Biden declares U.S. ban on Russian oil, warns of gasoline price spikes

BY: and - March 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The United States will no longer import Russian energy in an attempt to further cripple that nation’s economy as it wages war against Ukraine.  President Joe Biden announced the newest sanctions Tuesday from the White House, saying that a ban on Russian oil and gas would target “the main artery of Russia’s economy.” […]

Murphy to announce health care for undocumented children in budget address

BY: - March 8, 2022

Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to announce an $11 million plan to provide health care for thousands of undocumented children in his budget address Tuesday afternoon, the New Jersey Monitor has learned.  The initiative would be an expansion of his “cover all kids” pledge, which he made in his budget speech last year. More than […]

Bill advances that would eliminate a ‘burdensome’ test for would-be teachers

BY: - March 8, 2022

To become a public school teacher in New Jersey, you have to obtain a bachelor’s degree, complete a teacher preparation program, student teach for at least 12 weeks, and pass at least one Praxis exam. You also must pass a performance-based test known as edTPA, which requires turning in a portfolio of lesson plans, video […]

N.J. workers would see higher family leave, disability payments under bill

BY: - March 8, 2022

Less than three years after the enactment of reforms that expanded New Jersey’s temporary disability and family leave programs, lawmakers are looking to tweak some numbers. The Senate Labor Committee on Monday approved a bill that would raise the weekly payment cap for individuals on such leave from 70% of the state’s average weekly salary […]

U.S. government shutdown days away as Congress struggles on Ukraine aid, COVID-19 relief

BY: - March 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — With just five days left before government funding expires, Democrats and Republicans are trying to reach agreement on $1.5 trillion in federal spending as well as billions more in assistance to Ukraine and COVID-19 relief.  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday afternoon that both political parties were “very close” to reaching […]

N.J.’s top court delivers transparency win in records fight over jail guard’s retirement

BY: - March 7, 2022

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ordered Cumberland County to publicly release a settlement agreement that allowed a correctional officer to retire in good standing, despite his admission he had “inappropriate relationships” with two inmates and brought contraband into the county jail. Monday’s ruling will protect public access to all settlement agreements involving public agencies, advocates […]

School mask mandate ends in N.J. as debate over masking continues

BY: and - March 7, 2022

Monday morning marked the first time in two years Heather Schwarz walked into a Hazlet school building without her mask on. Schwarz, curriculum director for the 2,800-student district, told the New Jersey Monitor she thinks — after nearly two years of forced masking — everyone is ready to decide on their own whether to mask […]

White House allows Ukrainian nationals to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation

BY: - March 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is granting Temporary Protected Status that will shield Ukrainian nationals living in the United States from deportation, following pressure from members of Congress. “Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries,” […]

N.J. comptroller’s office to examine police accountability statewide

BY: - March 7, 2022

The Office of the State Comptroller is launching a new project aimed at ferreting out fraud, misconduct, waste, and abuse in law enforcement agencies statewide. The goal is to uncover systemic problems that can cost taxpayers a bundle when people sue police departments for civil rights violations or other wrongdoing. Researchers also will identify inefficiencies […]

Lawmakers to weigh using federal stimulus to repay unemployment loans

BY: - March 7, 2022

Senate lawmakers will weigh a bill Monday that would use federal aid dollars to pay off loans taken to prop up New Jersey’s unemployment trust fund. New Jersey borrowed hundreds of millions from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits when pandemic-related job losses led to the depletion of the trust fund, which pays out […]

Pandemic response winds down as governor says virus enters endemic stage

BY: - March 4, 2022

New Jersey appeared to enter a new stage of the pandemic Friday as Gov. Phil Murphy suspended virus press briefings that were a linchpin in the administration’s virus response, but officials warned of a continued threat even as the governor said the state would continue to wind down its virus restrictions. The governor’s last briefing […]

A year after Jan. 6, attack on the U.S. Capitol lives on in hundreds of court cases

BY: - March 4, 2022

On the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, four men affiliated with the Kansas City chapter of the right-wing Proud Boys gathered on the west side of the U.S. Capitol, along with thousands of others urged on by then-President Donald Trump. The crowd pushed ahead and overwhelmed the few Capitol Police officers guarding the entrance, toppling […]