Bob Menendez

Governor Phil Murphy and members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation are seeking the Trump administration's support for completing the multi-billion billion Gateway tunnel between the Garden State and Manhattan.

Gateway Development Authority trustee Jerry Zaro says a new tunnel is needed because the existing two train tunnels under the Hudson River need repairs.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is confident President Trump will sign the defense authorization act Congress approved that includes the creation of the first official military commendation to honor military working dogs and their handlers.

At the U.S War Dog Memorial in Holmdel, Menendez said he’s grateful the legislation he introduced two years ago will be signed to establish the Guardians of America Freedom Medal that recognizes the valor and achievement of military dogs.

Some New Jersey lawmakers say a Texas company’s online directions for making a gun with a 3-D printer is a recipe for disaster.

U-S Senator Bob Menendez says it’s outrageous that design files for those weapons are being made public.

“At a time in which we have seen mass murders with traditional weapons I don’t know why I would give someone the wherewithal to have a weapon that actually would be untraceable and largely undetectable.”

Incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey won his primary election contest Tuesday but his little-known opponent Lisa McCormick  got a surprising 39 percent of the vote from Democrats.

Political analysts say despite his poor performance, Menendez is likely to win reelection in November. 

Seton Hall public affairs professor Matthew Hale believes much of the vote for Menendez’ challenger was a protest because of his recent corruption trial that resulted in a hung jury and the charges were dropped.

Incumbent democratic US Senator Bob Menendez is seeking a third term in office.  He’s a former mayor of Union City, turned congressman, now senator.  Menendez says he’s always fought for New Jersey families.

The election for a U-S Senate seat from New Jersey could be a close contest.

A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of registered voters shows incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez with only a four-point lead over Republican candidate Bob Hugin.

Poll director Krista Jenkins says the Senate Ethics Committee’s admonishment of Menendez for taking gifts from a wealthy doctor is weighing on his re-election efforts even though he was not convicted when put on trial for corruption.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey State Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal says check for ticks after being out in wooded areas.  Tick-borne illness is on the rise. 

“Ticks that transmit Lyme disease are active during the spring, summer, and the fall.  But May, June, and July are the peak seasons, the peak months rather for transmission of tick-borne illness,” said Elnahal.  “5,000 cases of Lyme disease were diagnosed in New Jersey last year.  The highest total since the year 2000.  Morris and Hunterdon County top the list in terms of the number of cases.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

The Carteret Ferry Terminal is part of a redevelopment project on the borough’s waterfront along the Arthur Kill Channel.  Mayor Dan Reiman says the terminals construction won’t be complete until 2022, but the ferry can start operating as soon as they acquire a boat with help from NJ Transit.

“We have an existing 1,200-foot pier.  In fact, last year, two years ago when we did the test runs we operated off of this existing pier.  The infrastructure in town is in place.”

Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation to help New Jersey taxpayers get around federal tax code changes that limit deductions for state and local taxes.

The new law allows towns to create charitable funds that pay for local services and lets residents get credits for up to 90 percent of their donations to reduce their property tax bill.

Murphy says New Jersey joins 33 other states that have allowed credits in exchange for charitable contributions without interference from the Internal Revenue Service.

The Senate Ethics Committee has strongly admonished New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez for accepting gifts from a wealthy doctor and taking official actions related to his interests.

Political analysts don't expect it to have much of an effect on Menendez's re-election effort.

Federal prosecutors decided not to retry Menendez after a mistrial in his corruption case when jurors couldn't agree on a verdict.

Montclair State political science professor Brigid Harrison says the ethics committee’s action probably won't sway a lot of voters.

The childhood autism rate continues to rise, and New Jersey's rate is the highest in the nation.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in 59 children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in 2014, a 15 percent increase from two years earlier.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez says prevalence in New jersey is nearly double the national rate, with about 3 percent of children in the state affected.

Seven months before the election, a Monmouth University poll shows incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez with a big advantage over Republican Bob Hugin in the race for a U.S Senate seat from New Jersey.

Poll director Patrick Murray says 53 percent of registered voters say they’d vote for Menendez and 32 percent would choose Hugin.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Bob Hugin recently retired from Celgene, a New Jersey based biotech company that develops medicines, most notably for cancer treatment.  He was a major financial donor to Chris Christie’s failed presidential bid, turned staunch supporter for President Trump, but Hugin says he’s ready to go to Washington with his mind set on doing what’s right for the state.

Ang Santos / WBGO

A 17-month investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board points to the train engineer’s undiagnosed sleep apnea as the probable cause of the crash.  US Senator Cory Booker says future incidents can be avoided if personnel are screened and treated for the disorder.

“And those people that work hard, and commute daily should be able to rest, they should be able to sleep on that train with confidence that we are doing everything necessary to keep them safe.”

Governor Christie and some of New Jersey’s federal lawmakers want the entire Atlantic Coast excluded from the Trump Administration’s plan to expand offshore oil and gas drilling.

The Interior Department granted a request from Florida officials to exempt that state from offshore drilling because it could devastate its tourism industry and coastal economy.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez believes New Jersey should also be exempt.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Governor-elect Phil Murphy says the Gateway Tunnel project is one of his administration’s top priorities, and it will take co-operation between state and federal government to get it done.

“It’s a game changer for New Jersey.  It’s a game changer for New York.  We want to unlock those keys and get that up, funded, and running.”

US Senator Bob Menendez rues what he calls a lost opportunity to build a new Hudson River rail tunnel under current Republican Governor Chris Christie.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The defense team in Senator Bob Menendez’s trial opened with testimony from family members.  The senator’s son Robert Menendez Jr. recalled several trips to the Dominican Republic with his father’s good friend Salomon Melgen.   He called them "family gatherings." 

Prosecutors accuse Menendez of taking bribes from Melgen, a Florida eye doctor in return for helping him resolve business problems with government officials.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Objections for relevance, a lack thereof, pulled the jury from the court room multiple times before the prosecution rested.  Attorneys for US Senator Bob Menendez spent hours on offense.  They say the prosecution has presented insufficient evidence to prove the US Senator guilty of bribery under a 2016 US Supreme Court ruling.  The prosecution seemed to be having some difficulty convincing US District Judge William Walls that they have enough proof to charge Menendez.  The New Jersey senior senator refused questions from reporters after court adjourned.  The trial continues on Monday.

Ang Santos / WBGO

During a rally to oppose the Republican Party’s latest efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Senator Bob Menendez promised to be on Capitol Hill when a vote takes place.

“No matter what personal sacrifice I will face, when republicans bring the bill to the Senate floor, I will be there to vote against it and resist against it,” Menendez said.

Even if Democratic Senator U.S. Bob Menendez of New Jersey is acquitted of federal corruption charges, a Quinnipiac University poll finds he could have a tough time winning reelection.

Pollster Maurice Carroll says 49 percent of New Jersey voters surveyed disapprove of the way Menendez is handling his job and only 20 percent believe he deserves to be reelected.

“He’s got a lot to overcome, but assuming that the trial comes out on his side, he’s got a year to work on it, and I wouldn’t rule the guy out because he is one tough cookie.”

Steve Sandberg / For Senator Bob Menendez

The BEACH ACT requires the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that   the most up to date standards are being used to test beach water for contaminants.  Congressman Frank Pallone says right now that’s not happening.

“Most of the time it takes about twenty-four hours.  Our bill would allow for four hours, or try to mandate a four-hour test so people would know even quicker,” Pallone said. Then they can go on the website or they can find out from the media whether they can swim in a particular location.  Then when it’s cleaned up, they know that it is and they can go back.”

Bipartisan legislation proposed by several federal lawmakers would extend the U-S flood insurance program for six years and make some changes to discourage waste and abuse.

Louisiana U.S. Senator John Kennedy says the legislation would cap flood insurance premium increases for homeowners at 10 percent a year.

“That’s a big step because if you look at what we have now, flood insurance can go up 18 percent for a homeowner. And if it’s your second home or a commercial establishment, it can go up 25 percent.”

Alexandra Hill

New Jersey’s senior US Senator is calling on the Committee on Foreign Investment to review a potential majority Russian stake in one the country’s ten largest oil companies.

Senator Bob Menendez says the Venezuelan owned oil company Citgo is currently at risk of a Russian takeover. Its all due to the economic crisis in the country which could result in a default on its debt to Russia, leaving the oil giant, which owns 48 petroleum terminals in 20 states and nearly nine U.S. based oil pipelines, under Russian control.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey state and federal elected officials were at a Jewish Community Center in Tenafly to condemn the recent string of antisemitic acts across the country.

Governor Chris Christie says New Jersey law enforcement is aggressively perusing a recent spike in bias crimes.

“We now have $10,000 rewards available for any leads that lead us to the violation of bias crimes.  And anyone in this state who commits that type of crime will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and sent to prison,” Christie said.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Democrats in New Jersey’s congressional delegation staged a rally in Newark against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The republican majority congress in both houses are already beginning the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, days before the inauguration of Donald Trump.  The president-elect ran on the platform of repealing and replacing Obamacare.  Democrats in Congress find that troubling.

“They don’t have a plan, we know that,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell, a point that was made by each speaker at the rally.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is meeting with Dr. Ben Carson, the secretary-designee of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, ahead of his confirmation hearing on Thursday.

Senator Bob Menendez questions whether Dr. Ben Carson understands the responsibilities of his pending appointment.

“I want to get a view of Dr. Carson’s understanding of what HUD’s mission is, and the priorities he will have as the secretary designee,” Menendez said by conference call with several New Jersey mayors.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Democratic Ambassador Phil Murphy received some pretty good news regarding his campaign for governor.  

New Jersey US Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker are the latest to endorse the democrat for governor. 

"Two extraordinary United States Senators, Cory Booker and Bob Menendez.  As good as it gets in this country.  As good as any partners you can hope to have.  I’m humbled by your endorsement today gentleman.  I’m looking forward to getting out in the hustings and rolling up our sleeves together,” Murphy said.

Phil Gregory / WBGO

Some very high profile court cases could take place in New Jersey next year. 

As early as mid-January Governor Chris Christie will know if he’ll stand trial for a criminal misconduct case in state court.  The complaint was filed by a Bergen county man against the governor for his alleged involvement in the Bridgegate Scandal.  Christie’s former aides who were indicted in federal court earlier this year have appealed their convictions.