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In The Spotlight

The amount of money in this year’s New Jersey gubernatorial race far exceeds what was spent four years ago, when Gov. Chris Christie won his second term. The latest finance reports from the state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission showed that among Democratic candidates Phil Murphy was the biggest money-raiser by far, with almost $25 million. Among Republican candidates, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno led with $2.6 million. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

May 22, 2017

2018 Budget Plan Puts Cleaning Up Brownfields Above Easing Climate Change
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Budget proposal shifts $6 million from Global Warming Solutions Fund to general budget to help restore contaminated sites
New Jersey Crafts Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare, Social
Bill would codify existing laws, ensure assault victims are treated with respect, dignity, and empathy
The List: Top 10 States Contributing to NJ’s Gubernatorial Hopefuls
Colleen O'Dea | The List, Elections 2017
New Jersey led the list, as expected, but money rolled in from nearby New York and Pennsylvania, as well as Florida and California
NJ Gubernatorial Hopefuls Agree: $300M State House Renovation Must Be Stopped
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Whether it’s by lawsuit or freezing funds, outright cancelation, or some other maneuver, Democrats and Republicans alike want to stop the clock on the costly project
Op-Ed: New Jersey Immigrants Lack Adequate Legal Representation
Alexandra M. Goncalves-Pena | Opinion
The promulgation of executive orders specifically targeting immigrants has left thousands of residents in New Jersey vulnerable to arrest, detention, and deportation
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May 19, 2017

In Second GOP Debate, Guadagno and Ciattarelli Trade Shots About Taxes
Colleen O'Dea | Elections 2017
Despite accusations of lying and hypocrisy, candidates do agree on some topics — such as such as relaxing the state's gun control laws and decriminalizing marijuana
Aetna Wants Out of NJ’s Individual, Small-Group Health Insurance Markets
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Uncertainty about future, as federal officials repeal and replace Obamacare, contributes to the decision
Ten NJ Locals of Mass-Transit Union Deliver Endorsement to Murphy
John Reitmeyer | Elections 2017
Amalgamated Transit Union’s 8,000 rank and file comprise NJ Transit bus drivers, Newark light-rail operators
Interactive Map: Obamacare Part of People’s Lives Across All ZIP Codes
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
The federal government recently released detailed data on the 2017 open enrollment period, making it possible to map highest concentrations of ACA coverage across the state
Opinion: Are Gov. Chris Christie’s Pot Policies ‘Beyond Stupidity’?
R. William Potter | Opinion
That’s how Christie characterized the beliefs of those who support legalization and taxation of marijuana use for adults. Is this the pot calling the kettle black?
Trump Administration Deports Indonesian Christian Facing Persecution at Home
Matt Katz | WNYC News | Immigration
An agreement reached with the Obama administration allowed a number of men to stay, as long as they checked in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement

May 18, 2017

Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Cool to ACA Replacement Bill
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare, Elections 2017
Guadagno and Ciattarelli both back reforms to public-employee benefits, would extend coverage of medical marijuana
Lawmakers Fume Over Private Bond Sale for $300M NJ State House Renovation
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Caught off-guard by Christie administration’s speedy move on financing of controversial project, four legislators vow to continue to try to block it
Assembly Panel Looks to Ban Pesticide OK’d by Trump Administration
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Chlorpyrifos has been linked to developmental problems in kids, can cause nausea and other conditions in adults
360-Degree Cameras Give NJ Transit Buses a Better View from Driver’s Seat
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Once $29M system is installed in all buses, drivers will be able to keep a close eye on passengers, pedestrians, cars, and cyclists on all sides
Opinion: Imperfect Accuracy, Imperfect Honesty — the Sean Spicer Dilemma
Carl Golden | Opinion
When President Trump said his press secretary couldn’t speak with ‘perfect accuracy,’ he suggested Spicer may be lying — leaving him in an impossible situation
Watchdog Group Files Ethics Complaint Against Frelinghuysen
WNYC News | Politics
Campaign for Accountability contends that GOP representative’s letter to bank represents intimidation

May 17, 2017

This Year’s Budget Blunder: Projected $527M Shortfall
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Paying off Homestead tax-relief credits next fiscal year, tapping Clean Energy Fund cited as ways administration plans on finding revenue to close expected gap
Democratic Gubernatorial Hopefuls Support Single-Payer, Women’s Healthcare
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare, Elections 2017
All four candidates emphasize the need to protect New Jerseyans as GOP repeals and replaces current healthcare protections
Sarlo Airs Concerns About Nuclear Subsidies at Budget Committee Hearing
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
BPU president Mroz favors regional approach to problem, rather than a state-by-state solution
Op-Ed: Memo to Gov. Chris Christie — Hands off Horizon
Drew Harris | Opinion
The plan to raid Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield reserves to pay for drug treatment programs is truly a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul
Woman Targeted by Frelinghuysen Wants People to Know What U.S. Rep. Did
Nancy Solomon | WNYC News | Politics
Political activist says that congressman’s note to member of bank board imperiled her job
Mother Begs NJ to Return Autistic Daughter to Out-of-State Facility
NJTV News Online | Healthcare
Jennifer Sullivan flourished at Plowshare Farm in New Hampshire but has deteriorated markedly since being ordered back to New Jersey under a state program

May 16, 2017

Senators File Suit in State Superior Court to Stop State House Renovations
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Filing claims that multimillion-dollar plan to restore State House violates New Jersey constitution
Push to Make Diversions from Clean Energy Fund Unconstitutional
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Advocates disagree over whether siphoning should be shut down immediately or allowed to continue on a limited basis for five-year phase-out
Senate, Assembly Primary Races on Track to Being Most Expensive in NJ History
Colleen O'Dea | Politics, Elections 2017
Tweny-nine days before the primaries, Democrats and Republicans have raised $29.4 million, the highest total since at least 2011
Newark Teachers Union Inks New Contract — without Oprah, Zuckerberg
John Mooney | Education
After more than a year at the bargaining table, NTU walks away with contract that protects performance bonuses, includes raises
Home Sober Home: Making Sure Recovering Addicts Have a Safe Haven
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Modifying land-use laws will make it easier for state-run facilities to get zoning permission, another aspect of larger effort to combat addiction, improve recovery options
Are Police Officers in New Jersey Paid Appropriately?
NJTV News Online | More Issues
The pay is better in well-off suburban towns than it is in cities where crime is a problem
Op-Ed: Restore Voting Rights to People on Parole and Probation
Scott Novakowski | Opinion
NJ bans almost 95,000 people from voting because of a criminal conviction. Over three-quarters — about 70,000 — are on parole or probation
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