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COVID, economy dominate governor’s annual State of the State address

BY: - January 11, 2022

If you tuned in late to Gov. Phil Murphy’s State of the State speech Tuesday night, you might have thought you were watching one of his periodic coronavirus briefings. That’s because the governor spent the first eight minutes of his annual address defending his decision, announced earlier Tuesday, to reinstate a public health emergency in […]

Montana’s Jon Tester backs filibuster changes, means testing for Biden spending plan

BY: - January 5, 2022

Despite his role at the center of passing the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in 2021, U.S. Sen Jon Tester said Wednesday the Senate should change its filibuster rules to break what he called “real paralysis.” The Montana Democrat also said in an interview with States Newsroom that watching how the infrastructure money is spent […]

Animal cruelty bill advances despite opposition from pet advocates

BY: - January 4, 2022

A bill seeking to revise animal cruelty laws moved out of the Assembly Agriculture Committee Monday after 90 minutes of passionate testimony from animal advocacy groups largely in opposition. The measure (A6099) would amend the law prohibiting the cruel tethering and confinement of dogs by adding a ban on tethering dogs in an area exposed […]

New Jersey drivers going through tolls are about to pay more

BY: - December 31, 2021

Driving on New Jersey’s major highways is about to get more expensive. The state’s two largest toll roads will see a 3% hike starting Jan. 1 under an automatic toll indexing plan approved in 2020 by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which said the revenue increase would help fund long-term projects. Tolls at the Parkway’s […]

Candidates fighting 2020 misinformation run to administer local elections

BY: - December 24, 2021

As a chemist and immigrant from Vietnam, Linh Nguyen never thought she could have a role in U.S. politics. But then Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 and he “unknowingly inspired minority leaders, women of color like me, to be more actively engaged in politics,” she said. She joined the nonpartisan League of Women […]

New program intended to curb rising health care costs in New Jersey

BY: - December 22, 2021

Gov. Phil Murphy announced a new program Tuesday intended to study how much and why health care costs rise in New Jersey, with the goal of identifying ways to contain those costs. Health care providers, insurers, and governmental officials will collaborate under the new Health Care Cost Growth Benchmark Program to quantify increases and identify […]

Schumer vows U.S. Senate action on voting rights and social policy, as Manchin rift deepens

BY: - December 20, 2021

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday he plans to force votes on voting rights, a sweeping social policy bill and a change to Senate rules early next year — even as members of his caucus have made clear in recent days Democrats lack the support to pass those proposals. In a letter to […]

Another $10M added to N.J. excluded worker fund, extending deadline into 2022

BY: - December 17, 2021

State officials added another $10 million of federal funding to the state’s Excluded New Jerseyans Fund, which will extend the deadline to apply for the benefit past the end of the year. The additional pool of money comes through the American Rescue Plan, which states can use through 2023. The original $40 million fund was […]

Court dismisses appeal filed by N.J. farmers housing workers in barns

BY: - December 16, 2021

The state Superior Court dismissed an appeal filed by 29 farm owners scolded by the Department of Community Affairs for housing workers in barns and other buildings typically used for storing farming equipment. The appeal centered around a letter the DCA sent to the secretary of the Department of Agriculture after the 29 farms were […]

Golf caddies could get independent contractor status under new measure

BY: - December 14, 2021

A measure that would protect golf caddies’ employment status as independent contractors is swiftly making its way through the state New Jersey Legislature. The bill, A6033, would exempt golf caddies from certain employment laws and some taxes as well as make them ineligible for benefits like unemployment. It advanced the Assembly Labor Committee Monday, and […]

CDC: 25 states report omicron strain of COVID-19, but delta remains biggest threat

BY: - December 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — Twenty-five states have identified cases of the new omicron variant of COVID-19, federal public health officials said Friday as they released new data on the first 43 U.S. cases. Of those initial, confirmed cases, more than half were among people between the ages of 18 and 39, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of […]

Bills would help people with disabilities gain employment

BY: - December 8, 2021

The state could employ more workers with disabilities and create a new program to give those residents more job opportunities under two bills advanced unanimously by the Senate Labor Committee Monday. The first measure, S3418, would create a fast-track authority to help people with disabilities get appointed to jobs with state agencies. The second, S3426, […]