Hoboken BOE responds to referendum: ‘Our aim is to create an equitable educational experience’

John Heinis, Hudson County View


  • The Hoboken Board of Education responded to last night’s $241 million referendum being voted down, stating in part that “our aim is to create an equitable educational experience.”


Trial set for two men charged with assaulting Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick

Mike Deak,


  • A federal court judge has set a June 6 trial for two men accused of spraying chemicals in the face of three police officers, including the late Brian Sicknick, during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2020.


While some tire of COVID-19, cases — and deaths — in children rise

Lilo H. Stainton, NJ Spotlight


  • While COVID-19 cases may be on the decline overall, experts said the latest virulent variant is capitalizing on the limited vaccine immunity among young people and likely contributed to the death of four children in New Jersey — three of them infants — since Christmas alone.


Omicron is on its way out: Could this be it for COVID in NJ?

David Matthau, NJ 1015


  • As the omicron surge continues to fade, new COVID cases and hospitalizations are rapidly trending downward in New Jersey, and there is talk about the end of the pandemic. According to Dr. Ed Lifshitz, the director of communicable disease services for the New Jersey Health Department, the signs we’re seeing are good — with a caveat. “if I told you I knew exactly what was going to be happening then I’d be lying,” he said. “And neither does anybody else, is the straight truth of it.”


The Cannabis Sector in 2022: We’ve got questions — our insiders have answers

ROI NJ Staff


  • Slowly but surely, the cannabis industry is coming to New Jersey. While the processes are still being worked out (especially for recreational use), plenty of people are getting ready for the sector to explode in growth. Want to be in on it?


An Easton gangster, an infamous N.J. crime: The trial of Tony Turko for the Cat Swamp murder

Steve Novak, For


  • A Lehigh Valley gang leader at the center of an infamous and deadly heist in northwestern New Jersey was tried and convicted of murder 100 years ago this week. Tony Turko, of Easton, led the June 1921 hijacking of a silk delivery truck in Cat Swamp in Sussex County, about 30 miles northeast of the Easton and Phillipsburg area where Turko’s gang was based.

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