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The New Jersey Democrats, independents and minority voters who broke from their traditional political camps to help give Gov. Christie a 22-point reelection victory just 14 months ago ...
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In The Spotlight

New Jersey’s flawed organ-donor application system may soon be improved, thanks to legislative and lobbying efforts to reform a system that’s been criticized for contributing to the state’s relatively poor donor-registration rate. Sen. Robert W. Singer (R-Monmouth and Ocean) said he will introduce legislation to revamp the application process. Some New Jerseyans aren’t having their wishes to become organ donors recorded by the state Motor Vehicle Commission, according to officials with the New Jersey Organ and Tissue Donation Sharing Network, the nonprofit in charge of overseeing organ donations in most of the state. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

January 27, 2015

State’s Largest Teachers Union: Families Have Right to Opt Out of New Testing
John Mooney | Education
NJEA releases results of polls that a large majority of parents believe preparation wastes valuable classroom time
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January 26, 2015

Organ-Donor Sign-Up Process Needs Improvement; Legislation in the Works
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Daughter’s experience while applying for driver’s license prompts state senator to draft bill to ease donor registration
In Irvington, Residents Rally to Keep Veteran's Home From Bank Foreclosure
Joe Tyrrell | Social, Housing
Clifton Beckley struggles to hold on to his home, while foreclosure rates in New Jersey start to trend upward
The List: Top 10 Lawmakers Influencing Education Policy in New Jersey
John Mooney | The List
With the governor preoccupied with a potential run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, the state's lawmakers may play a greater in role in education legislation
Interim Report Lays Out First Assessments of State's Testing Efforts
John Mooney | Education
State Education Commissioner Hespe heads up panel, promises to take parents' concerns about overtesting into consideration
Op-Ed: Applying the Lessons We've Learned about Ending the Scourge of Trafficking
Hans Dekker | Opinion, Social
Super Bowl used to remind people that problem of forced labor and sex trade exists every day of the year

January 23, 2015

Christie Appoints Emergency Manager to Address Atlantic City’s Ailing Finances
Meir Rinde | Politics, Planning
Governor moves to quell concerns about AC’s sovereignty after naming Kevin Lavin to new post, with Kevyn Orr -- Detroit’s former emergency manager -- as special consultant
Water, Wastewater Plants Waiting to Tap Into Energy Resilience Bank
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
With $150 million in projects in the pipeline and $65 million in funding pool, state may have more takers than it can service
Families of Developmentally Disabled Again Fight Forced Moves Back to New Jersey
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Revamped bill would let some stay in out-of-state facilities instead of transferring to group homes
Opinion: Fighting Feds on Climate Change Scores Points for Christie with GOP
R. William Potter | Opinion
By joining with coal and oil states in opposing EPA’s new rules, the state DEP could help grab the attention of very generous political donors
Advocates Want DOE to Open New Graduation Guidelines to Formal Public Comment
John Mooney | Education
Turning requirements into regulations would help ensure that students can take advantage of all paths to a H.S. diploma

January 22, 2015

Pay More for Medicaid and NJ’s Primary-Care Doctors Add Patients, Study Says
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Garden State shows one of highest increases in physician availability when reimbursement rates are raised, new report reveals
State Regulators Give JCP&L Go-Ahead for Transmission Line in Monmouth County
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
The 16-mile project will run along existing right-of-way, help reduce outages and ease congestion on power grid
Schools Chief Admits NJ Mishandled Construction Process in Needy Districts
John Mooney | Education
Hespe concedes state didn’t follow legally required procedure, says it’s now complying with law
Garden State Bankers Expect NJ’s Economy Will Still Lag Behind U.S. in 2015
Tara Nurin | Politics
The state’s bankers feel moderately comfortable with the nation’s economic status quo but say New Jersey needs to catch up
Poll: Will New Jersey Benefit From Opening Another Medical School?
Healthcare, Polling
Seton Hall University-Hackensack University Health Network would be the state’s only private medical school
Businesses Burying NJ Municipalities with Requests for Public Records
NJTV | Social
More and more companies asking towns to supply lists used in marketing and sales efforts
Spanning the Financial Gap Between Bridge Safety and Lower Costs for Drivers
NJTV |
While state orders safety inspections, transportation fund has been depleted. But raising gas taxes to replenish the fund isn’t a very popular idea

January 21, 2015

The YouTube Governor, Decoded
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Any day now, Gov. Chris Christie is expected to formally announce that he’s exploring a presidential run. In six years he has gone from a relatively unknown US Attorney in New Jersey to a household name around the country...
Unhealthy Behavior, Repeat Hospital Stays Spur Rise in Health Costs, Forum Says
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Assembly Minority Leader Bramnick convenes group of healthcare experts to explore problems, discuss potential solutions
Profile: She Helps Keep Drinking Water from the Highlands Clear and Clean
Colleen O'Dea | Energy & Environment, Profiles
A mix of ballet and rough-and-tumble Morris County politics helped prepare Margaret Nordstrom to be executive director of the Highlands Council
BPU Expected to Green-Light PSE&G’s Plan for Newark Switching Station
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Located inland rather than close to water, new facility should help boost reliability and resilience of power grid operated by state’s largest utility
Public Gets Chance to Air Views on Controversial New Testing for NJ Students
John Mooney | Education
Hearings set next week around the state on PARCC exams tied to much-debated Common Core standards
Rutgers-Harvard Team: Sea Levels Rising More Rapidly Than Previously Thought
Energy & Environment, Sandy
Melting ice caps and rising global temperatures at heart of wide-ranging study -- which says NJ and East Coast are on 'front line' of crisis

January 20, 2015

Assembly Bill Would Increase Suicide-Awareness Training for New Jersey Educators
John Mooney | Education
New measure would require teachers to spend two hours each year learning ways to identify and avoid these tragedies
Explainer: Why Many Sandy Victims Are Frustrated With Their Insurance Companies
Scott Gurian | Explainer, Sandy
Thousands say they were underpaid on claims, while insurers argue homeowners didn't understand coverage or homes had previous damage
Opinion: GOP Legislators May Finally Be Ready to Buck Christie, Override Veto
Carl Golden | Opinion
Tables may turn because of bipartisan support of reforms at Port Authority, governor’s drop in polls
NJ Lawmakers Looking to Finally Get Offshore Wind Turbines Turning
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Two bills before Senate committee hope to get administration moving on becalmed clean technology
Insurance Premiums, Deductibles Down, Says 2015 Healthcare Study
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Coinsurance payments, in contrast, are on the rise for federal marketplace consumers
Op-Ed: This Isn't the Time to Add School Vouchers Into the Educational Mix
Lisa Wolff | Opinion
NJ doesn't need another school-choice program; it needs one that works for all students
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