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In The Spotlight

What issues are most important to you in November’s gubernatorial election? Do you want to talk about those issues with your neighbors? We’re organizing “Political Potlucks” in neighborhoods across the Garden State to spark constructive conversations about politics ahead of the election. And we want you to be a part of them. We’re doing this as part of Voting Block, an effort among several news organizations in the state to bridge political divides and support civil civic dialogue. Care to join us? Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

August 17, 2017

Offshore-Wind True Believers Remain Optimistic About New Jersey
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
The state’s industry sector needs to be brought back to life, and that will take a new administration — for starters
ACA Uncertainties Could Mean Fewer Eligible People Enrolling
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Patient advocates sound alarm, saying policy stability and continued federal support are essential
Profile: National Advocate for Public Schools Says Stakes Are High
Colleen O'Dea | Profiles
Kevin Ciak, only the second New Jerseyan to lead the National School Boards Association, believes that public education is central ‘to our country’s future and stability’
Moody's Says NJ Still a Gamble, Despite Pension Fund Tapping Lottery Revenues
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Credit-rating agency also warns of difficulties servicing growing pension payments, but does not reduce state’s A3 ranking
Christie Administration Opposes Trump Plan to Drill in Atlantic
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
In letter to federal agency, DEP Commissioner Martin says NJ wants no part of program to expand oil and gas exploration in North and Mid-Atlantic
‘I Can’t Vote, But My Daughter Can’ — Immigrant Family Has Political Goals
Kleibeel Marcano | Reporte Hispano | Immigration
An undocumented immigrant, Rossana Madiera can still make her voice heard on Election Day
Op-Ed: New Business Model for NJ Department of Transportation
Gary Toth | Opinion
Helping build communities through transportation instead of transportation through communities
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August 16, 2017

Trump Weakens Protections for Buildings in Flood-Prone Areas
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Executive order rescinds rules intended to safeguard government-financed projects against sea-level rise, climate change
With Vo-Techs Turning away Students, Lawmakers Consider Bond Issue
John Reitmeyer | Education, Politics
Referendum is likely a year off, but manufacturers are already saying they have more job openings than skilled workers, adding urgency to the initiative
The List: Tallying Up the Top 10 Counties with Jobs in the Tourism Industry
Colleen O'Dea | The List
New Jersey is home to more than 500,000 tourist-related jobs, and they don’t all involve sun and fun in the Shore counties
Healthcare Savings Tied to Healthy Food, New Data Demonstrates
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Food stamps do more than help seniors stave off hunger, they also help them avoid hospitals and nursing homes
Voting Block: NJ Couple Continues Lifetime of Activism in Chinese Community
Rong Xioqing | Sing Tao Daily | Politics
Margaret Lam and David Yen are partners in community, politics, and life
Op-Ed: Why NJ Should Integrate Mental, Physical, Behavioral Healthcare
Eva Turbiner | Opinion
State’s plan to put mental health and addiction services under DOH control will ‘improve the well-being of the people of New Jersey’

August 15, 2017

Obamacare Uncertainty Could Drive Up Marketplace Healthcare Costs in 2018
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Reinstated premium tax could also add hundreds to individual premium prices
Renewed Calls for Monitor After 2 Deaths at Hudson County Jail
Hank Kalet | Immigration
Advocates claim inadequate medical care led to death of Rolando Espinoza, an immigrant detainee
It’s No Jackpot, But Online Gambling Tax Contributes Millions to NJ's Coffers
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Although tax revenue from Internet gaming has not met some supporters’ projections, it’s becoming a reliable source of cash for the state’s annual budget
Renewed Threat of Oil and Gas Drilling off New Jersey Shoreline
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Administration seeks to develop program to open all the nation’s coasts to exploration along outer continental shelf
Opinion: Real Property-Tax Reform Is Guadagno's Only Real Chance
Carl Golden | Opinion
If Guadagno wants to break the chains that bind her, she must give voters what they want, not more namby-pamby policies that won’t upset the status quo

August 14, 2017

PennEast Wants Fast-Track Approval from FERC for $1B Pipeline
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Company argues project is ‘critically important’ to bring new and necessary natural-gas supplies to Northeast, increase reliability of today’s pipeline grid
State Board Issues Guidelines for Social and Emotional Education …
John Mooney | Education
… and NJ Spotlight speaks with Rutgers’ Maurice Elias, international leader in emotional intelligence, school success, and character development
Sales of Electric Plug-In Vehicles Surge, Though Infrastructure Still Lags
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
With more than 10,000 plug-ins on the road in New Jersey, sales grew by 79 percent over prior year
Comptroller to Apprise Governor, Lawmakers on Follow-Up Audits
John Reitmeyer | Politics
New law calls for comptroller to report on how public agencies have responded to major audits and loop legislators and state’s chief exec in on the results
State Poison Center Reports Spike in Mushroom Poisonings
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Experts increase warnings, caution against eating any wild mushrooms, even if they have been ‘identified’ as safe
Op-Ed: Modernize Contracts Laws for NJ’s State Colleges, Universities
Michael W. Klein | Opinion
The rules public four-year colleges and universities follow to buy goods and services, or erect a building, depend on how the institution is categorized under the law

August 11, 2017

Charting Student Loan Debt Across the Garden State
Colleen O'Dea | Education, Map of the Week
Which New Jersey students leave school with the most debt? Which are carrying the least?
Call to Reopen Hagedorn Psych Hospital to Relieve Crowding at Other Facilities
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Staffing and training questions prompt concerns about unsafe conditions at Greystone Park
State Needs to Step Up Attempts to Curb Greenhouse-Gas Emissions
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
In rare meeting of both legislative environmental committees, lawmakers get a tough assessment of what New Jersey needs to do to fight climate change
Opinion: The Essence of ESSA: the Good, the Bad, the Meh
Laura Waters | Opinion
A wonk-free assessment of the Every Student Succeeds Act and how it can refocus discussions about New Jersey schools onto more accurate rankings of quality and achievement
Planning for Trans-Hudson Tunnel Chugs Ahead with Release of Draft EIS
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Troubling questions about financing remain to be answered, but the tunnel is anything but stalled

August 10, 2017

White House Opioid Commission Report Echoes NJ Anti-Addiction Efforts
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Gov. Christie said president welcomed recommendations, but Trump still mum on details
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