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Another energy company wants to take advantage of cheap supplies of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formations in Pennsylvania -- this time to ship it from New Jersey to markets in the Southeast. Transco is seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expand its interstate natural gas pipeline, stretching from Mercer County in Central Jersey to as far south as Holmesville, MS. The $275 million project does not propose to build any new pipeline in New Jersey, but simply to increase the capacity of the existing system. 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 30, 2015

Five Years After ACA, Many More Have Coverage, But Future Effects Still Unclear
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Some NJ healthcare networks remake themselves and thrive, but others – especially small hospitals -- struggle with uncertainties spawned by law’s mandates
Christie’s Transportation Record Assailed as Short-Sighted, Short of Cash
Meir Rinde | Transportation
Transit-related decisions on Christie’s watch, critics argue, have managed to disappoint some Democrats and Republicans
Another Company Seeks OK to Pipe Cheap Natural Gas through New Jersey
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Transco wants to boost capacity of existing pipeline running from Central Jersey to Mississippi for markets in Southeast
The List: 10 Groups Still Helping New Jersey’s Sandy Victims Recover
Scott Gurian | The List, Sandy
For many NJ residents, Hurricane Sandy is yesterday’s news; for others, it remains a day-to-day struggle
KIPP Network’s ‘Renaissance School’ Builds on First Year of Operations in Camden
John Mooney | Education
New facility set to replace trailers helps to boost charter’s enrollment for next fall
Christie Turns Back on NJ Immigrants in Bid for GOP Right, Critics Contend
Hank Kalet | Politics, Social
Governor signs on to amicus brief asking court to block Obama policy to allow some unlawful immigrant children, parents to stay in country
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March 27, 2015

Assembly Moves to Place Cap on Diversion of Funds from Pollution Settlements
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Bill could be a headache for administration by reducing how much money is available to plug holes in budget
Fine Print: PARCC Opt-Out Bill Passes Unanimously in State Assembly
John Mooney | Education
Future hardly assured with Senate so far quiet on setting statewide policy for families refusing to let kids take test
Dems Threaten ‘Legislative Veto’ to Ease Restrictions on Medical Marijuana
Meir Rinde | Healthcare, Politics
For some NJ legislators, the problem with the state’s medical marijuana program is the law itself
Would Patients Save Cash if Out-of-Network Provider Charges Were Slashed?
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Report commissioned by Horizon says insurance premiums could drop if state took action
Administration Drags Feet on Delivering Data Needed to Assess Christie Budget
John Reitmeyer | Budget
For lawmakers, delays and lack of details raise issues of transparency and accountability
Interactive Map: Shedding Light on Where Solar Energy Projects Abound in NJ
Colleen O'Dea | Energy & Environment, Maps, Map of the Week
Highest concentration is in Middlesex County, with 14 percent of state’s total capacity

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?

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
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