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Katz on Christie Asked for Documents, Christie Gives a Piece of His Mind
Faced with new accusations that he's not providing all the Bridgegate-related documents he has promised to release, Gov. Chris Christie went on a 3 1/2-minute rant today . . .
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In The Spotlight

These are difficult times for students at New Jersey’s public college and universities -- and for their families. Tuition has climbed steadily, forcing lower- and middle-class kids to borrow more and more money. The Assembly Higher Education Committee began work this week on a package of bills intended to lower education costs and increase the graduation rate. The most significant and controversial bill would freeze in-state undergraduate tuition and fees at public colleges and universities for the first four and a half years of a student’s enrollment. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

September 19, 2014

Christie Nominates New President of BPU, Two Other Commissioners
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Politics
Governor looks to slot in two Democrats at state agency, announces surprise nomination to head up DOT
Christie Chooses Trenton Fixture to be State Transportation Commissioner
WNYC | Politics, Transportation
Jamie Fox previously served as transit chief under Gov. McGreevey and has held many other prominent posts
Community Clinics Say Delayed Payments Threaten Their Survival
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Federally qualified health centers win support of legislators in long-running dispute with state over how Medicaid payments are calculated
Protecting Higher Education for Lower- and Middle-Class Students, Families
Tara Nurin | Education
Assembly committee crafts package of bills to freeze tuition, boost graduation rates at state’s public colleges and universities
Pushed on Superintendent Salary Caps, Christie Points to the NJEA
John Mooney | Education
Governor continues to keep his own counsel when it comes to future of pay limits for top administrators
Pre-Obamacare Numbers Show Big Increase in Uninsured NJ Residents
Colleen O'Dea | Healthcare, Maps, Map of the Week
Number of people in the state without health coverage likely to be much lower because of ACA sign-ups for 2014
Op-Ed: The Newark School Boycott Harmed Some of Our Students
Reginald Lewis | Opinion
The protesters’ concerns are legitimate, but their actions had an adverse, unintentional effect on some of the most vulnerable kids
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September 18, 2014

Asked for Documents, Christie Gives a Piece of His Mind
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Faced with new accusations that he's not providing all the Bridgegate-related documents he has promised to release, Gov. Chris Christie went on a 3 1/2-minute rant today . . .
Analysis: Facing Budget Problems, Christie Plays Tax Amnesty Card
Mark J. Magyar | Budget, Politics
Corzine’s 2009 tax amnesty generated a record $725 million windfall, but it would take a concerted campaign to match that success
Bills Targeting Overdoses from Heroin and Opioids Go Far Beyond ‘Just Say No’
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Legislative package would require behavioral-health insurance coverage, mandate participation in prescription-tracking program
Bipartisan Coalition Wants Open-Space Question on November Ballot
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Voters have consistently backed preservation programs -- but will NJ’s economic woes change their minds?
Newark’s Local School Board Flexes Newfound Fiscal Muscles
John Mooney | Education
Board wants to sign off on Superintendent Anderson’s contract for outside evaluation team
New Jersey Still Stuck in Economic Morass; Poverty Rate Keeps Climbing
Colleen O'Dea | Social, Maps
Nearly 1 million residents live in dire economic straits in one of the nation's wealthiest states
Poll: With Overdoses Soaring, What Should New Jersey Do?
Healthcare, Polling
Can a new package of bills save lives or could it actually impede effective healthcare?
Op-Ed: Time for BPU to Move Ahead With JCP&L Rate Case
Evelyn Liebman | Opinion
Every day the agency doesn’t act is costing seniors and other consumers money that could go to necessities like healthcare

September 17, 2014

State Wants Sewer Plants to Plan for 500-Year Storms, Extended Outages
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
New regulations hope to avoid disasters that followed Sandy, when crippled facilities dumped billions of gallons of sewage into NJ waterways
Christie Administration, Unions Battling Over Hedge Fund Fees, Contributions
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Union leader urges Treasury to complete pay-to-play probe, questions investment with firm whose principals donated to RNC
Op-Ed: School District Consolidation Should Be Welcomed in New Jersey
Christine Todd Whitman | Opinion
When it comes to local school districts, small isn’t beautiful -- it’s usually inefficient and expensive
Profile: Weathering the Storm -- Sea Bright and Its Volunteer Mayor
Scott Gurian | Profiles
With her home destroyed by the storm, Dina Long knows firsthand the heartache and hard work involved in recovering from Hurricane Sandy
Coalition Pushes to Replenish State's Transportation Trust Fund
Mark J. Magyar | Transportation
NJ Forward includes gas tax increase as one funding option, urges merger of transportation agencies and more public-private partnerships
Health Advocates Examine Lifelong Health Effects of Childhood Trauma
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
NJTV program premiering tonight explores impact of adverse experiences on kids in urban areas

September 16, 2014

Senate Bill Package Could Fundamentally Change the Power Sector
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Draft legislation could alter utilities’ business model, introduce aggressive goals for solar energy
Controversial Caps On Superintendent Salaries Under Discussion -- Again
John Mooney | Education
Today’s meeting of Joint Committee on the Public Schools will consider next steps when -- or if – pay limits for top administrators expire in 2016
Opinion: Snapshot of Our Schools Offers Worrisome Glimpse of Class of 2027
Mark Weber | Opinion
My kids were well-served by New Jersey’s public education system, but can all parents say the same?
Explainer: Shopping for Cheaper Energy Remains a Chancy Undertaking
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Explainer
Unexpected spikes in prices is one reason that the state is looking into ways to better regulate alternative power suppliers
Outdated Doctor Lists Still Make It Hard to Access Mental-Health Services
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Inaccurate contact info and in-network limits remains problems despite new federal laws bolstering behavioral-health coverage

September 15, 2014

‘One Sheriff, One Paycheck’ Campaign Targets Pension/Pay Double-Dipping
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Retired state police major seeks to turn Mercer sheriff race into referendum on widespread abuse of pension loophole
Court Pulls Plug on NJ’s Plan to Build New Natural-Gas Power Plants
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Three-judge panel rules New Jersey program ventures into territory reserved for federal government
Mortgage Nightmare: One New Jersey Family’s Fight Against Foreclosure
Joe Tyrrell | Social, Housing
Ezekiel Iwarimie wanted a house for his wife and kids, but what he got was a pitched battle to hold onto his home
Teachers Union Heads Get First-Hand Look at NJ School-Reform Hot Spots
John Mooney | Education
Two national leaders visits Camden and Newark districts, tout organized labor’s relevance in local debates over state initiatives