Jaffe Morning Briefing

July 29, 2021

TRENTON – So, yeah, masks are now “strongly recommended” indoors where there are crowds, says Gov. Phil Murphy, following the latest federal guidance. While this is a sensible request, as the COVID numbers rise in the state, not everyone is on board. Just ask super-conservative Sen. Michael ...

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STATEWIDE – Gov. Phil Murphy scored some quick mid-summer PR yesterday, dropping a press release announcing that nine rest areas on the Garden State Parkway will be renamed after New Jersey icons. But it may take some time for all to gel. Will we really start saying stuff like, “Hey, hit me up for ...

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STATEWIDE – Even the Washington Post now realizes New Jersey’s awkward relationship with the feds. The Garden State famously gives more tax dollars to Uncle Sam than it can ever dream of getting back in financial aid, infrastructure and other goodies. (In fiscal 2018, New Jersey received less back ...

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ROSELLE PARK – The story of a local woman with vulgar anti-Biden signs appeared to be over after a municipal court judge sided with basic logic and decency, ordering her to remove them from her fence. But now the ACLU is involved, for some reason, representing the resident in this senseless legal ...

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ON THE RAILS – $673 million? Wow, it’s almost like real money, as New Jersey, Connecticut and New York squabble over federal pandemic cash in the topsy-turvy world of mass transit. The total pot contains $14.2 billion, to be divided among the three states, NJ.com reports. The three states use a ...

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DOWN THE SHORE – Sure, you can stay in an overpriced seaside motel that hasn’t been updated since the waning days of the Carter Administration. But, for the same cash – about $250 a night – you can sleep on a yacht. NJ 101.5 reports that Airbnb has a summer listing for a big boat that sleeps five ...

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LIVINGSTON – Damn straight. That’s the best response one can give to word that RWJ Barnabas has gone as far as to fire six health care supervisors who refused to get the COVID vaccine, after numerous warnings. Not to sound like a hard ass here, but good riddance. Even better: the mega hospital ...

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ROSELLE PARK – We all have our rights, but let’s assume the Founding Fathers also assumed we have at least some common sense. That’s unlike a Roselle Park woman who thought it makes perfect sense to plaster large  “Fuck Biden” signs on her wooden fence, for all the kiddies walking to school to see.

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** The Jaffe Briefing will be on vacation beginning July 1, returning July 15 ** TRENTON – Remember the governor’s proposed “Baby Bond” program from last year? It hit the front page of all the newspapers as a shining example of his progressive agenda. Gov. Phil Murphy was eager to create a ...

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TRENTON – Politicians complain when government moves too darn slow. And now they are complaining when government moves too darn fast. Republicans are quick to note the Senate Budget Committee pushed through this mega, $46.4 billion state budget just 11 minutes after it became public, thus ensuring ...

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** The Jaffe Briefing will be on vacation beginning July 1, returning July 15 ** WOODBRIDGE – Signing a state budget is now a big media event, as Gov. Phil Murphy is set to strike paper with pen at 10 a.m., marking the official end of a somewhat historic budget season. It is the type of spending ...

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SOUTH ORANGE – It’s suddenly “satanic” to air alternative rock on Seton Hall University’s student-run radio station. WSOU 89.5-FM’s alternative music format began in the 1970s, starting with punk, grunge and, later on, some great heavy metal. But now there is a quiet riot among members of a ...

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NEWARK – A week after a bronze statue of George Floyd was proudly unveiled near City Hall, someone has defaced the 700-pound sculpture. Early yesterday, a police sergeant noticed that a nutjob had scrawled graffiti. The face of the statue was also painted black, and in white paint on the torso of ...

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TRENTON – In what’s probably the least contentious state budget in years, the state Legislature is poised to zip through a $46.4 billion spending plan this week, with votes before the Senate and Assembly tomorrow, then heading to Gov. Phil Murphy for his signature. There doesn’t appear to be any of ...

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FORKED RIVER – There should be plenty more news today about the proposed state budget, and who may get all those billions of extra dollars. Instead, let’s talk about “Peaty the Peacock,” who is taking Forked River (aka Lacey Township) by storm. The Asbury Park Press notes there have been numerous ...

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TRENTON – The big news is that President Biden signed the federal law creating Juneteenth. But since we are hyper-focused on New Jersey to the point of infatuation, what did the state Legislature do? Well, a bill was sponsored last June in the Assembly by Verlina Reynolds Jackson, Jamel Holley and ...

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RANDOLPH – This local school board can’t seem to help itself; it keeps finding ways to inadvertently make news. First, it makes news by changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Persons Day, angering residents. Then, it makes news by eliminating all holidays on the school calendar, further angering ...

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RANDOLPH – Maybe the people here are getting too much media coverage. After the school board concocted the silly plan to erase all holidays from the school calendar – following a decision to scrub away Columbus Day – reporters have been all over. The story should have run its cycle, yet townsfolk ...

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STATEWIDE – The obvious concern of any parent is how the pandemic has affected student learning, after all those months of remote learning, frenzy and other disruptions. NJ Spotlight reports there’s plenty of work to do, as the state conducted an initial assessment of learning loss. The result? At ...

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TRENTON – And yet more money is flowing into state coffers. Taxpayers are throwing more and more money at the State House, as piles of cash are now being used as doorstops and disposable towels in the restrooms. Yesterday, NJ.com reported that the state had an extra $4 billion sitting around. By ...

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ROSELLE PARK – Free speech or just downright offensive? A municipal court judge is set to hear arguments Thursday at 9 a.m., when a Willow Avenue homeowner is set to plead her case. There are political flags flying, one that blares “Fuck Biden,” while another shows former President Trump raising ...

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ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Tomorrow is primary day, and there’s a contested race among Republicans in the race for governor. One would assume this would be a cake walk for Jack Ciattarelli, the sane front runner with the strong backing of all 21 county organizations. But there are still those chilling ...

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** The Jaffe Briefing is off to celebrate the start of summer on Monday, May 24, returning Monday, June 7 ** TRENTON – Surprise! When the Senate Budget Committee met yesterday, it picked up a relevant nugget of news: The feds dropped $6.2 billion in the state treasury the day prior. But no one ...

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** The Jaffe Briefing is off to celebrate the start of summer on Monday, May 24, returning Monday, June 7 ** BEACH HAVEN – If there’s free money, people will figure a way to get it. And nothing can prove that better than the Paycheck Protection Program, with ProPublica reporting on a number of ...

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STATEWIDE – By the time you are old, toothless and feeble, filling out your final days with solitaire and Jell-O, you can find solace in the fact the tax man may finally be done with you. But, over the course of your life living in New Jersey, he has shaken you down for nearly $1 million for taxes ...

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TRENTON – No masks in Pennsylvania and New York. So, the same deal for Jersey, right? Well, not yet. Gov. Phil Murphy shocked the civilized world by not just following along with our neighbors, who lifted mask requirements for indoor gatherings. Murphy says, “we’re still not out of the woods,” yet.

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STATEWIDE – Fake elections? Fake news? Fake this, Fake that. All would agree we are certainly tired of the overuse of such an inflammatory word. Yet, when it comes to elections in New Jersey, NJ.com is reporting the state is behind others in ensuring air-tight elections. We are just one of six ...

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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, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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