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In The Spotlight

Pollution from stormwater runoff is a dirty big problem for New Jersey. The administration of Gov. Phil Murphy and its legislative allies think the way to tackle it is with locally controlled utilities. It’s not a new idea but might have a better chance of being realized than in the Christie era. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

May 17, 2018

Ridesharing Programs Launched by State’s Largest Health Networks
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Hackensack Meridian Health, RWJ Barnabas Health want to help patients get to appointments on time, at no extra out-of-pocket costs
Oliver Defends Murphy’s Flat Funding for Municipalities and His Raid on Housing Aid
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Lt. Gov. blames budgetary constraints for failure to boost aid, says administration will help local officials in other ways
Segregation in New Jersey, Neither Chance nor Accident
Colleen O'Dea | Social
Message to governor, argues author and fair-housing advocate, lead the push to truly integrate the Garden State
Pallone Accuses White House of Trying to Suppress Report on PFCs in Drinking Water
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
New Jersey has some of strictest standards in country for regulating the contaminants, but environmentalist says DEP's regulation process has slowed
Op-Ed: Expand New Jersey’s Pre-K to Strengthen National Security
Steven Hashem and Douglas Satterfield | Opinion
We urge state legislators to help our children develop in mind, body, and character so they can succeed in school and in life, including in the military for those who choose to serve
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May 16, 2018

End of Debt Nightmare in Sight for Students Who’ve Defaulted on Loans
Colleen O'Dea | Education
Senate committee votes out bill requiring NJ Higher Education Assistance Authority to offer loan modification and consolidation to students in default
Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program Among Public Health Gains
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
DOH talks budget with Senate Budget Committee, explaining where funds go and what initiatives got lopped off
Scrambling to Upskill NJ with ‘Hollowed Out’ Labor Department — New Honcho
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Murphy’s top labor official lays out plan to focus on career training and long-term unemployment, laments department was depleted by previous administrations
Op-Ed: Murphy's School-Aid Increases Will Not Help Property Taxes
BettyLou DeCroce | Opinion
Regular audits of education are needed, rather than propping up lopsided education aid and encouraging waste
Leading Democrat Adamant There’s Going to Be No Government Shutdown
NJTV News | Budget
‘As much as people would love to see’ governor and Democrats in Legislature fail to agree a budget, Sen. Sarlo says it’s not going to happen

May 15, 2018

NJ Lawmakers Hope to Cash in Fast as Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Sports Gambling
John Reitmeyer | Budget
New Jersey’s dogged quest to enable legalized sports betting pays off with major court win. Now there’s a bipartisan effort in Trenton to push through legislation and top up state coffers as a result
Opinion: Not Too Soon to Call the Murphy Agenda a Failure
Carl Golden | Opinion
A new budget must be ratified in six weeks, and there’s already talk of government shutdown — with the governor’s own party controlling the Legislature
DHS Explains Plans and Christie-Era Reforms at Budget Hearing
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
State’s largest department walks lawmakers through how it will put to work its $18 billion proposed spending plan for 2019
Acting DEP Commissioner McCabe Sails Through Confirmation Hearing
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Many committee questions reflect disputes with prior administration headed by former Gov. Chris Christie
Online Tool Compares, Contrasts Health Issues in NJ’s Nine Largest Cities
Colleen O'Dea | Healthcare
City Health Dashboard also juxtaposes Garden State data with 500 biggest communities across United States

May 14, 2018

NJ and Legalized Marijuana: National Model or Petri Dish?
Carly Sitrin | Roundtables
At NJ Spotlight roundtable on marijuana reform, participants say get ready for discussions to break out into the open — and look for legalization sooner rather than later
Some NJ Congressional Primary Candidates Argue Party-Line Politics Are Unfair
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Deciding who the county party committee will endorse — thus who gets the party line on the ballot — is determined by a patchwork of processes that includes secret votes and show of hands
Public Employees Guilty of Sexual Assault, Harassment Would Forfeit Pensions
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Prompted by #MeToo movement, Assembly panel votes out bill that would punish public officials, workers involved in sexual misconduct with loss of taxpayer-funded pensions
1981 Shore Protection Plan to Get Update to Match Today’s Realities
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Sea-level rise, superstorms, shrinking salt marshes reflect changes in conditions since original plan was penned almost four decades ago
Another Delay in Medicaid Payment Reform for Mental Health Providers
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Decision works in favor of providers of nonmedical services, like group housing, job training, and help with public transportation
Op-Ed: Big Revenue from ‘April Surprise’ No Excuse to Punt on Bold Action
Sheila Reynertson | Opinion
An extra boost in income tax collections shouldn’t be used as political cover for hard decisions: It’s an unexpected one-time bonus and should be treated as such
Caught in Trump Immigration Squeeze, NJ Family Has Mother's Day Without Mom
Matt Katz | WNYC News | Immigration
President's crackdown on legal immigration has marooned one woman in El Salvador, unable to see her children this Mother's Day

May 11, 2018

Lawmakers Want to Improve Ratio of Aides to Patients in NJ Nursing Homes
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Legislators say they want to advance care and safety, but facility operators express misgivings about the measure
State Still Struggling with Stormwater Runoff, Can New Bill Help?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Pollution from stormwater runoff is a $15 billion problem that won’t go away. Stormwater utilities could help Garden State get a handle on the solution
Murphy’s First High-Profile Conditional Veto Draws Applause from All Quarters
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Unions like the way governor collaborated on bill affecting cops and firefighters’ retirement funds
Paid Family-Leave Bill Would Mean More Time, More Money for Workers
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Co-sponsor Steve Sweeney calls measure ‘a lifeline for working families,’ but business owners and their advocates balk at the cost
Putting Acting Commissioner Repollet’s Staff Picks in Perspective
John Mooney | Education
As he names assistant commissioners, Repollet draws both on newcomers and on department veterans
Op-Ed: Homelessness in NJ More Pervasive than HUD Data Reveals
Allan Lichtenstein | Opinion
The federal numbers reflect a ‘snapshot’ of homelessness on a single day, but the reality can be seen far more accurately using annual data
Is Smoking About to Become a Thing of the Past on New Jersey’s Beaches?
WHYY News | Healthcare
Promoters say a ban would protect beachgoers, cut down on litter, and lower maintenance costs
Bipartisan Push to Reform the Port Authority
NJTV News | Politics
With several blockbuster capital projects in the pipeline, lawmakers say increased legislative oversight of bistate agency is critical
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