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Assessing Chris Christie

Gov. Chris Christie's presidential ambitions go way back -- to his candidacy for the student government presidency at Livingston High School. Now, as the Newark native and longtime Morris County resident seems poised to announce a bid for the GOP presidential nomination, NJ Spotlight presents a new resource to keep you informed. The Christie Page includes the best of our coverage of the governor; interactive maps detailing campaign contributions and spending; access to more than 1,000 documents about his life and career; and a timeline highlighting some of the most memorable moments in the governor’s life. Read more
Katz on Christie Cracks In Christie's Post-Bridgegate Ethics Reform
One year ago this week, a taxpayer-funded report traced the George Washington Bridge lane closures to Gov. Chris Christie's office and determined that a series of reforms were needed ...
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NJ Spotlight Daily News

March 26, 2015

Five of Camden District’s Worst Public Schools Will Go the Charter Route
John Mooney | Education
Most students will stay in same neighborhood schools while new private operators take over facilities
Working to Keep National Politics Out of State's Pension-Fund Investments
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Offered a chance to put wider restrictions in place, NJ State Investment Council says it will first look to tightening current regulations
Income Inequality, Social Factors Help Determine Statewide Health Rankings
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Maps
Hunterdon County tops NJ list, while Cumberland is last in annual report intended to spark local efforts to improve community health
Community Kitchen Serves Up Hope for Town Struggling to Recover from Sandy
Scott Gurian | Sandy
Pop-up restaurant in Union Beach offers food to storm victims, regardless of ability to pay
Liquefied Natural-Gas Project Gets Cold Shoulder from Lawmakers, Christie
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Environmentalists argue that Port Ambrose facility, located 20 miles off Monmouth Beach, would not serve New Jersey
Poll: Moving Forward with Charter Schools, Should We Go Ahead or Go Slow?
Charter schools are here to stay, but should they be allowed to flourish or kept on the proverbial short leash?
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March 25, 2015

Atlantic City’s Emergency Managers Need More Time to Come up With Plan
Meir Rinde | Politics
Critics contend that just-released report does nothing to move troubled resort city closer to financial stability
Christie’s Pension Package Tops Agenda at Final Assembly Budget Hearing
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics
Meanwhile, governor continues to push budget plan at ‘town hall’ meetings, the latest in Whippany
PennEast Pipeline Would Have Saved Consumers $890 Million, Study Says
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Report says consumers outside gas production region paid seven times more for fuel to heat homes this past winter
Profile: Helping Sandy Victims Rebuild Their Lives, One Room at a Time
Scott Gurian | Profiles, Sandy
Katherine Koehler and her crew make newly rehabbed houses feel a bit more like home
In Sorting Out Future of Newark Hospitals, Saint Michael’s Looms Large
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
State weighs sale to for-profit operator while effort to save hospital gains city council backing
Feds Ask Solicitor General to Review NJ’s Plan to Subsidize Power Plants
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Supreme Court request is unexpected; NJ proposal has been blocked at every turn by state and federal authorities
Fine Print: New Charter School Study Praises NJ Gains, Draws NJ fire
John Mooney | Education
Stanford researchers find significant gains for New Jersey urban charters over district schools

March 24, 2015

Is Christie Administration Shifting to Charter School Expansions vs. New Openings?
John Mooney | Education
While only one new charter application won approval, complete policy picture is more complex
Taking the Guesswork -- and the Politics -- Out of Forecasting NJ’s Tax Revenue
John Reitmeyer | Budget
A new bill aims to add accuracy and transparency to the process of estimating state’s yearly tax collection
State Invests in Backup Storage for Solar Power and Wind Energy Systems
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
BPU awards more than a dozen grants to develop and demonstrate energy storage for renewables
Database Checks Proposed to Stop ‘Shopping Around’ for Addictive Drugs
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Centerpiece of effort to stem rising tide of overdose deaths moves closer to Gov. Christie’s desk
Explainer: Will NJ Transit Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Ever Get to Bergen County?
Meir Rinde | Transportation, Explainer
Plans are afoot, though not necessarily in place, to establish a single-seat, 33-minute ride from Hoboken Terminal to Englewood Hospital
Menendez Tries to Turn Tables, Assails ‘Illegal’ Leaks About Ethics Probe
NJTV News | Politics
New report says charges could be lodged against NJ Democratic senator as early as this week

March 23, 2015

Some Flunk Christie in Economics While Others Give Him Passing Grade
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Supporters praise tough tactics on pensions and other ‘legacy’ items, but critics point to high jobless rate, terrible credit ratings and transit-fund crisis
Hespe Stands Firm on PARCC in Face of Tough Questions from School Principals
John Mooney | Education
Promises to weigh impact of ‘opt-outs’ on assessment of teachers and schools, but asserts that new testing will prove its worth
Plans to Divvy Up State's Open-Space Funds Continue to Raise a Clamor
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
There’s the Assembly proposal, the Senate plan, and the administration’s approach -- none of which satisfy all interested parties
After 16 Years as Double-Dipper, NJ Cop Retires for Second Pension
By Mark Lagerkvist | New Jersey Watchdog | More Issues
Retired law officer is just the latest face of a problem that has grown to staggering proportions -- exploiting loopholes in state’s pension system
The List: Names and Numbers -- New Jersey’s 10 Top-Paid Hospital Executives
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, The List
Once again, seven top execs on the list pull down more than $2 million in compensation

March 20, 2015

Student Privacy Debate Dominates Assembly Panel’s Meeting on PARCC Tests
John Mooney | Education
Lawmakers, education officials at loggerheads over monitoring of student postings on social media
Christie Says There's No Transportation Crisis; Critics Sharply Disagree
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
State claims it has scraped together money to make it through next fiscal year, but legislators worry about administration's wait-and-see attitude
State Assembly Committee Kicks Off Hearings into Disputed Exxon Mobil Deal
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Politics
Citing other commitments, individuals who helped draw up deal do not appear before panel
Concussion Bill Would Keep Kids Out of Class Until They Get Doctor’s Permission
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Measure would require medical evaluation, school district plan before return to studies

March 19, 2015

For JCP&L Customers, BPU Decision Means Small Dip in Monthly Bills
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Board pairs decision to reduce rates with one letting utility collect storm-restoration costs from Sandy, so customer savings smaller than expected
Growing Evidence Favors Integrating Behavioral Care with Other Healthcare
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Academic research and local practices point to value of combined approach, but funding remains in question
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