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NJ Spotlight Daily News

March 2, 2015

Christie Refuses to Release Credit Card Records with Breakdown of Travel Costs
Mark Lagerkvist/New Jersey Watchdog | Politics
Governor’s office balks at releasing almost $800,000 in AmEx bills for state police security detail, citing security concerns
Helping New Jerseyans Get a Handle on How to Prevent, Manage Diabetes
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Bill would fund education programs in the state, which has nation's third-highest rate of obese kids at future risk for disease
PARCC Tests in Language Arts, Math Start Today for Students in New Jersey
John Mooney | Education
Can you make the grade? Try a sample question from the 5th-grade language arts exam
Op-Ed: Why Some Parents in NJ Are Refusing High-Stakes Standardized Tests
Julie Borst | Opinion
Stopping kids from taking the exams doesn't just express a parent’s anxieties for kids, it also demonstrates concerns about the school system

February 27, 2015

Interactive Map: State-Aid Landscape Basically Unchanged, Frozen and Flat
Colleen O'Dea | Budget, Maps, Map of the Week
Funding to municipalities virtually unchanged for fifth straight year under Christie budget
After Linking Clinic-Funding Vetoes to Cost, Christie Now Claims ‘Pro-Life’ Motives
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Following switch in rhetoric in front of conservative audience, governor draws fire from state Sen. Loretta Weinberg on women’s health and family planning
Cami Anderson Gets Another Year at Newark Helm -- Plus a Performance Bonus
John Mooney | Education
State senator assails 'terrible decision' while student leader vows more protests aimed at ousting superintendent
Another Budget Adjustment -- State Tax Collection Forecast off by $60M
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Administration’s overestimate brings midyear spending reductions to $343M -- and there’s still a $1.6B budget bullet out there
Energy Target for 2050: Get 80% of NJ’s Electricity from Renewable Sources
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Ambitious Assembly bill seen as laying groundwork for future legislators, different governor
Phone Line Offers Expert Advice to People Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Highland Park man among those who found support, advice through Care2Caregivers from Rutgers Behavioral Health Care
Conservative Radio Host Grills Christie on Common Core Flip-Flop
John Mooney | Education, Politics
Asked at CPAC gathering about controversial academic standards he once supported, governor says he now has ‘implementation regrets’

February 26, 2015

Christie Flips On Reason For Vetoing Planned Parenthood Funds
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Just in time for the 2016 Republican primaries, Gov. Christie is changing his explanation for a controversial policy decision he made as governor ...
Chris Christie Takes His Budget Pitch on the Road -- First Stop, Moorestown
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Governor makes it perfectly clear: The only thing wrong with the state’s finances is cost of public-employee benefits
Districts Get Official Word: State Aid Payments Frozen for Most Schools Next Year
John Mooney | Budget, Education
Some are glad that funds won’t be cut despite fiscal woes; others note than once again Christie isn’t complying with full-funding law
Administration, Lawmakers Could Clash Over Who Gets Open-Space Funding
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
As predicted by some environmentalists and legislators, various potential recipients are getting testy about how much money they’ll receive
New Emergency Alerts Would Help Find Missing NJ Residents with Disabilities
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
People with intellectual, developmental disabilities could be at risk if they wander away from family or caregivers
Poll: Chris Christie’s Budget Address – Empty Sound Bites or Real Solutions?
The governor says he can fix what ails New Jersey's finances – Does his message resonate or is it the same old story?
Op-Ed: The Power of a Simple Idea -- Helping NJ Students Start the Day Healthier
Margarethe P. Laurenzi | Opinion
Serve students the most important meal of the day after the school bell rings, when they are already at their desks

February 25, 2015

Christie Is So Focused On New Jersey He May Announce Run For President There
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Gov. Chris Christie's first town hall meeting in six months began with a detailed, if not dry, explanation of his pension reform plan. He pointed to charts around the room at the Moorestown Recreation Center in Burlington County ...
Missing from Christie’s Budget Address: Substance, Specifics, Solutions
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Governor’s budget speech may have played well outside of NJ, but state lawmakers are left with a number of unanswered questions
Dispute Erupts Over ‘Agreement’ Between Teachers Union, Governor
John Mooney | Education
While Christie touts purported deal, NJEA leaders protest that it’s just a ‘road map’ for finding solution to pension crisis
Christie’s Proposed Health Budget Slashes $148M From Hospital Charity Care
Andrew Kitchenman | Budget, Healthcare
Administration argues that cuts are counterbalanced by ACA Medicaid expansion, which has thinned the ranks of the uninsured
Panel Pushes Controversial Nomination for Pinelands Commission to Full Senate
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Critics contend appointment sends wrong message to conservation community, do what governor says or be prepared to be replaced
Profile: Association’s Leader Deftly Keeps Hospitals in NJ Working Together
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Profiles
Ryan draws on government, legal experience in advocacy for diverse group of hospitals
Just When NJ Students Are Making Progress, Some Folks Want to Slow Them Down
Kati Haycock | Opinion
A quick look at the past decade demonstrates that kids who aren’t tested are kids who don’t count

February 24, 2015

Can Christie, Legislature Defuse Judge's $1.6 Billion Pension Bombshell?
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics
Double challenge confronts Dems, GOP: Find funds in current budget -- and even more in next year’s
Judge Rules Against Christie Administration in State-Employee Pension Case
Meir Rinde | Budget, Politics
State on the hook for seven years of increasing payments, as spelled out in the administration’s signature pension-reform law
In Camden, Housing the Homeless to Ease Strain on Health Resources
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
State, county, city, hospitals, nonprofits unite to support Housing First pilot, with eye to potential expansion
Will Third Time Be the Charm for Controversial Nominee to Pinelands Commission?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Absence of key panel member could mean OK for nominee turned down twice by Senate Judiciary Committee
PARCC Testing Opponents Win Victory in State Assembly, But What’s Next?
John Mooney | Education
Bill would delay use of assessments to rate schools, students and teachers, but passage by Senate appears much less likely
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