The Jaffe Briefing will be celebrating freedom next week, returning Monday, July 8
TRENTON - It's three days before the end of June, so our Trenton lawmakers are in a frenzy, in a desperate attempt to show who is really in charge of things. Gov. Phil Murphy is already threatening a government shutdown on Sunday if the Legislature doesn't bend his way with the fiscal 2020 budget. He plans to reveal his next steps at 2 p.m. today, which will certainly create a new flurry of press coverage. Meanwhile, Senate President Steve Sweeney continues to show that he envisions himself more powerful than Murphy, announcing he will be delaying a vote to create an online health insurance marketplace, which the governor has been touting as a way to ensure ObamaCare remains in New Jersey. Sweeney explains the delay is to ensure the marketplace allows poor people to automatically enroll in Medicaid. The silver lining: By the June 30 budget deadline, we should finally know who is actually in charge in Trenton.
PATERSON - The grinder known as the state Legislature appears poised to chew apart one of Gov. Phil Murphy's most hyped pet projects: free community college for low-income residents. State lawmakers want to slash some funding to the program in fiscal 2020, prompting Murphy to show up at Passaic County Community College in Paterson yesterday to call it "stone-cold crazy stupid." Murphy wants $58.5 million for "Community College Opportunity Grants" to fund two semesters of college for low-income students. The Legislature wants to slash the appropriation to $30 million, while yet somehow trying to involve more students with a limited pot of cash.
HOBOKEN - If you are in desperate need of a drag queen to read to your children, look no further than the Hoboken Public Library, which, on Saturday, will be the latest library in the state to host the infamous "Drag Queen Story Hour." Of little surprise, not every library in New Jersey is embracing the program, with the Warren County Library Northeast Branch in Independence Township cancelling the visit from a drag queen last month after two days of public complaints, NJ 101.5 reports. The nationwide campaign - which has coordinated appearances in Newark, Bloomfield, Jersey City, Maplewood, Princeton and Fanwood - is designed to "give kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models." Whatever. Just happy to see some kids finally realize their town has a library.
HILLSBOROUGH - Environmentalists at Duke Farms are quick to admit it's just an experiment, but are willing to partner with Rutgers University over the next five years on a pilot project that would hopefully turn 2,742 acres of forests, grasslands, farmland, and wetlands into a carbon sink. With $250,000 seed money from the university to get the research going, Duke Farms will try to suck global-warming carbon pollution out of the atmosphere and store it in the plants, trees, and soil of the four-square-mile property. It's all "cutting-edge" and "new," NJ Spotlight reports, and seems a pretty cost-effective experiment to potentially save the planet from ultimate demise. So....best wishes all around.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK - A guy who cops dub the "Donut Desperado" is in custody after live-streaming some bizarre antics at a Dunkin' Donuts and a Chinese restaurant. On June 1, police say the 21-year-old Dayton man, wielding a cellphone camera, tried getting Dunkin' workers to speak for his live-stream video. Then, he helped himself to a donut and a drink. A few nights later, the man did the same thing at a nearby restaurant, walking off with a can of soda. In both cases, he left money behind, oddly. He was arrested in Newark on Monday and faces charges of burglary, resisting arrest and aggravated assault in connection with a separate fight. No leniency expected. Cops, as we all know, take donut theft very seriously.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BANGKOK - Sure, there are plenty of loyalty cards to lure customers back to coffee shops... but coffins? A cafe in Thailand has found the ideal gimmick to suck in customers -- closing them in coffins after they finish their coffee. The Death Awareness Cafe in Bangkok - which takes macabre to a whole new level - features mortuary-inspired decor and coffins for customers to spend some quality time after they buy their coffee. Of course, nothing gets you more excited for the day than spending some quality minutes inside a closed coffin. The café owner explains it is all about embracing Buddhist philosophy and to free one's self from the bondage of greed. Oh, and selling more coffee.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1980 that the New Jersey State Police welcomed their first female Troopers - a graduating class of 30.
About 1,630 women took the written exam, 748 were invited to continue in the selection process and 116 were admitted to the academy after completing a physical test, medical evaluation and interviews. Just 30 of them made it through the academy in Sea Girt.
WORD OF THE DAY
Kaput - [kə-PƏT] - noun
Definition: Utterly finished, defeated, or destroyed
Example: I'm frightened to type this before the All Star break, but... are the Mets kaput?
WIT OF THE DAY
"I think the first prerequisite to civilization is an ability to make polite conversation."
- W.H. Auden
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun