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NJ NEWS COMMONS: BUDGET INCLUDES $50M IN ONE-TIME AID FOR DISTRICTS

 

Yesterday, Gov. Phil Murphy outlined his vision for the state's 2021 budget. The budget address is an annual tradition, and one major focus this year is education. The Democratic governor's $40.9 billion proposed budget devotes $19 billion to various programs, including an expansion of the "free college" program to Rutgers, Rowan, and other public universities. (Asbury Park Press)

Budget, budget, budget:

  • Read Gov. Phil Murphy's full NJ 2021 budget address (NorthJersey)
  • 6 points in NJ Gov. Phil Murphy's budget address that affect you (Patch)
  • Key takeaways from governor’s FY2021 budget address (NJTV News)
  • Murphy proposes 5% hike in state spending (NJ Spotlight)
  • Budget would raise some taxes, boost pension funding (NJ.com)
  • Murphy stakes claim as property tax relief champion (Politico)
  • Budget includes trio of new health-related taxes (NJ Spotlight)

NEW TAX WOULD MAKE CIGARETTES IN NJ (MORE) EXPENSIVE

Gov. Phil Murphy's proposed budget would raise the statewide tax on cigarettes by $1.65 — that's $4.35 a pop. At that price, it would cost the same to buy a pack of cigarettes in New Jersey as it would in Connecticut or New York, which have the highest per-pack prices in the U.S. The tax would bring in $218 million. Those funds would be redirected to public health programs. (Politico)

 This too:

  • Sen. Pres. Sweeney says cigarette tax hike is "a big problem" (NJ.com)
  • AG Grewal to investigate whether JUUL targets kids, teens (NorthJersey)

'THE WIRE' ACTOR SUPPORTS PRISONER RE-ENTRY INITIATIVE

"The Wire" actor Michael K. Williams recently appeared at an event in Newark to support the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, which is led by former Democratic Gov. Jim McGreevey. The non-profit has a new initiative to develop "ambassadors." They will function as advocates for people who were previously incarcerated as they make their way in the community. (TAPinto Newark)

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS PLAN DISAPPOINTS ENVIROS

Environmentalists are criticizing the state Department of Environmental Protection's latest move against fossil fuel emissions that contribute to climate change. As part of the Energy Master Plan, Gov. Phil Murphy states that by 2050, New Jersey must slash emissions by 80 percent of where they were in 2006. But these preliminary measures don't go far enough, environmentalists say. And one pollutant is missing from the DEP's plan: methane. (NJ.com)

 

🙈 We're also keeping an eye on—

  • NJ pumps up its efforts for complete count on 2020 Census (NJ Spotlight)
  • How NJ hospitals are preparing for coronavirus spread (NorthJersey.com)
  • Free fentanyl test strips might reduce overdose deaths (WHYY)
  • Toll hike proposed for Turnpike, Garden State Parkway (NJ.com)
  • NJ Transit hearing covers commuter issues (NorthJersey.com)
  • PA, NJ have little say in the 2020 primary (The Why podcast)
  • New Jersey's #MeToo moment - the state "really needed this" (WNYC)
  • Exclusive: Greg Schiano on why he left Rutgers (NJ.com)
PLUS:
  • Camden Schools wrestle with teacher vacancies (TAPinto Camden)
  • Ex-Rutgers cancer doctor pleads guilty in voyeurism case (NJ.com)

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