Friday, February 19th
NJ Weekly Newsletter
New Jersey Update
This afternoon, Governor Murphy held a press conference and reported an additional 2,679 positive PCR tests, increasing the statewide total to 678,306. An additional 64 deaths were announced, increasing the statewide total to 20,495. The positivity rate is at 7.58% and the rate of transmission is .91. As of this morning, there have been 1,559,569 total vaccinations in NJ. This weeks vaccination delivery was delayed due to the impact of snowstorms throughout the country, also causing 4 of the 6 mega sites in NJ to close yesterday. Please visit covid19.nj.gov/vaccine for additional information.

The Governor announced the longterm care vaccination efforts are as follows:
  • 1,083 facilities have completed their 1st clinic
  • 873 have completed their 2nd clinic
  • 167 have completed their 3rd clinic

Governor Murphy announced the Department of Education (DOE) will be releasing a plan to address learning gaps dealing with increased mental health issues in students and staff caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are still utilizing the $1.2 billion in aide for NJ schools, but will offer $75 million in grants to regular operation districts, charter, renaissance, and vocational schools to help curb learning loss. Schools may also apply for $30 million worth of non-competitive funding to help strengthen mental health supports for their students and staff. More information here. The DOE will be applying to the federal government for a waiver on assessment requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. The Murphy Administration will be applying to the federal government for emergency assistance to non-public schools, which will allow the DOE to provide assistance to non-public K-12 schools.

DOE's Acting Commissioner, Angelica Allen-McMillan announced that the Department will be releasing "The Road Forward", a series of 4 coordinated initiatives to assist students and educators in the future. The initiatives include a waiver request for assessments requirements for 2020-2021, 2 waves of funding, 2 Start Strong assessments, and a clearing house of ways to address COVID-19's impact on students and educators. More here.

The NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has relaunched their PPE Access Program as of February 16th. The Program is available for small and micro businesses with up to 100 employees to save up to 70% on PPE. In the program's initial phase, roughly 9,000 businesses saved a total of $7.6 million. To apply visit covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.

On Tuesday, Governor Murphy announced an investment from New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Funds to bring electrification programs, equitable mobility projects, and electric charging infrastructure to environmental justice communities across the state. Additionally, the Governor established the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy and created the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy through an Executive Order. In Newark, the Governor announced this investment in clean transportation projects with an electric garbage truck behind them as an example. The funding will bring electrification programs, equitable mobility projects, and charging infrastructure to environmental justice communities in NJ. To view the Governor's press release, click here. 

On Wednesday morning, Governor Murphy announced a $250 million overhaul of the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden, NJ. A request for proposal (RFP) will be released in coming weeks and the project is expected to take 9 months to complete. The plan is to redevelop the existing transportation facility and expand transit in Camden's downtown, while providing new retail, housing, and office space. To view the Governor's press release, click here. 

Also, on Wednesday, the public health emergency was extended for an additional 30 days. The extension is needed to allow the NJ Department of Health to continue its vaccination efforts, including prioritizing high-risk individuals, promoting adequate staffing at vaccination sites, and overseeing second dose administration. To view the Executive Order, click here. 

The Biden Administration rescinded the Trump-era funding policy stating that federal loans taken out by local project partners could no longer count as part of the local share for Capital Investment Grant (CIG) projects, making it harder for states to finance their portions of transit infrastructure improvements. The repealing of the policy allows flexibility for the financing of the Gateway Program and other northeastern projects, including the needed tunnels under the Hudson River. 

Recreational Marijuana Update

This afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee released legislation, S3454, which revises penalties and fines for underage possession and consumption of recreational marijuana following the Administration’s signal that discrepancies were present in the legalization bill, A21, and legislation that provides criminal and civil reforms relating to marijuana, A1897. Both of these bills were passed by the two houses in December, and Governor Murphy’s deadline to act on the legislation was delayed by the Assembly upon the discovery of inconsistent language in the bills relating to possession and consumptions for individuals under 21. 
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to meet multiple times this week to act on the legislation, but disagreements in how to approach the clean-up legislation within the Legislature and the Administration prevented the bill from advancing. The amendments passed this afternoon include a graduated written warning system, with a referral to community-based treatment or counseling groups on the third violation. Additionally, the bill would require law enforcement agencies scrub records of youth marijuana offenses every two years or when a given underage user turns 21, whichever occurs first, and bars municipalities from imposing further civil penalties for marijuana use. 
 
On Monday, the full Senate will vote on the legislation at which time it is expected that there will be a proposed floor amendment to address qualified immunity for law enforcement officers as it pertains to the measure.


Governor Murphy's Budget Address
Tuesday, February 23rd
1pm

Vaccine Distribution Information and Notices from NJ DOH


General Information

EUA Fact Sheet for COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients and Caregivers [Pfizer/BioNTech] [Moderna]

Healthcare Provider Toolkit

Information for Long-Term Care Facilities

Policy, Guidance, and Directives

NJ News Quick Links


Governor's Notices



Department and Agency Notices

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Department of Human Services

New Jersey Economic Development Authority
Legislative Update

Senate Judiciary Committee (2/15/2021)

The committee heard testimony from invited guests and the public on deterring minors and young adults from obtaining and using lawful cannabis items intended for adults over 21 years of age and decriminalized marijuana, as proposed in recently passed bills.

Senate Judiciary Committee (2/16/2021)

S2924 Creates two-year "Restorative and Transformative Justice for Youths and Communities Pilot Program" in Juvenile Justice Commission focused on reducing youth involvement with youth justice system; appropriates $8.4 million in FY 2021 and FY 2022. Passed

S3401 Establishes criminal offenses and civil penalties concerning inhumane confinement of breeding pigs and calves raised for veal. Passed

S3453 Amends certain provisions and effective date applicable to disclosure of personal information of judicial officers, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers. Passed

S3454 Addresses underage possession or consumption of various forms of cannabis, including legal consequences for such activities set forth in legislation passed by both Houses of Legislature. Held

S3456 Eliminates mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment determined by Legislature to be of non-violent nature. Passed

Senate Voting Session (2/19/2021)

A970 [bill removed] Requires public schools to administer written screenings for depression for students in certain grades.

A1070 Requires Secretary of Higher Education to develop guidance for institutions of higher education to identify cultural barriers in recruitment and retention of underrepresented students for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. Substituted by S2892 - Passed

A1145 Establishes "Electronic Permit Processing Review System." Substituted for S1739 - Passed

A1229 Requires DCA to make information on homeless prevention programs and services available on its Internet website. Substituted for S2161 - Passed

A4004 Establishes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic Task Force on Racial and Health Disparities. Substituted for S2410 - Passed

A4240 Provides for technological upgrade of application process for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Substituted for S2855 - Passed

A4253 [bill removed] Requires certain electronic medical programs to include demographic data entry feature; requires certain laboratories to record patients' demographic information; requires certain hospitals and laboratories to implement cultural competency training programs

A4788 Requires transfer of certain escheated civil forfeiture funds from Unclaimed Personal Property Trust Fund to General Fund for appropriation to county Prosecutor's offices. Substituted for S3044 - Passed

A4810 Establishes Government Efficiency and Regulatory Review Commission. Substituted for S441 - Passed

A5057 Authorizes NJ Infrastructure Bank to finance aviation and marine infrastructure projects; makes various other changes to bank's enabling act. Substituted for S3190 - Passed

A5130 Establishes "New Jersey Foreclosure Prevention Act." Substituted for S3244 - Passed

S1 [bill removed] Encourages sharing of services; makes appropriations. 

S311 Prohibits public schools from denying admittance to student due to tardiness or violation of dress code or school uniform policy. Passed w/ Amendments

S619 Permits use of telemedicine and telehealth to authorize patients for medical cannabis and to issue written instructions for dispensing medical cannabis. Concurrent w/ Assembly Amendments - Passed

S758 Requires workers' compensation judges to be enrolled in PERS; requires JRS rights and benefits be applied to such judges enrolled in PERS. Passed

S828 [bill added] Requires public utilities and local units to provide notice prior to initiating certain infrastructure projects. Passed

S914 Establishes program allowing certain applicants to perform community service in lieu of paying motor vehicle surcharges. Passed

S989 "Healthy Terminals Act"; requires certain airport and train station workers to be paid certain wage rates and benefits under "New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act." Passed

S1726 [bill added] Prohibits sale of cosmetic products that have been tested on animals. Passed

S1739 Establishes "Electronic Permit Processing Review System." Passed

S1937 Establishes Task Force to Promote Employment by State Agencies of People with Disabilities. Passed

S2259 [bill removed] Requires public schools to administer written screenings for depression for students in certain grades.

S2572 [bill removed] Concerns requirements for local purchasing agents. 

S2770 Establishes position of Minority Depository Institution Coordinator in EDA. Passed

S2771 Establishes "Rural Business Development Program" in EDA; appropriates $35 million to EDA from federal funds. Passed

S2772 Establishes "Biannual Small Business Matchmaker Initiative" in Department of State. Passed

S2815 Requires DMVA assist service members discharged solely due to LGBTQ status with petitions to change discharge designation. Passed

S2834 Mandates training on culturally responsive teaching for all candidates for teaching certification. Passed

S2868 Provides for advocate in criminal cases concerning welfare or care of animal. Passed

S2923 [bill removed] Limits law enforcement presence at polling places and ballot drop boxes; prohibits electioneering within 100 feet of ballot drop box.

S2996[ bill added] Allows Board of Cosmetology Hairstyling licensees to operate mobile facilities when providing services. Passed

S3004 [bill added] Establishes retroactive date for provisions of P.L.2018, c.165, which clarifies provisions of "Predatory Towing Prevention Act." Passed

S3033 Establishes School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program in BPU. Passed

S3203 Requires in person early voting period for certain elections; makes appropriation. Amendments Adopted

S3233 [bill removed] Requires certain electronic medical programs to include demographic data entry feature; requires certain laboratories to record patients' demographic information; requires certain hospitals and laboratories to implement cultural competency training programs

S3242 [bill added] Bars certain public officials from holding elective public office and participating in political activities for three years. Amendments Adopted

S3252 [bill added] Clarifies that County Option Hospital Fee Pilot Program expires five years after each participating county has collected fee and that participating counties in program are not liable for fee imposed on hospitals. Adopted Governor's Recs. - Passed

S3323 Makes FY 2021 supplemental appropriation of $180 million to DCF, DHS and DOH for increased rates for social service and early intervention providers in financial distress due to coronavirus disease 2019 public health crisis. Passed

S3357 Addresses certain landlord expenses in response to COVID-19 pandemic; appropriates $350 million. Amendments Adopted

S3364 Permits certain licensees to acquire alcoholic beverage license from retail food store that is bankruptcy asset. Passed

S3414 Promotes workforce diversity in public works projects; revises "public works projects" definition to permit project labor agreements for more projects. Amendments Adopted

S3453 Amends certain provisions and effective date applicable to disclosure of personal information of judicial officers, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers. Passed

S3454 [bill removed] Addresses underage possession or consumption of various forms of cannabis, including legal consequences for such activities set forth in legislation passed by both Houses of Legislature.

S3456 [bill added] Eliminates mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment determined by Legislature to be of non-violent nature. Held

SJR17 Establishes "Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizen Transportation Services Task Force" to study and make recommendations concerning ways to improve transportation services for persons with disabilities and senior citizens. Passed

SJR51 [bill removed] Designates month of Ramadan of each year as "Muslim Awareness and Appreciation Month" in New Jersey. 

SJR73 Designates March as "Multiple System Atrophy Awareness Month." Passed

SJR75 Designates April 22 each year as "Personal Carbon Footprint Awareness Day." Passed

SJR82 Designates March 9 of each year "COVID-19 Heroes Day" in New Jersey. Passed

SJR108 [bill added] (no information available) Passed

SR94 Urges Rutgers, The State University to memorialize United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by naming a building on campus after her. Passed

SR101 Urges New Jersey residents to patronize small businesses to support them through COVID-19 pandemic. Passed

SR109 Recognizes service of New Jersey Army and Air National Guard who were mobilized to Washington D.C. after attack on United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. Passed

Senate Judiciary Committee (2/19/2021)

S3454 Addresses underage possession or consumption of various forms of cannabis, including legal consequences for such activities set forth in legislation passed by both Houses of Legislature. Passed w/ Amendments
Federal and National Update
Administration and Department Information
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