NJ Spotlight

NJ climate push wins big in Senate vote

It is dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, but to New Jersey clean-energy advocates the bill, expected to win final approval in Congress this week, is a much-needed boost to quickly transition the state away from fossil fuels. The compromise legislation proposes to spend $369 billion over 10 years on clean...
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After a mistake, Senate approves worker bill

A bill granting many temporary workers in New Jersey with what labor advocates are calling much-needed protections has finally been sent to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk more than a month after a legislative mix-up delayed its final adoption. The measure, dubbed the “Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights,” cleared the...
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Four judges set, 59 left

Senate confirms Superior Court judges, but work remains to fill large-scale vacancies. Four new Superior Court judges have been confirmed, but New Jersey still faces a sizeable number of judicial vacancies, including three seats for the state’s Supreme Court. On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee cleared the four new...


Additional funding for hospital-based violence intervention programs. In January 2020, the Murphy administration and the attorney general’s office awarded $20 million in federal funding to nine hospital-based violence intervention programs across New Jersey. The aim of these programs is to link hospitals with community-based organizations that are working to assist victims and prevent the spread of violence. “By partnering with community organizations to provide services to victims and families in hospitals following a shooting, the program has shown an ability to reduce the cycle of gun violence when retaliation is most likely to occur and spread,” a press release issued Monday by the attorney general’s office, stated.

NJ Spotlight News: August 8, 2022

We bring you what’s relevant and important in New Jersey news, along with our insight. Watch as the NJ Spotlight News team breaks down today’s top stories. Murphy AG nominee gets committee nod after intense GOP questioning. Matt Platkin’s nomination will now go to the full Senate.
NJ Spotlight

Murphy AG nominee gets committee nod after intense GOP questioning

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 8 to 2 to release Matt Platkin’s nomination as New Jersey attorney general, ending months of delay after Democratic Sen. Dick Codey (D-Essex) invoked senatorial courtesy to block Gov. Phil Murphy’s nominee. Platkin, who has been serving as acting attorney general for six...

Demand far outstrips supply of monkeypox vaccine

The state health department is reporting 243 cases of monkeypox throughout 15 counties. The highest concentrations are in Hudson, Essex and Bergen counties, those in closest proximity to New York City, which is still the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending vaccination for people who’ve been exposed as well as for those at higher risk of being exposed.

Hopewell Starbucks workers end weekend strike

Baristas at the Starbucks in Hopewell Township were back at work on Monday, after striking over the weekend in protest of what they call unfair labor practices. The Hopewell store was the first Starbucks location in New Jersey where workers unionized, and workers there say the company has failed to recognize the union or bargain in good faith.

Newark high school creates one of the largest urban farms in the city

West Side High School students learn about sustainability, agribusiness and nutrition. West Side High School in Newark is planting seeds of hope, through the creation of a one-acre urban farm that teaches students about sustainability, agribusiness and nutrition. The high school’s principal, Akbar Cook, made a second appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in February, where he received $110,000 from DeGeneres for the farm. That farm is now named after her and comes complete with a mural of her face.


Tax credits available for purchase in pilot NJ Corporate Tax Credit Auction. In 2022, a pilot amount of $30 million in tax credits will be going under the hammer through the New Jersey Corporate Tax Credit Auction. The proceeds will go toward the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund (NJIEF), a groundbreaking tool to increase access to strategic resources and venture capital. Under the scheme, the state will become an equity investor in startups, ultimately making available up to $600 million to companies alongside professional venture capital groups. This strategic investment will not only support New Jersey’s entrepreneurs, but will also ensure that more companies start, grow and stay in state. The fund and the auctions are overseen by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Op-Ed: Building a resilient, diverse health care workforce

Accurate, publicly available data is a key building block for a comprehensive, statewide health care workforce strategy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the health care sector lost nearly half a million workers since February 2020, while Morning Consult, a survey research company, reported that 18% of all health care workers have quit since the pandemic began.

NJ targets another company for environmental damage

Monsanto latest to be sued. State seeks compensation for damage from PCBs. New Jersey filed its latest lawsuit seeking compensation for alleged damages to the environment, this time claiming that Monsanto and two former affiliates produced toxic PCBs that leaked into the state’s air and water over almost 50 years.
NJ Spotlight

NJ adds more weapons to its harm-reduction arsenal

New Jersey is working to expand access to syringe-exchange programs to help combat the ongoing opioid epidemic, the latest in a series of steps the state has taken to reduce the damaging impacts of drug use and improve public health. State Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex), lead sponsor of the 2006...

NJ Spotlight News: August 5, 2022

We bring you what’s relevant and important in New Jersey news, along with our insight. Watch as the NJ Spotlight News team breaks down today’s top stories. Federal jobs report reveals unexpected economic growth. Interview with James Hughes, dean emeritus of the Bloustein School at Rutgers University. Trenton...

Trenton prepares for intense municipal election in November

Trenton’s upcoming municipal election is shaping up to be one for the record books. It’s the first time that the election will be held in November, moved from May, and at least 22 candidates have taken out petitions to run for the seven council seats up for grabs. The deadline to file is Sept. 6, so there could be even more who step forward to try and lead New Jersey’s capital city at a time when residents contend things just aren’t getting done and that the city government is dysfunctional.

Federal jobs report reveals unexpected economic growth

Interview with James Hughes, dean emeritus of the Bloustein School at Rutgers University. The U.S. economy is in better shape than many people thought. The federal government’s monthly job report released on Friday indicated 528,000 new jobs were created in July — much more than expected. The unemployment rate dipped to 3.5%, a 50-year low. The report revealed strong hiring across the private sector and worker wages are rising. The new numbers come at a time when there are worries about whether the economy is slowing and potentially heading to a recession.

Remains of Revolutionary War soldiers discovered in NJ

Local historians are in awe of the recent discovery of skeletal remains, uncovered during an archaeological dig at a battlefield in Red Bank Battlefield Park. Rowan University researchers say they uncovered the remains of 13 Hessian soldiers — German auxiliary troops who aided the British Army during the Revolutionary War. The soldiers fought in the Battle of Red Bank 245 years ago. They also found musket balls, rare coins and pieces of soldiers’ uniforms.

People of color not choosing medical aid in dying option

It’s been three years since New Jersey enacted a Medical Aid in Dying law, but only 95 terminally ill patients have chosen that path to end their lives here, so far — and they’re mostly white. A Rutgers researcher says that mirrors national statistics — which also show most people who choose aid in dying have some college education, stating, “It raises some questions about, is this truly a preference — or is there something about the way these laws are written and enacted that might be leading to some disparities.”

’21 Series:’ A profile of Kasey Massa, creator of ‘Camp No Worries’

'We host patients, siblings and bereaved siblings ... that is something no other camp in the country does,' said Massa. The NJ PBS digital documentary series “21” examines a simple question: Does where you live in the state affect how you live? The “21” series profiles one person in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties and looks at the social determinants that affect that person’s life.