Republican opposition to $9.9B borrowing bill continues

Republicans argued loudly against the borrowing bill approved by the state Legislature, but to no avail. Sen. Declan O’Scanlon says the bill shouldn’t have been voted on without knowing whether New Jersey might get more federal aid and whether newly-filed income taxes will boost state revenues. Republicans say taxpayers will pay the price for more state debt, and they are vowing a legal challenge to the bill.

New Jersey’s job market rebounded in June, as workers got called back to businesses that reopened. The New Jersey Department of Labor says the state has now recovered about 220,000 jobs that evaporated when the economy shut down. That’s equal to about 26% of the total job losses that occurred in March and April.

But even with that recovery, New Jersey’s unemployment rate now stands at 16.6% and job losses are still happening. In the latest week, more than 38,000 residents filed for first-time unemployment claims.

NJ Transit says it needs more money, but its board just approved spending $70 million to buy eight new locomotives. Some transit advocates are questioning the decision, especially in light of the state’s financial position. And, just a few days ago, NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett called for more federal support saying NJ Transit needs another $1.2 billion in emergency federal funds.