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Katz on Christie Romney Helps Christie Settle Bridgegate Debt
Tonight, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gets his footnote in the Bridgegate saga. Romney is hosting a fundraiser for the New Jersey Republican party tonight that is billed as a birthday party for Gov. Christie . . .
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In The Spotlight

Housing advocates are decrying a proposal by Gov. Chris Christie that would allow municipalities -- rather than the state -- to set their own affordable-housing goals, essentially gutting a nearly 30-year-old housing program that was mandated by the courts. Christie did this by conditionally vetoing a housing-fee moratorium that was touted as a way to jumpstart the state’s construction industry. The fee of 2.5 percent of assessed value on new nonresidential development would have been placed in local housing trust funds to be used either for construction of new affordable housing or rehabilitation of existing housing. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

September 12, 2014

School-Lunch Policy on the Menu as Assembly Panel Gets Back to Work
John Mooney | Education
Legislative committee looks at ways to accommodate kids with vegan or vegetarian diets
New Program Could Help Keep Sewage from Flooding State’s Waterways
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Assembly committee passes bill that would allow certain cities and towns to set up so-called stormwater utilities to help get pollution in check
Conditional Veto Could Gut Affordable-Housing Policies, Advocates Say
Hank Kalet | Politics, Housing
Governor argues that it’s time for Legislature to significantly revise New Jersey’s landmark law
Tighter Regulation Sought for ‘Sober Living’ Homes for Recovering Addicts
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Involuntary commitment in some cases also sought by advocates who note that addiction qualifies as mental illness
Interactive Map: Charting the Cost of Hospital Care in New Jersey
Colleen O'Dea | Healthcare, Maps, Map of the Week
Analysis of federal data shows NJ hospital stays are slightly longer than national average, and slightly more expensive
Op-Ed: Let Great Schools Thrive -- Including Nonprofit Public Charters
Neerav Kingsland | Opinion
The goal of a rich educational experience is to prepare students for college, career, and life
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September 11, 2014

Christie Grappling With Bond Downgrades, Budget Shortfalls, Casino Closures
Mark J. Magyar | Budget, Politics
NJ’s fiscal woes mount as S&P cuts credit rating, Treasury admits budget shortfall and Trump Taj Mahal becomes fifth casino to face closure
NJEA Spent Nearly $60M on Campaigns and Lobbying in Past 15 Years
John Mooney | Education
New election finance report reveals teachers union spent more than twice as much as its nearest rival
Draft Legislation Would Bump Up New Jersey’s Renewable-Energy Goals
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Backers say proposed bill would give solar power and wind power a much-needed boost in state
Trend in Hospital Mergers Reflected in Palisades-Hackensack Partnership
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Economic pressures, clinical advantages cite as community hospitals steadily combine facilities and services
Governor Vetoes Statewide Ban on Smoking at Public Beaches, Parks
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Healthcare
To smoke or not to smoke, Christie says, is best decided by local ordinance
Poll: Should the State Keep Betting on Atlantic City?
Is there still a smart way to invest in AC, or is it now a matter of good money after bad?
Op-Ed: A Rededication to Veterans Day to Recognize Service and Sacrifice
James A. Crisfield | Opinion
In Millburn school district, students will be learning the real meaning and intent of a holiday that is too often neglected

September 10, 2014

On Visit to Camden Schools, Christie Takes Jabs at Protesters in Newark
John Mooney | Education
Governor says ‘the interests of the children have really been placed first’ during debate in Newark over reforms
Legislature, DEP Could Clash Over Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
At issue, New Jersey’s ability to participate in multistate program to clean up pollution from power plants
Profile: Experience in Medicine and Business Helps Her Improve Healthcare
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Profiles
Dr. Ruth Perry -- Trenton Health Team’s executive director -- applies lessons learned in ER and in corporate world
Opinion: Is It Time to Cash in on Charter Schools? I Don’t Think So
Laura Waters | Opinion
According to the rhetoric of anti-education reformers, charter schools are right up there with iPhones as a shortcut to gazillions of dollars

September 9, 2014

After Latest Casino Closures, Can Atlantic City Reinvent Itself?
Jon Hurdle | Politics, Planning
Christie calls ‘summit’ to help plan future for ailing gaming hub, but details are thin on the ground
At Power Conference, Utilities and Suppliers Ponder Industry Model
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Given incursion of renewables and emphasis on energy efficiency, will old ways of doing business suffice?
Group to Monitor Anderson Still to Coalesce, While ‘One Newark’ Moves Ahead
John Mooney | Education
Two months after it was announced, working group members still haven’t been named, although Hespe says meeting planned
Explainer: Coming Up to Speed on the Common Core State Standards
John Mooney | Education, Explainer
Just mentioning ‘Common Core’ is a good way to provoke an argument, but what’s behind all the anxiety?
In Face of National Declines Nurses Unions Look to Expand in South Jersey
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Will fewer medical facilities and more for-profit hospitals put the squeeze on RNs in the Garden State?

September 8, 2014

Grassroots Camden Group Appeals Trenton’s Decision to Allow New Charters
John Mooney | Education
Save Camden Schools signals first pushback that administration has encountered since district takeover
Premium Prices Determine Choices Made by Consumers in Insurance Marketplace
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
AmeriHealth’s low-cost plans and extensive provider network give it the advantage, according to recent data
Fine Print: Staying Ahead of the Latest Developments in Offshore Wind
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Federal grant to Fishermen’s Energy pilot project could breathe new life into proposal
The List: Taking a Tour of the 10 Oldest Bridges in New Jersey
Colleen O'Dea | The List
New Jerseyans willing to put up with a little traffic can steer their 21st century vehicles over a bridge more than 200 years old
Op-Ed: We Need to Think About Special Education as a Service, Not a Place
Lawrence S. Feinsod | Education, Opinion
It’s part of a continuum of programs and interventions, as inclusive as possible, and available to meet each child’s individual needs

September 5, 2014

Back to School Means First-Day Jitters for Anderson, ‘One Newark’ Plan
John Mooney | Education
As school buses start rolling in Newark, critics of state-appointed superintendent are quick to point out that some are nearly empty
Would Easier Access to Medical Marijuana Reduce Opioid Deaths in NJ?
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Study in 10 states with established programs suggests steady decline in overdose rates, but other factors may come into play
Interactive Map: Tracking Student Debt at NJ’s Private and Public 4-Year Colleges
Colleen O'Dea | Education, Maps, Map of the Week
The Ivy League may be a pricey proposition, but Princeton grads wind up with the lowest debt load of any college in the Garden State