State lawmakers have approved a bill that would change the way New Jersey approaches business closings during the pandemic. This legislation would set up a county-based mitigation plan to allow some businesses to operate. One of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth), says the legislation addresses the issue of COVID-19 cases being high in some parts of the state, but not in others. The bill was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee this week and has the support of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.
New Jersey’s unemployment rate fell last month, but still remains higher than the national rate. In December, the state’s jobless rate dropped to 7.6%, down from more than 10% the prior month. That might sound like good news but the state labor department says the rate dropped because some people simply gave up looking for work altogether. Last month, there were new jobs created in construction, manufacturing, transportation and utilities and business services. The hospitality sector continues to show the steepest job losses.
Another company is stepping up to provide COVID-19 vaccines in New Jersey. Reuters is reporting that Walmart will offer vaccines in certain of its New Jersey stores. Walmart will provide vaccines for a specific vulnerable population, like residents living in group homes; the program will not be open to the general public.
A new demolition date has been sent for the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. The property will be imploded on Feb. 17, after a dispute with owner Carl Icahn forced a delay. Trump Plaza was one of several casinos once owned in Atlantic City by former President Donald Trump. It closed in 2014.