NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

76 posts categorized "THE CENTER SQUARE" Feed

News Organizations Falsely Report that Governor Abbott Declared Invasion at Southern Border

By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square contributor Nov 15, 2022 Haitian migrants, part of a group of over 10,000 people staying in an encampment on the U.S. side of the border, cross the Rio Grande river in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021. PAUL RATJE / AFP / Getty Images (The Center Square) – Numerous news outlets and social media pundits on Tuesday misreported that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared an invasion at the southern border. According to an analysis of available data by The Center Square, he did not. Abbott tweeted Tuesday content from his personal Twitter account from a letter he sent to some Texas judges on Monday without citing the letter or linking to it. Some officials in Texas later explained to The Center Square that they found the tweet to be misleading and that they “jumped the gun” in response, misunderstanding its context. In... Read more →

YOUR MONEY: Bloomsburg PA Using Climate Change Funds to Repair Four Parking Lots

By Anthony Hennen | The Center Square (The Center Square) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture sends $740,000 to Pennsylvania for “critical infrastructure to combat climate change” – but most of the money will go toward repaving parking lots. The USDA Rural Development program provides taxpayer money for all sorts of programs, from infrastructure to health care to environmental and economic concerns in the rural parts of America. In the fiscal year 2022, it provided almost $1.5 billion for local projects. Its latest announcement noted 16 projects in Pennsylvania, but the lion’s share of the funding will go to four parking lots in Bloomsburg. “These 16 projects represent Pennsylvania’s diverse rural economy and will strengthen its resilience,” USDA State Director Bob Morgan said in a news release. “The Biden-Harris Administration has created a roadmap for how we can tackle the climate crisis and expand access to renewable energy infrastructure.” That... Read more →

YOUR MONEY: Camden City Receives the Most Funding from the Latest Brownfields Grant

By Morgan Sweeney | The Center Square contributor (The Center Square) – Four New Jersey communities will be receiving $6.5 million in Brownfields Grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the cleanup and revitalization of environmentally damaged areas. YOUR MONEY The funding is part of $254.5 million the EPA is bestowing on 265 communities throughout the country pursuant to President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The measure passed in November and dedicates $1.5 billion to the recovery of such properties across the country in hopes of repurposing them and creating new jobs in the process. “We’re turning blight into might for communities across America,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “EPA’s Brownfields Program breathes new life into communities by helping turn contaminated and potentially dangerous sites into productive economic contributors.” Brownfield properties can range from buildings with asbestos or lead contamination to the sites of former chemical plants. Once... Read more →

Pennsylvania Democrats Out Raise Republicans by 33% in State House races

By Kalyn Stralow | Ballotpedia via The Center Square HARRISBURG, PA (March 24, 2022)--Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns. While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum. This article lists top fundraisers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for the House submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of State. It includes activity between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. Top fundraisers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by party The top fundraisers in Pennsylvania House of Representatives elections are shown below. Individuals are presented with the office... Read more →

Are NJ Schools Unlawfully Segregated? The Answer Coming Soon

New Jersey schools are unlawfully segregated and it's the state's duty to fix that, the plaintiffs in a historic legal case argued in court Thursday. If the lawsuit is successful, it could lead to fundamental changes to New Jersey’s school system and large-scale desegregation efforts not seen in the U.S. for decades. Patrick Wall, Chalkbeat Newark Mar 3, 6:03pm EST Hundreds of thousands of Black and Latino students in New Jersey attend schools where they are racially isolated and surrounded by poverty, despite strong state laws forbidding school segregation. One of the nation’s most segregated states, New Jersey has allowed the problem to fester for decades — now, it must fix it. That was the argument made in court Thursday by plaintiffs who filed a historic lawsuit nearly four years ago arguing that schools across the entire state are unlawfully segregated — the first lawsuit in New Jersey, and one... Read more →

Guest Editorial: Biden’s Address at Prayer Breakfast a Failure

by Bill Donohue | CNBNews Contributor It's a good thing that Vice President Kamala Harris didn't speak first at the National Prayer Breakfast. She would have made President Biden look bad. CNBNews graphic files She gave a very good speech, ending with a prayer. He personalized his address, offering a mumbling account of his interactions with congressional colleagues, past and present. Instead of rehashing old war stories, and making silly comments on how "the world is changing," Biden could have taken the opportunity to address one of our most pressing social problems—the war on the police. He said not a word about the cop-killing spree that has become a national embarrassment. Oh, yes, he mentioned gun violence, but not in reference to police being shot. This is particularly troubling given that Biden's next stop today is to meet in New York City with its mayor, Eric Adams. The reason for... Read more →

YOUR MONEY: Since Biden's Been In Office, Energy Prices Have Increase 59 %, EIA Reports

By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square contributor Image source Peoples Magazine (The Center Square)(January 11, 2022) – The prices of energy, crude, and gasoline all increased in 2021 from 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reports. Prices increased because of higher demand and a range of other factors. By the end of 2021, commodities on the energy index traded 59% higher than they did on the first trading day last year on the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI), the EIA reports. GSCI is a commodity index that tracks the performance of global commodities markets. It’s a weighted average that’s updated every year. In 2021, the energy index comprised 54% of the GSCI, with the two crude oil benchmarks, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent, accounting for approximately 70% of the energy index. WTI crude oil accounts for the largest share of the overall GSCI of more than... Read more →

OFFICER DOWN : 2021 Honor Roll of Heroes; 491Officers Killed

From January 1, 2021, up until December 31, 2021, there have been 491 Police officers die, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. View Statistics for Year 2021 Total Line of Duty Deaths: 491 Sergeant Gordon William Best North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety, SC EOW: Friday, January 1, 2021 Cause: Automobile crash Sergeant Daniel Marcus Mobley DeKalb County Police Department, GA EOW: Saturday, January 2, 2021 Cause: Struck by vehicle Constable Cecil Nunley Sequatchie County Constable's Office, TN EOW: Saturday, January 2, 2021 Cause: COVID19 Lieutenant Jeff Bain DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, AL EOW: Sunday, January 3, 2021 Cause: COVID19 Deputy Sheriff Nicholas Alexander Howell Henry County Sheriff's Office, GA EOW: Sunday, January 3, 2021 Cause: COVID19 Sergeant Randall Sims Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions Division, TX EOW: Sunday, January 3, 2021 Cause: COVID19 Special Deputy Marshal Havonia Denise Holley United States Department of Justice... Read more →

Guest Opinion: de Blasio And Those Who Elected Him Ruined New York City

Bill Donohue | CNBNews Contributor Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s last day in office is New Years Eve. What he has done to the world’s greatest city is incalculable: he has been an unmitigated disaster. He is often compared to Mayor David Dinkins, but the comparison is unfair. While Dinkins did great damage, which was undone by Rudy Giuliani, he was merely incompetent. De Blasio’s war on New York City was deliberate, a clear example of what happens when a Marxist takes over. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’ De Blasio’s life has been built on a series of lies. He was born Warren Wilhelm Jr. in 1961. When he graduated from New York University in 1983, he changed his name to Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm. In 2002, he changed his name again, settling on... Read more →

CNB FISHING NEWS: Is The Dangerous Asian Carp Headed This Way?

By Scott McClallen | The Center Square (The Center Square) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the bipartisan Council of Great Lakes Governors asked federal leaders to fund the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the 2022 Water Resources Reform and Development Act to prevent invasive Asian carp from entering Michigan’s water. “The Great Lakes are the beating heart of Michigan’s economy, and we are taking action to put Michigan first and protect the Great Lakes,” Whitmer said in a statement. “By funding the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, we can protect local economies and key, multi-billion-dollar industries that support tens of thousands of jobs including fishing and boating. I am proud that my fellow Great Lakes governors from both parties and I are coming together to continue uplifting our economies, build the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, and keep invasive carp out."   Businesses and environmental groups warn invasive carp could... Read more →

Judicial Watch Receives Incident Report Pertaining to Ashley Biden's Found Diary

Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it received a 6-page incident report and bodycam footage from the Delray Beach, FL, Police Department, detailing the turnover of records related to the diary and/or other property of Ashley Biden, daughter of President Joe Biden. According to the incident report, an attorney turned in “possibly stolen luggage” to the Delray Beach PD which contained “documents and envelopes in folders” with the name Ashley Biden. The Delray Beach PD included bodycam footage of an attorney handing over the items. The Delray Beach PD also noted in the incident report that the FBI had said it would “take over the case.” Judicial Watch obtained the documents and bodycam video in response to a November 16, 2021, Public Records Request for: All records related to the alleged theft and/or disappearance of a diary and/or other property from Ashley Blazer Biden…circa 2020 reportedly from a... Read more →

Murphy Says Two-Year-Olds and Up Must Wear Face Mask While in Child Care Center

A pre-Kindergarten class from Bradford School poses for pictures during a short graduation ceremony June 10, 2020, in front of the school in Jersey City, New Jersey. Seth Wenig / AP photo By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square contributor (The Center Square) – All child care center workers in New Jersey must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and anyone who is at least two years old must wear a face mask while in a child care center. The mandates are part of Executive Order No. 264, which Gov. Phil Murphy signed on Monday. Under the order, any child care center workers not fully vaccinated must undergo COVID-19 testing at least “one to two times per week.” The face mask requirement applies to employees, visitors, students and children aged two and over but provides some limited exceptions, such as during extreme heat or if someone has trouble breathing. “We know... Read more →

Trenton, NJ's Capital, Poorest City in the State

Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square THere are an estimated 39.5 million Americans living below the poverty line, which, in the lower 48 states, is an annual income threshold of $12,880 for an individual and $26,500 for a family of four (Alaska and Hawaii have a slightly higher threshold). Living in poverty can have serious consequences and impacts nearly every aspect of life -- and those problems can be compounded for those who are facing poverty while also living in very poor neighborhoods. Residents of poor neighborhoods often struggle with higher crime rates, limited employment opportunities, lower school quality, and poor health outcomes. For those living on poverty-level income, each of these factors reduces the likelihood of upward economic mobility. More than one in every five residents of the Trenton-Princeton metro area living on poverty-level income reside in a neighborhood of concentrated poverty -- the largest share... Read more →

Republican Lawmakers and Student Parents File Lawsuit against Pennsylvania School Mask Mandate

By Christen Smith | The Center Square (The Center Square) – Less than a week after the Department of Health ordered universal masking in Pennsylvania schools, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration faces its first legal challenge on what many critics consider a shameful last-minute policy reversal. Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Bellefonte, leads a group of parents and Republican lawmakers from the Legislature on a lawsuit filed in Commonwealth Court on Friday that deems the order illegal, the The Associated Press first reported. files The challenge seeks an injunction on acting Health Secretary Alison Beam’s order, which went into effect Tuesday. Students, staff and visitors to all public, private and parochial schools must now wear masks or face penalties under the state’s Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16. The lawsuit comes just three days after Beam said an alarming rise in... Read more →

Pennsylvania Fines Sunoco $85,000 for Pipeline Construction Violations

By Natalie Kapustik | The Center Square contributor (The Center Square) – Sunoco Pipeline LP received an $85,000 penalty from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for violations relating to construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Blair, Cumberland, Juniata and Lebanon counties. The violations, which took place between February and August 2020, resulted in unauthorized discharges of drilling fluids consisting of bentonite clay and water, also known as inadvertent returns, to wetlands in those four counties. Sunoco has agreed to pay the civil penalty of $85,666 to the commonwealth, with $84,500 to be paid to the state’s Clean Water Fund and $1,166 to be paid to the county conservation districts to reimburse for costs incurred during the investigation. In addition, Sunoco will also pay $12,424 to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. “Protecting the waters of the Commonwealth is one of the top priorities of DEP and we... Read more →

STUDY SAYS: New Jersey schools not among the country’s most equitable

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square contributor (The Center Square) – New Jersey’s school districts are the ninth least equitable in the country, a new report reveals. The analysis from WalletHub found Iowa has the most equitable districts nationwide, followed by North Carolina and Arkansas. Conversely, New York has the least equitable schools, edging out Idaho and California. Overall, New Jersey ranked No. 41. In the region, Delaware came in at No. 18, while Pennsylvania ranked No. 29, and Connecticut was No. 32. “The ranking is based on the average household income and expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools per pupil, and was created by taking the average score of all the school districts from each state,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told The Center Square. “In New Jersey, Ogdensburg Borough School District is the most equitable, as there is a balance between expenditures per pupil and household income,”... Read more →

Thanks to State Legislators Both Present and Past NJ Has More Bonded Debt Than Most States

The analysis ranks New Jersey as one of most bonded debt burdened states in country By Dave Fidlin | The Center Square contributor (The Center Square) – With a per-capita figure of $6,401 hanging in the balance, New Jersey places near the bottom of a new study looking at the amount each state is shouldering in long-range bonded debt across the country. TAX AND SPEND-New Jersey is one of the most bonded debt-burdened states in-country thanks to both Democrats and Republicans in Trenton Image courtesy of The New Jersey Globe The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, ranked New Jersey No. 44 in its annual report of states’ bonded obligations, based on the per-capita figures. The findings were based on financial data reported through Dec. 31, 2020, according to ALEC researchers. New Jersey’s per-capita figures places it above the national average of $3,800 per person, according to ALEC. By contrast,... Read more →

SURVEY SAYS! New Jersey The Worst State To Start A Business

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square contributor (The Center Square) – New Jersey is the worst state in which to start a business, according to a new analysis from WalletHub. The Garden State “has the fourth smallest percentage of engaged workers – 29, and registered a growth of just 1.5% in the number of small businesses,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in an email to The Center Square. “In terms of jobs, there has been a drop of almost 5% since 2017, and the working-age population has also dropped by 1.2%. “But business costs are where New Jersey really lacks,” Gonzalez added. “Office spaces are not affordable, labor costs are high, as are health insurance premiums, taxes and the cost of living. At the same time, the spending on incentives is just 0.13% of the state’s GDP – one of the lowest in the country.” Regionally, New York ranked... Read more →


Crypto art is the form of digital art treated as physical art - It has the verified ownership of the piece. It gets the verification of masterpiece by using NFT, which is also known as a nonfungible token. It’s a marketplace where you can consume your cryptocurrencies in a variety of things available in the market. With local CC unit, you can establish your own business by world-wide shipping system. What is a Nonfungible token? A nonfungible token is interesting and one-of-its-sort. That is why it is utilized to address protests that are special and select also ― for instance, advanced craftsmanship. For better understanding, let us explain what fungible tokens are? A token is an authority of some other object or right, just in case you have some company shares - It can be your right to own some property or some other market things or a part of... Read more →

PA Republican Senator Initiates Forensic Election Audit; State AG Vows to Strike Back

Boss Tweed. "As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? (CNBNews graphic files) **** By Christen Smith | The Center Square Jul 8, 2021 (The Center Square) – A Republican senator in Pennsylvania initiated the first steps this week of a forensic election audit, even as the state’s top law enforcement official promised intervention should the effort continue. Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Gettysburg, said in an editorial Wednesday he’s requested information and materials from three counties needed for a “forensic investigation” into both the 2020 general election and the 2021 primary election completed in May. He said the effort is “necessary” because millions of residents harbor serious doubts about the accuracy of the results, citing a January poll from Muhlenberg University that showed 40% of respondents “are not confident” that the outcome “accurately reflected how Pennsylvanians voted." “Discounting or mocking their concerns is neither... Read more →

NJ to Giving $600 Million in Federal Funds to Special Education Students with Disabilities

Todd DeFeo / The Center Square contributor (The Center Square) – New Jersey will use $600 million from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to fund a one-year extension of public education and related services for thousands of students with disabilities. files Concurrently, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law S-3434/A-5366, authorizing the temporary one-year extension of education to students with disabilities who “age out” — or exceed the current age of eligibility — during the 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. “The pandemic has been especially hard on students with disabilities who rely on school programs to ensure they have the skills and services they need to be successful following graduation,” Murphy said in a news release. “By providing an additional year for students who will otherwise age out allows to us acknowledge the unique impact of the pandemic on these students and help secure a better future for them... Read more →


Marc LeBlond | Commonwealth Foundation Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf held a press conference on the Capitol steps capping off a more than four-month campaign to promote drastically increasing district school funding. But his central claim, that school districts are underfunded and charter schools are the culprit, is the exact opposite of reality. Wolf spoke from a podium prominently emblazoned with a sign proclaiming “Pennsylvania is 45th in education funding.” But Pennsylvania is not 45th in education funding – not even close. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, Pennsylvania is 8th in the nation in education funding, with an average of $18,000 per student going to districts. The national average is about $14,000. These facts are indisputable. Nevertheless, Pennsylvanians have been treated to a barrage of propaganda and misinformation on the issue. Wolf keeps repeating his talking point that the share of education funding... Read more →

How Much will Alzheimer's Increase in Your State?

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the first new treatment for Alzheimer's disease in about 20 years. Currently available Alzheimer's drugs treat the disease's symptoms. The newly-approved medicine, called Aduhelm, is the first to attack a substance that could be associated with the underlying causes of the disease -- a toxic and sticky protein in the brain called amyloid. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 6.0 million Americans 65 and older were living with the disease as of 2020, or 12% of the 65 and over population. As more and more of the baby boomer generation reaches that age, the number of Americans with the disease will inevitably increase. The increase in the number of people 65 and over with Alzheimer's disease in Pennsylvania between 2000 and 2025 is expected to be the 17th smallest at 14.3%. The number of older Americans with Alzheimer's is projected to grow by... Read more →

$11.6 Billion Hudson Tunnel Project between NY, NJ might BECOME a Reality

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square contributor New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tours the North River Rail Tunnel that connects New Jersey and New York Wednesday on Dec. 19, 2018. Flickr / Gov. Andrew Cuomo (The Center Square) – A pair of federal agencies issued the Final Environment Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the multibillion dollar Hudson Tunnel Project. The move by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) “is a significant milestone for the Gateway Program,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “This long-awaited step brings us much closer to beginning the critical work of constructing the new Hudson Tunnel.” The Hudson Tunnel carries Amtrak and NJ Transit trains on the Northeast Corridor between New Jersey and New York. The project intends to rehabilitate an existing 110-year-old Amtrak-owned tunnel and build a new tunnel, which trains can use while... Read more →

How Much Did Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Other States Spend on Gambling

Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square The 465 commercial casinos operating in the United States at the end of 2019 reported a combined revenue of $43.6 billion -- an all-time high. Gambling in the United States is by no means limited to casinos, either. All but six states had lottery games in 2019, and lottery ticket sales totalled $81.6 billion that year. Between both lotteries and commercial casinos, Americans and tourists spent $125.2 billion on gambling in 2019 -- or about $491 for every adult in the country. Of course, gambling laws, which can restrict gambling opportunities, vary by state, as does interest in gambling. And residents of some states spend far more on lottery tickets and at casinos than others. There were 12 commercial casinos in Pennsylvania in 2019. That same year, patrons spent $3.4 billion on wagering, third most of any state. Casino spending was... Read more →

New Jersey news in Brief for Friday, April 23;

Quick Hits: Bill would allow burned-out police and firefighters to retire early Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law A-2562/S-1017, a bill that would allow police and firefighters with 20 years of experience and facing burnout from service amid the pandemic to retire. The benefit was previously only extended to police and firefighters at least 55 years old and with 20 years of experience. “This past year, we have asked our first responders to step up like never before as the coronavirus took more than 25,000 lives in our state,” Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean, said in a news release. Bill aims to help small towns to hire emergency management coordinators Gov. Phil Murphy has signed S-551/A-1057 into law, a bill that ostensibly makes it easier for towns with fewer than 5,000 residents to hire an emergency management coordinator. “Emergency Management Coordinators are responsible for drafting crisis response plans for towns, identifying... Read more →

Good News: People Across the Nation Are Receiving Tax Refunds

The Average Tax Refund for each state listed below Grant Suneson, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square In 2019 Americans paid more than $3.5 trillion in taxes. Nearly half of all tax returns filed by individuals, corporations, and estates received a refund. Altogether, the Internal Revenue Service issued nearly 122 million refunds totaling $452.1 billion, or $3,709 per refund. There are a number of variables that affect the amount that is refunded, one of which is location. The average refund can vary by state from under $2,500 to more than $8,700. For the fiscal year 2019, the average tax refund for Pennsylvania was $3,055. This ranks as the 25th highest among all 50 states and is lower than the average refund amount of $3,709 nationwide. This figure includes not just personal income tax returns, but also corporate taxes, estate taxes, and more. Nationwide, the IRS collected $10,860 per person... Read more →

NJ's Local-State Tax Rate was 11.7% in 2019; The 7th Highest among 50 States

The Center Square Apr 8, 2021 The effective state and local tax rate for New Jersey residents in 2019 was 11.7 percent, the seventh-highest percentage among the 50 states, according to a new ranking published by the Tax Foundation. graphics file Across the United States, the average state-local tax burden came in at 10.3 percent of Americans’ combined income, the study said. Generally, state-local tax rates rose in 2019 over the previous year as tax collections outpaced overall income growth, the Tax Foundation’s analysis found. The foundation’s researchers also point out that about a fifth of states’ tax revenues come from nonresidents, such as tourists and out-of-state homeowners. Based on the latest economic data available, the study accounted for this and looked primarily at state and local levies paid by each state’s residents. In the resulting data table quantifying state and local tax burdens, the states’ numbers tend to... Read more →

Salaries for Teachers Across the Nation Listed; PA Ranked-9, MD-8, DE-16, NJ-22

Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square Apr 14, 2021 The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to an education. Though the federal government has set some academic standards, education policy is set largely at the state and local levels. State governments have authority over public school curriculums, teaching methods, instructional materials, and, in conjunction with local districts, teacher pay. files Without national compensation standards, average salaries for teachers across the country vary considerably. Depending on the state, the average teacher salary varies from as little as $45,300 to more than $85,000. The disparity in average teacher salary is less stark after adjusting for cost of living, yet it is still substantial, with a nearly $25,000 difference between the state with the highest average and the state with the lowest. Using data on elementary, middle, and high school pay from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7... Read more →

New Jersey owes $101.5 billion in public-employee retirement benefits

Beyond pension debts The Center Square (The Center Square) – Net liabilities in New Jersey for so-called other post-employment benefits (OPEBs), which consist mainly of health care obligations to retired public employees, stood at about $101.5 billion in fiscal-year 2019, according to a recent analysis from the Reason Foundation. With a population of 8,882,190, the state posted a per-capita OPEB liability of $11,425, which represents the second highest value among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Reason study found. In total, these liabilities amount to 6 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, the researchers said. These debts are also geographically concentrated, with 15 government jurisdictions representing 50 percent of the total, the study found. In addition, any plan to expand Medicare to those under age 65 would result in the federal government assuming a large share of state and local OPEB liabilities, according to the Reason... Read more →


CHEER--The Cold Springs administration and staff put together a well-organized and safe event for students. They met with families outside to thank us for our help and support throughout this school year and also gave each student a brand new book along with an Easter egg and visit from the Easter bunny. The kids all seemed to enjoy themselves! JEER--Gloucester City is one of the most depressed communities in New Jersey. How can we afford to pay our public servants 60% more than what our middle-class homeowners are earning? We the taxpayers have become the servants who only exist to serve our public employees. No wonder we can't afford any capital improvements that are gravely needed in town!!" RELATED:PROPERTY TAXES Gloucester City in the Top 30 with the Highest; Brooklawn in the Top 30 with the Lowest Mayor Dan Spencer and Police Chief Brian Morrell JEER--Why has Gloucester City Police... Read more →

NJ Republicans Say Lockdown Not Stopping COVID19, 'Open Schools, Businesses Now'

Todd DeFeo / The Center Square (The Center Square) – New Jersey Republicans want New Jersey schools and businesses to reopen, saying lockdowns are not slowing the spread of COVID-19. “Enough businesses have been destroyed, enough jobs have been lost by the Governor’s defenseless edicts, and continuing on that same path only ensures more economic and emotional pain,” state Sen. Michael Testa, R-Vineland, said in a statement. “We must end the failed policies that have suppressed life in the state. It’s about time to learn from the Administration’s mistakes and open up the economy.” Republicans point to an Associated Press report highlighting Johns Hopkins University data that found roughly half of the nation’s new COVID-19 came from five states, including New Jersey. neighboring Pennsylvania and New York were also on the list. “Sadly, we once again see New Jersey at the top of a list no state wants to be... Read more →

YOUR MONEY: Biden Proposes $16B to Plug Abandoned Oil/Gas Wells in Pennsylvania

By Christen Smith | The Center Square (The Center Square)(Pittsburg PA)(March 31, 2021)– President Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure spending plan earmarks $16 billion to plug abandoned oil and gas wells across the country. It’s a potential solution for an expensive and overwhelming problem for Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. During House budget hearings last month, DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell told lawmakers the department spends an average of $17,000 plugging one abandoned well. The cost means fewer than 1,100 orphaned wells have been plugged in the last decade. The department said it’s identified 8,000 it needs to address, though estimates suggest as many 250,000 exist across the state, most with locations unknown. “This a major issue both in terms of potential methane emissions as well as drinking water and ground water contamination,” McDonnell told the House Appropriations Committee on Feb. 22. “We like to say there’s a clock on these wells.... Read more →

Guest Opinion: Fracking Ban Threatens 10 Million Jobs

“Just to clarify, would there be any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration?” CNN’s Dana Bash said. “No, we would — we would work it out. We would make sure it's eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those, either — any fossil fuel,” Biden said in response. (July 31, 2019 video/USAToday) ++++++ Stephanie Catarino Wissman | RealClearWire/The Center Square The fracking ban threatens American jobs and derails our environmental progress Now the global leader in natural gas and oil production, the U.S. has set the standard for safe, reliable, and affordable energy. America’s energy sector supports more than 10 million jobs across the nation, driving nearly $290 billion of capital investment – all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But unrealistic energy policies and bans on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could swiftly undo years of progress and economic growth. Most aspects of... Read more →

New Report Criticizes NJ Governor For Placing COVID Patients Into Nursing Homes

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square contributor (The Center Square) – New Jersey Republicans say a new report proves nursing home administrators informed the Murphy administration that an order requiring them to accept COVID-19-positive patients would lead to outbreaks and deaths. graphic files According to the report, nursing home administrators expressed concerns about the order during a March 31 call with New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Patients will die,” the newspaper quoted an unidentified administrator as saying on the call. “You understand that by asking us to take COVID patients, by demanding we take COVID patients, that patients will die in nursing homes that wouldn’t have otherwise died had we screened them out.” Republicans have launched a series of hearings into the Murphy administration’s COVID-19 response, but so far, Democrats have declined to join in the process. They have also scuttled SR-68, a resolution to create... Read more →

Pennsylvania Owes $38.5 Billion for Post Employment Benefits; NJ Owes $101 Billion

THE CENTER SQUARE The Center Square) – Net liabilities in Pennsylvania for so-called other post-employment benefits (OPEBs), which consist mainly of health care obligations to retired public employees, stood at about $38.5 billion in fiscal-year 2019, according to a recent analysis from the Reason Foundation. files With a population of 12.8 million, the state posted a per-capita OPEB liability of $3,010, which represents the 17th highest value among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Reason study found. Nationally, these liabilities amount to 6 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, the researchers said. These debts are also geographically concentrated, with 15 government jurisdictions representing 50 percent of the total, the study found. In addition, any plan to expand Medicare to those under age 65 would result in the federal government assuming a large share of state and local OPEB liabilities, according to the Reason Foundation. This... Read more →

OPPONENT SAY: House Democrats $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill waste taxpayer money, full of pork

WASHINGTON POLITICS Tax and Spend files Bethany Blankley | The Center Square (The Center Square) – The Democrats’ $1.9 trillion emergency relief bill – which is up for a vote Friday – includes a slew of bailout money for state governments unrelated to the pandemic, opponents say.Under the guise of COVID-19 relief money, U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., told Fox News the bill “is more the pretext than the purpose behind what Democrats are proposing. Their approach is the wrong plan, at the wrong time, for all the wrong reasons.” The 591-page bill proposed on Feb. 19 includes an additional $300 billion to state and local governments, an additional $130 billion to schools, and an additional $19.1 billion to state and local governments for housing assistance to those who have not been able to pay their rent for the last year due to ongoing state lockdowns. It also provides... Read more →

NJ GOP Planning Hearings into Murphy's Response to Pandemic

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square (The Center Square) – New Jersey Senate Republicans are forging ahead with hearings into Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Since May, Senate Republicans have sought a bipartisan investigation to understand the policy and management failures of the Murphy Administration that led to preventable deaths, destroyed businesses and jobs, and left millions of New Jerseyans without access to important services and support,” Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said in a statement. Kean noted that Democrats, who control both chambers of the Legislature, have opposed the formation of a select committee that could make full use of lawmakers' oversight powers. “While we had hoped to investigate these matters through a select committee with subpoena power – which continues to be our preferred forum – we have been left with no choice but to pursue independent hearings that we will conduct with... Read more →

GUEST OPINION: Pennsylvania voters will have their say on emergency declarations

By Rep. Clint Owlett Feb 8, 2021 THE CENTER SQUARE Pennsylvania voters will finally have a say this spring in the state’s handling of extended disaster emergencies. At the upcoming primary election, on May 18, voters will be asked to vote on a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would limit the duration of an emergency declaration by a governor to a maximum of 21 days. Under the proposed amendment, the declaration could be extended, but only with legislative approval. files “Legislative approval” means you, the citizens of this commonwealth, would have a voice in whether or not a disaster emergency declaration should be extended. Under current law, the governor has the authority to declare disaster emergencies and can continue to renew those declarations as long as he or she sees fit. Requiring a governor to seek legislative approval to extend an emergency means he or she would... Read more →

FEB. 8 Quick hits: NJ news in brief

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square FEMA ponies up an additional $300 million for New Jersey The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has unlocked an additional $300 million in federal COVID-19 relief for New Jersey, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, said. New Jersey has received more than $846 million in FEMA disaster assistance for the state’s COVID-19 response. Menendez argued New Jersey communities should not be “burdened” with the 25% “local cost-share.” “Eliminating FEMA’s required local cost-share means New Jersey will get hundreds of millions more in federal funding to help our state, counties and towns defeat the pandemic, support our hospitals and schools, purchase vital personal protective gear, and ramp up vaccinations,” Menendez said in a news release. Booker reintroduces ‘baby bond’ legislation U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Massachusetts, have reintroduced the American Opportunity Accounts Act to give children born in... Read more →

Report: Majority of U.S. cities unprepared for financial fallout from statewide shutdowns

RELATED: Peyton and Me Meandering Through S.J. (Gloucester City, Mt. Ephraim) Chapter VII By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square (The Center Square) – The majority of U.S. cities were ill-prepared for any financial crisis last year, let alone the one brought about by their respective state shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new reportpublished by the nonprofit Truth in Accounting (TIA) concludes. LOVE YOUR MONEY files The annual assessment surveys the fiscal health of the 75 largest municipalities in the U.S. based on fiscal year 2019 data. TIA reviewed audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports filed by city halls across the country and concluded that even the fiscally healthiest cities are projected to lose millions of dollars in revenue as a result of state shutdowns on top of their previously existing poor fiscal health. The majority of 62 cities carried varying levels of debt, many of them... Read more →

NJ Senate Republicans call for investigative committee to probe nursing home deaths

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square (The Center Square) – New Jersey Senate Republicans want Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, to form a bipartisan investigative committee to probe nursing home deaths in the Garden State. The 15 members of the Senate Republican caucus signed the letter to Sweeney. It follows similar requests Republican lawmakers have made since May. “To date, nearly 8,000 residents and staff of our nursing homes and veterans homes have died, with the loss of life still rising at a tragic rate,” they wrote. “In fact, deaths in our nursing homes tripled in December from the prior month as the [Gov. Phil] Murphy administration bungled paperwork delaying the start of the vaccination process in these facilities.” The lawmakers want the committee to have subpoena power and point to similar action that New York Democratic lawmakers are taking. “Without a substantial legislative oversight effort to hold them... Read more →

Attorney General of NY Says Cuomo Administration Failed to Report COVID 19 Deaths

By Steve Bittenbender | The Center Square (The Center Square) – A bombshell report by New York Attorney General Letitia James claims the Cuomo administration dramatically underreported the number of nursing home deaths due to COVID-19, and files Republican leaders are calling for resignations at the highest levels. The report by James’ office requested data from 62 nursing homes, roughly 10 percent of the state’s facilities. It indicates that the state Department of Health did not count nursing home residents who contracted the virus, were sent to hospitals and died there as part of the nursing home death toll. The facilities reported 1,914 deaths to the Attorney General’s office, yet the Department of Health reported 1,229, an undercount of nearly 56 percent. In a statement, James said it was important to understand why nursing home residents “unnecessarily suffered” at a high rate and vowed to protect them and workers... Read more →

GUEST OPINION: Maoist Roots Of Deprogramming

BY BILL DONOHUE | CNBNEWS CONTRIBUTOR January 27, 2021 Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on recent calls to deprogram Trump supporters: The Catholic League, like all advocacy organizations, makes maximum use of its First Amendment right to freedom of speech. To this extent, the increasing calls for censorship of organizations that espouse traditional moral views are worrisome. We live in a time of unparalleled attacks on free speech, emanating from established sources, including the media. One might think that the media, which does not exist without freedom of speech, would be reflexively opposed to censorship, but not anymore. In many cases, those who work in the media are leading the charge to silence what it sees as its opposition. This is much more dangerous than the McCarthyism of the 1950s: the variety of tactics being advocated today extends far beyond anything the senator from Wisconsin had in mind. For... Read more →

GUEST OPINION: COVID-19 vaccine ad void leaves states with millions of doses

Steve Miller / RealClearInvestigations/THE CENTER SQUARE On Interstate 59, a neon billboard used by the Alabama Department of Public Health advises motorists to get their flu and pneumonia vaccines. Placards placed atop gas pumps around the state also promote the flu files vaccine. But the vaccine that will quell COVID-19, a virus that has killed 400,000 nationwide, crippled businesses and prompted governments to force onerous restrictions on the public, gets no mention. Karen Landers, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Health, said the state has “no specific marketing campaign going on” because “the vaccine supply is less than the demand, here and nationwide.” Alabama, though, has plenty of medicine and many residents wondering how to get it. Records show that the state has received 444,000 doses of the vaccine as of Friday, and has vaccinated 100,000 people, using around 23% of its allotted doses. Across the U.S., 31... Read more →

Harrisburg, PA Woman Arrested for Stealing Pelosi's Laptop from Capitol Building January 6

By Christen Smith | The Center Square (The Center Square) – Federal authorities arrested a Pennsylvania woman Monday and accused her of stealing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop during the Jan. 6 breach of Capitol Hill. Riley June Williams was taken into custody in Dauphin County, Pa., for her alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill breach. Dauphin County Prison Riley June Williams, of Harrisburg, was taken into custody after a former romantic partner told the FBI she took the computer during the attack and attempted to sell it to Russian intelligence officials. She’s been charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct, so far, as the investigation into the missing laptop continues. Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s chief of staff, told The Associated Press on Jan. 8 that a laptop was stolen from a conference room, but that it was only used for presentations. ITV reporters questioned Williams’ mother in Harrisburg... Read more →

NJ Amusement Parks 6th highest in value in 2019

By Mary Stroka | The Center Square (The Center Square) – Home to Mountain Creek Waterpark, Tomahawk Lake Water Park, Storybook Land, Land of Make Believe, (Wild West City, Casino Pier, and many more attractions, New Jersey stacked up as the sixth highest-producing state for value-added from amusement parks and water parks in 2019, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Garden State brought in $309 million of the estimated $14.1 billion that amusement parks and water parks across the nation added to the economy that year. Florida (at $5.9 billion), California ($2.7 billion), Texas ($749 million), Illinois ($391 million), and Ohio ($335 million) produced more value. “We continue to receive reports from throughout our tourism industry of a great summer season,” New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way said in a July 2019 news release about the pre-pandemic tourism season. “While... Read more →

NJ Congressman Pleads with Biden to Focus on Funding of Gateway Program

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square (The Center Square) – A New Jersey congressman is calling for President-elect Joe Biden to prioritize – and fund – the Gateway Program. “I know President-elect Biden understands the importance of modern infrastructure to a successful economy,” U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr., D-New Jersey, said in a statement. “That is why I am confident his administration will give the Gateway Program the federal funding and resources necessary to improve transportation throughout the Northeast Corridor.” The Gateway Program, which Payne pegged at costing $30 billion, is a plan to improve the busy Northeast Corridor between Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station. It includes a new Portal North Bridge over the Hackensack River and a new tunnel beneath the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York City to increase capacity. Nine members of the New Jersey’s House delegation, including Payne, and the... Read more →

NJ Seafood Workers Want To Be First

By Steve Bittenbender | The Center Square (The Center Square) – A group of New Jersey fishing businesses and organizations sent a letter to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy this month urging him to keep the seafood industry’s workers as a high-priority group for COVID-19 vaccinations. Seafood employees, like others in the food processing industry, are considered essential workers. According to guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that group falls in Phase 1b, along with public transit employees, first responders as well as teachers and other school staff. Those federal guidelines, though, stand just as a recommendation as the states will be making the call on who gets priority. New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccination plan calls for defining the essential workers group in early 2021. The state says it plans to follow the CDC recommendations, but it’s expected there will be more intended recipients than available vaccines.... Read more →

$58 million for New Jersey Police Departments to Purchase Body Cameras for Officers

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square (The Center Square) – Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law legislation to help municipalities buy body cameras for local police officers. Getty Images The measure makes a $58 million supplemental appropriation for the Department of Law and Public Safety to create the New Jersey Statewide Body-Worn Camera (BWC) grant program. Assembly members Benjie Wimberly, D-Bergen/Passaic; Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, D-Mercer/Hunterdon; Cleopatra Tucker, D-Essex; and Thomas Giblin, D-Essex, sponsored the measure. “The recent events we’ve witnessed nationwide involving police officers have urged states to do more to increase the safety of residents, communities and its officers during law enforcement stops in the State,” the sponsors said in a statement. Last month, Murphy signed a separate measure, Senate Bill 1163/Assembly Bill 4271, into law requiring all patrol officers to wear body cameras. However, it was “subject to funding appropriated by the Legislature,” according to a news... Read more →