An increase in pay has resulted in the state being fully staffed with poll workers for Election Day that starts with early voting Oct. 23. Gov. Phil Murphy said in the week since making the announcement to increase pay for New Jersey poll workers to $300 a day a total of 13,500 new poll workers have signed up to work in this year’s election. “We had estimated that we were 10,000 workers short,” said Murphy during a virtual press briefing Oct. 13. “We have now filled that need and then some.”

With 20 days left before Election Day, 28% of all vote-by-mail ballots have been returned, the state Division of Elections has confirmed. County clerks mailed 899,535 VBM ballots and have recorded 225,619 of them already casting their votes as of Oct. 12. That means about 3.4% of New Jersey’s approximately 6,561,568 registered voters have already voted in the Nov. 2 general election, where the state will elect a governor, all members of the legislature, and scores of county and municipal offices. New Jersey Globe


Gov. Phil Murphy has a significant lead among voters aged 50 and older in New Jersey against GOP rival Jack Ciattarelli in November’s election. The Democratic incumbent leads the Republican by 25 percentage points, according to the Fairleigh Dickinson University poll conducted in partnership with AARP. Fifty-six percent of 50-plus registered voters said they will back Murphy compared to only 31% who support Ciattarelli. According to the poll, 83% of older liberal voters say that they’ll support Murphy, while only 65% of conservatives plan to vote for the Republican.

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Rep. Jeff Van Drew is longer acknowledging the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s election as President and is among a growing number of Republicans who say Donald Trump is blameless in the U.S. Capitol insurrection last January. When the former Democrat who switched parties in 2019 when asked by CNN Van Drew if he believed that Biden was the “duly-elected 46th president of the United States,” Van Drew responded. “I am not going to make that determination…I do think is that we need to make sure that our election system works right.”  Later when asked about the insurrection and whether he thinks Trump played a role, Van Drew stated, “I do not. I think people are responsible for their own actions.”

There have been 27 new COVID-19 outbreaks from in-school transmission in the past week in the Garden State, bringing the statewide total since August to nearly 100 school outbreaks. The outbreaks account for more than 500 total cases of COVID-19, spanning 84 districts. There are 444 cases among students, and 77 among staff members. News12 New Jersey

Montclair State University announced an agreement with three of its unions on a COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Members of the Communications Workers of America, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers and NJ Policemen’s Benevolent Association State Law Enforcement Units must submit their proof of vaccination through the college’s Vax Check portal or submit a request for religious or medical exemptions by Oct. 18. If any members who do not provide proof of vaccination or file a request for an exemption by Oct. 18 are not allowed at work. They are able to use a mix of vacation days and administrative leave for a period of non-compliance that cannot exceed 10 working days. The Record

The Port of Los Angeles will operate around the clock in an effort to ease cargo bottlenecks that have led to shortages and higher consumer costs, a change announced by the Biden Administration on Oct. 13 as it seeks to alleviate supply-chain issues ahead of the holidays. Expanded operations at the Port of Los Angeles would nearly double the hours that cargo can move and the extra shifts have been agreed to by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents dock workers. “Today’s announcement has the potential to be a game changer,” President Joe Biden said. “I say potential because all of these goods won’t move by themselves. For the positive impact to be felt all across the country, and by all of you at home, we need major retailers who order the goods and the freight movers who take the goods from ships to factories and to stores to step up as well.” The Wall Street Journal

Retirees on Social Security will get a 5.9% boost in benefits for 2022, the biggest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 39 years. The COLA amounts to an added $92 a month for the average retired worker, according to estimates from the Social Security Administration. With the increase, the estimated average Social Security payment for a retired worker will be $1,657 a month next year and rising by $154 to $2,753 per month. It’s an abrupt break from a long lull in inflation that saw cost-of-living adjustments averaging just 1.65% a year over the past 10 years. News12 New Jersey

Bergen, Burlington, Camden and Monmouth counties appear to lead the pack when it comes to communities giving a green light for legal weed businesses—either medical or recreational sales or cultivation of cannabis—under updated state regulations. At least 14 communities in Bergen and nearly a dozen in Burlington have opted to allow some form of regulated cannabis business, while eight communities each in Camden and Monmouth counties have opted in. ​​An unofficial count by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities from August found that 360 communities had opted out and 90 had opted in, just before the deadline for ordinances blocking marijuana businesses.

The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners unanimously agreed to repeal several restrictions on abortion, effectively expanding access by allowing medical providers other than physicians to terminate pregnancies. Under the rule changes approved Oct. 13, “early aspiration terminations”—the most common abortion method in a pregnancy’s first trimester—will be able to be performed by advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives, and certified midwives. The board also voted to get rid of a rule that barred office-based terminations beyond 14 weeks gestation. The rule changes—first proposed in January—follow the recommendations of a board subcommittee created in 2018 to study whether existing regulations needed updating. New Jersey Monitor 

Rep. Tom Malinowski and a bipartisan group of House lawmakers have written legislation that would extend due diligence to those who enable foreign assets to flow into the United States. Malinowski’s The ENABLERS Act is a response to revelations in the recently released “Pandora Papers” to close loopholes that kleptocrats from around the world use to launder money in the United States, with the stated goal to stop the enablers of international corruption. “If we make banks report dirty money but allow law, real estate, and accounting firms to look the other way, that creates a loophole that crooks and kleptocrats can sail a yacht through,” Malinowski said. “Our bill closes that loophole and encourages the administration to move in the same direction.”

The Biden Administration announced a plan to develop large-scale wind farms along nearly the entire coastline of the United States, the first long-term strategy from the government to produce electricity from offshore turbines. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said that her agency will begin to identify and eventually lease federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Maine and off the coasts of the Mid-Atlantic States, North Carolina and South Carolina, California and Oregon, to wind power developers by 2025. The announcement came months after the Biden administration approved the nation’s first major commercial offshore wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and began reviewing a dozen other potential offshore wind projects along the East Coast. On the West Coast, the administration has approved opening up two areas off the shores of Central and Northern California for commercial wind power development. The New York Times

The Murphy Administration continues to focus on reducing gun violence with the creation of a statewide task force to enhance gun violence investigations and prosecutions. To implement the task force, Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck issued his first enforcement directive that creates a statewide gun violence intelligence sharing network in all of New Jersey’s 21 counties. The Gun Violence Reduction (GVR) Task Force will coordinate between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, the state’s 21 County Prosecutors, New Jersey State Police and federal, state, and local law enforcement to implement immediate information sharing across all agencies.

A senior correctional officer at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women was charged with sexual assault and official misconduct for allegedly having sex with a prisoner on Sept. 16, the Attorney General’s office announced Oct. 13. Tyrell Harris-McLaughlin allegedly assaulted a prisoner who he had supervisory or disciplinary power over, authorities said. Evidence collected from the alleged assault was a match to Harris-McLaughlin’s DNA after the woman detailed the alleged assault in a recorded conversation with authorities less than a week later, the complaint says.

Jersey City Ward F city council candidate Frank Gilmore has come out swinging after campaign fliers with a fake mugshot and details on his criminal record blanketed parked cars across the ward this week. Gilmore allegeds the fliers were distributed by people associated with incumbent Councilman Jermaine Robinson’s campaign, saying he has received calls and videos from eyewitnesses that prove his claim.“I understand it’s political season, but I think this may be a new low for politics here in Jersey City,” Gilmore said. “I would really urge all sitting elected officials to really denounce this Willy Horton-type of political tactic of tarnishing Black and Brown communities.” The Jersey Journal

The Paterson school district is asking the state for an extra $15.5 million to hire another 183 teachers in an effort to address severe classroom overcrowding. The district has about 800 classes that exceed state class size standards. If the state provides the requested funding, Paterson would assign 106 additional teachers to city high schools and 77 to grades kindergarten through 8. The Record

And finally…The New Jersey Devils drop the puck on the 2021/2022 season when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. New Jersey Herald

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)




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