Progressive Values Committee, based in Bayonne, spent about $138,000 on behalf of Andre Sayegh's mayoral run in Paterson, according to state election reports. About half the funds came from a political action committee affiliated with the state teachers’ union, and other money from a real estate developer and longtime ally of the mayor, and a group that supports charter schools in the state, according to the Record.
The group paid for six campaign mailings that attacked Sayegh's opponents and get-out-the-vote efforts. The group’s support for Sayegh was reported before the election, but the amount the group spent and who funded it was not disclosed until last week, when the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission released its quarterly report.
Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteers
Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at the Hudson County Courthouse, 595 Newark Ave. Rm# 901 on Tuesday, August 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a nonprofit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s wellbeing. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.
For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.
NJ puts prosecution of marijuana charges on hold
State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has asked municipal prosecutors in New Jersey to adjourn all cases involving marijuana until at least September. In a letter to municipal prosecutors, Grewal said he was taking the action so his office can develop "appropriate guidance" for them. His statement did not indicate whether arrests for marijuana possession would also be put on hold.
State Sen. Stack calls for utilities to notify towns of power shutoffs
Following the death of a Newark woman in hospice care after PSE&G shut off her electricity, State Sen. Brian Stack has called for PSE&G to notify municipalities of pending, nonemergency shutoffs.
“It is an absolute tragedy that a grandmother lost her life because her electricity was shut off and she was unable to use her oxygen tank,” Stack said. “Municipalities are in a position to assist residents, either through their own resources or through social service agency resources. This should never occur because a resident got behind on her payments.”
Stack has sponsored state Senate bill S-2477, which requires utilities providing electric, gas, or water services to notify the mayor, chief law enforcement officer, and health officer, in writing, at least 21 days prior to a nonemergency shutoff. This would allow municipal officials, if needed, to intervene.
“I have pleaded with PSE&G for over 20 years to change their policies and work with municipalities to prevent unnecessary shutoffs,” Stack said. “Residents, especially the most vulnerable, must be protected to ensure that tragedies like this do not continue to occur. My heart goes out to Linda Daniel’s family, who watched her needlessly suffer.”
DEP issues advisories on PFAS chemicals
The state is recommending limits on consumption of 12 species of fish because of high levels of a class of chemicals called PFAs, according to NJ Spotlight. The chemicals have been linked to certain illnesses, including some forms of cancer, immune system problems, and high cholesterol. The state's Department of Environmental Protection says that fish from 14 bodies of water in six counties were sampled, including sites on the Passaic River, which flows into the Hackensack.
Murphy, public workers union agree on contract
NJ Gov. Phil Murphy and a union that represents 6,500 state employees have reached agreement on a $34 million contract, according to the Record. Members of the union, AFSCME, have been working without a contract since 2015. The agreement is subject to a ratification vote by union members. The governor issued a statement saying, "This contract will provide fair wages, honor past increments that the prior administration refused to pay, and protect healthcare, among other benefits."