Jaffe Morning Briefing

May 14, 2021

STATEWIDE – Modified mask mandate? Yes! The feds are lifting the requirement that fully vaccinated people wear masks in most outdoor and indoor places. Of course, mass transit is not one of those places, as it seems people will – and should – be wearing masks on jammed NJ Transit trains until, ...

Read more »

NEWARK – It is a grand and interesting experiment. If you hand a low-income family $500 a month, with no strings attached, will it change lives? That’s the big question in Newark, where city officials are following Paterson to launch a two-year money give-away. Funded through private donations and ...

Read more »

STATEWIDE – A progressive research group is out with a tax study. OK, that may be the most boring lede ever written. Let’s try again; here we go: If you are deemed rich in New Jersey, you are screwed. That’s according to a new study, that shows President Biden’s proposed tax increases would hit New ...

Read more »

LINDEN – As everything seems to begin and end in New Jersey, the national news is a pipeline that runs from Houston to Linden. The Colonial Pipeline – the largest of its kind in the U.S. – is shut down, as a Friday ransomware attack has taken down this massive delivery system that provides fuel to ...

Read more »

TRENTON – The simple idea behind “food shortage” is, well, there’s not enough food. But there’s another reason for some pockets of food shortage in New Jersey: simply not enough workers to pull vegetables from the ground. Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher says that current labor shortages are ...

Read more »

TRENTON – As New Jersey is now bursting with billions in stimulus aid from Uncle Sam, the big question is how best to blow the cash. The Record is providing some guidance, reporting how other states are spending their new-found fortunes. State officials may want to shift around the shopping list, ...

Read more »

STATEWIDE – Live theater. Busy restaurants. Sitting at an actual bar. Yep, it is all coming back with a big, tri-state announcement that puts our entire region back in business beginning May 19. We’re talking about eliminating indoor capacity at restaurants and stores, while ending outdoor ...

Read more »

STATEWIDE – The sticky issue of taxing out-of-state commuters has gotten a bit stickier during the pandemic, as many New York-bound workers were able to do their jobs in Jersey. So, should they still be paying New York taxes? Let’s assume New York is saying “absolutely.” But, here in New Jersey, ...

Read more »

CRESSKILL – Sure, we can all get a little surly at work. But for a piss-poor attitude to be raised to the level of congressional interaction? Yep. Rep. Bill Pascrell is rushing to the aid of local postal customers, after a petition signed by 300 people complained of “constant belligerence, ...

Read more »

STATEWIDE – New Jersey to Biden: Thanks for nuthin’. As the president is eager to spend a trillion here, a trillion there, and a trillion everywhere, he is refusing to give New Jerseyans some property tax relief. There were high hopes among our federal lawmakers that the cozy relationship with ...

Read more »

WESTFIELD – Folks here are used to being “Number One” in this, or “Number One” in that, so the fact that the town came in dead last in any national study is a real stinger.  Now, before Westfield people get even more enraged, the study is from “WalletHub,” which is not exactly “scientific” when it ...

Read more »

TRENTON – Let the party begin! Well, sorta. Gov. Phil Murphy is vastly expanding the size limits for outdoor gatherings from 200 people to 500 people, while the capacity limits for outdoor sports and entertainment venues will jump to 50% capacity beginning May 10. Great news for proms, graduations, ...

Read more »

STATEWIDE – If you run the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission, you need a really thick skin. You need to know how to play defense. And you need to be prepared for anything that can and will happen. And so it is of little surprise the Biden Administration will be nominating MVC Commissioner Sue Fulton ...

Read more »

ASBURY PARK – With all these “Top 25” random rankings in all media, all the time, you really can’t expect the good people of Newsweek to actually visit Asbury Park before deeming it one of the best beach towns in the nation. Right? Of course, all would agree with the great recognition. But, when ...

Read more »

STATEWIDE – You didn’t know it. We didn’t know it. But Tuesday was another election day in New Jersey. Apparently, there were a small number of school board races, which New Jersey Globe reports as “abysmal.” Gov. Phil Murphy agreed, calling it an “unacceptable level of turnout, no matter which ...

Read more »

NEWARK – There’s certainly plenty of aftermath in the wake of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s conviction for murdering George Floyd. It is impossible to cover it all in a paragraph or two, so here’s just one slice of it: A grassroots civil rights group is set to gather at 4 p.m.

Read more »

FORT LEE – Move over Vegas, there’s now Fort Lee? Apparently, this Jersey town just over the George Washington Bridge has become a gambling mecca for out-of-staters who want to make legal sports wagers in New Jersey. Honestly, we had no idea. But this story has been broken by the Basketball News, ...

Read more »

TRENTON – There’s always plenty of space here to talk about sweeping gun reform, so let’s focus on Gov. Phil Murphy’s ambitious new plan. He only wants to give permits to New Jerseyans who pass gun safety classes, and wants to raise the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21. Murphy is making the ...

Read more »

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Accepting public financing for your gubernatorial run certainly has its perks. But, as Politico reports, there’s also some tough strings attached. And no one knows that better than Jack Ciattarelli, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, who now has to participate in ...

Read more »

NEW BRUNSWICK – Rutgers hit the national news this morning with its landmark decision to mandate that all arriving students this fall be vaccinated. CBS sat with Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway, who described himself as a “COVID President,” as he has yet to experience this massive campus ...

Read more »

TRENTON – Maybe it’s time to stop screwing property taxpayers eligible for New Jersey’s Homestead rebate, NJ Spotlight reports. It has been a time-honored tradition for lawmakers to shortchange New Jersey homeowners who are eligible for the property-tax relief program based on income. NJ Spotlight ...

Read more »

TRENTON – Nothing gets us really excited on Monday mornings more than bond ratings, so let’s kick off the week with news from Moody’s Investor Services. Now that the state is looking at more than $3 billion in revenue than originally expected, or dreamed, the rating agency has upgraded the state’s ...

Read more »

TRENTON – So, um, welcome to the Trenton Bisons?? It looks like the Triple A team of the Toronto Blue Jays is in desperate search of a home field this season, as construction is ongoing at Sahlen Field. The Buffalo News has the big scoop, saying the now-empty Arm & Hammer Park, which housed the ...

Read more »

TRENTON – A billion here. A billion over there. Yawn. There’s just too darn much money these days. But as state leaders are expecting a lovely $6 billion in federal cash for pandemic relief, some are now expressing curiosity about all the billions in CARES Act money that has already filtered ...

Read more »

TRENTON – Monday morning quarterbacks abound, as the state’s non-partisan financial gurus say New Jersey didn’t need to borrow $4 billion last year to balance the budget. Of course, when the pandemic froze the state, it made perfect sense to seek a hefty cash grab. But now, with fresh eyes and ...

Read more »

TRENTON – In these backward times, nothing seems more backwards than the upcoming state budget. Anyone tasked with writing a state budget story is prepared to dedicate reams of paper to the ongoing fact that New Jersey is hopelessly, endlessly broke. And that is what makes this budget year so, dare ...

Read more »

STATEWIDE – There’s an annual analysis of the healthiest counties in New Jersey, lauding those wonderful leafy places where everyone is speed walking through their happy lives. We can report on all that, but, of course, we chose to peruse down the rankings and check out the rock bottom. These are ...

Read more »

** The Jaffe Briefing will be on a socially-distanced spring break from Monday, March 29 to Friday, April 2 ** ON THE RAILS – In what could be the biggest story of the decade – and, yes, we may be overwriting this lede to grab your attention – it looks as if the long-awaited, long-suffering ...

Read more »

** The Jaffe Briefing will be on a socially-distanced spring break from Monday, March 29 to Friday, April 2 ** TRENTON – If you are a brilliant and committed public servant, does it matter in which zip code you reside? This is New Jersey, so, of course. But now State Sen. Tom Kean says it is ...

Read more »

STATEWIDE – Homeowners in New Jersey still have bitter memories from 2017, when President Trump famously decided to cap federal property tax deductions at $10,000. Made a lot of sense at the time. For him. His voters come from less-taxed states, and – in his thinking – who really cares if Blue ...

Read more »