Volume 12 Issue 20 - Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Democrats Win Congressional Redistricting Battle, Murphy Extends Utility Shutoff Grace Period & Casino Tax Breaks Signed into Law

Democrats Win Congressional Redistricting Battle: Earlier today, former NJ Supreme Court Justice John E. Wallace, the tiebreaker on the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission, chose the map submitted by the Democrats on the Commission.

The practical impact of this new map is that it adds Democratic-leaning municipalities to New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District (Rep. Andy Kim - D), the 5th Congressional District (Rep. Josh Gottheimer - D) and the 7th Congressional District (Rep. Mikie Sherrill – D), improving reelection prospects for these Democratic incumbents. 

The Democratic map removes all of Ocean County from Rep. Kim’s district and adds some heavily Democratic-leaning parts of Burlington, Mercer and Monmouth Counties.

Gottheimer, a three-term incumbent and prolific fundraiser, loses solidly Republican Warren County and adds more Democratic-leaning Bergen County municipalities like Fort Lee and Englewood.

Sherrill’s District would add Democrat-leaning municipalities of Belleville, Glen Ridge, Maplewood and South Orange in Essex and Dover in Morris. The district loses Caldwell, Essex Fells, Verona and all of West Orange.

But the new map isn’t exactly favorable to all Democratic incumbents. New Jersey’s  7th Congressional District, where Democratic incumbent Rep. Tom Malinowski narrowly won reelection in 2020, has become significantly more Republican – adding all of Warren County and parts of Sussex County while removing some Democratic towns like Millburn.

Murphy Extends Utility Shutoff Grace Period: Today, Governor Murphy signed S4081, extending the utility shut off Grace. Established under Executive Order No. 246 from December 31, 2021 to March 15, 2022, for all water, municipal electric, and sewer customers in New Jersey.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many of our New Jersey families who are working hard to get their finances in order after a particularly difficult two years,” said Governor Murphy. “Through our extension of the utility shut off grace period, we are giving customers an additional opportunity to work with their utility provider to enroll in an equitable payment option that ensures their critical, and in some cases life preserving, services remain in operation.”

Casino Tax Breaks Signed into Law: On Tuesday, Governor Murphy signed into law S4007, that provides increased tax breaks to Atlantic City casinos which are designed to help stave off job losses and prevent casino closings. Atlantic City’s casino industry continues to be hit hard financially due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The legislation changes an existing law that allows Atlantic City’s casinos to make regular payments in lieu of property taxes to the city, Atlantic County, and the local school district. This new law also exempts two of the industry’s biggest and fastest-growing revenue streams — sports betting and online gaming — from calculations on how much the casinos should pay the next five years.

The amount casinos will pay next year will be reduced by $55 million and likely between $30 million and $65 million in following years through 2026.

Happy Holidays! The River Crossing team extends our best wishes to all our clients and friends for a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year!