News

New Jersey is joining a multi-state lawsuit against the federal government to block the inclusion of a proposed citizenship question in the 2020 census.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal says asking people if they’re U.S. citizens will discourage immigrants to participate in the census.

Amol Sinha the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, says that would have negative consequences.

The New Jersey Senate has passed legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to be eligible for college financial aid.

17-year-old Maria Mendez lives in Plainfield. She came to the United States from Mexico when she was three. She was recently accepted at six colleges and says access to financial aid will determine whether she can pursue her dream to major in communications. 

A package of bills approved by the New Jersey Assembly would make the state’s tough gun laws even tougher.

The bill that passed with the most opposition would make it more difficult to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi was among the lawmakers who voted against it, saying the restrictions would make it almost impossible to get a carry permit.

“As somebody who was a crime victim if I had a serious threat, if my life was in danger, if my daughter’s life was in danger, I want to be able to protect myself.”

Carly Zien
George Street Playhouse

Philip Goodwin and Carly Zien star in George Street Playhouse's latest production Trying, based on playwright Joanna McClelland Glass' real life experience as Judge Francis Biddle's secretary.

Goodwin and Zien sat down recently with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle to talk about the play and their careers.  Goodwin plays Judge Biddle and Zien plays Sarah, Biddle's young new secretary.

Pamela Morgan
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The theme of the 9th annual Women In Media-Newark Women's History Month film festival is Passages: Women In Transition and kicks of March 27th at the Newark Museum.  

One of the films to be screened there is acclaimed filmmaker, producer and actor Ebbe Bassey's Saving Father.  Bassey says she was introduced to the festival's producer Pamela Morgan by fellow filmmaker Nefertite Nguvu.

Nguvu's latest work, Myself When I Am Real, will screen on Saturday March 31st at the Paul Robeson Student Center on the campus of Rutgers University-Newark.

WBGO News

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy makes his Ask Governor Murphy debut.

The one-hour call-in show is produced by WBGO News, in collaboration with WHYY and WNYC. 

The governor and host Nancy Solomon  of WNYC, discuss everything from medical marijuana, to taxes climate change, and gun violence in schools.

Governor Murphy is also joined by special guest Matt Arco, Statehouse reporter for NJ Advance Media. 

New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would make it easier to register to vote.

Senator Joe Vitale says his bill would automatically put residents on voter registration rolls when they apply for or renew their driver's license.

He says that would eliminate the need to fill out a form to register with the local Board of Elections.

This month’s string of  four nor’easters have taken a bite out of some New Jersey beaches.

New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection says 55 of the 66 beaches it surveyed had minor erosion while 10 had moderate erosion.

Jon Miller is a professor of coastal engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. He says the storms pulled a lot of sand off the beach and into the ocean.

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a bill that would require inmates be offered an injection of a drug used to treat opioid addiction before they’re released from prison.

Assembly Health Committee chairman Herb Conaway says a single dose of Vivitrol can block the effects of heroin for a month and could help prevent deadly overdoses.

He says people who are incarcerated often have drug addictions that haven’t been treated before they’re released.

Alexandra Hill / News

In his fourth State of the City address last night at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center in downtown Newark, Mayor Ras Baraka both mapped out the direction of the state's largest city and highlighted the achievements of his administration, since taking office in 2014, with the 2018 municipal election less than two months away. 

Baraka touted everything from economic development to reductions in crime, and what may be his biggest achievement since taking office, the return of schools to local control after 20 years at the mercy of the state.

New Jersey lawmakers are looking at legislation to expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora says his bill would allow an additional 12 medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey.

“Currently the state allows six. Only five are open. Many patients say they don’t have ready access to the dispensaries. It would also be a way of creating competition and lowering the cost of the product itself.”

More forms of the drug including edibles and oils would be allowed at the dispensaries.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
Governor Murphy for WBGO News

Do you have a question for New Jersey's Governor?

WBGO News, in collaboration with WHYY and WNYC, will present Ask Governor Murphy, a one-hour call-in show with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Our first show airs Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m. The show will be broadcast on WBGO and hosted by WNYC’s Nancy Solomon.

Submit your question in advance at AskGovMurphy.org, or tweet us with the hashtag #askgovmurphy.

The call-in number for Ask Governor Murphy is 844-677-9283.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says the state is preparing for what could be a major storm.

Murphy says gusty winds could bring down power lines, and utility companies in the state have activated their mutual aid arrangements.

“Their ability to bring in linemen and women from other utilities and other workers to bolster from other states. I think JCP&L has said that they have activated 800 people to come in and god knows we certainly hope that is sufficient.”

The Governor says the state has enough personnel and equipment to clear snow from the roads.

Governor Phil Murphy is breaking down the $242 million increase he's proposed in his budget plan for upgrading New Jersey Transit.

New Jersey Transit executive director Kevin Corbett says the governor's proposal allocates $19 million to expand the workforce with 114 new employees.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says a planned research and innovation center in New Brunswick could be a place for high-growth startup companies to thrive and boost the state’s economy.

New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill says a city-owned site in the downtown area is earmarked for the project.

“As a center for innovation for health care, biosciences, technology, artificial intelligence, big data, and analytics this offers the state of New Jersey an unparalleled opportunity for development.”

A bill advancing in the New Jersey legislature would ensure that union representatives have greater access to the public employees they represent.

What's called the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act would allow unions to hold meetings during lunch and other breaks during the workday to look into issues and grievances.

Eric Richard with the state AFL-CIO says it would also mean that union representatives could meet with newly-hired employees without docking their pay.

At Home At The Zoo
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews the revival of Edward Albee's At Home At The Zoo.

Oliver Street School
Filomena Mastrolia for WBGO News

Oliver Street Elementary is among a handful of schools in and around Newark that is performing musicals based on Disney cartoon movies, funded by a 100-thousand dollar Disney grant to NJPAC.

Earlier this week, Oliver Street School Music Teacher Ashley DeWitt was directing students as they prepare for next week’s performance of Aladdin.

New Jersey Assembly's Labor Committee will take up a bill Monday that would require employers to provide equal pay to all workers for substantially similar work.        

Elaine Zundl with the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University says a gender pay gap follows women throughout their lives.

On this edition of Newark Today Mayor Ras Baraka is joined by Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose, Aisha Glover President of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, Kenyatta Stewart Corporation Counsel for the City of Newark, and special guest Robert Gregory Interim Superintendent of Newark Public Schools, to talk recent developments in the city's push to establish a Civilian Complaint Review Board, crime and public safety, economic development, and local control of Newark Public Schools. 

New Jersey's Attorney General is backing legislation to overhaul the state's decentralized medical examiner system.

The legislation transfers oversight of the medical examiner system from the Attorney General's office and creates an independent Office of Chief State Medical Examiner within the New Jersey Health Department.

Senate Health Committee chairman Joe Vitale says the key factor of the transfer is that it will ensure the independence the person in that new position.

A tax credit program to encourage the movie, TV, and digital media industry to produce their shows in New Jersey could be restored and expanded.

Former Governor Chris Christie was skeptical about the program's economic benefits when he suspended it in 2010 and it expired in 2015.

Lawmakers are considering a replacement measure that would provide tax credits of $75 million a year for film productions and $10 million for digital media content.

Newark Today with Mayor Ras Baraka and host Michael Hill of NJTV
Alexandra Hill / News

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is preparing to deliver his state of the city address next week, and Newark Today has your preview of this year’s annual address. 

Used car dealers would have to tell a potential buyer about any safety recall that a previous owner ignored if a bill advancing in New Jersey's legislature becomes law.

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty says his bill would require dealers to gather information from the car manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to check for any recalls

and notify a potential purchaser before a sale is finalized.

Bill Daughtry / WBGO

  Over five-hundred Union High School students walk out of the building and line up shoulder to shoulder on a football field.  Dozens of parents are on the bleachers supporting their kids.  Regina Edwards of Union says she gave her daughter a choice to participate. 

“But she had to explain to me why she wanted to do it.  If she couldn’t come up with a good reason, I was not going to allow her to do it,” Edwards said.  “I didn’t want her to do it just to follow the others.  She was able to state her case and I allowed her to do it.”

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is out with its annual rankings of the health of New Jersey Counties.

Based on an analysis of more than 30 factors including housing, education, and jobs, the foundation rates Morris as the state’s healthiest county and Cumberland as the least healthy.

This year’s report puts new emphasis on the impact of race.

Toni Lewis is the foundation’s community coach. She says African-Americans have worse health outcomes than the lowest-ranked county.

New jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s first budget plan is a major departure from the eight years of proposals made by his predecessor.

Democrat Murphy is calling for a millionaires’ tax, something Republican Chris Christie repeatedly rejected.

“The irrefutable fact is that we have a thousand more millionaires today than we did at our pre-recession peak, and I’m sure none of them are here for the low taxes. They are here because we can offer an unmatched quality of life.”

New Jersey lawmakers are making another effort to get legislation enacted that would require all public schools be equipped with a panic alarm that would be directly linked to law enforcement authorities.

The silent alarm would be activated during a shooting or other school emergency.  Former Governor Chris Christie vetoed similar legislation three times in the past five years.

Now that the state has a new governor, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo is hoping the outcome will be different.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will unveil his first state budget plan in a speech to a joint session of the legislature tomorrow.

Republican lawmakers are urging Murphy to reverse his campaign promise and not propose a tax surcharge on millionaires.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean says increasing taxes would send a bad message to individuals and corporations.

“Any changes that Governor Murphy makes should focus on property tax relief. Any new investments or extra revenues should focus on property tax relief.”

animoto.com

Anybody with a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any number of social media sites have mindlessly scrolled the feed.  Sometimes a post with a picture or video catches your attention. 

“The macro trend we’re seeing is video is the way people prefer these days to consume information,” says Jason Hsiao,  a former TV production professional, and a co-founder of Animoto.

“[It's] an online tool that allows you to create professional looking videos very simply.”

Hsiao says corporations caught on to the social media video trend quickly.

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