Briefs

New Jersey could start administering vaccine boosters in September

BY: - August 31, 2021

New Jersey could begin administering booster shots of the two-dose Pfizer and Modern COVID-19 vaccines on Sept. 20, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday. The booster push will see New Jersey re-open its vaccine megasites, which closed in June and July as health officials turned more of their attention to localized vaccination efforts. How many individuals […]

State won’t extend expiring unemployment benefits, Murphy says

BY: - August 30, 2021

Roughly half-a-million jobless New Jerseyans will see their unemployment benefits lapse next week, and the state doesn’t plan to extend them, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday. The so-called unemployment cliff comes with the Sept. 6 expiration of federal unemployment benefits that have provided residents with hundreds of dollars each week during the pandemic. “We recognize […]

Criminal charges for Passaic surrogate over estate dispute involving friend

BY: - August 27, 2021

This story was updated with comment from an attorney for Toledo at 4:03 p.m. on Aug. 27. State authorities lodged a criminal charge against Passaic County Surrogate Bernice Toledo claiming she falsified a judgement during an estate dispute to benefit a personal friend. Toledo, 51, a Democrat, faces a single count of fourth-degree falsifying or […]

Groups demand protections for transgender inmates in county jails

BY: - August 27, 2021

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and Garden State Equality on Thursday urged officials running jails in New Jersey’s 21 counties to house inmates by their gender identity, not the gender they were assigned at birth. The civil rights groups, which made their plea in a letter to the state’s jail wardens, noted […]

Judiciary plan calls for demographic data collection, better access to court records

BY: - August 26, 2021

The New Jersey Supreme Court unveiled its plan for reducing bias in the state’s judiciary branch on Wednesday. The nine-point plan includes a call for partnerships between lawmakers, state agencies, and jurists to increase job opportunities and training for drug court participants and those on probation, plus mandatory bias training for all court employees. “The […]

Gas tax to drop 8.3 cents in first automatic decline

BY: - August 24, 2021

New Jersey’s gas tax rate will fall for the first time since a 2016 law coupled the rate to collections, the state Treasury announced Tuesday. The total tax on gasoline will decline by 8.3 cents, falling from 50.6 cents to 42.4 cents per gallon after new projections showed fuel consumption for the current fiscal year […]

NYC congestion tax delay gives commuters temporary reprieve

BY: - August 24, 2021

New Jerseysans who commute into Manhattan by car are getting a temporary reprieve from a new congestion tax that will hit motorists with a roughly $13 fee for driving below Central Park. The Metropolitan Transit Authority announced a potential two-year timeline to implement the long-stalled plan on Friday. New York officials blasted the MTA for the […]

Murphy won’t say if N.J. will extend extra unemployment benefits

BY: - August 24, 2021

As the expiration date for pandemic-related unemployment benefits looms for over 500,000 New Jerseyans still relying on the weekly payments, Gov. Phil Murphy won’t say whether the state plans on extending those benefits. “No news on the unemployment extension,” he said during his weekly coronavirus press briefing Monday. The state Department of Labor also declined […]

Impact of new prison redistricting law remains unclear

BY: - August 23, 2021

The impact of a new law that will count incarcerated New Jerseyans as living in their home communities — hailed by supporters as an end to “prison gerrymandering” — remains unclear. “It was a long time coming,” said state Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer), a sponsor. “In fact, it’s long past time that we eliminate prison […]

Murphy says New Jersey will welcome Afghan refugees

BY: - August 23, 2021

New Jersey will welcome refugees from Afghanistan who have fled or are attempting to flee the country to escape Taliban rule, Gov. Phil Murphy said in a letter to President Biden Sunday. The people of Afghanistan, who have watched as their country has plunged into chaos in the leadup to the withdrawal of American troops, […]

Hunger crisis may loom as emergency food assistance ends

BY: - August 20, 2021

As pandemic protections like eviction and foreclosure moratoriums near their end, pundits and policymakers have warned about the expected impact on homelessness. But advocates for New Jersey’s poorest residents warn that federal emergency food assistance provided during the pandemic will go away soon too, and a recent bump in food stamp benefits won’t help enough […]

New Jersey adds 14,600 jobs as state recovers from pandemic

BY: - August 19, 2021

Nearly 18 months since the coronavirus pandemic sent unemployment rates skyrocketing and shuttered businesses for months, New Jersey has recovered 62% of jobs lost, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a monthly jobs report. The state added 14,600 jobs in July, bringing the total number of jobs added since March 2020 to 441,700, […]