Non-Union Laborers Constructing Newark High School for Trades

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Controversial Turnpike widening project could force Murphy to choose between Hudson officials and labor unions

By David WildsteinAugust 15 2022

New Jersey Globe

Newark Bay Bridge that connects the New Jersey Turnpike's main line with Hudson County and the Holland Tunnel. 

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Opposition to a $4.7 billion proposal to widen the eight-mile section of New Jersey Turnpike between Exits 14A and 14C will likely force Gov. Phil Murphy into choosing between local officials and progressive activists  in Jersey City and Hoboken and blue-collar construction unions.

Hoboken passed a resolution opposing the Turnpike expansion this week, and Jersey City is expected to follow this week in a bid to stop a project they say will lead to massive congestion in their communities.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants to widen the span that connects Jersey City to the Holland Tunnel.

Murphy has veto authority over NJTA actions and he’ll ultimately make a final decision.

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Jersey City councilwoman’s hit-and-run case is moved to Essex County

Published: Aug. 12, 2022

The hit-and-run violations against Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise will be heard in Essex County Superior Court, court officials in Newark said Friday.

The case against the 36-year-old DeGise, who struck a cyclist in Jersey City July 19 and fled the crash scene, was moved from Jersey City Municipal Court because of DeGise’s position as at-large councilmember. Another factor in moving the case out of Hudson County is that DeGise’s father is Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.

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Language barriers remain problem for state services

TAYLOR JUNG | AUGUST 12, 2022 

NJ Spotlight News

Paying a phone or electricity bill might not seem like a task for a child. But for Laura Bustamante, the policy and campaign manager for the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, that was her reality growing up because her parents didn’t speak English very well.

“I would have to sometimes miss out on sports or extracurricular activities, and sometimes even school, so I was able to show up and translate for my parents, whether … they were doing something at the DMV (or) they were doing something for my brother,” said Bustamante.

“And that has this pressure to essentially be the adult in the family,” she added.

Bustamante is not alone. About 155 languages are spoken in the state. Over a third of New Jerseyans over 5 years old speak a language other than English at home. About 12% of residents, or over 1 million people, say they don’t speak English very well, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey.

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After a mistake, Senate approves worker bill

JOHN REITMEYER, BUDGET/FINANCE WRITER | AUGUST 9, 2022

NJ Spotlight News

A bill granting many temporary workers in New Jersey with what labor advocates are calling much-needed protections has finally been sent to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk more than a month after a legislative mix-up delayed its final adoption.

The measure, dubbed the “Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights,” cleared the Senate on Monday during a rare August voting session.

Among its key provisions, the legislation would require temp agencies in New Jersey to keep written records that spell out key terms of employment like hours worked and the rate of pay to be earned by each worker.

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Unconventional college center, ‘Gateway U,’ officially opens campus in N.J.

Published: Aug. 05, 2022

Addressing a gathering at Gateway U’s new student center in the Teacher’s Village mixed-use development in Newark, Deja Johnson said she was a senior at Seton Hall University in the Fall of 2017 when her father died, triggering financial and other hardships that kept her from finishing her undergraduate degree in social work.

“Even though I was one semester from graduating, I could not get my degree,” said Johnson, now 26, who then had to put aside plans that included a master’s degree and founding her own childcare center.

But Johnson, a Newark native now living in Queens, New York, is back on track to earn her bachelor’s degree, this time through Gateway U, a higher-education hybrid learning institution launched last year to provide students from Newark and the surrounding area with undergraduate educations and diplomas. Gateway U also helps make sure they can pay for and complete their degrees and then go on to make the most of them in the workforce.

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Murphy signs costly auto insurance law that will affect 1.1M N.J. drivers

Published: Aug. 07, 2022

More than 1 million New Jersey drivers will likely pay more to insure their vehicles after Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed a controversial bill into law.

The measure will hike the minimum amount of liability insurance in the Garden State from its current $15,000 coverage to $25,000 beginning in 2023, and a minimum of $35,000 starting in 2026. Industry officials said about 1.1 million drivers will pay roughly $125 more each year.

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Booker’s bill can help fix a broken Supreme Court | Editorial

Published: Aug. 04, 2022

The Supreme Court is out of step with the American ethos. Its conservative majority has stripped the constitutional right to abortion, expanded gun rights in a country with 400 million firearms, shredded environmental protections, unleashed the power of money for special interests, facilitated partisan gerrymandering, eviscerated voting rights, kneecapped public sector unions, and denied health care coverage to millions of poor people.

And this rightward drift has occurred under a cloud of illegitimacy -- manipulated by a Senate Republican leader who flouted the rules and weaponized by a Republican president elected without a popular majority, with its members hand-picked by the Federalist Society, which is funded by dark-money billionaires who often have business before the court.

So we welcome a bill proposed by Sens. Cory Booker and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) called the Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization (TERM) Act, which seeks to restore balance and legitimacy to the highest court by imposing term limits and authorizing the president to nominate one new justice every two years.

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Hobby's Delicatessen Reopens in Newark As A Beloved City Landmark Returns

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Newark Penn Station is being restored and NJ Transit wants your thoughts about the $191M plan

Published: Aug. 03, 2022

By Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A restored wooden bench in Newark Penn Station's waiting room is a taste of things to come in a multi-million dollar rehabilitation of the station.

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NJ Transit riders who use Newark Penn Station can soon tell agency officials their ideas and ask questions about a $191 million planned restoration and rehabilitation of the historic train station.

The first of three public meetings will be held online from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 9. Registration can also be completed online. Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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