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NJ Spotlight Daily News

April 17, 2015

NJ's 'Stable' Source of Open-Space Funding: Let the Diversions Begin
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
DEP defends administration’s plan to redirect $20 million from new program to pay salaries for park workers, routine maintenance
Christie Earns Criticism, Kudos for His Higher-Education Policies in NJ
Tara Nurin | Education
The governor’s critics cite his sizable funding cuts, but Christie has presided over a massive remaking of higher education in the state
Judge Upholds Municipal Sick-Leave Laws, Clears Way for Proliferation
Meir Rinde | Healthcare, Politics, Social
Business associations argue that letting towns make own laws would create statewide patchwork of rules and regulations
State’s Labor Chief Suggests Employment Picture Looks Brighter in Perspective
John Reitmeyer | Budget
While jobless rate rises again, he tells Senate panel that longer-term numbers are more encouraging than monthly snapshots
Technology Earns High Marks in Opening Round of Online Testing
John Mooney | Education
While PARCC itself remains controversial, state officials report new computer platforms had high rate of success
Interactive Map: Income Taxes Expected to Add $13B to State Coffers
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
NJ tax filers include more than 53,000 residents – including the Christies – with incomes over $500,000

April 16, 2015

15 Percent of 11th-Graders Refused to Take First Round of PARCC Tests in March
John Mooney | Education
Opt-out rate was as low as 3 percent statewide in state’s elementary schools
Christie Heads North, Begins His Town Hall Presidential Redemption Tour
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
The governor claims to "tell it like it is" at his first town hall meeting outside of New Jersey
In New Brunswick, Sweeney Sees Seeds of a Solution to Atlantic City’s Problems
John Reitmeyer | Planning
Senate president celebrates New Brunswick’s building boom, sees redevelopment corporation and public-private initiatives as essential to success
Administration Filed Just One Natural-Resources Damage Claim Before Exxon
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Acting attorney general defends proposed settlement, which has generated a whirlwind of controversy
Smaller Hospital States Case for Survival as Full-Service Facility
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
St. Michael’s Medical Center of Newark slams ‘anti-competition’ consultant report that calls for consolidation and restructuring
State BPU Gives the Nod to PSE&G’s $95 Million Energy-Efficiency Initiative
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
NJ’s largest utility to concentrate efforts on hospitals, schools, apartment buildings, and small businesses
Opinion: Chris Christie Keeps the Press Exactly Where He Wants It -- In the Dark
Carl Golden | Opinion
The governor’s carefully staged ‘town halls’ and radio shows foster the illusion that he is accessible to just plain folks
Poll: What’s the Best Course of Action When It Come to the COAH Cash?
Should the governor be allowed to use affordable-housing funds to plug a hole in the budget?

April 15, 2015

Chris Christie Went To New Hampshire and Talked About Everything
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
The governor doesn't sound like a man who's gearing up for the political fight of his life -- or does he?
Five Years After Christie's Family-Planning Funding Cuts, Debate Continues
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Onset of Affordable Care Act makes it even more complicated to assess impact on low-income women
Federal Agency's Forecast Says U.S. Could Be Free of Energy Imports by 2020-2030
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
U.S. Energy Information Administration see rise in natural gas, renewables, mirroring developments in New Jersey
‘One Newark’ Reorganization Kicks Off Second Year, Learning From the First
John Mooney | Education
Three-quarters of families selecting schools for their kids won placement at one of three top choices
Fine Print: Revamping the Rules for Reporting Fees State Pays for Investments
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Legislation calls for more openness in divulging details of how funds are handled, seeks to widen ban on ‘pay to play’ contributions
Profile: An Ironclad Commitment to Community in Newark’s Ironbound District
Lilo H. Stainton | Profiles
Director of Ironbound Community Corp. knows that ‘simple’ goals are most important: good jobs, safe housing, decent education
Major Healthcare Trends Converge as Hackensack, Summit Join Forces
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
State’s largest doctor-owned practice will manage physicians affiliated with growing hospital network
Keep Tabs on Christie's Ratings -- with a New Tool on The Christie Page
Track Christie's approval rating, from his early days in New Jersey to the latest national numbers
Op-Ed: Reinvest Healthcare Savings to Meet New Jersey’s Growing Needs
Raymond Castro | Opinion
Federal funds for human services are a big help for residents, but the state needs to be smarter about leveraging them

April 14, 2015

Christie Polls
Colleen O'Dea |
Expand Emergency-Planning Zones Around Salem Nuclear Plants, Group Urges
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Bumping up radius of safety area from 10 to 50 miles will help ensure orderly evacuations if disaster hits, report asserts
Ex-Wall Streeter (and Possible Candidate) Wants to Bring High-Tech Back to NJ
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Democrat Phil Murphy, seriously considering run for governor in 2017, stresses urban renewal, middle-class resurgence at public-policy forum
State Works to Eliminate Backlog of Thousands of Medicaid Applications
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Remaining 9,000 to 12,000 applications stuck in county offices will be farmed out to private contractor
Opinion: Christie v. New Jersey Judiciary -- Not a Pretty Picture
R. William Potter | Opinion
Despite being bullied and berated, the state’s judiciary has stood up to the governor and handed him some sizable setbacks
Explainer: Clean Energy Program Promotes Use of Wind, Solar and Biofuels
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Explainer
Progress is being made on clean energy, albeit slowly, but big advances are not likely under the current administration as funding dwindles
Op-Ed: A Hospital Makes a Community – In Ways Outsiders Can’t Understand
Alexander Salerno | Opinion
In St. Michael’s case, it’s a community that extends far beyond the borders of greater Newark
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