Murphy job approvals at 57% in Monmouth poll

By David WildsteinMay 05 2021

New Jersey Globe

Gov. Phil Murphy. 

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Six months before voters decide if they want to keep him for another four years, Gov. Phil Murphy has job approvals of 57%-35% among adult New Jersey residents, according to a Monmouth University poll released on Wednesday.

Murphy’s numbers are down from April 2020, when his approvals skyrocketed to 71%-21% during the first month of the coronavirus pandemic.  Pundits and strategists from both parties said at the time that a drop back to earth was inevitable.

But Murphy still hasn’t closed his deal for re-election in a heavily blue state that hasn’t re-elected a Democratic governor in 44 years.

Slightly less than half of New Jerseyans polled (48%) say that he should be re-elected, while 43% said he should not.

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N.J. town is trying to ban marijuana sales, but residents are fighting the move

Posted May 04, 2021

In March, the Orange City Council took a preliminary vote, 4-2, in favor of an ordinance that would ban recreational marijuana sales within its borders.

The vote, which happened following the first reading of the ordinance, drew the ire of many in the community, including several business owners who are preparing to open recreational marijuana operations in the predominately Black township. The ordinance would need to be passed again at a second reading to become law.

“For an applicant, such as ourselves, who did everything correctly...if a town then pulls its support, do we then become free agents, essentially?” said Travis Ally, co-owner of 93iD.

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You can get a free ride to a COVID vaccine site, thanks to NJ Transit, pharma companies

Posted May 04, 2021

Need an NJ Transit train or bus ride to get vaccinated? Novartis and Catalent are sponsoring up to two free round trips for 11,000 people to get their COVID-19 shots.

The public private partnership, to transport underserved and low income people to get vaccinated is the second phase of NJ Transit’s Vaxride program that started in March with a website feature showing people the closest transit services to vaccine sites.

Norvartis, a New Jersey based healthcare and pharmaceutical company is the lead sponsor, donating $120,000 and Catalent, which is among the global companies manufacturing vaccines, donated $12,000

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NJ targeting Medicaid members in vaccine push

LILO H. STAINTON, HEALTH CARE WRITER | MAY 5, 2021 

NJ Spotlight News

State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli has pushed for greater access to COVID-19 vaccines for vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.

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State officials have taken proactive steps to support New Jersey’s nearly 1.9 million Medicaid members during the pandemic, including a recent push to expand COVID-19 immunization that involves phone calls to almost 260,000 individuals most at risk for infection.

Much of the work — which also involved mailings in English and Spanish, ongoing case management and partnerships with medical and social service providers to ensure members have proper care, plus food and other necessities — is being done by a handful of health insurance companies that provide Medicaid coverage under contracts with the state Department of Human Services.

While demand for COVID-19 vaccines outpaced supply for months — sparking widespread public frustration over a lack of access to shots — that has shifted recently and daily immunization numbers are now on the decline, raising concerns about the effect of vaccine hesitancy. State officials are actively working to overcome that trend in their campaign to vaccinate 4.7 million adult New Jerseyans by July.

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New York, New Jersey, Connecticut ending most restrictions on May 19

05/03/2021

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will resume 24-hour service on May 17 to preempt the lifting of curfews and reopening of businesses and office space. 

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New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are lifting most Covid-19-related restrictions on May 19, signaling a denouement for some of the country’s strictest lockdown orders and social distancing protocols imposed during the pandemic.

The unified approach — announced separately on Monday by the three governors who had previously appeared together (albeit virtually) at Covid-era news conferences — comes on the heels of a public spat between New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The two Democrats‘ mutual antipathy has deepened as Cuomo faces calls to resign amid two scandals and de Blasio wraps up his second term.

Cuomo unveiled the newest regional strategy during a late-morning news conference in New York City, while New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced a similar timeline during his regular briefing in Trenton. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont had previously announced plans for ending most of his state’s Covid-related restrictions.

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Trump-era rule that would cost N.J. hospitals $100M is delayed

Posted May 03, 2021

The Biden administration temporarily has postponed a new rule that would cost New Jersey hospitals in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties $100 million in Medicare funding, according to the New Jersey lawmakers who sit on the congressional committees overseeing the federal program.

The one-year delay will give state officials time to overturn the decision by the Trump administration to remove the three counties from the New York-Newark-Jersey City statistical area, according to Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-9th Dist.

The three counties were grouped together in a new regional area that would provide lower Medicare reimbursement rates in a state hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Newark teaches America a lesson on lead pipes – and hiring local | Editorial

Posted May 02, 2021

President Joe Biden has called to replace 100 percent of the country’s lead pipes as part of his American Jobs Plan, to prevent the toxic chemical from flaking off into our drinking water. Cities should take a page from Newark, which treated this like the health emergency it is, and got the job done way ahead of time.

Not only did Newark replace nearly all of its 18,500 lead pipes quickly – raising the money through a bond to speed things up and make it free for homeowners – it involved local people in the effort. The city created an apprentice program that trained 50 Newark residents, 32 of whom are still on the job, and provided help to local businesses so they could bid for pieces of the project.

“We’re fixing a problem in our community, so it only makes sense that there should be an opportunity for our people, especially during COVID, to benefit,” Mayor Ras Baraka said.

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Trump Dominated GOP Primary Gives Murphy the Race He Wants and Needs

By Bob Hennelly | May 2, 2021

Insider NJ

Singh

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Months after thousands of Trump supporters chanting stop the steal violently attacked the U.S. Capitol in a bid to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election, his MAGA movement has turned New Jersey’s June primary into a referendum on former President Trump.

No doubt, this is a great relief to Governor Phil Murphy, the Democratic incumbent who’s well aware that if he prevails in November, he will be the first member of his party to win re-election since Gov. Brendan Byrne did so 43 years ago.

If the November general election were to focus just on the tragic here and now of New Jersey– 25,000 residents dead including several thousand senior citizens in nursing homes— close to 900,000 people infected—and a third of our small businesses shuttered, Murphy might have something to worry about.

But if an internal poll provided to the right-wing news site Daily Caller is right, Hirsh Singh, an engineer and a perennial ultra-right  MAGA candidate has pulled even or better against Jack Ciattarelli, the former Somerset County Freeholder and Assemblyman, who’s been embraced by the Republican establishment.

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New driver’s license for undocumented immigrants takes effect Saturday. Here are all the details.

Posted Apr 30, 2021

Lives will change for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants Saturday, when the state Motor Vehicle Commission will begin accepting applications for driver’s licenses from people without federal immigration status.

After years of political fights and months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey will become the 14th state allowing the state’s 450,000 undocumented residents to obtain standard driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards.

Nearly 750,000 people will be affected by the law, which passed in December 2019 and will also benefit certain senior citizens, formerly incarcerated residents, transgender people whose documents may not match their given gender identity, domestic violence survivors who are unable to retrieve legal documents, homeless people, veterans and low-income residents who cannot afford to recover legal papers.

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Hudson County official 'open minded' about getting out of ICE contract

04/28/2021

Polirico

The chair of the Hudson County Board of Commissioners says he is looking to see if the county can stop housing federal immigration detainees, possibly “by the end of the year.” 

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The chair of the Hudson County Board of Commissioners says he is looking to see if the county can stop housing federal immigration detainees, possibly “by the end of the year.”

“I'm open minded to get out of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] contracts,” Anthony Vainieri Jr. told POLITICO on Wednesday night.

The commissioner had been an ardent supporter of renewing a 10-year contract with ICE, which would allow the county to hold detainees. The board of commissioners voted to continue the contract late last December amid fierce criticism from progressives and immigration advocates. The commissioners pledged in 2018 to phase out ICE detentions.

Vainieri said "nothing is concrete” and many details remain to be determined. Essex County’s announcement that it would no longer house ICE detainees, announced earlier on Wednesday, made him consider leaving the contract.

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