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NJ Spotlight Daily News

May 19, 2017

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
Lesniak Lays Out His Policies, Proposals on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show
NJ Spotlight Staff | Politics, Elections 2017
Democratic hopeful discusses environmental protection, property-tax reform, and criminal justice, among other topics
GOP Rep. Frelinghuysen Targets Activist in Letter to Her Employer
Nancy Solomon | WNYC News | Politics
Employee questioned and criticized for involvement in NJ 11th for Change, a group pushing Frelinghuysen to hold town-hall meetings

May 15, 2017

Consumer Advocates Question BPU Scheme to Streamline Grid Upgrades
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Critics argue against giving utilities the opportunity to push through infrastructure projects with minimal review and collect on investments more quickly
Democratic Hopefuls Dismiss Scheme to Funnel Lottery Profits into Pensions
John Reitmeyer | Politics, Elections 2017
Legislative leaders, unions also argue that Christie’s Lottery plan will go nowhere if it requires more givebacks from public-employee unions
New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Panel Recommends Expanding Program
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Potential changes, which could ultimately help reduce state’s opioid epidemic, will likely not be in place until later this year
Op-Ed: Underneath NJ — an Unhealthy, Costly, Disgusting Problem
Robert Briant Jr. | Opinion
What we need right now is a comprehensive strategy for improving our water and sewer infrastructure
The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth
Nina Martin | ProPublica and Renee Montagne | NPR | Healthcare
The death of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse, in the hospital where she worked illustrates a profound disparity: The healthcare system focuses on babies but often ignores their mothers

May 12, 2017

3 on 1: Democratic Hopefuls Target Frontrunner in Second Debate
John Reitmeyer | Politics, Elections 2017
Phil Murphy’s lead going into the debate meant the other three candidates would be looking to land a glove on him
Constitutional Amendment to Stop Diverting Clean Energy Funds?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
For some environmentalists, an amendment won’t be on the books fast enough. They want lawmakers and governor to cease and desist immediately
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