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LAWMAKERS CAN SUBPOENA IN MURPHY STAFFER CASE

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Lawmakers on Monday gave themselves broad authority, including subpoena power, to investigate Gov. Phil Murphy’s hiring practices in the wake of revelations that a former aide accused of sexually assaulting a campaign volunteer was able to land a high-ranking job in the administration. Both the Senate and Assembly passed a resolution to create a 15-member investigative panel to review how that happened and what changes should be made to state law and hiring procedures. Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said the hearings will get started this year. (NorthJersey.com)

AFTER PITTSBURGH, MURPHY PUSHES TIGHTER GUN LAWS

Two days after a mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue left 11 people dead, Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday began a new push to make the state's gun-control laws tougher. Murphy said he was already working on developing the new package of bills, but the Pittsburgh shooting spurred him on. The Governor will work with the Democratic-controlled state Legislature to enact a second round of new gun laws just months after signing a package of six laws in June.Meanwhile, both houses of the Legislature passed another gun-control bill Monday, to ban "ghost guns" and 3-D printable guns. Murphy must now sign the legislation (S2465/A3129) for it to become law. (NJ.com)

SIX YEARS AFTER SANDY, MURPHY PROMISES NEW LOANS

On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced a new loan program and a shift in policy for the 1,200 individuals or families still engaged in the state's primary rebuilding initiative in response to Superstorm Sandy: the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program. All of them are unable to finish their homes. Now, the Murphy administration is offering two solutions: a zero-interest, forgivable loan to meet needs above the $150,000 RREM grant award threshold; and a commitment that the administration will not seek to "clawback" the grant money funds that hundreds of homeowners were previously instructed to repay the state. (Asbury Park Press)

SENATE PASSES BAN ON FRACKING WASTE IN NEW JERSEY

The State Senate voted Monday 30-5 to pass a bill banning fracking waste in the state. If the bipartisan bill becomes law, New Jersey would become the second state in the nation to ban fracking waste. The Delaware River Basin Commission faces an imminent decision over whether to allow fracking waste treatment facilities in the watershed, advocates said. (Press of Atlantic City)

CAMPBELL SOUP EXEC OUT AFTER SOROS 'CARAVAN' TWEET

A Campbell Soup executive has left the company a month early after he posted a conspiracy theory on his now-deleted Twitter account. Kelly Johnston tweeted that billionaire George Soros was behind a Central American migrant 'caravan' heading north to the U.S.-Mexico border. In his Oct. 22 tweet, the former executive wrote that Soros' foundation, Open Society, "planned and is executing" the caravan. A spokesperson for the Camden-based company said Campbell Soup had planned in August for Johnston to leave his post in early November, but the tweet "accelerated" the timing of his departure. (NJ.com)

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