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Katz on Christie As NJ Struggles, Christie Hits the Road
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has seen his approval rate slide to it's worst point in nearly four years: On Wednesday, Quinnipiac University released a poll that shows that 46 percent ...
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In The Spotlight

The closure of at least some lanes on three New Jersey bridges already this year has turned attention once again to the condition of the state's transportation infrastructure and the question of how to pay for repairs when the Transportation Trust Fund runs out of money June 30. The 2014 National Bridge Inventory shows a lot of the state's bridges need work: About 35 percent of New Jersey’s more than 6,600 bridges were rated either functionally obsolete -- meaning they may be too narrow, don't have shoulders or otherwise don't meet current standards -- or structurally deficient. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

January 23, 2015

Christie Appoints Emergency Manager to Address Atlantic City’s Ailing Finances
Meir Rinde | Politics, Planning
Governor moves to quell concerns about AC’s sovereignty after naming Kevin Lavin to new post, with Kevyn Orr -- Detroit’s former emergency manager -- as special consultant
Water, Wastewater Plants Waiting to Tap Into Energy Resilience Bank
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
With $150 million in projects in the pipeline and $65 million in funding pool, state may have more takers than it can service
Families of Developmentally Disabled Again Fight Forced Moves Back to New Jersey
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Revamped bill would let some stay in out-of-state facilities instead of transferring to group homes
Opinion: Fighting Feds on Climate Change Scores Points for Christie with GOP
R. William Potter | Opinion
By joining with coal and oil states in opposing EPA’s new rules, the state DEP could help grab the attention of very generous political donors
Advocates Want DOE to Open New Graduation Guidelines to Formal Public Comment
John Mooney | Education
Turning requirements into regulations would help ensure that students can take advantage of all paths to a H.S. diploma
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January 22, 2015

Pay More for Medicaid and NJ’s Primary-Care Doctors Add Patients, Study Says
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Garden State shows one of highest increases in physician availability when reimbursement rates are raised, new report reveals
State Regulators Give JCP&L Go-Ahead for Transmission Line in Monmouth County
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
The 16-mile project will run along existing right-of-way, help reduce outages and ease congestion on power grid
Schools Chief Admits NJ Mishandled Construction Process in Needy Districts
John Mooney | Education
Hespe concedes state didn’t follow legally required procedure, says it’s now complying with law
Garden State Bankers Expect NJ’s Economy Will Still Lag Behind U.S. in 2015
Tara Nurin | Politics
The state’s bankers feel moderately comfortable with the nation’s economic status quo but say New Jersey needs to catch up
Poll: Will New Jersey Benefit From Opening Another Medical School?
Healthcare, Polling
Seton Hall University-Hackensack University Health Network would be the state’s only private medical school
Businesses Burying NJ Municipalities with Requests for Public Records
NJTV | Social
More and more companies asking towns to supply lists used in marketing and sales efforts
Spanning the Financial Gap Between Bridge Safety and Lower Costs for Drivers
While state orders safety inspections, transportation fund has been depleted. But raising gas taxes to replenish the fund isn’t a very popular idea

January 21, 2015

The YouTube Governor, Decoded
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Any day now, Gov. Chris Christie is expected to formally announce that he’s exploring a presidential run. In six years he has gone from a relatively unknown US Attorney in New Jersey to a household name around the country...
Unhealthy Behavior, Repeat Hospital Stays Spur Rise in Health Costs, Forum Says
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Assembly Minority Leader Bramnick convenes group of healthcare experts to explore problems, discuss potential solutions
Profile: She Helps Keep Drinking Water from the Highlands Clear and Clean
Colleen O'Dea | Energy & Environment, Profiles
A mix of ballet and rough-and-tumble Morris County politics helped prepare Margaret Nordstrom to be executive director of the Highlands Council
BPU Expected to Green-Light PSE&G’s Plan for Newark Switching Station
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Located inland rather than close to water, new facility should help boost reliability and resilience of power grid operated by state’s largest utility
Public Gets Chance to Air Views on Controversial New Testing for NJ Students
John Mooney | Education
Hearings set next week around the state on PARCC exams tied to much-debated Common Core standards
Rutgers-Harvard Team: Sea Levels Rising More Rapidly Than Previously Thought
Energy & Environment, Sandy
Melting ice caps and rising global temperatures at heart of wide-ranging study -- which says NJ and East Coast are on 'front line' of crisis

January 20, 2015

Assembly Bill Would Increase Suicide-Awareness Training for New Jersey Educators
John Mooney | Education
New measure would require teachers to spend two hours each year learning ways to identify and avoid these tragedies
Explainer: Why Many Sandy Victims Are Frustrated With Their Insurance Companies
Scott Gurian | Explainer, Sandy
Thousands say they were underpaid on claims, while insurers argue homeowners didn't understand coverage or homes had previous damage
Opinion: GOP Legislators May Finally Be Ready to Buck Christie, Override Veto
Carl Golden | Opinion
Tables may turn because of bipartisan support of reforms at Port Authority, governor’s drop in polls
NJ Lawmakers Looking to Finally Get Offshore Wind Turbines Turning
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Two bills before Senate committee hope to get administration moving on becalmed clean technology
Insurance Premiums, Deductibles Down, Says 2015 Healthcare Study
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Coinsurance payments, in contrast, are on the rise for federal marketplace consumers
Op-Ed: This Isn't the Time to Add School Vouchers Into the Educational Mix
Lisa Wolff | Opinion
NJ doesn't need another school-choice program; it needs one that works for all students

January 16, 2015

State Contends in Court That Christie's 2011 Pension Reform Is Unconstitutional
Meir Rinde | Politics
Lawyers enter ironic argument while asking judge to dismiss union lawsuit that state must fully fund public employee retirement funds
What Has School Security Task Force Been Doing for the Past Two Years?
John Mooney | Education
One of three specially-appointed state panels that still haven’t issued reports, it is just now having its first public hearings
New Medical School Will Strive to Entice Graduates to Stay in New Jersey
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Financial incentives, team approach to healthcare cited as strengths of Hackensack network’s partnership with Seton Hall
Legislators Look to Push Administration to Reduce Greenhouse Gases -- Again
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
When will New Jersey rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative? Not until there’s a new governor, say some environmentalists
Dune-Building Opposed by Margate Officials Gets Big Boost in Federal Court
WHYY/NewsWorks | Energy & Environment
But judge's ruling appears to leave opening for continuing fight by challenging eminent-domain taking of land
Obama’s Cuba Announcement Continues to Send Ripples Through New Jersey
Scott Gurian | Politics, Social
Cuban-Americans in the Garden State and their relatives on the island react to the thawing of relations
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