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When he was campaigning for office, Gov. Phil Murphy said he was for “wholesale reform” of New Jersey’s medical examiner’s office which, it’s generally agreed, is run down, underfunded, and understaffed. Finally, there’s a serious bipartisan push to overhaul the beleaguered system. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

June 19, 2018

Trenton Starts to Sizzle, Governor Duels with Leading Dems Over Budget
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Amid competing press conferences, clashing news releases, and governor’s threat to veto Legislature’s appropriations bill, possibility of government shutdown increases
Deja Vu All Over Again: NJ Gov. Corzine and the 2006 Government Shutdown
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Former governor’s plan to raise sales tax by 1 cent sparked off a battle of wills between two powerful Democrats. Sound familiar?
NJ Hospitals Adopt Protocols to Reduce Unnecessary C-Sections
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Cesarean delivery comes with a number of risks for mothers and babies, including blood clots, cardiac complications, asthma and diabetes
Does ‘Rain Tax’ Have a Chance of Staunching State’s Stormwater Runoff?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Bill voted out of key Senate committee would let towns and counties assess fees on sources of runoff to cover cost of managing stormwater
Op-Ed: Let’s See if Lawmakers Stand Up to Unions by Voting to Curb Unused Sick Days
Christian Barranco | Opinion
Legislators need to show courage to ‘bring public-sector workers in line with everyday working people’
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June 18, 2018

Appropriations Bill from Democratic Lawmakers, First Salvo in Budget Battle
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Despite overall accord, legislators and governor still have issues to hash out, especially when it comes to funding public-employee pensions, K-12 education, and mass transit
Could Climate Change Erode Real Estate Markets in Coastal New Jersey?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
If chronic flooding inundates New Jersey communities, homes could take a big hit, according to new report, as well as property taxes that fund schools and roads
State Launches Tax-Free Savings Program to Help Disabled People
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
NJ ABLE gives people with disabilities as way to ‘save for vital day-to-day expenses,’ without imperiling Medicaid coverage, similar programs
NJ Legislature Looks to Throw the Books at High Cost of College Education
Colleen O'Dea | Education
Lawmakers want schools to come up with plans to use ‘open textbooks,’ which do not require students to buy expensive access codes that unlock online assignments and quizzes
ACE Seeks Rate Increase to Recoup Costs of Modernizing Its Power Grid
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
If BPU signs off on $99.7M filing, residential customers of Atlantic City Electric would see average monthly bill climb by about $11
Op-Ed: A Cascade of Travesties
Michael Heffler | Opinion
PennEast hacks an unconscionable pipeline-review process
Jersey City Politics, Unraveled
WNYC News | Politics
Nine-hour city council meeting only part of raucous week, that also sees feud between mayor and newspaper publishers

June 15, 2018

‘Tax Us,’ Says NJ Millionaire to Legislators Who Resist Murphy Budget Plan
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Garden State’s ‘Patriotic Millionaires’ dismiss concerns the rich will be chased away if they have to pay more in taxes
Watchdog Group Takes Christie to Court Over OPRA Request for His Emails
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Watchdog wants to to dig into former governor’s electronic correspondence about $33M tax credit to Jared Kushner in Jersey City real estate deal, but Christie digs in his heels
Burlington County Leads with $20M Initiative for Greater School Security
Carly Sitrin | Education
Board of Freeholders dedicates half the capital budget to beef up safety at 21 public high schools
Getting Lead Out of NJ’s Water Means First Finding How It’s Getting In
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Package of bills would require public water systems to compile list of lead service lines, public schools to maintain online database of lead-testing results
Lawmakers Urge Review of Medicaid Rates for Nursing Home Care in NJ
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Providers say they’re losing more than $400 million a year, struggling to contain costs
Fine Print: Ruiz-Madden Bill Package Protect Students from Sexual Abuse
John Mooney | Education
Hidden video catches union leaders saying they’d protect teachers
Op-Ed: State’s New Law on Absenteeism — Only the Beginning
Cynthia Rice and Peter Chen | Opinion
Schools that succeed in reducing absenteeism go beyond just complying with state and district rules to encourage and support attendance as a fundamental part of their mission to educate

June 14, 2018

Is a Natural-Gas Power Plant in the Works for the Musconetcong River?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Preliminary discussions between project developer and state and local officials explore building the plant on the state’s top trout stream
Gov. Murphy Signs New Jersey into New Era of Gun Safety
Carly Sitrin | Politics
Thanks to a half-dozen ‘commonsense’ bills, state now has arguably some of the strictest gun laws in the country
Lawmakers Looking to Find More Dollars for Direct Caregivers
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
It’s easy to see why there’s a shortage of direct-support professionals. They’re paid so little they can do better financially working at a fast-food chain
New Road Map for New Jersey to Reclaim Status as Biotech Leader
John Reitmeyer | More Issues
Task force identifies why NJ no longer leads in cutting-edge industry; cites recession, corporate mergers, patent expirations — and decline in key state supports
As NJ Rents Continue to Climb, Finding an Apartment Becomes Even Tougher
Colleen O'Dea | Housing
Hundreds of thousands of residents don’t earn enough to cover the rent on an average two-bedroom, without struggling to pay other bills and meet routine expenses

June 13, 2018

Floating a $600 Million Bond Issue to Build New Portal Bridge
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Plan could go long way to convincing Trump administration to pony up its contribution to bridge project, a key element for speeding rail traffic along Northeast Corridor
State Freezes Charity Care for Hospitals — Revenue Crunch, Budget Blamed
John Reitmeyer and Lilo H. Stainton | Budget, Healthcare
Seventy acute-care facilities are affected but will continue to treat patients. Funding for graduate-medical education also a casualty of New Jersey’s budgetary woes
Can $51 Billion Upgrade to Region’s Airports Get off the Ground?
Colleen O'Dea | Transportation
The Regional Plan Association wants to revamp Newark, Kennedy, and LaGuardia to stay ahead of expected growth — and pull plug on Teterboro to stay clear of rising sea level
NJ’s Medicaid Transportation System in Line for Major Overhaul
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Program that uses private drivers and shuttle for nonemergency rides has been long criticized. Lawmakers want more inspections, better records, bigger fines
A Change of Name, Not Mission, for ‘Bank’ That Funds Clean Water Across NJ
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Under its new name, the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank will still loan money to stem pollution from sewage treatment, upgrade drinking-water systems
Op-Ed: Helping New Jerseyans Take Control of Where Their Electricity Comes From
Curt Macysyn | Opinion
The way electricity is consumed and produced is changing. We no longer need to rely on large, centralized generation to keep the lights on
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