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NJ Spotlight Daily News

May 15, 2015

BPU Takes Close Look at Jumbo-Sized Solar-Array Project
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Agency’s proposal runs counter to administration’s Energy Master Plan to build large solar arrays on reclaimed polluted tract
State Legislators Tackle Persistent Problem of Unexpected Medical Bills
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Lawmakers draw ire of doctors’ groups who call regulations addressing ‘out of network’ costs unnecessary and even insulting
Democrats' Legislation Seeks to Address Growing Concerns Over PARCC Tests
John Mooney | Education
But attempt to respond to protests while proceeding with controversial assessments doesn’t placate critics
Running on Empty? Mapping New Jersey’s Alternative-Fuel Stations
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
The Garden State has only two alternative fueling stations for every 100,000 vehicles, the second-lowest ranking in the country
New Coalition Vows to Fight NJ Transit's Proposed Fare Hikes, Service Cuts
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Promising aggressive campaign, group joins Jersey City Mayor Fulop in urging agency to sell off properties, other assets to close $60M budget gap
Why Were Homeowners Hit by Superstorm Sandy Left High-and-Dry by Their Insurers?
WNYC | Sandy
Follow the money trail, which leads to a most unlikely culprit – the Federal Emergency Management Agency

May 14, 2015

State Quietly Cuts Deal to Let Verizon Deregulate Basic Telephone Service
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Critics contend move could lead to 36 percent price jump in price for residential service relied on by low-income residents, seniors, disabled
It Looks Like There's a Good ‘April Surprise’ in Store for Gov. Chris Christie
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Treasury is projecting a $200M windfall tax revenue, which will be funneled right into the pending pension payment
Poll: What Would It Take to Put New Jersey’s Economy on the Right Track?
Polling
Turnaround or sadly too late, what does the Garden State need to thrive rather than just survive?
Health Commissioner Sees Possible New Direction for Newark-Area Healthcare
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
O’Dowd says shifting state funds could spur expansion of community outpatient services and development of academic medical center
Op-ed: Let State’s Money ‘Follow the Child’ Rather Than Pad District Budgets
Bob Garguilo | Opinion
Fund the Interdistrict Public School Choice in a way that eliminates duplicate spending and nurtures successful program

May 13, 2015

Five Years After Launch, NJ Spotlight Continues to Rack up Honors
Several prestigious local, state, and national organizations have recently honored NJ Spotlight’s in-depth public policy news coverage with special recognition
NJ Long Shots: Casino Gambling to the North, Sports Betting Statewide
Meir Rinde | More Issues
Horse racing, the gaming industry, and the fate of Atlantic City are all linked by a complex calculus of money and politics
NJ’s Biotech Industry Backs Bill Setting Rules For New Drug Prescriptions
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Pharmacies are concerned that extra notice to doctors will serve as barrier to lower-costing alternatives
Profile: Head of League of Municipalities Stepping Down After Four Decades
Tom Johnson | Profiles
But Bill Dressel isn’t really moving on -- he’s staying in New Jersey, and hopes to keep working on policy issues facing the Garden State
Camden Avoids Massive Teacher Layoffs, But Dozens Will Lose Their Jobs
John Mooney | Education
New early-retirement incentives help ease blow in state-run school district
Newark Program Prepares Low-Income Teens for College, Workforce
Jamaal Abdul-Alim | Education
Innovative ‘RU Ready for Work’ initiative helps teens succeed in careers and in the classroom
Christie Blames Obama for Economy’s Squeeze on Nation’s Middle-Class
NJTV | Politics
Governor lays out five-point economic plan during speech in New Hampshire

May 12, 2015

Christie Vetoes Bill Seeking to Document Effectiveness of Corporate Tax Breaks
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics
Governor rejects call for annual review of billions in tax incentives, prefers ‘more holistic’ approach to assessing whether program’s paying dividends
Governor Blocks Bill to End State Diversions of Environmental Settlements
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Legislators also look to put constitutional amendment on November ballot that would prevent settlements from being used for other purposes
Let American Sign Language Count for Graduation Requirements, Bill Proposes
John Mooney | Education
Assembly education committee passes sign-language measure, as well as bill to set up ‘recovery school’ for kids coming out of rehab
DEP Offers to Purchase Endangered Forest Next to Six Flags Amusement Park
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
State agency hopes proposal will keep 90 timbered acres from going under the chain saw to make way for solar array
NJ Healthcare Advocates Meet to Lay Groundwork for Third Year of ACA Signups
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
After solid enrollment season, feds bring ‘navigators’ together to map strategy for efforts to sign up those who still don’t have coverage
Superior Court Judge Delays Legal Arguments on FY2016 Public-Employee Pensions
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics
Jacobson holds up proceedings until high court rules on FY2015 payments into public-workers benefits fund
Explainer: Special Advisory Council Tracks Status of New Jersey’s Water Supply
Jon Hurdle | Explainer
Diverse group reports to state DEP on all aspects, present and future, of what may be state’s most precious commodity

May 11, 2015

Feds Probe Why Sandy Victims Were Shortchanged on Flood-Insurance Claims
Scott Gurian | Sandy
Critics call for wide-ranging, structural reforms to ensure problems encountered after Sandy don’t happen again
Have Tax Incentives to Lure Companies to NJ Really Been Worth the Price?
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics
It’s impossible to say, lawmakers assert, without legally-required annual report on whether billions handed out have really fueled job growth, helped state’s economy
Thank You for Five Years of Believing in Our Method and Our Message
NJ Spotlight staff |
It’s our fifth anniversary, and we couldn’t imagine anyone better to celebrate it with
Trying to Keep Home Turns Into Foreclosure Nightmare for Bloomfield Woman
Joe Tyrrell | Housing
For one New Jerseyan struggling to save her home, experience demonstrates that what can go wrong will go wrong
The List: 10 Reasons Why Insurance Companies May Have Underpaid Sandy Victims
Scott Gurian | The List
Theories abound in the absence of clear information about just what went on behind the scenes in the aftermath of disastrous storm
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