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Katz on Christie New Jersey Assembly Snubs Christie
The Democratic Assembly flexed its muscle Thursday, opting to leave the Statehouse instead of voting on a bail reform package that Gov. Chris Christie called them back from summer vacation to vote on . . .
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In The Spotlight

Low-income New Jersey residents are more likely to make hospital trips that could be avoided, according to a new study by the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy The report may have important implications for organizations aiming to improve coordination and increase accountability for healthcare in low-income communities. In low-income communities that fit the pattern for excessive hospital visits there should be a greater focus on addressing social and economic factors that have an impact on people’s health, the report said. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

July 31, 2014

New Jersey Assembly Snubs Christie
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
The Democratic Assembly flexed its muscle Thursday, opting to leave the Statehouse instead of voting on a bail reform package that Gov. Chris Christie called them back from summer vacation to vote on . . .
Low-Income NJ Residents More Likely to Seek Healthcare at Hospitals
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Report’s author suggests Medicaid ACOs might reverse trend by addressing social and economic factors
PSE&G May Ramp Up Energy-Efficiency Program, Dig Up Old Gas Pipes
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Possible plans for future, including bigger investment in 'Energy Strong' discussed during PSEG earnings call
Learning to Fly -- and Fall -- at Newark's Quitman Street Renew School
Sara Neufeld, The Hechinger Report | Education
For a 12-year-old girl and her school, high stakes inside the classroom and out
Poll: New Jersey's Beaches -- Still the Best, Second Place, or Third-Rate?
Does the Jersey Shore still live up to its reputation, or have overcrowding and overdevelopment taken their toll?
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July 30, 2014

Christie Cites ‘Cadillac Tax’ In Push To Cut Public Employee Benefits
Mark J. Magyar | Budget, Politics
Governor: Obamacare tax would cost New Jersey $261 million in 2018 and $837 million by 2022 if health insurance costs aren’t cut
First Responders Share Blame for Problems at Paulsboro Toxic Spill, NTSB Says
Tara Nurin | Energy & Environment
Report assigns most responsibility to Conrail, but recommends changes in training for emergency workers, municipal planning
Healthcare Groups in NJ Embrace Trend Toward More Accountability
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Eight applicants seek to join Medicaid demonstration project slated to start in late 2014
Profile: Preservation and Resilience on New Jersey's Delaware Bayshore
Scott Gurian | Profiles
Meghan Wren wants to share rich cultural heritage of the Bayshore, and ensure that it gets its fair share of Sandy recovery funds
Overpumping of Aquifer, Overdevelopment Threaten Pinelands, Report Says
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Problems already can be seen in communities in or near vast nature preserve, including contamination of shellfish beds
State Education Chief Says He’ll Stick with Current Staff Configuration
John Mooney | Education
Hespe disputes state auditor’s assertion that county office understaffing violates law
It’s Summertime, and Making a Living Still Isn’t Easy at the Jersey Shore
NJTV | Sandy
Panelists discuss progress of economic recovery in the aftermath of Sandy – and the struggles still ahead

July 29, 2014

Grid Operator Not Good to Go With PSE&G Transmission Proposal
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
PJM wants to consider plans submitted by other 'finalists' in ongoing selection process
New Poll Reflects Unease About Tying Teacher Ratings to Test Scores
John Mooney | Education
Fairleigh Dickinson survey reveals New Jerseyans not knowledgeable about Common Core standards
New Jersey School District Attempts to Bridge the Digital Divide
Jill Barshay, The Hechinger Report | Education
In Hoboken, giving laptops to junior- and senior-high school students wasn't a solution but the beginning of a big problem
Nutrition Program Proves Vital to Lower-Income families, But Many Miss Out
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Health commissioner promotes WIC as way of reaching 40,000 potential clients currently outside of program
Opinion: Christie, Sweeney Remain Worlds Apart on Pensions, Health Benefits
Carl Golden | Opinion
Can governor and Senate president reconcile their separate visions and achieve meaningful reform?
Explainer: ACA’s Impact More Gradual for Those Whose Jobs Provide Insurance
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Explainer, Affordable Care Act
As ‘grandfathered’ plans fade, however, more will be affected by new health coverage regulations

July 28, 2014

How Astorino Angered Christie and Lost Millions
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Gov. Chris Christie found himself embroiled in a mini-controversy last week with a fellow Republican, New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, after Christie said that the Republican Governors Association . . .
State Auditor Cries Foul Over Failure to Fill County School Superintendent Posts
John Mooney | Education
Report says having someone at the education helm in all 21 counties is required by statute
State Agency Presses Case for Drastic Cuts in JCP&L Rates
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
NJ Rate Counsel seeks to resolve 3-year-old petition targeting utility’s excessive profits, lack of investment in infrastructure
ACA Provision Returns Billions to Consumers, Harkens Back to NJ Reforms
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Affordable Care Act
Insurers required to spend at least 80 percent of premiums to pay medical claims, or else return money via rebates or added benefits
The List: Ten Worst New Jersey Beaches for Water Pollution
Colleen O'Dea | The List
High bacteria levels found at many of them may be linked to nearby stormwater pipes

July 25, 2014

Mission Accomplished: Solar Sector is Stable, BPU Report Concludes
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Legislation passed in 2012 has done its job, review says, guiding once-volatile sector to stability
Analysis: New Jersey's Economic Woes Go Far Beyond Casino Closings
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Rutgers economist says state is not positioned well to compete in new digital economy, and time is running out for full recovery of jobs lost
More Seniors in NJ to Get Access to Home-Based and Community Services
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
'Miller trusts' will help elderly, disabled qualify for Medicaid services delivered outside of nursing homes
Time Runs Out for Christie Plan for Lengthier School Days, Longer School Years
John Mooney | Budget, Education, Politics
Administration's $5 million innovation fund one of the casualties of budget process
Raptor Report: Eagles and Falcons Continue to Soar Above Garden State
Colleen O'Dea | Energy & Environment, Maps, Map of the Week
More than 100 communities across state are home to at least one nest -- including Jersey City

July 24, 2014

State-Sanctioned Deal Moves Energy Resiliency Bank Closer to Reality
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Low-interest loans could help keep power on at critical facilities even if power grid is knocked out of service
Newark Civil-Rights Probe Mirrors Investigations in Other U.S. Cities
John Mooney | Education
Administration, state-appointed superintendent, will cooperate but keep low profile for time being