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Katz on Christie How Christie Will Try Not to Lose Iowa
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

A bill that would mandate screening baby boomers for Hepatitis B has been introduced in the Legislature. But doctors and hospitals contend that the same results could be obtained simply by relying on physicians’ knowledge of their patients. Hepatitis C led to 16,627 deaths nationally in 2010 and has surpassed HIV/AIDS as a cause of death. Three-quarters of the 2.7 million to 3.9 million people with the disease are baby boomers. In most cases, the blood-borne infection was contracted through needle sharing or from blood transfusions or organ donation before screening began after hepatitis C was identified in the late 1980s. The bill sponsored by Sen. Joseph F. Vitale (D-Middlesex) is based on a recommendation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that everyone born between 1945 and 1965 should be screened for the virus. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

January 29, 2015

Proposed Legislation Would Require Baby Boomers to Be Offered Tests for Hepatitis C
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Doctors and hospitals protest that mandated screening would be expensive and time-consuming
No Settlement Expected in JCP&L Rate Case at Least Until March, Maybe Later
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Case has dragged on for more than three years, angering consumer advocates, BPU president
Poll: Do You Think Your School District is Ready for the Rollout of PARCC?
Education, Polling
Next month will see the launch of online testing and student assessment in NJ schools -- done deal, disaster, or something in-between?
The Christie Tracker: After Iowa, What's Next for NJ Governor's Quest?
WNYC | Politics, Podcasts
After wooing GOP faithful at 'Freedom Summit," Gov. Christie launches website for new PAC, ‘Leadership Matters for America'
Crowd’s Small But the Message is Loud and Clear at Hearing on New State Exam
John Mooney | Education
Educators complain PARCC – and over-testing in general – take too much time away from teaching and learning
Counting the Cars on the New Jersey Turnpike: Surveillance Revealed
NJTV | Politics, Transportation
Justice Department has been scanning license plates, tracking driving habits since 2008
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January 28, 2015

New Medicare Targets Seen as Big Step in Restructuring How We Pay for Healthcare
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Half of reimbursements for medical services will be based on successful patient outcomes by 2018
Feds Announce Draft Plan to Allow Drilling for Oil, Gas Off the Mid-Atlantic Coast
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
NJ not included in exploration territory, but spills and accidents could directly affect state's tourism and fisheries
Profile: New Rutgers-Camden Chancellor Promises to Put Faculty Above Politics
Tara Nurin | Education, Profiles
Former University of Maryland law school dean has been recognized as one of the top legal administrators in the country
Coalition Hopes to Dial Down the Volume of the Debate Over PARCC Exams
John Mooney | Education
We Raise NJ brings together educators, administrators, and families who think it’s time to move ahead with testing
Chris Christie Makes His Pitch to Republican Faithful at Political Gathering in Iowa
New Jersey governor stresses his straight-talking reputation during speech at Iowa Freedom Summit
Mercer County Democratic Leader Selected to Fill Vacant State Assembly Seat
WHYY/NewsWorks | Politics
Elizabeth Muoio will serve unexpired term of Bonnie Watson Coleman, who was elected to Congress in November

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
With Cigna Acquisition, Qualcare’s Unique Insurance Model Could Go National
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Hospital-based company will become subsidiary of insurer with growing NJ presence
Senate Panel Wants BPU to Pick up Pace on Developing Offshore Wind Power
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Environment and Energy Committee Votes Out bill pushing agency to move ahead on long-stalled Fishermen’s Energy offshore pilot project
Opinion: Time to Give the ‘Cami-Bashing’ a Rest -- Woes in Newark Go Way Back
Laura Waters | Education, Opinion
Problems in the city’s troubled school system stretch back decades; the shrill tone of the criticisms of the current superintendent are short-sighted and ill-conceived
Explainer: Water-Quality Watchdog Getting Ready to Get Back to Work
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment, Explainer
The Drinking Water Quality Institute was out of the loop between 2010 and 2014. Is it back in business?

January 26, 2015

Planners, Environmentalists Worry Restored, Preserved Marshlands Being Put At Risk
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Planning
Proposed legislation would combine Meadowlands Commission with Sports and Exposition Authority
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
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