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Katz on Christie The New Hampshire Strategy: Christie's Road To The White House
MANCHESTER, NH -- Undeterred by low poll numbers, Gov. Chris Christie has a two-word strategy he thinks will send him to the White House: New Hampshire . . .
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In The Spotlight

A bill that just cleared the state Senate would add New Jersey to the list of states that allow private companies to “crowdfund” capital directly from investors in exchange for equity stakes. The goal of the measure, which has bipartisan support, is to provide a boost to New Jersey entrepreneurs, small businesses and other companies by giving them a new way to generate capital. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

July 29, 2015

Environmentalists Head Back to Court to Be Heard in ExxonMobil Case
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Five ‘green’ groups ask appellate panel to let them intervene in controversial legal action, stay decision until appeal is decided
Bill Would Let NJ Start-Ups, Entrepreneurs Seek Financial Backers Online
John Reitmeyer | Budget
‘Crowdfunding’ to generate capital billed as one way to reinvigorate state’s sluggish economy
Program Encourages Young Blacks, Hispanics to Pursue Careers in Healthcare
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
SMART exposes minority students to doctors, with goal of inspiring them to pursue medical careers
Community-Based Flood Insurance: Would It Work in New Jersey?
Jon Hurdle | Sandy
One potential fatal flaw: Homeowners at low risk could end up subsidizing neighbors in high-risk zones
Profile: Faith -- and Respect for the Natural World -- Motivate Episcopal Pastor
Tom Johnson | Profiles
Rev. Fletcher Harper heads up GreenFaith, an interfaith group committed to environmental leadership
Op-Ed: Half-Truths Mask Reality of Charter Accountability
Nicole Cole | Opinion
New Jersey charter schools face extensive review and oversight requirements that far surpass anything traditional public schools must meet
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July 28, 2015

Bill Would Designate Some Classroom Standouts as ‘Teacher Leaders’
John Mooney | Education
Educators, policy makers surveyed by NJ Spotlight offer views on how proposed position should be defined
Pension Trustees Take New Tack, Ask Court to Require State to Pay ‘Unpaid Debt’
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Filing doesn’t challenge recent NJ Supreme Court ruling that Christie could legally withhold payments to state workers’ retirement fund
Christie Vetoed Funds for Towns Hurt By Shortfall in Meadowlands Payments
Lilo H. Stainton | More Issues
Line-item veto represents another bump in road for complex law that combines former NJ Meadowlands Commission with NJ Sports and Exposition Authority
Fine Print: Funding Projects to Restore Areas Around NJ Damaged By Pollution
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Garden State still lacks an effective mechanism to prevent money meant for environmental reparations from going to the general fund
Explainer: The How and Why of NJ’s Ban on Investments in Firms with Ties to Iran
John Reitmeyer | Explainer
Boycott became law in 2008 in response to threatening anti-Israel rhetoric by nation’s then-leader, restarting of country’s nuclear program
Bill Would Allow ‘Medical Parole’ for Inmates with Incapacitating Illnesses
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Legislation’s sponsor estimates program could save state $5 million to $9 million annually
Opinion: Are NJ's High-School Diplomas Worth the Paper They’re Printed On?
Laura Waters | Opinion
Are we being over-optimistic when it comes to how well NJ’s middle-class students are being prepared for college?
They Love Him at Town Hall Meetings, But Not When The Pollsters Call
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
They loved his jokes, even the old ones. They said they believe he does what his campaign slogan says -- “telling it like it is . . .”

July 27, 2015

Telling It Like It Is: Christie Didn’t Close $11B Budget Gap When He Took Office
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Governor likes to regale voters with stories of how he plugged a huge hole in the state’s structural deficit, but NJ Spotlight analysis reveals he’s only trimmed $500 million
State On Target for Meeting Goals of Energy Master Plan, According to BPU
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Agency identifies emerging issues -- like lengthy power outages in wake of severe storms -- that need to be addressed
NJ Home-Health Agencies Rank High in First-Time Federal Ratings
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
While consumers get valuable help in making healthcare choices, industry representatives say other criteria should be taken into account
Senate Democrats Craft Nonbinding Resolution for PARCC Testing Opt-Outs
John Mooney | Education
Low-key request simply asks that students and families who choose not to take PARCC exams not be punished for decision
The List: How Do New Jersey Children Fare in National Well-Being Rankings?
Colleen O'Dea | The List
NJ ranks eighth-best overall in national kids' well-being ratings, but ranks near bottom for number of children living in families struggling to pay for housing
Op-Ed: Charting the Path to Local Control for Newark’s Public Schools
Theresa Luhm | Opinion
QSAC maps out a clear and expeditious approach for moving Newark’s state-controlled schools back under home rule

July 24, 2015

Hospital Payments to Towns Discussed as Alternative to Property Taxes
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Tax-court decision has healthcare industry, state legislators talking about potential compromises
Irked by Christie’s Campaign Spending, Lawmakers Move to Limit Use of State Funds
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Committee votes out bill preventing sitting governors from putting anything but official duties on state’s tab
State Agency Pursues Probe into Utilities’ Responses to Severe Storm
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Late-June macroburst knocked out power to more than 400,000 customers, disrupting communications and impeding restoration efforts
Business Groups, Worker Advocates At Odds Over Local ‘Wage-Theft’ Laws
Hank Kalet | More Issues
Ordinances in five towns threaten loss of licenses; businesses say rules could backfire, resulting in loss of jobs and hurting economy
Interactive Map: Tracking Job Creation and Wage Increases Across NJ
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
Garden State posted net gains in employment and pay, but some counties saw losses – including 5 percent drop in jobs in Atlantic County
Feds: Administration Can Keep Targeting 'Priority' and ‘Focus’ Schools
John Mooney | Education
State DOE revises accountability system for state-run districts, severely challenged schools
Former Prosecutor, Christie Whistleblower Wins Access to Grand Jury Records
Meir Rinde | Politics
Judge orders confidential transcripts to go to Bennett Barlyn, but state could drag out release for month using legal means
Op-Ed: Energy-Efficiency Benefits -- Assessing Hype Versus Reality
Rasika Athawale | Opinion
Recent research reveals the seemingly unthinkable: Low-income households may not save money with weatherization programs

July 23, 2015

BPU Déjà vu: Agency Approves Pinelands Pipeline for Second Time
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Controversial project, which has generated solid opposition, would convert coal-fired B.L. England power plant to natural gas
Legislation Aims to Protect Kids, Pets from Heatstroke Deaths in Locked Cars
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Bill would provide civil-liability immunity to Good Samaritans who break into vehicles to rescue children or animals
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