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Katz on Christie Christie Flips On Reason For Vetoing Planned Parenthood Funds
Just in time for the 2016 Republican primaries, Gov. Christie is changing his explanation for a controversial policy decision he made as governor ...
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In The Spotlight

Gov. Christie's proposed budget allocates money for open-space preservation projects, but its plan differs in significant ways from how some lawmakers, interest groups and municipalities want to divvy up the funds. With less money available than in previous years for such projects, deep divisions may surface among the many groups, towns, counties and others seeking to obtain a share of the funding. And some key lawmakers have their own priorities for how the money should be spent, including those who want more funding for farmland preservation. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

February 26, 2015

Chris Christie Takes His Budget Pitch on the Road -- First Stop, Moorestown
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Governor makes it perfectly clear: The only thing wrong with the state’s finances is cost of public-employee benefits
Districts Get Official Word: State Aid Payments Frozen for Most Schools Next Year
John Mooney | Budget, Education
Some are glad that funds won’t be cut despite fiscal woes; others note than once again Christie isn’t complying with full-funding law
Administration, Lawmakers Could Clash Over Who Gets Open-Space Funding
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
As predicted by some environmentalists and legislators, various potential recipients are getting testy about how much money they’ll receive
New Emergency Alerts Would Help Find Missing NJ Residents with Disabilities
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
People with intellectual, developmental disabilities could be at risk if they wander away from family or caregivers
Poll: Chris Christie’s Budget Address – Empty Sound Bites or Real Solutions?
Polling
The governor says he can fix what ails New Jersey's finances – Does his message resonate or is it the same old story?
Op-Ed: The Power of a Simple Idea -- Helping NJ Students Start the Day Healthier
Margarethe P. Laurenzi | Opinion
Serve students the most important meal of the day after the school bell rings, when they are already at their desks
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February 25, 2015

Christie Is So Focused On New Jersey He May Announce Run For President There
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Gov. Chris Christie's first town hall meeting in six months began with a detailed, if not dry, explanation of his pension reform plan. He pointed to charts around the room at the Moorestown Recreation Center in Burlington County ...
Missing from Christie’s Budget Address: Substance, Specifics, Solutions
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Governor’s budget speech may have played well outside of NJ, but state lawmakers are left with a number of unanswered questions
Dispute Erupts Over ‘Agreement’ Between Teachers Union, Governor
John Mooney | Education
While Christie touts purported deal, NJEA leaders protest that it’s just a ‘road map’ for finding solution to pension crisis
Christie’s Proposed Health Budget Slashes $148M From Hospital Charity Care
Andrew Kitchenman | Budget, Healthcare
Administration argues that cuts are counterbalanced by ACA Medicaid expansion, which has thinned the ranks of the uninsured
Panel Pushes Controversial Nomination for Pinelands Commission to Full Senate
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Critics contend appointment sends wrong message to conservation community, do what governor says or be prepared to be replaced
Profile: Association’s Leader Deftly Keeps Hospitals in NJ Working Together
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Profiles
Ryan draws on government, legal experience in advocacy for diverse group of hospitals
Just When NJ Students Are Making Progress, Some Folks Want to Slow Them Down
Kati Haycock | Opinion
A quick look at the past decade demonstrates that kids who aren’t tested are kids who don’t count

February 24, 2015

Can Christie, Legislature Defuse Judge's $1.6 Billion Pension Bombshell?
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics
Double challenge confronts Dems, GOP: Find funds in current budget -- and even more in next year’s
Judge Rules Against Christie Administration in State-Employee Pension Case
Meir Rinde | Budget, Politics
State on the hook for seven years of increasing payments, as spelled out in the administration’s signature pension-reform law
In Camden, Housing the Homeless to Ease Strain on Health Resources
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
State, county, city, hospitals, nonprofits unite to support Housing First pilot, with eye to potential expansion
Will Third Time Be the Charm for Controversial Nominee to Pinelands Commission?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Absence of key panel member could mean OK for nominee turned down twice by Senate Judiciary Committee
PARCC Testing Opponents Win Victory in State Assembly, But What’s Next?
John Mooney | Education
Bill would delay use of assessments to rate schools, students and teachers, but passage by Senate appears much less likely
Explainer: Children’s Health Insurance Program Helps Keep Medical Costs Low
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Explainer
But families could face skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs if federal funding isn’t renewed before October
Op-Ed: Opting Out to Help Save Public Education for NJ’s Students and Teachers
Darcie Cimarusti | Opinion
How many standardized state tests did Gov. Christie take as public-school student? Exactly none

February 23, 2015

NJ Spotlight Editorial Staff Continues to Grow with Award-Winning New Hire
Veteran reporter and editor to cover budget and public finance for state’s leading source of news about politics and public policy
Newark Student Sit-In Ends With Superintendent Anderson Still in Place
John Mooney | Education
Students call action a ‘victory,’ even though state is on course to renew embattled school chief’s contract this week
Scheduled Induced-Labor Deliveries Continue to Decline at NJ Hospitals
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Number of episiotomies performed also diminishes, but still ranks among highest in the nation, report indicates
Better Prepared? What Meteorologists Learned from Hurricane Sandy
Scott Gurian | Sandy
National Weather Service makes number of changes, but challenges remain in improving forecasts and communication with public
The List: 10 Ways to Improve Tracking, Forecasts of Future Superstorms
Scott Gurian | The List, Sandy
Sandy highlighted a number of areas in need of improvement, but many of them have yet to be corrected
PSEG Continues to Count on Its Utility to Power Profits, Says Earnings Call
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
New transmission projects or upgrades to existing infrastructure lead investments being made by company
Op-Ed: To Get the Answers About Atlantic City, Ask the Right Questions
Marc Pfeiffer | Opinion
Talk about ‘emergency managers’ and uncertain legislative proposals may have contributed to disquiet about the city’s fiscal situation

February 20, 2015

Port Authority Claims It Can Clean Its Own House, While Legislators Push Reform Bill
Meir Rinde | Politics
Lawmakers in NJ and NY work to resurrect reform measures vetoed by both Christie and Cuomo
Atlantic City School District Goes Bust, Fiscal Monitor Put in Place
John Mooney | Education
School system wracked by aftershocks from collapse of casino industry, city's fiscal calamity
Mapping Surplus Military Equipment Given to New Jersey's Local Police Forces
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
Tactical gear has grabbed the headlines, but surplus equipment also includes bandages, life preservers, and flashslights
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