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Katz on Christie Is Christie's Barnstorming a Preview of 2016?
Over the next eight days, Gov. Chris Christie will visit six states to campaign for Republican candidates . . .
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In The Spotlight

In a move that was perhaps as much politics as policy, New Jersey school groups led by the New Jersey Education Association have released a plan for maintaining and improving teacher quality that includes ideas both new and old, and proposals that range from likely to long shots. The report, released this weekend and aptly titled “Taking Back the Profession,” comes at a time when New Jersey teachers face heightened attention and calls for more accountability, and pressure not only from the likes of Gov. Chris Christie but also from state and national Democratic leaders. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

September 29, 2014

Is Christie's Barnstorming a Preview of 2016?
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Over the next eight days, Gov. Chris Christie will visit six states to campaign for Republican candidates . . .
Analysis: Merger of Cash-Starved NJDOT with Turnpike Authority ‘Cash Cow’ eyed
Mark J. Magyar | Politics, Transportation
Turnpike, Parkway generate $400 million a year in excess toll revenues -- and most of it already goes into state budget
Bills Would Protect Developmentally Disabled from Abuse and Neglect
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Family members urge state to more closely monitor workers at group homes and similar facilities
No Shortage of Challenges for New President of Board of Public Utilities
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Agency must wrestle -- among other issues -- with building resiliency into NJ’s power grid without spiking customer bills
NJEA, Other Education Groups Push Own Proposals for Teacher Improvements
John Mooney | Education
‘Taking Back the Profession’ report includes call for new tier of ‘teacher leaders’ and more mentoring
The List: Top 10 Challenges to Keep Raw Sewage From Polluting NJ's Water
Tom Johnson | The List
After years of neglect, New Jersey is addressing problems associated with aging sewer infrastructure, some of which is more than 100 years old
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September 26, 2014

Tab for Unfunded Retiree Benefits Pegged at $30,000 per Household
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Three months after Christie’s pension cuts, governor’s own panel says failure to make pension payments has made problem worse
ACA Medical-Insurance Shoppers in New Jersey Get More Choices for 2015
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Affordable Care Act
UnitedHealthcare and tech-focused Oscar Health Insurance increase number of marketplace insurers to five
New Jersey Students Will Be Spending More Time Taking New Online Tests
John Mooney | Education
Latest PARCC update indicates that tests could take as much as 10 hours spread over a half-dozen days
Interactive Map: Tracking Crime at NJ’s Post-Secondary Schools
Colleen O'Dea | Education, Maps, Map of the Week
Princeton had highest rate of reported sexual offenses; burglaries are most frequent campus crime
Proposed Exelon, Pepco Merger Could Mean Fewer Outages for ACE Customers
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
$7B deal would give Atlantic City Electric more money to beef up its infrastructure, company executives maintain
Food-Stamp Cutbacks in NJ May Hinge on Resolving Application Backlog
WNYC | Social
Decision to end ‘Heat and Eat’ program, delays in new computer system threaten federal funding
Op-Ed: What You Need to Know About New Jersey’s Alimony Amendment
Carl J. Sorrano | Opinion
One of the key questions about the new law is whether it will unintentionally result in more litigation rather than less

September 25, 2014

Newark School Board Votes to Block Superintendent Anderson’s Pay
John Mooney | Education
Members flex their newfound fiscal muscle, but embattled state-appointed school chief still holds the purse strings
PSE&G Breaks Ground on 10-Megawatt Solar Farm, Its Largest Yet
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Utility begins construction of grid-supply project at Parklands Landfill in Bordentown, avoids use of farmland or open space
Tale of Two Towns: Newark, Irvington Mayors Tackle Housing Issues
Joe Tyrrell | Housing, Planning
Leaders in both municipalities address economic, public health and crime, but take different approaches on foreclosures and eminent domain
Opinion: What Will It Take for New Jersey Healthcare to Get Better?
Joel C. Cantor | Opinion
Well-publicized changes are in the works, but thus far they remain patches on a broken system
Poll: Where Can NJ Find the Money For Much-Needed Transportation Projects?
Is raising the gas tax the best solution, or are there better ways to come up with the necessary funds?
Mega-Casino in Jersey City: Too Big a Gamble? Or Potential Jackpot for NJ?
WNYC | More Issues
Details remain sketchy about waterfront complex -- including an auto-racing track and a convention center -- reportedly proposed by billionaire founder of Reebok

September 24, 2014

Christie's Not in New Jersey Much — But When He Is, He Gets Around
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Smack in the middle of an eight-state, seven-day barnstorming tour for Republican gubernatorial and senate candidates, Gov. Chris Christie concentrated on New Jersey on Wednesday – in a very public way . . .
How The Media (Briefly) Exonerated Christie
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
It started innocently enough last Thursday night – with a scoop from WNBC, the local affiliate in New York . . .
ACA Changes the Way Employers Shop for Health-Insurance Plans
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Affordable Care Act
2015 will be first year of Obamacare penalties for businesses that don’t provide medical coverage for their workers
New Jerseyans Could Be Paying too Much for Power, Report Says
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
By failing to consider energy-efficiency savings, grid operator could be signing off on unnecessary transmission projects
New School-Funding Case Turns Spotlight on State’s Rural Districts
John Mooney | Education
According to complaint, 16 poor school systems are being underfunded by nearly $20 million
Goal of New Program: Help Kids Learn to Live with Tourette Syndrome
Selena Handler | Healthcare
World Cup star Tim Howard, who has the condition, seeks to raise awareness – and lends his name to Rutgers-based ‘leadership academy’
Profile: Overseer of Obamacare in NJ-NY Region has Roots in Garden State
Andrew Kitchenman | Profiles
College of New Jersey grad’s varied career path led to post as Health and Human Services regional director
Debates in Camden Continue -- But Is Anybody Listening to the Community?
John Mooney | Education
Urban Hope Act comes up for final vote next week, could open way to further charter-school expansion in that city

September 23, 2014

Analysis: Transportation Funding Fix Now Appears To Be On Fast Track
Mark J. Magyar | Transportation
High-level talks, new DOT chief, and Christie’s own political calculus augur well for agreement on a long-term solution for Transportation Trust Fund
Anti-Hunger Advocates Fear Impact of Slow Handling of Food-Stamp Applications
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
End of ‘Heat and Eat’ program and possible cuts in federal funding frustrate state legislators
Can New BPU President, Commissioners Brace Agency for Change?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
With the energy sectors that it oversees in flux, can the Board of Public Utilities deal effectively with tough new challenges?