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Katz on Christie How Astorino Angered Christie and Lost Millions
Gov. Chris Christie found himself embroiled in a mini-controversy last week with a fellow Republican, New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, after Christie said that the Republican Governors Association . . .
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In The Spotlight

A concept pioneered in New Jersey has led to $9 billion in insurance premium savings nationally over the past three years, including $3.4 million returned directly to New Jersey consumers in 2013. The savings stem from a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical claims. For larger businesses insurers’ share of premiums spent on claims must be at least 85 percent. Perhaps the most important impact of what are called minimum loss ratios is that if a health plan spends less than the required minimum on claims, it must refund policyholders the difference between what it spent and the minimum. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

July 29, 2014

Explainer: ACA’s Impact More Gradual for Those Whose Jobs Provide Insurance
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Explainer, Affordable Care Act
As ‘grandfathered’ plans fade, however, more will be affected by new health coverage regulations
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July 28, 2014

How Astorino Angered Christie and Lost Millions
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Gov. Chris Christie found himself embroiled in a mini-controversy last week with a fellow Republican, New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, after Christie said that the Republican Governors Association . . .
State Auditor Cries Foul Over Failure to Fill County School Superintendent Posts
John Mooney | Education
Report says having someone at the education helm in all 21 counties is required by statute
State Agency Presses Case for Drastic Cuts in JCP&L Rates
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
NJ Rate Counsel seeks to resolve 3-year-old petition targeting utility’s excessive profits, lack of investment in infrastructure
ACA Provision Returns Billions to Consumers, Harkens Back to NJ Reforms
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Affordable Care Act
Insurers required to spend at least 80 percent of premiums to pay medical claims, or else return money via rebates or added benefits
The List: Ten Worst New Jersey Beaches for Water Pollution
Colleen O'Dea | The List
High bacteria levels found at many of them may be linked to nearby stormwater pipes

July 25, 2014

Mission Accomplished: Solar Sector is Stable, BPU Report Concludes
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Legislation passed in 2012 has done its job, review says, guiding once-volatile sector to stability
Analysis: New Jersey's Economic Woes Go Far Beyond Casino Closings
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Rutgers economist says state is not positioned well to compete in new digital economy, and time is running out for full recovery of jobs lost
More Seniors in NJ to Get Access to Home-Based and Community Services
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
'Miller trusts' will help elderly, disabled qualify for Medicaid services delivered outside of nursing homes
Time Runs Out for Christie Plan for Lengthier School Days, Longer School Years
John Mooney | Budget, Education, Politics
Administration's $5 million innovation fund one of the casualties of budget process
Raptor Report: Eagles and Falcons Continue to Soar Above Garden State
Colleen O'Dea | Energy & Environment, Maps, Map of the Week
More than 100 communities across state are home to at least one nest -- including Jersey City

July 24, 2014

State-Sanctioned Deal Moves Energy Resiliency Bank Closer to Reality
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Low-interest loans could help keep power on at critical facilities even if power grid is knocked out of service
Newark Civil-Rights Probe Mirrors Investigations in Other U.S. Cities
John Mooney | Education
Administration, state-appointed superintendent, will cooperate but keep low profile for time being
State Department of Health Website Gives New Look to Vital Information
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Website redesign uses small-town map in attempt to improve user friendliness
Port Authority Looks to Clean Up Problem in Midtown Manhattan
WNYC | Transportation
Agency allocates $90 million in capital expenses for quick fixes at 42nd Street hub
Poll: Is It Time for New Jersey to Revisit a State-Based Exchange?
Polling, Affordable Care Act
Court decisions throw settled situation into turmoil for growing group of newly insured
Number of The Day

July 23, 2014

Feds Investigating Whether 'One Newark' Schools Initiative is Discriminatory
John Mooney | Education
U.S. Department of Education confirms it has opened civil rights probe into city's controversial plan to reorganize public schools
Christie Says NJ Must Cut Retiree Benefits Or Face Bankruptcy
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Governor kicks off ‘No Pain, No Gain’ summer tour to sell pension reform in front of protesting police and firefighters
Mixed Court Rulings on ACA Add Uncertainty to Future of Tax Subsidies
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Affordable Care Act
Vitale says he would continue push for state insurance exchange if ruling against subsidies is upheld
State Environmental Agency Gives B.L. England Power Plant Another Lease on Life
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Coal-burning facility, sometimes cited as dirtiest in NJ, has two more years -- possibly to convert to natural gas
Profile: Giving a Voice to Those Who Need, Advocate for Affordable Housing in NJ
Selena Handler | Profiles
Staci Berger is raising visibility for community development and helping reform housing policy
Feds Blow Whistle on Abuse of Authority by Newark Police Department
WNYC | Social
Justice Department finds ‘pattern of unconstitutional policing’ and will appoint monitor
Can Atlantic City Beat the Odds and Reinvent Itself for the Future?
WHYY/NewsWorks | More Issues
Pivotal year for legendary resort may end with only eight out of 12 casinos still in business
Podcast: The Inside Story on How State Mishandled Sandy Relief Funds
NJ Spotlight’s Scott Gurian talks about his probe of faulty formula used to distribute state grants

July 22, 2014

Sweeney Calls Sandy-Monitoring Reports ‘Almost A Whitewash’
Mark J. Magyar | Politics, Housing, Sandy
Senate president, housing advocates demand release of full documentation so public can judge Sandy relief efforts
Families of Overdose Victims Call on Doctors to Prescribe Opioid Antidote
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Advocates warn lack of familiarity with medication, new provisions of law could mean more lives lost
PSE&G Initiative Lets Employees at NJ Firms Charge Electric Cars at Work
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Goal is to learn how workplace charging will affect load on power grid
Explainer: Why It's Safe to Ride That Terrifying Roller-Coaster
Colleen O'Dea | Explainer
Before the first person steps aboard a carnival ride, NJ has certified, registered, and inspected it, and made sure it complies with 137 pages of code
Does Obamacare Spell the End of Community Health Centers in NJ Cities?
WNYC | Healthcare, Affordable Care Act
In an ironic twist, funding issues raised by the Affordable Care Act threatens primary-care clinics in urban areas