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NJ Spotlight Daily News

May 17, 2016

DEP Moves to Adopt Revised Water Rule Despite Legislative Warning
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
If state agency pushes ahead, lawmakers could rescind regulations as being contrary to existing laws
Explainer: Getting the Facts on Funding for NJ’s Charter Schools
Meir Rinde | Explainer
Charter advocates often argue their schools are not being fully funded; opponents point out that charters take money away from district schools
On Track: Public Hearings Give New Jerseyans Chance to Dig Into Gateway Project
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Residents this week can scope out the $24 billion initiative that will bore two new rail tunnels under the Hudson River, linking NJ to NYC’s Penn Station
Trenton Circus Squad Helps Troubled Teens With Juggling and Similar Skills
WHYY Newsworks | Social
‘Social circus’ program has already won national recognition since it was founded last year

May 16, 2016

An NJ Spotlight Roundtable:
How Does New Jersey Achieve a Low-Carbon Future?
NJ Spotlight Staff | Event
On June 3rd, energy experts and policy makers discuss the issues
How Much For NJ’s Public TV Airwaves? Treasurer Warns Against High Hopes
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Legislators say money could be used to retire pension fund debt or address other needs -- as well as be reinvested in public media
The List: 10 Schools That Make the Grade for Student Scores in Advanced Classes
Colleen O'Dea | The List
Students across the state are taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests to earn college credit or graduate early
DEP Commissioner Chided for Lackluster Pursuit of Pollution Lawsuits
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Commissioner Martin claims that state is working through backlog of natural-resources damage suits
Opinion: The BPU Could End Diversions from Clean-Energy Fund in a Heartbeat
R. William Potter | Opinion
It’s disingenuous to pretend that Christie’s shanghaiing of $1B in funds hasn’t had a deeply deleterious effect on the state’s clean-energy industry
Obama at Rutgers Tells Students 'You Have the Tools to Lead Us’
NJ Spotlight Staff | Politics
But he warns the class of 2016 that big problems remain and building walls, ignoring scientific facts, and excluding Muslims won’t solve them

May 13, 2016

DEP Says It’s Folding Plans to Privatize Liberty State Park
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
State agency cites stiff opposition to proposal as chief reason for its change of course
DOE Refines Portfolio Review as PARCC Alternative for Graduation
Meir Rinde | Education
Good news for seniors: Department extends portfolio deadline, changes rules to keep parents in loop, reminds local districts of responsibilities
Opinion: The ‘Message’ of Poor PARCC Results -- Don’t Blame the Test
Laura Waters | Opinion
Consider this: One-third of the incoming class at Rutgers had to take remedial classes for subjects they should have mastered in high school
Is New Jersey Ready to Ramp up Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour?
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Backers say that’s still barely a living wage in the state; opponents say it would mean fewer jobs
Annual Fight for Women’s Healthcare Funding: Round Seven
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Weinberg, Democratic colleagues continue to struggle to restore $7.5 million to Christie budget plan
Interactive Map: New Jersey Gets Healthier Thanks to Affordable Care Act
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
Residents across state mostly see gains in health insurance coverage, with poorest New Jerseyans making significant increases

May 12, 2016

Christie Hands New Jersey Business a Bonus: $380 Million Cut in Payroll Taxes
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Tax break comes on heels of earlier announcement, almost doubles the size of the original cut
‘Concussion’ Doctor Speaks Truth to Power, Backed by Science
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Dr. Bennett Omalu, who linked brain damage to football injuries, headlines Drexel neuroscience conference in Atlantic City
Poll: Naming Bridgegate’s Unindicted Co-Conspirators -- Go for It or Get Over It?
NJ Spotlight Staff | Polling
Is there anyone in New Jersey who really doesn’t care if Christie knew about the infamous Fort Lee traffic tie-up?
PSE&G Looks for State Approval to Spend $275 Million on Solar Farms
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
NJ’s largest utility wants BPU to OK proposal to build 10 solar grid-connected projects on dumps and brownfields
Op-Ed: Student Fees -- the Equation Is Simple, but the Problem Is Complex
Michael W. Klein | Opinion
Charting the connection between student fees and state funding for higher education
Hunger Still a Daily Experience for More than 1 Million New Jerseyans
NJ Spotlight Staff | Social
Some 12 percent of residents -- 17 percent of the state’s children -- are not getting enough to eat to live a healthy life

May 11, 2016

BPU Boss Grilled by Senate Committee About $1 Billion in Diverted Funds
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Mroz argues that money siphoned from clean-energy fund has not affected NJ’s efforts to reduce power consumption, greenhouse-gas emissions
Integrated Healthcare: Frustrations, Success Stories from Front Lines
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Providers push to integrate physical and mental care for the poorest in New Jersey
NJ Earned Income Tax Credit Could Climb As Part of Deal to Hike Gas Tax
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Senate President Sweeney says working poor must be among those helped by tax cuts as Legislature struggles with Transportation Trust Fund
Profile: From Selling Bait to Managing the Belford Seafood Co-Op -- A Fish Story
Caren Chesler | Profiles
Joseph Branin has spent his life on or around the water, and that includes building his own 50-foot trawler to fish farther offshore
Opinion: Twisted Tango Over the Hudson -- the Stalemate Over Port Authority Reform
Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff | Opinion
Despite how legislators try to spin it, there’s no meaningful difference between the NJ and the NY port authority reform bills
Name the Bridgegate Unindicted Co-Conspirators, Federal Judge Rules
NJ Spotlight Staff | Politics
Citing the ‘public’s right of access,’ judge orders prosecutors to disclose full list of names, despite privacy concerns
Wine with Dinner? It Depends on Where Your Restaurant Is Located
NJ Spotlight Staff | More Issues
New Jersey’s outdated liquor laws sharply restrict the number of liquor licenses a town or city can have, depending on its population

May 10, 2016

Red Tape, Permitting Delays Are Chief Enemies of Gateway Project, Experts Warn
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Keeping trans-Hudson tunnel on track is only way to prevent current $24B price tag from climbing much higher
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