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Two legislative hearings on the school-funding issue were held last week and, with several more scheduled in the coming weeks, the issue is on Trenton’s front burner. But Democratic leaders can’t seem to agree on their approach to it. Tension over the issue is exacerbated by fears Gov. Chris Christie will push for big changes to school aid by way of the 2017 state budget next month. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

January 20, 2017

Decoding DeVos: What New Education Secretary Could Mean for New Jersey
John Mooney | Education
Yes, she’s pro-charter and pro-school choice, but how might those beliefs play out for educators and students in the Garden State?
Interactive Map: Where NJ’s Working Poor Can’t Afford Bare Necessities
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
The latest report on ALICE— Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — reveals 37 percent of households can’t eke out a survival budget
Pinelands Commission Sued to Stop Review of Pipeline Project
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Pinelands Alliance has asked appeals court to block commission from determining if pipeline complies with state policy and administrative rules
RWJBarnabas to Partner Noted Philly Hospital, Looks to Improve NJ Pediatric Care
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Two of region’s healthcare powerhouses promise ‘strategic alliance’ will enhance quality of care for thousands of children
Opinion: Memo to Guadagno — Taking Reporters’ Questions is the Best Policy
Carl Golden | Opinion
The newly minted gubernatorial candidate needs to learn a basic truth: Talk to the press or give the press something to talk about
Could Commuters and Labor Really Get a Say in New Jersey Transit?
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Train accidents, fare hikes, and service cuts have all been part of NJ Transit’s recent history. Now there’s a bid to give riders and workers effective input to its future
WNYC to D.C. — Donald Trump 'Understands Me'
Matt Katz and Arun Venegopal | WNYC News | Politics
On the third day of this journey, we find a Trump supporter who chafes at the stigma that comes along with her choice of candidate
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January 19, 2017

Advocates Argue ACA Repeal Could Hurt NJ Healthcare, Cost Money — and Lives
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Garden State coalition rallies at State House, while Democrats in D.C. grill Trump’s controversial pick to head national healthcare policy
NJ Supreme Court Ruling Could Leave Towns on Hook for 120,000 Affordable Units
Colleen O'Dea | Housing
Court rules housing responsibilities continued to accrue during 16-year period when affordable-housing regulation was in dispute
BPU Tool Helps Water Companies Speed Infrastructure Investments
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Agency opts to renew program that lets companies invest up to 5 percent of revenues in system upgrades without lengthy regulatory review
Dems Seek School-Aid Fix, Fear Christie Will Push for Drastic Changes Via Budget
John Reitmeyer | Education
School funding has never been an easy issue for New Jersey, not even for political colleagues like Sweeney and Prieto who can’t agree on how to administer it fairly
With 2 Gigawatts of Capacity Installed, NJ Solar Sector Shines
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
BPU indicates that milestone means state has fourth-highest cumulative amount of solar capacity nationwide
WNYC to Washington, D.C. — 'Look It's Not the End of the World'
Matt Katz and Arun Venegopal | WNYC News | Politics
Thousands of people in Philadelphia rallied on the recent Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, to speak out against 'right wing extremism' of incoming Trump administration — outside oldest A.M.E. church in the nation

January 18, 2017

Lawmakers Fear NJ Commuters May Not See New PA Bus Terminal Until 2030
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Digging into capital plan also reveals that PATH extension to Newark Airport will not include stop in South Ward, considered key to city’s economic development
Two Former Governors Join ‘Greens’ to Do Battle with Trenton, D.C.
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Florio and Whitman to help League of Conservation Voters heighten awareness of environmental issues in State House, White House
Christie Stays on Message, Signs Executive Order for Anti-Addiction Measures
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Some experts question governor’s priorities, some lawmakers say he’s replicating plans already approved by the Legislature
Guadagno Launches Run for Governor, Gives Christie the Jersey Swerve
NJTV News Online | Politics
The lieutenant governor, who hopes to succeed her unpopular boss, did not mention him directly but criticized him implicitly
Fuel Diversity: Guaranteeing Reliable, Affordable Energy
Bill Levis | Energy & Environment, Sponsored Content
While the low price of natural gas is welcomed by consumers, we need to be sure that we do not become too dependent on one fuel to heat our homes and power them with electricity
OP-Ed: In Face of Federal Threats, NJ Should Welcome Immigrants
Erika J. Nava | Opinion
Given the threat of mass deportations, New Jersey families are looking to local governments for resistance that is based in common sense and public safety
WNYC to Washington, D.C. — 'This is the Real America'
Matt Katz and Arun Venegopal | WNYC News | Politics
WNYC's Matt Katz and Arun Venugopal are taking a road-trip to D.C., talking to voters about the incoming administration

January 17, 2017

NJ Democrats — and a Few GOP Colleagues — Gear Up to Deal with ACA Repeal
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
‘Repeal and replace’ could cost state billions and would almost certainly affect quality of healthcare available to poor and middle-class residents
Feds Renewed Fuel-Economy Standards Will Help NJ Reduce Smog
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
The EPA decision to stay the course with 2012 pollution standards gives the Garden State another way to fight greenhouse-gas emissions
Public Hearings — as Many as 9 — Planned on School Funding
John Mooney | Education
Democrats Sweeney and Prieto will pursue individual approaches to funding reform
Major Building Projects at NJ Colleges to Benefit from $34M Allocation
John Reitmeyer | Education
Assemblyman says ‘it’s money well-spent’ as supporters hope up-to-date facilities will keep our third-level institutions competitive with those in other states
Syria Supper Club: Reaching Out to Refugees, One Dinner at a Time
Matt Katz | WNYC | Politics
At this supper club, Muslim refugees from Syria and Iraq join groups of mostly Jewish New Jerseyans for dinners that are part fundraiser, part cultural exchange
Supreme Court Ruling Means New Sentencing Guidelines for Juveniles
NJTV News Online | Social
Now judges must consider factors such as age, family environment, and peer pressure when sentencing young offenders for violent crimes

January 13, 2017

Experts Warn Christie’s Prescription Limits Could Cause More Addiction
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Governor wants to ‘prevent addiction before it starts’ by curbing patients’ access to medications but there is strong opposition to such mandates
Lesniak Willing to Sue Over $300M Renovation Christie Is Pushing for State House
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Lawmakers concede urgent repairs are needed but some question the control and financing of the project
Interactive Map: New Jersey Graduation Rate Inches up for Class of 2016
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
While improvement holds for all races and ethnic groups, rates vary between schools from 100 percent to less than 30 percent
Op-Ed: The Next Infrastructure Frontier — New Jersey’s Water System
Greg Lalevee | Opinion
Fixing pipes should be a priority for all New Jerseyans, not just because of worries about lead but because of deeper structural problems
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