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One of President Donald Trump’s first executive orders stripped federal aid from sanctuary cities that harbor undocumented immigrants. While the measure faces an uncertain future, Democratic legislative leaders in New Jersey aren’t waiting around. They announced they want state funds to replace any resources that would be lost if the order goes into effect. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

February 16, 2017

EDA Tax Incentives at a Price: Pay Equity for Men and Women
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Businesses that want help from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority must be able to demonstrate their employees earn equal pay for equal work
Governor Gets His Addiction Law Just 5 Weeks After Outlined in State of State
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Measure makes it easier for people with substance-use problems to get extended treatment, limits new opioid prescriptions to five-day supply
Grid Operator Approves More Than $1.5B in Projects, Mostly for PSE&G
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Heavy investment in transmission infrastructure addresses reliability issues linked to outdated equipment
While Education Simmers in D.C., NJ Quietly Puts Together Its ESSA Proposal
John Mooney | Education
The state puts the finishing touches to its plan for implementing Every Student Succeeds Act, looks for public comment
The FBI Is Calling, and Syrian Refugees Are Worried
Matt Katz | WNYC News | Immigration
Bureau's special agent in charge describes phone calls to refugees as outreach to a new community, not surveillance
Op-Ed: Deepening Our Commitment to Public Purposes of Higher Ed
Kathleen Waldron | Opinion
How can we ensure that we help young people from historically underserved communities apply, enroll, and graduate college?
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February 15, 2017

Beck Says Senate Dems Blocking Efforts to Bring Corruption Bill to Floor
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Senator’s pension-forfeiture bill would make it easier to strip benefits from corrupt officials
State Funding Gives Sharp Boost to NJ’s Biotech, Life Sciences Industry
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Tax credits for 'angel investors' are key to encouraging private investment in new and growing companies
Natural Gas, the Other Alternative Fuel for Transportation Sector
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
New group hopes to stake claim to big-truck and bus markets, while electric vehicles make inroads into consumer and light-truck sector
Promised Quorum Could Bring Election Commission Out of Cold Storage
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Watchdog agency plays critical role in rapidly approaching gubernatorial debates, other tasks related to 2017 election
Opinion: The Tragedy and Travesty of Undocumented Children
R. William Potter | Opinion
Having an attorney present during immigration proceedings tips the scales of justice in favor of remaining in the United States

February 14, 2017

New Push to Fight Discrimination Against NJ’s Transgender Residents
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Inequities in healthcare and insurance coverage are among the targets of a new package of legislation
School Violence and Vandalism by the Book
Colleen O'Dea | Education
State DOE’s annual report on problems plaguing schools indicates small bump in incidents over the year before
NJ Lawmakers Oppose PA Spending Plan if Bus Terminal Initiative Not Funded
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Legislators on both sides of the aisle seem ready to stall vote on $32B capital plan unless it includes $70M for bus terminal planning effort
On the Water Front: Finding the Leaks, Getting the Lead Out
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
New Jersey’s aging infrastructure can waste up to 30 percent of drinking water before it’s even delivered to customers
Murphy Gets Green Thumbs-Up from NJ Conservation Voters
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
New Jersey League of Conservation Voters has endorsed Phil Murphy, Democratic hopeful for his party’s gubernatorial slot
Op-Ed: Protecting Freedom of the Press — Starting in Middle School
Walter Bowne | Opinion
In this age of fake news, students can’t learn too soon to fight editorial censorship
Pennsylvania DEP Awards Critical Water Permit to PennEast
StateImpact Pennsylvania | Energy & Environment
PennEast argues that Pennsylvania’s approval shows pipeline can be built with minimal environmental impact, a hot button with New Jersey activists

February 13, 2017

Dems Want State to Pick Up Tab if NJ’s Sanctuary Cities Lose Funds Under Trump
John Reitmeyer | Immigration
Governor says officials from communities that lose federal funding will have to explain revenue loss to local residents
Consumer Electric Bills Headed South for Slight Dip in Monthly Charges
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Cheaper natural gas, more efficient power plants, expanded power grid play part in reduced charges for residential customers
Audit Confirms What Patients Have Long Said: Medicaid Doctors Hard to Find
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Inaccurate information in provider listings reveals doctors and dentists not at reported locations, no longer accept Medicaid, among other problems
Making Sense of New Jersey’s Solar Stumble — and Job Loss
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
NJ Spotlight energy writer Tom Johnson discusses the state of the solar market with WNYC News host David Furst
Op-Ed: The Will of New Jersey Voters Must Be Respected
Steven P. Perskie | Opinion
Ballot measure on gaming against state constitution
Will Skyrocketing Price of Naloxone Limit Its Use?
NJ Spotlight Staff | Healthcare
Report reveals that cost of lifesaving medication, which can reverse opioid overdoses, has jumped by as much as 500 percent

February 10, 2017

Interactive Map: Plotting Student Loan Defaults Across the Garden State
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
At 9.1 percent, New Jersey’s default rate is 11th in the country, particularly good news given that students tend to carry a heavy debt burden
Free Primary-Care Office Opens for Government and School Employees
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Pilot project developed by Sen. Sweeney to improve care, reduce taxpayer costs
Farmland Preservation Could Be in the Green Again, if Funding Clears
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Appropriation from corporate business taxes would be first since voters passed constitutional amendment in 2014
Sarlo, Oroho Honored for Efforts to Break Through TTF Gridlock
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Two NJ lawmakers singled out by conservative Tax Foundation for making tax reform ‘simpler, more neutral, more transparent … more pro-growth’
Op-Ed: Supreme Court’s Decision — the Final Battle in the COAH War?
Lori Grifa | Opinion
The court’s ruling provoked the usual responses. Many towns complained that it would cost them money; others decried it as a usurpation of local authority

February 9, 2017

Despite Concerns Over Future of ACA, More NJ Residents Enrolled This Year
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Trump administration attempted to downplay the recent ACA enrollment period by suspending outreach ads and marketing
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