Biden extends student loan repayment pause three more months

BY: - December 22, 2021

President Joe Biden will continue a pandemic-spurred pause on student loan repayments until May 1, he said Wednesday. Loan repayments were set to restart Jan. 31, following months of the U.S. Education Department not requiring payments during the pandemic. Biden told the department to extend the moratorium initially placed by President Donald Trump’s administration. It […]

New congressional district map largely a victory for Democrats

BY: - December 22, 2021

Democrats won a victory Wednesday when the New Jersey Redistricting Commission approved the party’s preferred new congressional map after the tiebreaker, former Supreme Court Justice John Wallace, backed the party’s map in what was otherwise a party-line vote. The new map will shore up competitive North Jersey districts held by Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-11) and Josh […]

Biden administration mulls continuation of student loan repayment freeze

BY: - December 22, 2021

UPDATE: Biden extends student loan repayment pause three more months WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats have been urging the White House to extend the freeze on student loan repayments — and administration officials now say it’s under consideration. The standoff has been one of the more noticeable splits between President Joe Biden and members of his party, […]

Minimum hourly wage in N.J. to jump to $13 for most workers

BY: - December 22, 2021

Some New Jersey workers will start the new year by taking more money home as the minimum hourly wage increases to $13 starting Jan. 1. The statewide, $1 increase is mandated under a law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy that will bring the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024 for most employees. […]

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 […]

Biden slams COVID-19 vaccine ‘lies,’ announces free at-home tests

BY: - December 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged that COVID-19 vaccine doubters stop “peddling lies” on TV and online, as the nation grapples with a rising number of cases due to the highly transmissible omicron variant. Biden also announced new federal help for testing and treatment in the states, including 500 million at-home rapid test […]

Dem leader slams ‘desperate’ Republicans for vaccine protest that delayed voting

BY: and - December 21, 2021

New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin criticized his Republican colleagues for their “desperate efforts to delay important legislation” after a Monday voting session that lasted for about 11 hours. Several GOP lawmakers stretched the last voting day of 2021 into a marathon over their objections to a policy that requires them to show proof of […]

Bill barring water, sewer shutoffs until March goes to Murphy’s desk

BY: - December 21, 2021

A bill that would bar water and sewer shutoffs until mid-March went to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk after winning approval in both chambers of the Legislature Monday. The measure, which cleared the Senate and Assembly in unanimous votes, would halt shutoffs until March 15, 2022. Municipal utilities would be barred from placing, selling, and enforcing […]

Lawmakers approve writing same-sex marriage into N.J. law

BY: - December 20, 2021

Same-sex marriage is one step closer to being codified into New Jersey law. A bill approved by both chambers of the Legislature Monday, S3416, would enshrine gay couples’ right to marry into law. Same-sex marriages were legalized by a New Jersey court decision in 2013, and the U.S. Supreme Court did the same for the […]

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 […]

Troopers bar GOP lawmakers from entering N.J. Statehouse over vaccine policy

BY: and - December 20, 2021

A handful of Republican Assembly members who attempted to enter the Statehouse without showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test were barred from entry Monday by New Jersey State Police troopers. Some members of the group — who were successful earlier this month in entering the building without complying with the policy […]

N.J. public school teachers would no longer have to live in state under new bill

BY: - December 20, 2021

The New Jersey Legislature is one step closer to eliminating the in-state residency requirement for public school teachers. A Senate bill (S4203) would make teachers and other district employees exempt from the controversial 2011 law known as the “New Jersey First Act,” which bars nearly all public employees from living out of state unless they […]