Murphy must do more: Eliminate the testing loophole in schools | Editorial

Published: Aug. 24, 2021

The man to watch in the fight against COVID, once again, is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

After requiring proof of vaccination to enter most venues, he took another bold action on Monday, announcing a strict new vaccine requirement for school staff, without the option of instead submitting to weekly testing. Bravo, sir.

Legally, this is easier now, with full FDA approval for the vaccine. The governor of Washington state says he will also offer no testing loophole. “We are well past the point where testing is enough to keep people safe. We’ve tried it. It has not been adequate for the task at hand,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “When you decide to get a vaccine, you’re protecting a kid out there who can’t get it.”

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NJ’s gas tax is set to go down. When and by how much?

JOHN REITMEYER, BUDGET/FINANCE WRITER | AUGUST 25, 2021 

NJ Spotlight News

 

New Jersey motorists will soon get some relief at the pumps thanks to a reduction in the state’s gas tax.

The automatic tax decrease, announced Tuesday by the Department of Treasury, will total 8.3 cents for every gallon purchased; the decrease goes into effect on Oct. 1.

But before motorists get too excited, the reduction won’t fully offset a 9.3-cent tax hike enacted last year, after gas consumption sagged significantly during the worst months of the coronavirus pandemic.

In all, New Jersey’s per-gallon gas tax has increased from 14.5 cents to 50.7 cents since 2016, making it the fourth-highest in the country, according to the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that tracks state tax policies.

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City Council President Mildred Crump Resigns, Her Son Is Sworn-in to At-large Seat

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Murphy orders full vaccination of school employees within two months — or mandatory testing

By David WildsteinAugust 23 2021 

New Jersey Globe

Gov. Phil Murphy. 

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Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday that all school employees must either be fully vaccinated by October 18 or submit to twice-a-week Covid tests.

The Star-Ledger first reported Murphy’s intention to sign an executive order.

Murphy said the order applies to all public, private, parochial and charter schools for pre-school through 12th grade.

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Federal vaccination mandate for nursing home workers gets broad support in NJ

LILO H. STAINTON, HEALTH CARE WRITER | AUGUST 23, 2021 

NJ Spotlight News

Jan. 15, 2021 A nursing home staff member receives a COVID-19 vaccination at a nursing home in Harlem, New York City.

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Nursing homes in New Jersey and nationwide could lose millions of dollars in federal funding if more of their workers don’t get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a plan outlined by President Joe Biden last week. National regulators are now drafting emergency regulations to require full staff immunization.

Leaders in New Jersey’s long-term care industry welcomed the concept of a federal vaccination mandate in addition to the existing state requirement that health care workers be immunized or regularly tested, although some said withholding funding was not the right way to increase vaccination.

The leader of the state’s largest health-care workers union — which has opposed outright vaccination mandates — offered more nuanced support.

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College-bound and wondering if everything I worked for is in jeopardy | Opinion

Published: Aug. 22, 2021

By Zegale F. Talmadge

Zegale F. Talmadge graduated from Don Bosco Prep this spring and is headed to Northwestern University this fall. He wonders how COVID-19 will affect his first year in college.

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This spring, I graduated from Don Bosco Prep High School at Granatell Stadium in Ramsey. A moment so surreal and one that I had been waiting to experience since I entered high school in 2017 as a 14-year-old kid.

Now, I am embarking on another four-year journey at Northwestern University, but how that will look come September is still up in the air due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over a year ago, COVID-19 began to spread rapidly across the globe from country to country leaving a trail of destruction along the way. And in March 2020 it was officially declared that we were in the midst of a pandemic.

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Wall Street says NJ is in better fiscal shape, giving Murphy something to brag about

JOHN REITMEYER, BUDGET/FINANCE WRITER | AUGUST 23, 2021

NJ Spotlight News

June 29, 2021: Gov. Phil Murphy at the signing of the Appropriations Act for the 2022 fiscal year

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After major Wall Street credit-rating agencies notified investors in recent weeks that New Jersey’s fiscal outlook is moving in a positive direction, Gov. Phil Murphy went on social and other media for a series of victory laps.

“We have momentum working in our favor,” declared Murphy in one news release issued earlier this month.

Elsewhere, he said it was proof the state was on the “path to full economic recovery.”

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Democrats slam Ciattarelli over claim that children aren’t vulnerable to Covid

By Joey FoxAugust 20 2021

New Jersey Globe

Jack Ciattarelli, the GOP candidate for Governor, appears on the Shore Show. 

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New Jersey Democrats responded today to Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli’s claim that children shouldn’t be subject to mask and vaccine mandates because they aren’t vulnerable to Covid, saying that Ciattarelli was “blatantly lying.”

“I don’t think there should be vaccine mandates,” Ciattarelli said in an interview on the Shore Show. “I do believe in vaccine choice, even though I’d advocate for people to be vaccinated, but not children. Children are not vulnerable to this virus. So I don’t want to see any vaccine mandate whatsoever, particularly for children, and I don’t want to see a mask mandate.”

Citing the number of children infected with Covid or impacted by Covid quarantine procedures in states like Mississippi, New Jersey State Democratic Committee Executive Director Saily Avelenda harshly criticized Ciattarelli’s remarks in a statement.

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N.J. bans jails from new ICE contracts as Murphy signs law

Published: Aug. 20, 2021

Local and private jails in New Jersey are now banned from signing contracts to hold federal immigration detainees under a bill Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law Friday.

The law (A5207) bars local and private jails or detention centers from “entering into, renewing, or extending immigration detention agreements” with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, otherwise known as ICE.

New Jersey becomes the fifth U.S. state to limit or ban such contracts.

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Washington, Jefferson and my school ignored anti-vaxxers and saved lives | Opinion

Published: Aug. 20, 2021

By Brian Regal

Kean University Associate Professor Brian Regal says anti-public health terrorism has been around for a long time.

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A lot of people are up in arms over vaccines, masks, and ‘passports’ and outraged parents have even threatened and assaulted teachers and medical personnel. It’s as if your child was drowning and you attacked the person throwing them a life preserver.

It’s getting worse as we near that time when school resumes for the year. Most schools are requiring students and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID. New Jersey has done relatively well in the pandemic mostly thanks to widespread vaccinations and people wearing masks. If the numbers go back up it will be in part thanks to the anti-maskers and anti-vaccinators. They refuse to believe public health is individual health.

Anti-public health terrorism has been around for a long time. In 1721, as Smallpox ravaged Boston, the cleric Cotton Mather argued to have mandatory lockdowns and variolation (an early form of vaccination) to protect children. In thanks for suggesting these wise precautions ‘anti-innoculators’ threw a firebomb through his window.

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