Murphy plans to continue time-honored NJ tradition: Shortchanging recipients of Homestead tax relief

JOHN REITMEYER, BUDGET/FINANCE WRITER | APRIL 12, 2021 

NJ Spotlight News

New Jersey property tax keeps climbing.

---

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are making a case for halting the state’s long-running practice of using fine print in the annual budget to shortchange thousands of New Jersey homeowners who receive Homestead property-tax relief benefits.

A recent NJ Spotlight News story highlighted how Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 would continue to use outdated property-tax bills to calculate Homestead benefits, and thus shortchange eligible homeowners, collectively, by millions of dollars.

Murphy, a Democrat running for reelection in November, has proposed doing so even as his overall budget would increase state spending by roughly 10% year-over-year to a record total of nearly $45 billion.

Read more
1 reaction Share

N.J. reports 33 COVID deaths, 2,993 cases. Virus transmission rate drops

Posted Apr 10, 2021

New Jersey on Saturday reported another 2,993 cases of the coronavirus and an additional 33 deaths as nearly half of the state’s adult population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose. Meanwhile, the rate of transmission dropped below a key benchmark.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the latest data on social media, the day after the governor and First Lady Tammy Murphy both received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Atlantic City mega-site.

The state’s 71 hospitals reported 2,344 patients as of Friday night, down 14 people from a day earlier. Hospitalizations had been rising this week, but remain well below the recent high of 3,873 on Dec. 22. The last two days, hospitalizations have dropped.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Murphy signs $35 million in aid for N.J. restaurants crushed by COVID crisis

Posted Apr 09, 2021

New Jersey restaurants that have been crushed financially by the coronavirus pandemic will be eligible for aid under a $35 million package Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law on Friday.

The grants from federal aid to the state won’t have to be repaid by restaurants.

“These are not just small businesses. These are places where communities come together,” Murphy said at an event in Atlantic City to sign the legislation.

Read more
1 reaction Share

These vital N.J. needs would get big bucks from Biden’s new proposed budget

Posted Apr 09, 2021

The federal program to help fund the Gateway Tunnel and Portal Bridge, and grants to help Camden, Newark and other New Jersey communities would see more money under President Joe Biden’s proposed budget for the 12 months beginning Sept. 1.

The spending proposal was released Friday in advance of a more detailed budget, including proposed tax changes, that will be announced later this year.

Overall, Biden proposed spending $769 billion on non-defense programs, up 16% over current levels, and $753 billion on the Pentagon, up 1.7%. The spending is just part of the overall federal budget.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Christie sitting out New Jersey governor’s race — and no one’s complaining

 Politico

04/08/2021 

Portrait photos of Jack Ciattarelli (left) and Chris Christie. 

---

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is keeping a busy schedule these days.

He also recently hosted Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in a public discussion, headlined a fundraiser for a member of Congress from Long Island, had dinner with Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner and, back in New Jersey, joined a fundraiser for Republican state senator.

There’s one thing Christie — who, after his unsuccessful 2016 run for president was one of the first mainstream Republican endorsers of Donald Trump — hasn’t done: Aided the gubernatorial candidacy of Jack Ciattarelli, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination to take on Christie’s successor, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, in November.

Read more
1 reaction Share

N.J. unemployment claims rise again as state processes those who hit year benefit mark

Posted Apr 08, 2021

New unemployment claims are on the rise in New Jersey, one year after the Department of Labor saw a 2,700% increase in claims at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 20,000 new unemployment claims were filed for the week ending April 3, the Labor Department said. It’s the second consecutive week of increases, bringing the total new unemployment claims filed in the last 13 months to 2,103,411.

Self-employed individuals and spring breaks in schools are contributing to the rise in claims — the highest since early January, said spokeswoman Angela Delli-Santi.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Culture of abuse and neglect unsettles joint hearing on Edna Mahan Women’s Prison

COLLEEN O'DEA, SENIOR WRITER | APRIL 9, 2021 

NJ Spotlight News

 

New Jersey Assembly members investigating the continuing verbal, physical and sexual assaults of inmates at the state’s only women’s prison heard a dizzying litany of pressing problems plaguing the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility and other prisons during a nearly eight-hour hearing Thursday.

To name just a few issues: The state Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Office of the Corrections Ombudsperson are not fully implementing recent laws meant to improve the rights and dignity of inmates. The ombudsperson is not using its full authority to investigate facilities and recommend changes. Women are afraid to report abuse because of retaliation or won’t report because their concerns are never addressed. Blind spots remain at Mahan where assaults can occur without being recorded.

The problems at Mahan are so entrenched that a Rutgers University expert on corrections said the state should consider abandoning the women’s prison, located in Hunterdon County, and replacing it with one or more smaller facilities or other options. That would mean a fresh start with a different mindset for the treatment of the inmates.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Pastor running for New Jersey governor lives in luxury $1.6M home — tax free

 Politico 

Updated 04/07/2021

Phil Rizzo's candidacy for governor has been backed by some of New Jersey’s pro-Trump personalities | Rizzo for NJ Governor

---

A MAGA-backed candidate for New Jersey governor turned his well-appointed home into a parsonage and is now living in it free of property taxes.

Phil Rizzo — who leads the tiny City Baptist Church in Hudson County — and his wife, Jennifer, paid $1.55 million in 2015 for a five-bedroom, seven-bath home on six secluded acres in New Vernon, Morris County, about 45 minutes away from the church. Two years later, the Rizzos sold the house for $1.65 million to City Baptist Church. Rizzo has said his family still lives in the house — property-tax free. Public records list it as a property tax-exempt parsonage, saving more than $15,000 in taxes per year in the state that has among the highest property taxes in the country.

Rizzo, who according to his online bio is a third generation real estate developer, ranks behind Jack Ciatterelli in the race for the Republican nomination, making him a longshot to become governor of the Garden State. The winner of that contest will face incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in November. On Twitter, Rizzo has espoused baseless claims about alleged voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and conspiracy theories that left-wing activists were responsible for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Murphy just changed rule to make sure parents can see their kids play indoor sports

Posted Apr 07, 2021

More spectators will be allowed to attend indoor high school and youth sporting events amid the coronavirus pandemic after Gov. Phil Murphy loosened restrictions Wednesday.

The governor’s office removed a 150 person limit on indoor sporting events for “necessary people” at the practices and games effective immediately. But all venues are stilled barred from exceeding 35% of the room’s total capacity.

Athletes, coaches, referees, as well as up to two parents per athlete under the age of 21 are now considered necessary. Previously, only athletes and sporting staff were necessary to the game, which meant, at times, two parents per athlete couldn’t attend an event because it would exceed the 150 person limit.

Read more
1 reaction Share

NJ gets cleared to hold off on school testing

JOHN MOONEY, EDUCATION WRITER | APRIL 8, 2021 

NJ Spotlight News

 

In a bit of a surprise, the Murphy administration has won permission from the federal government to hold off on the state’s student testing program for this spring and to administer an abbreviated version in the fall.

But after what turned out to be a busy 24 hours of discussion on the topic, what exactly will take place to measure student performance in the meantime remains in question, as worries mount over the potential damage the pandemic has wrought on school instruction and learning.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday confirmed in his daily coronavirus media briefing that the federal Department of Education has permitted the state to suspend its standardized Student Learning Assessments for the second year, due to the many challenges to carrying out such testing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more
1 reaction Share

← Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10    300  301  Next →