TRENTON – Consider it the $10 Billion Week in New Jersey, as state lawmakers will set a speed record for borrowing a whopping pile of cash. Gov. Phil Murphy is agreeing to a $9.9 billion plan to keep the lights on, as the plan zips through the Senate with a committee hearing tomorrow and a full vote on Thursday. Murphy explains it all quite simply: the state “is out of money” with plunging tax revenue. The state is desperate for a lifeline of borrowing and a federal bailout to plug a black hole that could be as deep as $20 billion, give or take a billion here or there. And how will we pay it all back? Well, that’s not really a top discussion point during $10 Billion Week.

WESTFIELD – So wassup? Wassup with all these summer parties that are spiking COVID-19 cases all over town? Mayor Shelley Brindle says its getting way out of hand, with Westfield reporting 10 new cases since Tuesday, bringing the total to 299. The town had gone two weeks without seeing any new cases until seven were reported last week, likely due to all the fun and frolic. Five of the new cases are teenagers between 17 and 19, raising the question if all these new cases are related to the high school graduation parties popping up. The mayor is rightfully ticked, saying these young party-goers may not suffer the severity of the virus, but they can certainly mess with their parents and others of an advanced age who really, truly have zero interest in rolling the dice for the sake of a pony keg and beer pong. 

STATEWIDE – It’s just like a normal April all over again in many New Jersey households as the last-minuters scramble to file their income taxes before the July 15 deadline. That’s Wednesday! Way back in March, President Trump announced that the traditional April 15 day for filing federal income taxes was being delayed by three months. New Jersey (and other states) followed suit for state income taxes. The new filing date seemed such a long, long way off (back then.) Where has the time gone? Where is that danged Form 1040? And who moved my W-2? Read all about it at NJ Spotlight. Early filers: sit back and look on, smugly.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

Diabetics’ urine makes for a great whiskey because of the high sugar content.

LONG BRANCH – New Jersey has about 130 miles of glorious shoreline, so why the heck is everyone going to Long Branch? That’s the question from local cops, who had to shut down the entrance to a popular spot on the beach at about 2 p.m. yesterday, urging people to try back later. Meanwhile, even though social distancing is urged all over Pier Village, everyone was crammed on the beach, with a standard sprinkling of knuckleheads. Time to explore the lesser-known beaches, especially on sunny weekends.

IN THE MEDIA

CAMDEN – The New York Times continues to drop into New Jersey every now and again, making a big deal out of old, over-reported news and somehow packaging it as “new.” Case in point: Yesterday’s front page reported that Camden dismantled its police force seven years ago and now crime is down. Yes, that story has been dissected in TAPInto Camden and other local media for years. But the gray lady never deems anything official in New Jersey until its own reporters stumble across something and say “Wow.” Expect the $10 Billion Week to be reported in 2027.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

LAKE IN THE HILLS, IL – Nothing to see here. Except for a huge hot air balloon sitting on a neighbor’s curb after it needed to make an emergency landing smack in the middle of an otherwise quiet, residential neighborhood. “They were waving at us and we're waving, like, 'We don't know, this is awfully close’,” a homeowner whose security camera recorded the “precautionary landing” told KVEO-TV. Firefighters say an elderly lady was on the flight and fainted, prompting the fast landing. Everyone was fine, and all the action finally gave neighbors something to discuss other than lawn treatments.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1985 that Live Aid raises more than $70 million for African famine relief; a good start.

WORD OF THE DAY

Frisson – [free-SAWN] – noun

Definition: A brief moment of emotional excitement

Example: There's that frisson when we hear that baseball will be played at some point this month.

WIT OF THE DAY

“Just after Trump bragged about his super wall, we learned that smugglers have been cutting through the new border wall with basic tools that you can buy at any hardware store. And I wouldn’t be shocked if the guys at Home Depot showed the smugglers how to do it because — because those guys will help you with any project. Yeah, they don’t judge.” 

-Trevor Noah

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“We have now built 240 miles of new border wall on our southern border.” 

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Scattered