The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!
MANVILLE - If marijuana becomes legal in New Jersey, here's another town where you won't be able to buy it: Manville. The mayor and council unanimously voted to prohibit any sale of weed - recreational and medicinal - within Manville's borders. The town joins more than a dozen others in New Jersey that have taken preemptive strikes against cannabis sales. Manville leaders obviously don't want all those hippy-dippy people in their town, jamming up the pizza delivery guys and laughing at jokes that are clearly not funny. So, if the state moves forward with legal weed, residents in this 2.5-square-mile town may have to take the entire three-minute journey to Bridgewater or Franklin Township to buy their bud, or perhaps dig tunnels under the barbed wire and hopefully avoid the guard tower.
STATEWIDE - Tax, tax and more tax. The latest tax, coming to a wallet near you, is an additional gas tax. The state says collections on gas tax are lower lately - as people are buying less gas, perhaps because of all the other gas taxes. So, according to NJ 101.5, it looks like the gas tax could increase by 3 cents, or so, this fall, a gallon, so the state gets steady revenue. That looming tax hike is on top of the 23-cent-a-gallon increase approved in 2016 - when gas was nice and cheap - to fund road work. There's also a bunch of other taxes being debated through June, such as a bump in the sales tax, a hike on earners making more than $1 million, corporate tax changes, and new, exciting taxes on prepaid cell phones and guns.
STATEWIDE - There's plenty of talk about how sports betting will drag New Jersey out of its financial quagmire, so maybe state officials can finally forgo all these tax hikes. But the state's bean counters aren't exactly impressed with sports betting as a reliable funding source in the short run, allotting only $13 million in estimated revenue in the fiscal '19 budget, NJ.com reports. That's a downright pittance in a $37.4 billion state budget. Most - if not all - remain thrilled about the financial potential of sports betting; we just all were praying for an immediate impact in the state treasury as lawmakers must adopt a budget by June 30.
SOUTH JERSEY - Wait. What? Is it true that Rep. Tom MacArthur voted to limit food stamps for 35,000 New Jerseyans? Yep, says NJ.com.MacArthur, who is famously gaga over everything Trump says, does or may think, broke again with the rest of the state's congressional delegation to support the President on this legislation. Luckily, the "Agriculture and Nutrition Act" went down in flames, as House Republicans had the common sense to buck the big guy. Not MacArthur, however, who also is famously known for voting to limit New Jerseyans' property tax deductions and voting to replace the Affordable Care Act, leaving many in the state uninsured.
JERSEY CITY - Obscene, today? Not so much, tomorrow. That's when the City Council is to revamp its prissy old obscenity laws. The Jersey Journal says proposed changes would let women bare their breasts in public venues, like burlesque shows, but not in public. So, no topless pub crawls down Newark Avenue or naked sit-ins at the Katyń Memorial. But, all those naughty mink-lined handcuffs and wicked wacky wands can finally come out of the closet. Having six or more sex toys ... um, on hand, won't be illegal anymore. Burlesque performer Lillian Bustle, who's racy revue spotlighted the outdated obscenity laws, praises the changes for "opening up a whole new chapter of artistic and personal freedoms." Wink. Wink.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE, SCOTLAND - Locals absolutely refuse to go for a walk with their best friends over the Overtoun Bridge, which has become the international site for doggie suicides. The Daily Mail reports there are at least 50 known cases of dogs leaping to their deaths off the 50-foot bridge since the 1950s. More than 600 other dogs have flung themselves off the span, but managed to survive. Some then went back to the top and threw themselves back off again, only to keep on living. (And we thought cats had nine lives.) There's no scientific reason for all this, but some residents are convinced the bridge is haunted, with spirits enticing the dogs to just end it all.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1995 that the 20th anniversary reunion special of "Laverne and Shirley" aired, another great opportunity for America to marvel in the talents of "Squiggy."
WORD OF THE DAY
Raillery - [RAIL-ə-ree] - noun
Definition: A good-natured ribbing
Example: Lenny is always trying to get Squiggy's goat with some unprovoked raillery.
WEATHER IN A WORD