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NJ Spotlight Daily News

June 15, 2018

Getting Lead Out of NJ’s Water Means First Finding How It’s Getting In
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Package of bills would require public water systems to compile list of lead service lines, public schools to maintain online database of lead-testing results
Lawmakers Urge Review of Medicaid Rates for Nursing Home Care in NJ
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Providers say they’re losing more than $400 million a year, struggling to contain costs
Fine Print: Ruiz-Madden Bill Package Protect Students from Sexual Abuse
John Mooney | Education
Hidden video catches union leaders saying they’d protect teachers
Op-Ed: State’s New Law on Absenteeism — Only the Beginning
Cynthia Rice and Peter Chen | Opinion
Schools that succeed in reducing absenteeism go beyond just complying with state and district rules to encourage and support attendance as a fundamental part of their mission to educate

June 14, 2018

Is a Natural-Gas Power Plant in the Works for the Musconetcong River?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Preliminary discussions between project developer and state and local officials explore building the plant on the state’s top trout stream
Gov. Murphy Signs New Jersey into New Era of Gun Safety
Carly Sitrin | Politics
Thanks to a half-dozen ‘commonsense’ bills, state now has arguably some of the strictest gun laws in the country
Lawmakers Looking to Find More Dollars for Direct Caregivers
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
It’s easy to see why there’s a shortage of direct-support professionals. They’re paid so little they can do better financially working at a fast-food chain
New Road Map for New Jersey to Reclaim Status as Biotech Leader
John Reitmeyer | More Issues
Task force identifies why NJ no longer leads in cutting-edge industry; cites recession, corporate mergers, patent expirations — and decline in key state supports
As NJ Rents Continue to Climb, Finding an Apartment Becomes Even Tougher
Colleen O'Dea | Housing
Hundreds of thousands of residents don’t earn enough to cover the rent on an average two-bedroom, without struggling to pay other bills and meet routine expenses

June 13, 2018

Floating a $600 Million Bond Issue to Build New Portal Bridge
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Plan could go long way to convincing Trump administration to pony up its contribution to bridge project, a key element for speeding rail traffic along Northeast Corridor
State Freezes Charity Care for Hospitals — Revenue Crunch, Budget Blamed
John Reitmeyer and Lilo H. Stainton | Budget, Healthcare
Seventy acute-care facilities are affected but will continue to treat patients. Funding for graduate-medical education also a casualty of New Jersey’s budgetary woes
Can $51 Billion Upgrade to Region’s Airports Get off the Ground?
Colleen O'Dea | Transportation
The Regional Plan Association wants to revamp Newark, Kennedy, and LaGuardia to stay ahead of expected growth — and pull plug on Teterboro to stay clear of rising sea level
NJ’s Medicaid Transportation System in Line for Major Overhaul
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Program that uses private drivers and shuttle for nonemergency rides has been long criticized. Lawmakers want more inspections, better records, bigger fines
A Change of Name, Not Mission, for ‘Bank’ That Funds Clean Water Across NJ
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Under its new name, the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank will still loan money to stem pollution from sewage treatment, upgrade drinking-water systems
Op-Ed: Helping New Jerseyans Take Control of Where Their Electricity Comes From
Curt Macysyn | Opinion
The way electricity is consumed and produced is changing. We no longer need to rely on large, centralized generation to keep the lights on
Small New Jersey Town Takes On School-Funding Fight
Karen Rouse | WNYC News | Education
The comfortable community of Chesterfield sits squarely at the center of the battle over how New Jersey funds public education

June 12, 2018

More Scrutiny of Deals that Municipalities Make with Developers?
John Reitmeyer | Budget
State lawmakers want increased regulation of local tax agreements that can adversely affect funding for school districts
NJ Policy Group Releases Blueprint for Improving End-of-Life Care
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
New Jersey residents, like most Americans, would like to die at home or in hospice, but many spend their last days in the hospital
Lawmakers Look to Create Standard Penalties for Polluters
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
By developing a sliding scale for damage to natural resources, state would have a better chance to compel ‘bad actors’ to clean up pollution
Federal District Judge Says ‘No Deal’ to NJ Pulling Out of Waterfront Commission
Colleen O'Dea | More Issues
Temporary injunction keeps New Jersey from withdrawing from Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor — at least for now
Opinion: The New Jersey Budget Strategy Must Be Better
Richard F. Keevey | Opinion
Either we move the budget discussion to a multiyear approach or we will fail to address our tax and spending issues and be right back at it again next year with no permanent solutions

June 11, 2018

Despite High-Profile Deaths, State Figures Show Decline in Suicides
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Four in 10 deaths nationwide were attributed, at least in part, to relationship problems, while nearly two out of three involved trouble with drug or alcohol abuse, or a recent crisis
PSE&G’s Next Big Ask: $2.5B to Upgrade Electric and Gas Distribution Networks
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Utility claims residential customers would see only small bumps in their monthly bills; money would go to boost resiliency, reliability, redundancy
The List: How Much More Do New Jersey’s CEOs Earn Than Their Employees?
Colleen O'Dea | The List
Hold onto your metaphoric hat: In 2017, the total compensation package for the CEO at the Children’s Place was 1,813 times more than the median wage for one of its workers
Former State Sen. Allen Starts PAC to Help Women Get Started in Politics
John Reitmeyer | Politics
New political action committee — runWOMENserve — to offer funding to female candidates regardless of their party
Op-Ed: Staffing Ratios — The Wrong Formula for Patients and Nurses
Aline Holmes | Opinion
Treating nurses as numbers rather than as the trained professionals they are, devalues them

June 8, 2018

NJ Lawmakers Go All In on Sports Betting, Law Awaits Governor’s Signature
John Reitmeyer | Politics
After Supreme Court threw out federal law that prohibited legalized sports gambling in New Jersey, state lawmakers fast-tracked a bill to allow it. Not everybody’s happy
Interactive Map: Are We Seeing the Beginning of a Blue Wave in New Jersey?
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
The turnout for the midterm primaries was the highest in years, with Democrats showing up at the polls in greater numbers that Republicans in most congressional districts
Six Months into Murphy’s Term, Senate Confirms Six Cabinet Members
Tom Johnson | Politics
One reason process lasted as long as it did: disagreements over school funding between Sweeney and Repollet, new commissioner of education
State Poised to Allow More Gender Options on Birth Certificates
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
New law will allow transgender people to alter documents just by signing a simple statement, without a letter from healthcare professional
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