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NJ Spotlight Daily News

January 16, 2018

NJSPCA Is History: Christie Signs Bill Shutting Down Rogue Agency
Caren Chesler | Politics
It will take more than a year to disband New Jersey Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but to animal-rights activists and some lawmakers, it’s worth the wait
Op-Ed: The Charitable Giving Account Could Protect Charity from Trump Tax Cuts
Peter S. Reinhart | Opinion
An unintended consequence of GOP tax reform could mean that charitable donors may give less, while new donors may become more scarce
Gov. Chris Christie: The Final Interview
NJTV News Online | Politics
As the never-at-a-loss-for-words governor prepares to step down, he fields questions and puts his administration in perspective — as he sees it

January 12, 2018

Trump Tax Cut Could Mean $850 Million Windfall for PSEG
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Up to $650 million could accrue to PSEG Power, which recently argued unsuccessfully that it needed a subsidy to keep its three nuclear plants afloat
Drug Users Respond to Christie’s Opioid Campaign, but Cost Raises Questions
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Although it has reached millions of people and prompted many drug users to seek help, governor’s multi-million-dollar anti-addiction publicity has its skeptics
Working on Plan B If Feds Leave NJ-NY in Lurch Over Trans-Hudson Funding
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Amid ominous signals from federal officials about funding a replacement for crumbling rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan, local legislator says its time for contingency plans
New Legislative Session Offers Second Chance for Bypassed Bills
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Lawmakers have already reintroduced a slew of clean-energy bills, expecting them to have a better reception now that Christie’s out and Murphy’s in
High Drama and Low Comedy: The Chris Christie Years
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
From the war on opioid addiction and implementing bail reform to Bridgegate, Beachgate, and calling a former Navy SEAL an ‘idiot,’ take a stroll down memory lane with our governor
State Embarks on Project to Restore 240 Acres of Liberty State Park
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Initiative — funded by natural resources damage fund — will address contaminated fill in low-lying areas, creating in its place a ‘mosaic of ecosystems’
Op-Ed: Give New Jersey Solar the Chance to Shine Again
Marc Miller | Opinion
The Garden State’s preeminence in the solar sector is long gone. With a new governor and administration, much of its luster could be recaptured

January 11, 2018

Administration Plays Favorites, Exempts Florida from Draft Drilling Plan
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
NJ officials call for same status, arguing state’s $44B tourism industry is just as sensitive to spills and drilling disasters
Treasury Paid BOA $34M to Shift Lottery to State Employee Pension Fund
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Administration claims money was well spent, says Lottery initiative has helped drive down borrowing costs by boosting investor confidence in recent bond issues
Tell Us What You Want to Know from Your New Legislators
Lee Keough | Politics
With a new Legislature just starting its session — and a new governor about to be sworn in — this is an ideal time to question your Senators and Assembly members
Brutal Cold Snap Proves Need for PennEast Pipeline
Pat Kornick | Energy & Environment, Sponsored Content
Price of natural gas skyrocketed in New Jersey during recent freeze to more than 3,000 percent of that in Pennsylvania
Rutgers Scientists Identify Link Between Epilepsy, Depression
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
‘Physicians’ for more 2,400 years have suspected connection
Op-Ed: Insurance Policy Turns Blind Eye to Medicaid Realities
Cathy Bennett | Opinion
Penalizing hospitals for readmission of Medicaid patients ignores the ‘social determinants of health’ that uniquely shape these people’s lives

January 10, 2018

Christie Gives Himself High Marks in Final State of State Address
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Governor touts achievements in urban renewal, property taxes, education, and more in last official address to Legislature
Keeping Tabs on the New Democratic Committee Chairs
John Mooney | Politics
Who earned a seat, who’s moving on — or up — and what does it portend for the coming legislative session?
Who’s Who, Who’s New, and Who’s Blue in 218th Legislative Session
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
The 120 Senators and Assembly members sworn into office include a significant number of freshmen legislators and a new speaker for the lower house
On His Way out, Will Christie Sign Bill Propping up Solar Sector?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
If the governor puts his name to measure, it could cost utility customers nearly $1 billion over next 15 years to subsidize state’s solar industry
Murphy to Name VA Leader as Head of Health Department
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Gov.-elect expected to announce Shereef Elnahal, a physician with federal experience, as DOH’s new boss
Official with Strong Union Ties Gets Nod as Murphy’s Labor Commissioner
Carly Sitrin | Politics
New governor expects Robert Asaro-Angelo, who has deep roots in Democratic Party, to be ‘champion’ for working class
Op-Ed: Property Taxes Can’t Be Reduced, So Stop Making Promises, Unless …
Richard F. Keevey | Opinion
Promises aren’t going to bring property taxes down; implementing one or more admittedly difficult reforms might do the trick, however

January 9, 2018

Lawmakers Rap DEP, Roll Back Rule on Septic Tanks in Highlands
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Maneuver made possible with rarely used legislative tool allowing rules to be rescinded if found inconsistent with law
Feds Spike Administration Plan to Bail Out Coal, Nuclear Plants
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
FERC’s decision has ramification in New Jersey, where PSEG has been pushing for subsidies to bolster its three nuclear units
Putting the Force of Law Behind Students Trying to Pay for College
Colleen O'Dea | Education
Four bills looking to ease “predatory” practices employed by some New Jersey loan providers are waiting for the governor’s signature
NJSPCA on Its Last Legs? Bill to Disband Agency Clears Legislature
Caren Chesler | Politics
Measure roars through Assembly 63 – 0, heads to governor’s desk for signature
Outgoing Governor Approves Array of Healthcare Programs
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Christie puts pen to work signing measures to establish ombudsman for disabled residents, aid hearing impaired, protect breastfeeding, and more
Lawmakers Approve Massive Incentive Package to Try to Win Amazon HQ for Newark
John Reitmeyer | Planning
Almost unanimous bipartisan support for multi-billion-dollar goody bag aimed at enticing Amazon to build its new corporate headquarters in Garden State
Butterflies, Booze, but not Bacteria — What NJ’s Last-Minute Laws Cover
Carly Sitrin | More Issues
In the final hours of this legislative session, lawmakers aided monarch butterflies as well as early-morning drinkers at the airport, but they couldn’t deliver for an important bacterium
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