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Katz on Christie Chris Christie and New Hampshire: 10 Things That Went Wrong
In the end, the Jersey street fighter got knocked out in the match he needed to win. Gov. Chris Christie finished in sixth place in the New Hampshire primary, which spells the end of his presidential campaign . . .
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In The Spotlight

Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney this week unveiled his plan to ask voters in 2017 to approve a constitutional amendment that would eventually hike the state’s minimum wage by more than $6. Legislation introduced last week by Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-Hudson) also seeks to hike the minimum wage to $15, but all at once, while Sweeney’s plans calls for phasing in the increase over several years until it reaches $15. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

February 10, 2016

Advocates for Expanded Preschool Gather to Rally Support for More Funding
John Mooney | Education
Democrat-backed legislation would allocate millions to provide pre-K programs to more 3- and 4-year-olds
NJ Congressional Delegation Wants More Federal Funds for Transit-System Repairs
Tom Johnson | Transportation
Request to Department of Transportation indicates that NJ Transit needs almost $470 million to fix damage from Hurricane Sandy
Phased-In Increase in NJ’s Minimum Wage May Go Before State's Voters in 2017
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Sweeney’s proposal would add $1 a year until hourly pay reaches $15, while Assembly bill would boost wage immediately
Opinion: Flint Is a Wake-Up Call for New Jersey and for the Nation
Chris Sturm | Opinion
What does the public water-supply crisis in Michigan mean for New Jersey communities?
Profile: Keeping Tabs on Christie, from Bridgegate to the Granite State
John Mooney | Profiles
Matt Katz’s resume is deeper than his coverage of New Jersey’s governor. It includes Camden and Afghanistan -- and a syndicated ‘dating and relationships’ column
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February 9, 2016

Tests on Fish Raise New Concerns About Estrogen Levels in Drinking Water
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Contamination from wastewater-treatment plants and agricultural runoff cited as a concern
Explainer: Christie’s New Anti-Addiction Efforts Taking Shape in a Hurry
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare, Explainer
Several programs outlined in governor’s State of the State are already underway
Open-Space, Farmland Preservation Get Closer as Panel Votes Out Bill
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Questions remain about funding for Blue Acres, urban-area contamination
Lawmakers Push to Return Utility Tax Funds to Hard-Pressed Municipalities
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Bipartisan bill aims to ease local property tax burden by phasing out diversion of revenues to state coffers
Democrats Unveil Bills Allocating Millions for Expansion of Preschool
John Mooney | Education
Expansion of early childhood programs among legislative priorities set by party leaders
Agenda: Hearings Set on New Academic Standards, H.S. Graduation Requirements
John Mooney | Education
State Board of Education will hear testimony on revised state standards and proposal for new PARCC exit test

February 8, 2016

In the Shadow of Liberty: NJ Spotlight’s Year-Long Study of Immigration in NJ
NJ Spotlight Staff | More Issues
Help us crowdfund a multimedia assessment of the state’s culturally and politically diverse immigrant communities
Bankers Not Quite Bullish, But They’re More Optimistic About NJ Economic Outlook
John Reitmeyer | More Issues
Annual survey reflects more confidence in nation’s outlook than in state’s prospects, but overall picture seen as somewhat brighter
The List: What -- and Who -- Makes New Jersey a State of Many Nations?
Lee Keough | The List
A look at the 10 largest immigrant communities in the Garden State
Bridgegate Defendant Demands Release of Emails and Text Messages
WNYC | Politics
Baroni alleges Christie’s lawyers are illegally withholding key communications, including exchange between former Port Authority executive and governor’s ex-press secretary
Opinion: Let Flint Strike Sparks to Address Water-Supply Problems in NJ
Daniel J. Van Abs | Opinion
Flint is a failure of responsibility, ethics, and morality. Can the unacceptable happen to our water-supply systems?
Barnegat Bay Needs to Be Put on 'Pollution Diet' to Limit Runoff, Bill Argues
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Legislation in front of Assembly Committee would direct the DEP to again study Barnegat Bay, develop ways to clean up its waters
Court Rules Against Piscataway in Charter-School Tuition Challenge
John Mooney | Education
School district argued -- unsuccessfully -- that large budget surpluses at public charter schools should mean lower tuition for enrolled students

February 5, 2016

Utilities Must Reduce Methane Leaks from Natural-Gas Pipelines, Says New Bill
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
One ongoing PSE&G initiative relies on mapping data collected by Google Street View car and Environmental Defense Fund
Democratic Lawmakers, Labor Advocates Push for Higher Minimum Wage
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Initiative to raise hourly wage of working poor to $15 could end up being decided by voters at the ballot box
Interactive Map: High Schools and Wealthier Districts Had Most Untested
Colleen O'Dea | Education, Maps, Map of the Week
However, state data does not show exactly how many students skipped PARCC specifically because of parental concerns
Finding Ways to Tame Epidemic of Opioid Addiction Plaguing New Jersey
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Health Committee hearing takes stock of successes so far while stressing that state is in for a long, expensive campaign
Democratic Lawmakers Look to Jump-Start Affordable Housing Construction
Colleen O'Dea | Housing
Program would create new class of tax credits to encourage developers to build in certain communities across the state
Op-Ed: We Need More Teacher Diversity In Our Urban Communities
Yasmine Veale | Opinion
It’s important that students have teachers and administrators who look like them so they feel inspired, relatable, and safe

February 4, 2016

Depleted Transportation Trust Fund Creates Fiscal Crisis for Municipalities
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics, Transportation
While lawmakers and administration bicker, mayors don't know how much to budget for road maintenance -- or where the money will come from
Statewide High-School Graduation Rate Increases to Nearly 90 Percent
John Mooney and Colleen O'Dea | Education
But socio-economic gaps remain and requirement of passing grade on PARCC to earn diploma looms on the horizon
Insurance Giant Defends Controversial OMNIA Plan in Response to 'Smear' Campaign
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield takes legal action in response to claims by hospitals opposed to new tiered health plan
Two NJ Companies Extend Their Clean-Energy Holdings with Projects in PA and NC
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
PSEG Solar, NJR Clean Energy opt for solar installation, onshore wind farm to ramp up renewable-energy portfolio
Poll: Does New Jersey Really Need a Lieutenant Governor?
NJ Spotlight Staff | Polling
Ten years after the job was created, is it time to take another look at the position held by Christie’s second-in-command?
NJ’s Made Great Strides in Expanding High School Career-Readiness Offerings
Timothy McCorkell | Opinion
There’s a new awareness that innovative career and technical programs benefit all types of students, including those who are college-bound
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