Virus Outbreak New Jersey

Medical workers prepare for the opening of a COVID-19 test location in a parking lot near the casinos in Atlantic City, N.J., Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

Democrats say restrictions will hurt Atlantic City convention business

Democratic Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato are asking Gov. Phil Murphy to ease restrictions on conventions and trade shows in Atlantic City.

An executive order by Murphy limits indoor gatherings to 25 percent capacity.

“Conventions and trade shows account for over $1.9 billion in economic impact to the city of Atlantic City” the lawmakers said in a letter to Murphy. “COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on Atlantic City’s businesses, casino revenues are down, over 57,000 individuals are still out of work and the convention industry is still shut down. While public health and worker safety are top priorities, we have to look at getting AC back to work.”

Republicans say Murphy’s plan to end bear hunts is reckless

Three Republican lawmakers say Gov. Phil Murphy is “jeopardizing” the safety of New Jerseyans by ending bear hunts in the state in 2021.

Murphy announced a new black bear management plan that uses nonlethal strategies. The state has about 3,500 bears, according to information released by Sen. Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths, Republicans from the Sussex/Warren/Morris district.

“This is a self-serving attempt to placate extremists while increasing the likelihood of a dangerous encounter with a bear,” said Space, who sits on the Assembly Agriculture Committee and is co-chairman of the NJ Angling, Hunting and Conservation Caucus. “Hunts effectively controlled the bear population since 2010, and reports of nuisance and damage were cut in half during that time.

The public has 60 days to comment on the policy.

Senior Freeze payments to resume Oct. 15

Senior Freeze payments, which were not included in New Jersey’s three-month stopgap budget because of the pandemic, will resume Oct. 15, according to the New Jersey Division of Taxation.

Funding for the program, which helps seniors and the disabled with their tax bills, were restored in the 2021 fiscal year budget signed by Gov. Phil Murphy last month.

The budget also restored funding for Homestead Benefit programs and those who are eligible will begin receiving payments in May of 2021.

“Funding for the Senior Freeze and Homestead Benefit programs should never have been on the chopping block in the first place,” said Republican lawmakers Sen. Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf, and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove who represent the 9th district.

– The Center Square