Booker tells Trump ‘your racism is showing’ after president hits him on low income housing in suburbs

Posted Aug 12, 2020

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker on Wednesday told President Donald Trump “your racism is showing” on Twitter after the president suggested that Booker and Joe Biden would push policies for low income housing to “invade” suburban neighborhoods.

Trump said on Twitter that Booker would run a Biden administration program to build low-income housing in suburban neighborhoods after bringing back a rule that the president rescinded, and therefore the “suburban housewife” would be voting Republican.

Booker responded on Twitter with one sentence:

“Donaled, your racism is showing.”

Booker added an extra E to the president’s first name after Trump had misspelled Booker’s first name (calling him Corey).

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Drugmaker from Japan relocating its N.J. workers to long-vacant site

Posted Aug 12, 2020

An oncology and neurology pharmaceutical company from Japan said Tuesday it would relocate all of its New Jersey employees to the former Hoffman-La Roche site on the border of Essex and Passaic counties.

Eisai Inc., of Tokyo, plans to transfer up to 1,200 of its research and development employees from Woodcliff Lake in Bergen County to the 116-acre site on the Nutley-Clifton border in late 2021, according to an announcement on the company’s website.

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NJ Supreme Court Says Gov. Murphy Can Borrow Billions Without Voter Approval. But There’s a Restriction

JOHN REITMEYER | AUGUST 12, 2020

NJ Spotlight

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote the court’s unanimous opinion.

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New Jersey’s Supreme Court issued a ruling on Wednesday that affirmed Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration can borrow billions of dollars without voter approval to offset revenue losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The state’s highest court concluded in a unanimous opinion that the ongoing health crisis represents the type of major emergency that allows for bonds to be sold without voter sign-off under an exception to restrictions on borrowing and spending in the state Constitution.

But the opinion also said the emergency exception is not unlimited, and that the Murphy administration will have to clearly define in formal certifications the budget hole created by the health crisis before issuing any debt as part of its response.

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Will N.J. allow schools to reopen all-remote? Here’s what the governor has been saying.

Posted Aug 11, 2020

In late June, Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled a plan for the more than 2,500 public schools in New Jersey to reopen for in-person classes this fall despite the coronavirus pandemic, albeit with restrictions like masking and social distancing.

“The return to school will pose challenges, but we are confident that New Jersey’s school districts can move forward in a way that best serves the needs of their district while also achieving a safe environment for students and staff,” Murphy said while detailing the plan June 26.

And in the days after that, the governor said his “bias, hope, expectation” was for students to head back inside buildings. Currently, the state guidelines say all public schools districts are expected to offer some in-person classes.

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Rosario Dawson headed to Newark as Cory Booker confirms ‘significant other’ is moving in

Posted Aug 11, 2020

Newark can say hello to a new neighbor: Rosario Dawson.

Dawson is moving to be with her boyfriend, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, after nearly two years of dating.

The couple confirmed their relationship in 2019, during Booker’s presidential campaign.

Booker, 51, alluded to his “significant other” moving in with him at a “Save Transit” Zoom forum hosted Tuesday by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The subject of the online forum was federal funding for NJ Transit, but Booker made a brief detour to his personal life.

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New COVID-19 Front Line? Educators, Health Experts Say It Will Be Schools

LILO H. STAINTON | AUGUST 12, 2020 

NJ Spotlight

File photo: Students entering a Texas school earlier this month

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While families, policy experts and public officials nationwide wrestle with the pros and cons of reopening schools during the pandemic, education and health leaders in New Jersey seem to agree that districts here lack the regulatory guidance and critical resources to safely restart in-person lessons next month.

The state Assembly Education Committee took testimony Monday from school nurses and public health officials who said districts need help developing testing protocols, ensuring contact tracing programs are in place, and securing sufficient personal protective equipment, or PPE, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

By way of example, one expert said, medical supply distributors don’t recognize schools as health care facilities, making it hard for districts to create the stockpile they need to conduct regular testing or protect nurses who encounter sick students.

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How Much Has NJ Spent Battling COVID-19? $573 Million and Counting

COLLEEN O'DEA | AUGUST 11, 2020 

NJ Spotlight

New Jersey Air National Guard Airmen put together wheelchairs during the buildup of a Field Medical Station at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

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New Jersey spent more than $573 million on thousands of items to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from a few dollars for soap and stamps to tens of millions for personal protective equipment, meals and emergency food aid.

The state Office of Management and Budget provided NJ Spotlight with a spreadsheet of more than 10,000 separate spending lines for the period between March 9 and July 20. At least $97 of every $100 spent came from federal emergency aid or stimulus funding to help the state deal with the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to the data.

That’s not all the money spent related to the virus. For instance, it does not include salary or overtime, such as attributed to Department of Labor workers handling the backlog of unemployment claims, said Jennifer Sciortino, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Treasury. And the spreadsheet appears to be incomplete: For instance, it does not seem to include payments toward some high-profile contracts related to a report on the state’s nursing homes or a contact-tracing computer database.

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Newark Public Schools Won't Cut Teaching Staff, Freeze Hiring Despite State Aid Reductions

Superintendent Roger Leon said when it comes to increasing revenue through other means, "everything is on the table.
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NEWARK, NJ — Schools in New Jersey are in a world of pain as they contend with precarious reopening measures, increased expenditures and major cuts in state aid as a result of the coronavirus, and Newark is no exception. 

With more than $36 million in expected aid slashed from Newark Public Schools’ budget, the largest dollar reduction of any district in the state, the Newark Board of Education voted to make cuts to the initial budget appropriations made in March and to apply unassigned general fund surplus, according to Business Administrator Valerie Wilson. 

The move avoids furloughs or layoffs of the teaching staff. Prior to the pandemic and its subsequent funding consequences for the state, Newark was slated to receive $865.7 million, a $53 million boost from the previous school year. With only $829 million now expected from the state, the district will gain just $16 million over the previous year. 

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Murphy blasts Trump’s executive actions as short-sighted

08/10/2020 

Politico

Murphy, speaking at a press briefing in Trenton, painted Trump’s actions as short-sighted, counterproductive and insufficient. 

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday blasted a spate of actions from President Donald Trump over the weekend designed to provide relief to unemployed Americans, declaring “millions of unemployed workers and their families deserve better.“

Murphy, speaking at a press briefing in Trenton, painted Trump’s actions — signed at his private golf club in Bedminster on Sunday — as short-sighted, counterproductive and insufficient.

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‘I Wouldn’t Send Anybody to School’: Newark Mayor Joins Growing Pushback Against In-Person Learning

PATRICK WALL, CHALKBEAT NEWARK | AUGUST 10, 2020

NJ Spotlight

File photo: Mayor Ras Baraka, pictured at a press conference in March,. The mayor has advised parents against sending their children back to school.

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With Newark schools set to reopen next month, Mayor Ras Baraka is advising families to keep their children out of classrooms while the coronavirus continues to spread.

The Newark school district has given families until Aug. 14 to decide whether their children will stay home for remote learning next month or return to schools, which the district says will follow new safety protocols. But Baraka, who does not have any direct control over schools, suggested last week that families should avoid in-person learning until the virus is more fully contained.

“At this rate, I would advise everybody to keep their children home from school,” the mayor said last Monday during his daily address to residents. “At this rate, I wouldn’t send anybody to school.”

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