Murphy mulls shutdown

Murphy mulls shutdown

Programming Note: We’ll be off this Monday for Memorial Day but will be back in your inboxes on Tuesday.

Good Friday morning!

It’s my last day as the New Jersey intern, so I won’t be here to cover the chaos if Gov. Phil Murphy shuts down the government over Stay NJ, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin’s proposed plan to cut property taxes for seniors. The program would effectively cut seniors’ property taxes in half, according to Coughlin.

At least I get to write Playbook.

Coughlin’s bill, A-1, would cost the state $300 million in the next fiscal year and increase over time to $1.2 billion annually after fiscal year 2028. Murphy views the plan as financially irresponsible, senior administration officials told POLITICO. When asked about a potential shutdown, Murphy told reporters he’s serious.

The plan would give homeowners older than 65 tax credits worth up to 50 percent of their annual bill, with a $10,000 limit. Even the wealthy seniors would get credits, which Murphy doesn’t approve of. “I don’t think we should be in the business of giving the likes of me tax breaks,” he said.

Coughlin responded to Murphy’s comments with civility: “We have had issues where we’ve had to work through them over that course of that time. And I think we’ve demonstrated pretty clearly that we always act in the best interest of New Jersey and come together to do what’s right for the people in New Jersey. I suspect that’s going to happen again,” he said.

Senate President Nick Scutari told reporters earlier this week he would introduce the bill alongside Coughlin, and said in a statement yesterday: “I am committed to working with the Speaker and sponsor legislation for meaningful property tax relief for seniors. I will explore any option that can help them stay in New Jersey and continue to enjoy our great state.”

The last time the government shut down was in 2017 over a budget fight between former Gov. Chris Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto. That standoff led to the infamous photos of Christie sitting on the beach after the shutdown. The government has only been shut down twice in state history.

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“No charges were filed” against the New Jersey man who dumped 500 pounds of pasta in the woods, said Old Bridge township’s business administrator Himanshu Shah. That’s 15 wheelbarrow loads of spaghetti and macaroni, according to NJ Advance Media.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY — Saturday (5/27) for State Sen. Joe Pennacchio, Cory Booker staffer Zaire Carter, Senate Dems’ Richard McGrath, PPAG’s Regina Appolon, STFA President Wayne Blanchard. Sunday (5/28) for Rutgers Law’s Ronald Chen, Pascrell aide Mark Greenbaum. Monday (5/29) for Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, real estate broker Chapman Vail.


Calling in to the Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show on Q104.3 to kick off Memorial Day weekend.

ELECTION REFORM — “‘New Voter Empowerment Act,’ other election reforms pass assembly,” by the New Jersey Globe’s Joey Fox: “The State Assembly passed four significant election-related bills today, among them the ‘New Voter Empowerment Act,’ a bill that would allow 17-year-olds to vote in New Jersey primaries if they turn 18 before the general election. The new voter bill passed on a 50-24 vote; every Democrat present voted yes, with a few Republican assemblymembers joining them … The Assembly also passed two election reform bills today that build on a raft of legislation passed last year: one to require periodic reporting of election results in the days after Election Day, and another to amend various election deadlines to smooth out issues other bills have caused. Finally, $1.5 million in supplemental funding for the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) — representing a 30% boost to the campaign finance watchdog’s budget — was approved on a 67-8 vote, with a few Republican legislators voting no.

MAKING FUN — “Bramnick TV ad smacks extremists on both sides,” by the New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein: “State Sen. Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), who has developed a reputation for outside-the-box campaign ads, is going up on the air tomorrow with a new cable TV ad pushing back on extremists from the left and the right and touting balance and civility. The ad features Bramnick, a stand-up comedian, on stage at a Central Jersey comedy club shutting down hecklers from both sides of the ideological spectrum. ‘It’s how I feel,’ Bramnick told the New Jersey Globe.”

ATTENTION SWIFTIES — “Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen concert ticket fiasco may lead to new regulations,” by’s Liam Quinn: “Legislation aimed at regulating the live ticket marketplace after many fans of Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift were left high and dry while trying to buy tickets for the artists’ ongoing tours has been introduced by two New Jersey congressmen. The BOSS and SWIFT Act, named after the two music icons, was introduced by U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, and Frank Pallone, D-Long Branch. The revised bill “specifically addresses issues including hidden fees, on-sale transparency, buyer protections, speculative tickets, and deceptive white label websites,” according to a release from Pascrell’s office.”

— “Murphy wants a financial legacy. NJ Democrats have other ideas for $8B surplus: Stiles

— New Jersey Globe: “Chaparro will close Assembly career with a committee chairmanship

— NJ Advance Media: “Murphy must give NJ taxpayers their COVID relief money before Washington takes it back | Opinion

NEW POLL — “Monmouth Poll: Biden and Trump ruled out by similar numbers,” by Insider NJ: “American voters have a better idea about who they won’t support in the 2024 presidential election than who they will, according to the Monmouth University Poll. In hypothetical scenarios involving President Joe Biden running as the Democratic nominee against three different Republicans, just under half the electorate says they have definitely ruled out supporting the incumbent. This is nearly identical to the number who have ruled out voting for former President Donald Trump, but higher than opposition to either Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or former Vice President Mike Pence should either of them become the Republican nominee.”

— POLITICO: “Supreme Court dramatically shrinks Clean Water Act’s reach

— The New York Times: “Oath Keepers leader is sentenced to 18 years in Jan. 6 sedition case

— The Monitor: “After years of bipartisan spending boosts, U.S. House GOP won’t lift debt ceiling without cuts

BAD COP — “The 16 times N.J. cop misconduct cases were settled for $1M or more,” by NJ Advance Media’s Riley Yates: Police departments across New Jersey have agreed to pay at least $87.8 million since 2019 to settle claims of misconduct against their officers, an investigation by NJ Advance Media found. Some of those payouts were for hefty figures, including 16 settlements that reached $1 million or more. From a mentally ill man shot by police, to officers who alleged they were sexually harassed by their supervisors.”

HAPPY HOUR — “N.J. town that was dry for more than 100 years just doled out its 1st liquor license,” by NJ Advance Media’s Richard Cowen: “The Borough of Rutherford has issued its first liquor license to a restaurant, breaking with more than 100 years of tradition as a ‘dry’ town in which tipping a few in public was strictly prohibited. Song’ E Napule quietly made history earlier this month when it served alcohol for the first time, but this was no speakeasy. It was Rutherford’s gourmet pizzeria on Park Avenue, and two other bistros along Restaurant Row are expected to join the party within the coming months.”

HIGH TIMES — “Ocean County could see first legal marijuana dispensary,” by Asbury Park Press’ Mike Davis: Since the moment it became clear that legal weed was coming to New Jersey, Ocean County has been the state’s most notable holdout. Mayors and councils across Ocean County began passing ordinances prohibiting such businesses years in advance, so premature that they had to do it all over again in 2021. Even in towns where public officials openly stated they might be interested in the tax benefits of a cannabis business, they kept the issue on the backburner. But after a year of recreational marijuana sales and the first recreational-specific dispensaries beginning to open, things might finally be starting to change.”

— New York Times: “A man called 9-1-1. The police shot him while he was still on the phone

— Asbury Park Press: “State of growing: 14 New Jersey towns where population is growing the fastest

— NJ Advance Media: “N.J. teacher resigns after complaints that she assaulted toddler

— NJ Advance Media: “N.J. cops turn to AI in mystery disappearance of 11 year old 3 decades ago

— The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Wildwood bans alcohol on beach and boardwalks. For real this time

NO TAYLOR-GATING — “MetLife Stadium begs Taylor Swift fans: If you don’t have a ticket, stay away,” by the Gothamist’s Louis Hochman: “In a message posted to Facebook on Wednesday, MetLife told fans ‘we strongly encourage those without tickets’ not to come to the stadium. Parking lots will be at maximum capacity, and only those with tickets will be let in, it said. ‘Additional unauthorized crowds create traffic and gridlock for everyone.’ Stadium workers may know you’re trouble when you drive in, but the post didn’t say more about how the stadium would enforce the request, or what might happen to fans who show up nonetheless.”

5 WORLD TRADE CENTER — “5 World Trade Center advances amid affordable housing fight,” by POLITICO’s Ry Rivard: The long-stalled plan to build 5 World Trade Center is moving along again after extensive negotiations about how many affordable housing units the new building will include. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Thursday approved a deal to build a 1.3 million square foot development at the World Trade Center site’s last unspoken for land. The old 5 World Trade Center was demolished after it was badly damaged in the 9/11 attacks. The development, which was once expected to be the home to JP Morgan, is now planned as a residential development on Port Authority land.

HOSPITAL VISITS — “COVID consequences? NJ hospitals seeing more severely ill patients in wake of pandemic,” by’s Scott Fallon: “New Jersey hospitals saw a significant jump in the number of more severely ill patients coming through their doors in 2022, most likely a byproduct of avoiding doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics and hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released Wednesday. Data collected by the New Jersey Hospitals Association shows a 21% increase between 2019 and 2022 in patients with illnesses classified as ‘major or extreme.’ That amounts to almost 42% of all non-COVID-related patients seen last year in the state’s 70 hospitals.”

— Hudson County View: “Jersey City Council passes amended right to counsel ordinances on first reading

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